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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I bought my Subaru, I joined a couple of forums and soon found one topic that guaranteed an, at times, heated debate - oil!
I have found, not surprisingly, the same thing on various bike forums.

I have been doing a fair bit of reading on the 'net about oils, to try and un-confuse myself, so thought I'd put down my thoughts so wiser, more knowledgeable souls can enlighten me further if I'm on the wrong track.

First, the Triumph handbook states "....designed to use semi or fully synthetic 10W/40 or 15W/50 motorcycle engine oil which meets specification API-SH or higher and JASO MA". (The workshop manual states SG, but SG and SH specs became obsolete about 10 years ago).
The handbook further states "Do not use mineral....or any oil not conforming to the required specification. The use of these oils MAY (my capitals) cause instant (!) severe engine damage".

Scary stuff, huh?

Now, most people would assume that a fully synthetic oil is one that, by definition, is one that has been fully synthesized, as compared to mineral-oil-based derivatives. And there are actually a small number of such oils out there BUT the vast majority are not so made.

As a result of a court ruling in Castrol's favour against Mobil, a mineral-based oil that has had synthetics added (not sure of the percentage, but I don't think it's much) can legally be called "fully synthetic", because it has been modified. The majority of "fully synthetic" olls on the market are made this way, the obvious reason being cost. It doesn't cost a manufacturer much more to make one of these types of oil, but the selling price is increased substantially, thus much bigger profits.

So-called semi-synthetic oils are even worse. One engineer who researched the subject extensively, said that, in his findings the amount of synthetics in such oils was virtually insignificant, and they were essentially nothing more than high quality mineral oils, with a higher price tag.

The oil companies are no doubt laughing all the way to their banks!

Which makes Triumph's statements about the type of oil to use interesting, to say the least, as most of the oils on the market which meet their specifications, and therefore, in their words, are suitable are actually mineral-based, which they say don't use!! (particularly so-called semi-synthetics, which are virtually pure mineral oil with a few additives). The potential legal implications are mind-numbing!

As I understand it, the primary advantage of a true fully synthetic oil is extended oil change intervals. Bikes, however, are pretty brutal on oil. The main problem is the transmission, it causes the oil to shear much quicker than only running in the engine itself. You still wouldn't want to go past 10,000kms, even with the best you can buy.

Castrol make an oil called Active 4T 15W50. On their website data sheet they say it is suitable for all modern 4-stroke engines.
Likewise Valvoline. If you do a search on their website for oil for a T100 it comes up with Durablend 15W50 as recommended.
Surely, if Triumph believe this is not suitable for their bikes, this would constitute false advertising?

My thoughts, at the moment are to use a good quality (possibly semi-synthetic if they're on special) dino oil and change it, and filter, every 5,000 kms. I believe changing more often will be more beneficial than anything else.

I think we're being taken for a ride, somehow!

(I started with Subaru, might as well finish with it. Subaru consider their engines as reasonably high tolerance, and recommend 10W30 oil. What does the dealer use? Magnatec 20W50! so much for following manufacturers specs. I supply my own Valvoline 10W30, btw).

If I'm wrong in any of my reasoning here, please be nice to me:)

PS forgot to mention (for our American cousins) true fully synth. oil is bloody expensive here!!!
 

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Oil, religion, and politics. :)

I think you are correct. I don't think Triumph can complain if the oil used meets their publicized specs. They certainly couldn't deny any warranty claims.

The oil companies? They've had us by the short hairs for years. As you mentioned, the problem is confusion. We don't know what we are buying and they are not about to tell us.

I think your approach is as good as and maybe better than some. As you mentioned (again), the key is regular maintenance. I, too, frequent other forums (automotive) and have participated in (or at least witnessed) many a discussion on the subject. I recall several heated discussions on oil filters. Holy cow. The bottom line makes the whole discussion moot, however: if you change your oil on a regular basis, the quality of the filter becomes less and less important.

In summary: get an oil that meets the specs and follow a routine maintenance schedule.
 

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When is a synthetic not a synthetic

I was just reading up on the 'synthetic' issue last night...luckily I hadn't cleared my browser so the tabs I opened are all in history, but this is one quote I think is relevant here as a base line document:

GI- solvent refined petroleum base stock. It is common belief that no SL rated oil uses 100% GI basestock, but some of them do have some GI in them.

GII- hydrotreated petroleum base stock. More refined, with less gunk in it. More stable, and usually with a higher viscosity index. Chevron and pennzoil oils use nothing but this group in their oils. Common belief that all SL oils use this in a certain amount.

GIII- "hydrocracked" or severely hydrofinished base stock. Castrol won the right for oil blenders to call this group "synthetic". Most OTC synthetics are made from this base. I think they use the same process to make it as GII, but take it a step further.

****Groups 1 to 3 are petroleum base stocks. ****

G-IV PAO [polyaphaolefins] base stock. Chemically produced from ethelene gas. True synthetic oil, and primary basestock used in mobil, amsoil and most top tier synthetics. Much more stable and has higher VI index than GIII. Can handle more extreme temps.


CASTROL AND MOBIL GO TO COURT TO BATTLE IT OUT:

Recently, Mobil accused Castrol of reformulating its synthetic by substituting other basestocks in place of its synthetic polyaphaolefins (PAO's). Castrol is a hydrocracked oil. That's right, Castrol has replaced the PAO synthetic base stock with hydroisomerized petroleum base stock. Hydrocracking, as it's called, is the highest level of petroleum refining. Castrol isn't even a Group 4 synthetic yet Castrol ended up winning the battle when the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus ruled that Castrol could still market its oil as "synthetic" despite their new formulation. Basically, they expanded the definition of synthetics to include Group 3 hydroprocessed petroleum oil. This high profile case took place because synthetics are recognized as the market's best hope for growth. Synthetic oil sales have outpaced petroleum oil sales by a wide margin and the gap continues to widen every year. Consumers are getting smarter and demand the best for their vehicles. Read the full story on the Castrol issue in our informative articles section. Additionally, just as soon as Castrol won this battle, several other major oil companies jumped in and came up with hydroprocessed motor oils of their own and labeled these products to be "100% synthetic", when they still are Group 3 hydro processed petroleum oils.

 

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Always a touchy subject.

I use fully synthetic oil, based on wear data shown to me by tribologists. I regret I do not have the data available to post.

I use mobil 1 10W40 because that's what my professional buddies recommended based on their research.

Good enough for me.

Everyone can argue it as many ways as they want - that's the way I'm doing it. Dino oil went out with - er - dinosaurs.

Link to one (more) opinion on oils

http://www.5252performancetuning.com/tech_info
 

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Bob is the oil guy

During last night's surfing I came across this information on Shell Rotella [branded Rimula in Australia]...it's not new to me [Rotella/Rimula in m/cs], and I have come across its recommendation on many forums.

Seems that Shell have been working on the formula of Rotella so as to meet the emissions [legislation] for those big diesel riggs...this has had a knock on effect in motorcyclists favor - that is to say Rotella T with Triple Protection 15W-40 and Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 CJ-4 now do meet JASO MA.

JASO MA is one of the recommended specs for engine oils in my Triumph Thruxton Owners Manual.

Here's a quote:
We recently ran the JASO MA friction test on Rotella T with Triple
Protection 15W-40, Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 (CI-4) and our soon to be
introduced (within the next 2 months) Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 CJ-4.
All three oils passed the wet clutch friction test. Rotella T Synthetic
5W-40 (CI-4) has more than 1.2% ash (JASO MA spec limit) so it can not
be classified as JASO MA. However, Rotella T with Triple Protection
15W-40 and our soon to be introduced Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40 CJ-4 do
meet JASO MA."

If you have any additional questions please call us at 800-231-6950.
Thank you for your interest in Shell products.

Richard Moore
Staff Engineer
Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc.
Westhollow Technology Center, PO Box 4327, Houston, TX 77210, United
States of America
For somew excellent reading on motorcycle oils on one forum i can recommend dropping in on Bob is the oil guy...and looking through the motorcycles section:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm&c=4


Rgds,

Chalawah
 

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Now we're talking - actuall quotations from the horses mouth - that's good stuff. Shell Rotella is the only other oil I have seen solid evidence for. There is a thread somewhere (I'll see if i can find it) that shows pics of a high performance bike engine stripped apart after about 60K milkes if i remember right - not a sign of discoloration or sludge. Engine looked new.

So there you are. I like Mobil 1 for those same reasons, but Rotella is cheaper. I just like to stick with what I'm comfortable with what i know. Just my way.

The original poster was right though - dinos have come on a long way, and freqauent oil changes will keep things in good shape.
 

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Always a touchy subject.
Yes agreed, often threads like these get become oil x versus oil y and very emotive...I personally prefer the factual based research, documentation and oil analysis data. Yah know, informed choice and informed consent and all.


Dino oil went out with - er - dinosaurs.
...but clearly Castrol and others think dino oil went out the door with good marketing:Cigar:



Chalawah.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input so far, guys. I must admit I started this thread with some trepidation - I've seen how these can deteriorate rapidly, because you'll always get some types who have a holier-than-thou, I-know-it-all attitude and miss the point of the thread (they do it their way and it's the only way) - it happens on all forums. Yes, I've come across many article/documents relating to oils, but I think you'll agree my post was long enough without adding them, I urge anyone who is interested to start digging around.

Synthetics are nice, but your transmission isn't going to blow up, your engine seize solid and your wheels fall off if you don't use it - as Triumph would try and have you believe! There are probabaly many newbies (and those who aren't mechanically inclined) who doubtless believe just that.

There are many other issues which I haven't covered, for instance if you're a long way from home and, for whatever reason, need to top up your oil. It is definitely NOT recommended that you add dino to a pure synthetic (that came off Castrols reply to a posters question), so you're faced with trying to find the same stuff if it's pure synth., whereas the dino-based synths. are no problem, you can even add car oil if that's all there is.

and so it begins.......
 

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Yes agreed, often threads like these get become oil x versus oil y and very emotive...I personally prefer the factual based research, documentation and oil analysis data. Yah know, informed choice and informed consent and all.
Yes indeed - good approach!
...but clearly Castrol and others think dino oil went out the door with good marketing:Cigar:
True - cursed marketing departments!
Synthetics are nice, but your transmission isn't going to blow up, your engine seize solid and your wheels fall off if you don't use it - as Triumph would try and have you believe! There are probabaly many newbies (and those who aren't mechanically inclined) who doubtless believe just that.
Very true. Dino oils have actually come a long way, and are perfectly good lubricants, let's be honest - it's just they are not AS good as genuine fully synths. How much difference does that make to the average user? Probably not much, especially if you keep the oil changes frequent. I will continue to take the admittedly expensive route of actual fully synthetic mobil 1, because that's my choice, based on smoe evidence that I saw once. No big deal really. And that's about all I have to say about that. Ah - I see it is a nice day out. To the motorcycle!
 

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I've got 4 qts of Valvoline motorcycle oil and a Walmart filter ready for my oil change on the Scrambler. I'm mixing 2 qts of 10w40 and 2 qts of 20w 50. It's marked JASO MA on the bottle.

On the CJ4 oil I have a 6.7L Dodge diesel pickup that has a diesel particulate filter and requires this oil. It's not because of the lubrication quality (although I'm sure CJ4 is good), it's because of the low ash and the interaction with the particulate filter. The truck "regenerates" the filter when it starts to become clogged by injecting extra fuel on the exhaust stroke, which burns in the exhaust system and gets the filter hot enough to combust the soot. Ash, which is the residue from minerals, does not combust but remains behind in the filter and eventually would clog it up. So the CJ4 oil is necessary for the low mineral/ash content.
 

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Always a touchy subject.

I use fully synthetic oil, based on wear data shown to me by tribologists. I regret I do not have the data available to post.

I use mobil 1 10W40 because that's what my professional buddies recommended based on their research.

Good enough for me.

Everyone can argue it as many ways as they want - that's the way I'm doing it. Dino oil went out with - er - dinosaurs.

Link to one (more) opinion on oils

http://www.5252performancetuning.com/tech_info
Prop
Is that Mobil 1 10w40 is it specified for 4 cycle engines? I'm kinda stuck up here and nobody has a 15W50 4 cycle oil. You would think with so many oils out there something outta work and work well. Alt I noticed at my local Walmart yesterday that they did have a Mobil 1 15W50 for cars (red cap). I'm heading out on a trip and I won't be going to the Cities prior so I can't get the Triumph brand filter or the Mobil 1 4T. I think it was Capt Don who suggested AMSOIL 20W50 as an acceptable alternative.

I haven't checked the compatible filter thread above yet, but let me know whatever you're using. I think I'm going to be stuck with using a NAPA 1358.
 

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The mobil 1 is for 4 cycle engines - I use the racing 4T for motorcycles. I buy it from autobarn.com in bulk - best price I have found and free shipping.

The amsoil that captdon recommends is just fine - if you don't have time to wait for a mail order shipment go with that - it is well known to be good stuff.

I am using the genuine Triumph filters at the moment, but any of the compatible ones will be fine. Fresh oil and filter before the trip makes you a happy dude. Change frequently is the best policy!
 

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The mobil 1 is for 4 cycle engines - I use the racing 4T for motorcycles. I buy it from autobarn.com in bulk - best price I have found and free shipping.
Wow. Indeed the best price out there.

Thanks!!
 

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Thanks for the reassurance.

I ran out to Walmart at lunch and picked up a Walmart SuperTech ST7317. That was a recommended filter in ggRats post on the oil sticky. NAPA had the AMSOIL 20W50 m/c oil and I picked up 4 quarts of that. I think I remember Capt Don realy raving about the AMSOIL. Heres a link that shows some studies, didn't check to see if it was an AMSOIL link though:

http://www.smartsynthetics.com/products/amsoil-mcv-20W-50-synthetic-motorcycle-engine-oil.htm

One thing I can offer. Honda makes an appropriate size crush washer, the ID is 14mm, OD is 21 mm (I think on the OD). You'll have to give them those dimensions because they don't have it specified as such in their inventory, or at least not at Krenzens in Duluth.

Someone tell me quick if they think the NAPA filter is a better one than the Supertech, I'll probably do the oil change tomorrow. Tonight I'm doing the rear brake pads.
 

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Doubt if there is a lot of difference between the oil filters quality wise, but I advise you NOT to use the wal mart one that is longer than the standard filter. Captdon says that the napa one is the same physical size as the genuine Triumph filter, the picture someone else showed of a walmart supertech showed it sticking substantially lower than the frame - bad move. Don't want to hit something and puncture the filter or break it off. Chances on that may be slim - but even so.

Link to that thread, though I am sure you have been reading it from what you have been saying - but the heck.

http://www.triumphrat.net/twins-technical-talk/92073-pictures-of-the-walmart-oil-filter.html

EDIT the supertech ST7317 you mention is the same one pictured in the above thread. Use the NAPA one. Captdon knows his stuff, and if he recommends it I wouldn't be afraid of using it. 'nuff said.
 

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Is that the same stuff soul_rebel, or the stuff they make for cars? Not to get us going on a "what the heck is the difference anyway" thing.

Just wondering. If that is the price for the Mobil 1 Racing 4T - then you have a good price there too!
 

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Hey guys, i gotta do my first oil change and i need some advice on what to get. At my autozone they have the mobil 1 T 10w 40 and 20w 50 and i dont know which i should get. If the 15w 50 was readily available it wouldnt be a question i would go with that. Im not super [email protected] so i dont mind going with whats avail at the zone i just dont know what would be the best to get. Im in the northeast and the temperatures are all over the place, which kind of adds to my confusion on which to get.

One more question, does mobil 1 make a filter for these bikes?
 
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