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Thread: Valvoline oil question

  1. #1
    Nick Kennedy
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    Valvoline oil question

    Gents
    I've got a 1978 R/80.

    Is Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil 20w-50
    rated SF/SG/SJ OK to use in that engine?

    I found this stuff at Autozone.

    Is it OK to use in my 1990 K75 RT?

    Nick Kennedy

  2. #2
    Registered User ebeeby's Avatar
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    That's what I use because of the true SJ (zinc) value.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    if you were to check your shop manual or your owner's manual, you would see that SF 20W50 is just fine.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    This is germaine to another thread:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=63581

    Part of my concern is that for SJ rated oils, the ZDDP levels were decreased below what they had been in SG/SH oils. So how can an oil be all three at the same time? We hoped to continue to answer those questions in the update of the oil analyses that have been performed in the past.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    I think (but am not certain) that because of the 20W-50 oil viscosity, the SJ API standard may allow more ZDDP. That appears to be the case with the 15W-50 Mobil 1 High Performance oil, with a SL API rating but still able (to claim) 1200 ppm ZDDP. Yes, it is confusing.

    FWIW, I would be comfortable using the Valvoline 20W-50 motorcycle oil in my '78. But, I would really like to see an oil analysis and the numbers for such an oil. I think even if the API engine oil licensing and certification system (EOLCS) standards were available for scrutiny, the amount of ZDDP is allowed to vary.
    Stan

    AH# 13238

  6. #6
    Nick Kennedy
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    Thanks for the notes back!
    Nick Kennedy














    thanks

  7. #7
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickrides View Post
    Gents
    I've got a 1978 R/80.

    Is Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil 20w-50
    rated SF/SG/SJ OK to use in that engine?

    I found this stuff at Autozone.

    Is it OK to use in my 1990 K75 RT?

    Nick Kennedy
    I have been using Valvoline 20/50 for 26 years and 450,000 miles!

    I guess it's OK!
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
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    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  8. #8
    Poser kballowe's Avatar
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    I recently purchased this 1973 R75/5. 38,000 original miles. This is a photo of the underneath, with the oil pan removed. The previous (original and only) owner used Pennzoil 20W-50 with 3,000 mile oil change intervals.
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    I'm new to Airheads and this is the extent of my contribution here.
    .
    I don't know if Harleys are any easier or any harder on oil, but from my used oil analysis reports, and those at bobistheoilguy, it would appear that Valvoline VR1 Racing conventional 20W-50 oil holds up quite well, indeed (for Harleys).
    Current Inventory:
    '12 ST1300 ABS, '10 GL1800, '08 FLSTF,
    '08 VTX1300C, '08 VSTAR1300, '73 R75/5

  9. #9
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Detergent oils should keep the inside of an engine clean, given reasonable changes. The issue is the bearing surfaces and rocker arm tappets. Detergent has nothing to do with that...it's the anti-wear and anti-corrosion elements that are in the oil that help protect the surfaces. From the reading I've done, the natural oil film holds metal surfaces apart during operation. When that breaks down, the added ZDDP comes to the engine's defense. That's why ZDDP is important to our engines. Without it, you invite situations where failure and pitting of surfaces can and will happen.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    doktortim
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    I use VR-1 Valvoline because it has the addatives for extream heat and conditions, is available at lots of FLAPS, and will not allow foam, froth. If it works for 60's V-8's putting out 3000hp, it will do just fine in an Airhead at 100mph all day across any desert in America in mid summer. Just change it more often than the high detergent street oils.

  11. #11
    Bluenoser
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    Viscosity at 100C is more of a fact in determining the natural film of oil between contact surfaces. As you point out ZDDOP is one of the last areas of defence when the oil has broken down.

    The question really is went does an oil break down. The answer is when the additive package is used up. Without doing oil samples this would be hard to determine. I've read many oil samples from motorcycle engines on the web ( Bob the Oil Guy & other sites ) and have yet to see one where the oil has broken down to the extent that it is going to cause problems, no matter the length of time or the miles.

    When you look at a BMW Airhead engine it has car type bearings on the crank/rod, bearings on the crank & cam, roller bearings on the rocker arms ( 1974 models on ) and thats about it. Nothing really high tech about the set up and because the oil is just for the engine only, these engines are very easy on the oil. They don't encounter the shearing that a engine/transmission combination would have.

    When these engines ( especially the early ones ) the spec was for an SG 20-50 oil. Only dino oil was available in the 70's and then sync came along.

    My 2 cents is if you are going to run a dino, then use a 20-50 weight and change it more often. If you engines seals are in good shape then run a 20-50 sync and you can go a little longer on oil changes. Any 20-50 MA spec oil dino or sync will work fine in these engines.

    The bottom line is follow the manufactures specs and you can't go wrong. I wouldn't use any 20-50 race spec oils in a daily driver. These oils are meant to be used briefly and then dumped.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  12. #12
    Registered User stanley83's Avatar
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    At a recent visit to my local Airhead shop...

    I noticed stack of cam followers, all with a great amount of pitting on their bottoms. From what I understand, this is the result of using oils unsuited to the design of our engines. I will continue to pay the outrageous price for Spectra Gold on the recommended of a number airhead gurus.
    Justin in Somerville, MA
    _________________________
    76 R75/6, 78 P200E, 63 VBB
    Lots of bicycles

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