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Thread: Benefits of synthetic oil?

  1. #16
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    how does one know how well oil is flowing?

    re:"Synthetic flows better at those temps. "

    never seen any documentation showing a dino lubed bike crapping out at a lower mileage than a syn lubed bike.

    seems to me if you change your oil in every 3 or 4k mi and you ride in moderate weather, you ain't gonna see a difference. of course, you gotta do what makes you feel good. not sure the bike cares with normal maintenence.

    just sayin'
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  2. #17
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f14rio View Post
    re:"Synthetic flows better at those temps. "

    never seen any documentation showing a dino lubed bike crapping out at a lower mileage than a syn lubed bike.

    seems to me if you change your oil in every 3 or 4k mi and you ride in moderate weather, you ain't gonna see a difference. of course, you gotta do what makes you feel good. not sure the bike cares with normal maintenence.

    just sayin'
    I'm with you. Viscosity rating is what determines flow rate. If you have 10W40, it flows 10W when cold and 40 when hot no matter what the base stock is. Synthetic does resist thermal break down better than dino and there is lots of proof about that. If you change your oil at 3-4K you can run peanut oil in it. Unless you have one of the new tea kettles boxers don't care too much what oil you use. When you have a wet clutch and the tranny and engine run that same oil, then you need to be careful about oil.

  3. #18
    Caribbean Druid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    I can't beleive after all these years, in what must have been a moment of utter weakness, I once again posted in an oil thread......................
    LMAO...

  4. #19
    On The Road Again
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    Smile

    "Tea Kettle".....perfect!

  5. #20
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    BMW Changed!

    Because of the twin Cams, tighter tollerances, thats all it is. The older ones(Hexs and Oilheads, pre 2010) still run 20/50 no issues, unless very cold climates. Syns are a great product, no questions at all. Agreed. My regular oil IS TOO. Love the savings, however small, Ill take it. So few ride more miles than me. Randy

  6. #21
    Jeff cookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    The OP mentioned "half-synthetic" oil. I haven't seen "semi-synthetic" on the market for m-c oil but it is widely sold for cars. You should know that "semi-synthetic" is a blend of petro and synthetic, as you would expect, but there is no standard for the percent of each in the blend. Oil with just 10% synthetic could be sold as "semi-synthetic".

    For what my opinion is worth (not much, my wife would tell you) I will be switching to full synth at the up-coming 12K service on my 2011 RT. Then I feel comfortable with 6K oil changes and hot and cold ambient temperatures. Been using it in my Honda car which has 10K oil changes. If I spent $20K on the vehicle, the price of motor oil is insignificant for 6 or 10K.

    pete
    I remember discussing this when we had to make a decision in our auto shop. The Shell/Chevron/Motorcraft/Etc. distributor explained to me they could not call an oil semi-synthetic unless it had at least 14% synthetic oil.
    The manufacturers of oil use two grades of oil, class 1 and 2 if I remember right.
    To get to a certain API rating they could use straight class 1 or use class 2 and add enough synthetic to bring it up to the specific specification they were shooting for.
    That's the way I remember it anyway.
    Jeff Anderson
    I ride a 2008 R1200RT

  7. #22
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    I figured it was for better gas mileage...like the cars.
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  8. #23
    Nickname: Droid
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    "I tried to quit,.....but they SUCKED me back in!" Friggin oil threads.

    I don't agree about using synthetic from day one on a new engine, especially a BMW flat twin. Use Dino oil for the first 6,000 to 10,000 and then switch to synthetic if that is your preference.

    I just recently viewed an 1150 engine tear down, done at 225,000 miles to replace the cam chain guides and tensioner updates. The cylinder bores looked great, cross-hatch still easily visible, no ridge at the top of the bores, no scoring/scrathing. Rings checked out ok and ring end gap was well within spec. No piston scuffing. In fact the engine was reassembled using the original pistons and rings. So these bores are really durable, which seems to match with comments of riders claiming oil consumption issues sometimes up to 20,000 miles.

    My 94 RS is 55,000 miles below my friend's 1150 at 225,000 miles, but it uses no oil. I do my oil changes at 5k and I've been running synthetic oil since 10k on the bike.

  9. #24
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    We get reports of dino engines going hundreds of thousands of miles with little wear so how could they be better for wearing in an engine...than synthetic, which I wonder it's being slippery more than dino.
    It seems engines are like people, they die from something other than what we worried about.
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  10. #25
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    We get reports of dino engines going hundreds of thousands of miles with little wear so how could they be better for wearing in an engine...than synthetic, which I wonder it's being slippery more than dino.
    It seems engines are like people, they die from something other than what we worried about.
    cjack, you have hit on the one absolute that most overlook in these great and wondrous oil threads: most people sell or crash their bike long before wear has any real impact on the engine!

    The only test I ever saw on wear and oil was done in Consumer Reports but is nowhere to be found anymore. That test was done on a taxi fleet in or around New York or New Jersey. They tore engines apart at regular intervals and actually measured the parts where wear should have most impact. Guess what???? There was almost no difference between synthetic and dino oils. Now for seemingly contradictory data, I have also seen data from large fleet oil analysis that showed synthetic oil maintains its viscosity longer than dino and additive packages seem to hold up better in synthetic. What do I do? If Mobil 1 10W40 is on sale I buy it. If there is a sale on a good blend, I buy it. If I see a sale on a good dino, I buy it. In short, I don't believe oil is as important as we make it. I just make sure I change it at recommended intervals along with a good filter.

  11. #26
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    Basically, what we learn in every oil thread discussion is that there is no smoking gun evidence and no overriding reason to use synthetic. I do realize it's all anecdotal and personal preferences when discussing oil. My own experience is with a Dodge pickup truck that only had 18,000 miles on it and was 3 years 3 months old. Right after I had the oil changed with a synthetic blend for the first time, after using conventional oil before that, my cam gear exploded while driving approx 15 MPH after starting off from a red light. Does that prove anything to you all, probably not. But it sure got my attention.

    I too recall the Consumer Reports investigation that basically said you're wasting your money with synthetics. They said there was nothing wrong with it, just more expensive. It is not thinner, nor more slippery. If it was, you'd see your RPMs measurably increase with synthetic if there was a large enough decrease in friction of the internal engine parts, as the engine was working less hard. But I don't hear anyone saying they had to readjust the RPM at idle because it was idling too high with synthetic oil.

  12. #27
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Track days or sustained high speed autobahn = synthetic oil

    All other days = dino oil
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  13. #28
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter if synthetic is better

    Based on the miles we ride and our age 99%+ of us will get little if any benefit from synthetic oil. Also, how many miles do you get on a bike before you replace it with another? How many bikes do you see with a worn out engine? Most are junked because they are neglected and/or left out unprotected.

    I use dino oil and use the money saved to buy fuel for either my bike or myself.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  14. #29
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    I don't agree about using synthetic from day one on a new engine, especially a BMW flat twin. Use Dino oil for the first 6,000 to 10,000 and then switch to synthetic if that is your preference.
    FWIW, my 2012 RT has 12,000 miles and it was broken in (after the initial 600 mile oil change) on synthetics and synthetic blends. I switched to dino around 9,000 miles and will continue using dino in the future.

    My precise calculations is that since mile zero I have consumed 1 Qt of oil per approx 12,000 miles ... and that includes the first couple thousand miles when the consumption was understandably higher than it is now. I'm very happy anytime I use 1 Qt of oil anywhere close to 8 or 10 thousand miles in a vehicle.

    So I followed the opposite of the old-BMW-practice of oil break-in, and it doesn't seem to have made any difference.

    YMMV.

    BMW abandoned their old recommendation (since the 2010 models) against synthetics in the first few thousand miles.
    Last edited by Norms 427; 02-23-2013 at 08:25 PM.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  15. #30
    Hammam
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    I can't beleive after all these years, in what must have been a moment of utter weakness, I once again posted in an oil thread......................
    There's got to be a reason why oil is both a never ending and a fascinating issue. My take on it is that is that no one is ever entirely sure they're right, and there is always this little nagging doubt at the back of their minds.

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