Just a note to why I use Harley oil. When traveling on long trips ,it is easy to find. There are tons of Harley dealers around so its easy for oil changes on the road.On one of my airheads that I bought new ( 84'R100RT) has 150,000 miles on it and has never had anything but Harley 20W50. Looking forward to seeing all the test results. Terry
RE: oil on the road...that's a good point about finding a good supply of oil anywhere. In working on this so far, I've been encouraged to find what appears to be good oils with the proper API rating listed right on the bottle. And these oils are available at many of your average auto parts stores. But, yes, testing will be the final answer!
Paying for the testing
I know you aren't asking for donations, but there is a lot of interest in this and if everyone would kick in $20 or so maybe it could be paid for without you footing the whole bill. If any extra it could go to a charity.
Could this be done by paypal?
[QUOTE=dpmonk;831321]Could this be done by paypal?[/QUOTE]
I'm not that savvy with paypal. I posted this, though:
[QUOTE=Typ181R90;831224]My offer to donate a quart or so of liqui moly racing 4t 20w50 still stands if you want it.[/QUOTE]
Saw this on another forum:
"Which Oil: Choosing the right oils and greases for your antique, vintage, veteran, classic or collector car."
[QUOTE=chasingdaylight;831275]Just a note to why I use Harley oil. When traveling on long trips ,it is easy to find. There are tons of Harley dealers around so its easy for oil changes on the road.On one of my airheads that I bought new ( 84'R100RT) has 150,000 miles on it and has never had anything but Harley 20W50. Looking forward to seeing all the test results. Terry[/QUOTE]
I never gave that a thought, but that is a great idea. Does your R100 leak more with Harley oil in it? :bolt
I will look into Harley oil going forward, thanks chasingdaylight.
It is a good idea to consider availability. Many of the oils that I have on my list were bought at local auto parts stores...I did buy one quart at the Harley shop. So, hopefully, there will be plenty of "local" options once the numbers are in.
Another oil that has come up in other motorcycle engine conversations is Castrol Edge 5-50. It replaced the Castrol 20-50 for older engines. Manufacture says it has more zinc and is designed for flat tappet engines. Airhead BMW's are a flat tappet engine and at the 50 weight it is a 50 weight oil via its viscosity.
I now a few HD riders that use this in all 3 holes and have in the area of 200,000 Km's or about 125,000 Miles, with no engine tear downs and no oil issues.
I guess this is modern technology at work. Not sure what spec the oil actually is, but I'll have a look the next time I'm in a place you can buy it. Start up wear is an issue with a 20-50 so this oil might bear a little more of a look. Its hard to get any actual specs on the 5-50 oils contents.
I've read somewhere or another that when the additive package goes away with use, the oil falls to the viscosity of the smaller number. If this is correct, a 5-weight oil might not be what I'd want in my airhead.
[QUOTE=cycleman2;836268]Another oil that has come up in other motorcycle engine conversations is Castrol Edge 5-50.[/QUOTE]
With a base stock that low, my guess is that this oil has an "energy savings" aspect to it. Many of the car oils these days are 5w and even 0w...they are trying to squeeze every ounce of gas mileage out of engines in order to meet the required specs. As suggested, anything less than even 10w is probably not best for our engines.
[QUOTE=walt3022;836320]I've read somewhere or another that when the additive package goes away with use, the oil falls to the viscosity of the smaller number. If this is correct, a 5-weight oil might not be what I'd want in my airhead.[/QUOTE]
It is true that the weight of the oil at higher temps (controlled by the Viscosity Improvers blended in) can be reduced between change intervals. This is probably more of a concern on engines where the transmission and engine share oils. A transmission tends to more quickly shear the VIs thus reducing the actual viscosity value.
A 50w oil has a range of values to qualify for the weight...I don't remember the range. It has to do with the amount of oil that will flow through a specific hole size at a given temperature. An oil that ranks low in the range or one that is high in the range still rates as that weight oil.
I think it is important to use an oil that is rated high in the range. I heard about this in the Spectro oil seminars in the past few national rallys. The Spectro engineer indicated they blend their oils to be high in the range. This should result in the oil being classified as a 50w for a good period of use. Another hedge against this issue is to change your oil a bit more frequently.
I plan on having this particular value rated in the proposed testing.
[QUOTE=20774;836333]With a base stock that low, my guess is that this oil has an "energy savings" aspect to it. Many of the car oils these days are 5w and even 0w...they are trying to squeeze every ounce of gas mileage out of engines in order to meet the required specs. As suggested, anything less than even 10w is probably not best for our engines.[/QUOTE]
No this is not an energy conserving oil. It is designed for older car engines and manufacture states that on the bottle. If it works in HD's that are notoriously hot running, then I can't see why it wouldn't work in a cooler running airhead. The only issue might be seal leakage, but that would depend on the age of the seals, if they'd been replaced etc.
If you look at Oil Analysis on many of the 0 & 5 weight car oils you'll see that its viscosity is in the range of 10-11 at 100 C. If you look at a 20-50 weight oil you'll find that its viscosity is in the range of 18.5 to 20 at 100 C. So at temperature these oils are actually operating like a 10 and 20 weight oil. These are the expected baseline normal ranges that the engineers of their engines spec. One of the biggest knocks on Mobil 1 Twin Cam ( 20-50 sync ) was that it tended to thicken up over the 20 viscosity range, which was a concern in some cases.
I don't think we can rule out modern advances in oil tech and one should keep an open mind as you go down this road.
RE: Castrol Edge...I can't say that I've run across this oil before, and this is the first time it's been mentioned. I'm not an oil engineer and didn't stay at a H.I. Express last night, but I'm guessing that the BMW engineers recommended 20w50 for some decent reasons. I don't have my owner's manual, but I believe the temperature ranges might have recommeded 10w in colder climates but no lower.
I'm pretty much tapped out on the oils that I had planned to test. I posted earlier earlier the different oils I'll be testing, which includes two common Castrol products. At this point, I think I'll have to stick with the current list.
Here's some info from the Castrol site:
Castrol has transitioned SYNTEC 20W-50 formulated for classic car engines to Castrol EDGE 5W-50 with SYNTEC Power Technology. Castrol EDGE 5W-50 offers performance improvements over SYNTEC 20W-50 in a number of key areas.
The only reason I mentioned this particular oil was because many have used the Castrol 20-50 car line oils for years.
I don't really appreciate your reference to H.I. Express as its a bit of a cheap shot directed at me and would have expected more from an administrator of this site.
I guess its time to move on.