Humor, sense of. . .
Check out a few other sites, but if you post elsewhere. . .a full-on Nomex suit might be in order. This site is comparatively harmonious. Well, except for those pesky oil threads, and then all bets are OFF!
Good info here, and thanks to all contributors.
[QUOTE=cycleman2;836586]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.[/QUOTE]
Actually, I was taking a shot at myself...I still trying to learn some of this stuff and in no way am I an expert in oils and the technology. At some point, I feel that I have to stick to what the OEM tells me to do regarding basic lubrication. I'll admit I'm a "stock" kind of guy...especially when it comes to oil. So my approach would be to not deviate to far from 20w50. My gut tells me that running a 5w50 is getting too far outside the lines. That's where having a true oil engineering background is needed.
The primary purposes of these tests were to 1) determine the chemistry of the oil and the levels of anti-wear anti-corrosion components and 2) determine the quality of the 50w portion of the viscosity package. While the Castrol Edge oil might have something good in these categories, the 5w aspect of it would not be addressed in these tests.
To some degree, people are going to consider these results and make decisions (or not!) about what oil to use in their bikes. Including a non 20w50 oil or something that deviates significantly from what was originally recommended for their bikes might suggest that that oil is OK in all regards. I'm not sure I feel comfortable doing that.
Just my personal opinion.
Oil seems to be somewhat of a personal topic, and seems similar to religion or politics. IMO, there is nothing to stop any concerned owner from sending in a sample of their favorite oil for analysis. Having a comparison of various oils is useful to the non-petroleum engineers; much like the Sesame Street "one of these things is not like the other" approaches that is often a good way to make choices. Other times, the comparison is so technical or nearly identical that price determines the choice. I will pay attention to the Castrol 5W-50 oils, but as one 'airhead guru' has written, the Castrol oils (other than the 20W-50 4T motorcycle oil and Grand Prix) are not the best choices: [url]http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/oilessay.htm[/url]
I've established a contract with the Bently Tribology labs in Nevada. I'll be sending my 18 samples off to them this weekend. The tests will for:
- spectrocopy (wear materials, contamination, oil additives...obviously the first two will not show anything)
- viscosity index at 40 and 100 deg C
- FT-IR spectroscopy (this is also something more for sampling used oil but part of the basic testing package)
- total base number (a test of "reserve" alkalinity that is useful to offset acids from combustion)
Not sure when the testing will be done, but heading into the holidays, there might be a backlog.
Looking forward to the results, Kurt. Thanks for all the work you've done on this!
Got the results today...very interesting! I'll be pulling the information out and creating charts for comparison. I'll post the info here, but have already begun my writeup for the ON.
I can't wait. P.S I sent you a PM
OK, I've compiled the results and have produced the charts, though they may be tweaked as I figure out how to present this. This first attachment shows the basic info that I gathered for each of the 18 oils. They are grouped by oil type as in petro, blended (or semi-synthetic), and full synthetic. I gave each one an ID for testing purposes and use that as my identifiers in the plots. It makes things more uniform in the plots, but harder to look at a plot and know what oil it is. You need the "scorecard" to do that.
This is the chart of the zinc and phosphorus content. For the most part, if an oil has mulitple API ratings (say SG/SH/SJ), the results suggest that the oil really represents the highest API rating. I've put the highest API rating at the bottom of each column. I'm still looking in this but I believe the mandated changes to ZDDP were to keep the phosphorus levels low...I'm trying to determine if that affected the zinc as well.
I'm a little suspicious of the Golden Spectro 4 (MOA11) results. These don't compare very well with past testing. When I was putting together my samples to send off, I noticed that the bottle of oil I got had already been opened. Spectro oils (and BMW's) have plastic seals under the cap. This GS4 bottle had been broken. I wondered about that but went ahead with the test. I've asked the company if this might be a contributing factor, which would mean a retest with a new sample.
This shows the viscosity value for each oil...there was one 40w oil in the group. I've listed the range of viscosity that makes up a 40 or 50w oil. The line that runs through the plot is where the viscosity falls within that range, as plotted against the right-hand axis. So, if a % of grade value is 50%, then the tested viscosity falls exactly in the middle of the grade range for that weight of oil.
I note that Spectro 4 (MOA01) and BMW's petro 20w50 (MOA02) are made by the same company and the results for ZDDP compare well between them. However, BMW's viscosity value was quite a bit lower than the Spectro oil.
Total Base Number (TBN)
This represents the amount of additives that are available to help offset the acids created during combustion. Harley's oil (MOA10) and AMSOIL (MOA16) were quite high.
Thanks Kurt! I'm still studying but appears Mobil 1 V-Twin, which I use in my Harley's, tests pretty well. (I've always used M1 15w-50 in my Oil Heads) The Valvoline 4-stroke my Airhead gets is barely middle of the pack though.
Thanks for this great data Kurt. I've used Castrol 4T motorcycle oil for years in all my bikes and always wondered about how it stacked up against Castrol GTX which is really a car oil many others use. Turns out there is not much difference other than the 4T is SG and SH rated. GTX has higher ratings so one would assume less zinc and phosphorus. Not so.
Also appears my buddies who swear by Redline are onto a good thing.
Yep, this is really great stuff!
[QUOTE=Happy Wanderer;843000]Also appears my buddies who swear by Redline are onto a good thing.[/QUOTE]
I'm not into synthetics but that Redline is out there!
Amzoil vs Mobil 1
I am not supprised by Mobil 1 zddp being as high or higher than Amzoil, since you ran an unbiased test instead of an advertisement disguised an oil evaluation.
I am also not surprised that the BMW / Spectro oils proved so superior in the conventional oil comparison in Zddp levels.
So good job on the comparisons, it gives everyone some real data to consider. I just wonder if there is a point where the higher Zddp numbers do not equate to higher wear protection.
Also those who believe in Castrol GTX oil have some real data to support their own experience.
I know it would be too costly to run wear test (such as the ball bearing test AMZ uses in their unbiased testing ads) on oil that has been run a few thousand miles already. The stuff of oil threaders dreams!