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Old 11-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
Mane OP
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Question Suggestions on airhead friendly engine oils, please

Hi,

I'm about to perform the first engine oil change on my R100GS this weekend and I've been searching for an appropriate oil for this lady.

I've read the Snow Bum's essay on ZDDP and Airhead engines, and while is very illustrative, it lacks on hard recommendations (except for Golden Spectro 4 20w50, which I can't get here. ) on specific oil products.

I've know this is a polemic subject and I don't want to start a long discussion, just want to hear a list of brands/products you guys used (with good results, that is...) and see which of those are available to me at the local stores.

Thanks for your help...

Regards,
Mane
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mane View Post
Hi,

I'm about to perform the first engine oil change on my R100GS this weekend and I've been searching for an appropriate oil for this lady.

I've read the Snow Bum's essay on ZDDP and Airhead engines, and while is very illustrative, it lacks on hard recommendations (except for Golden Spectro 4 20w50, which I can't get here. ) on specific oil products.

I've know this is a polemic subject and I don't want to start a long discussion, just want to hear a list of brands/products you guys used (with good results, that is...) and see which of those are available to me at the local stores.

Thanks for your help...

Regards,
Mane

Mobil 1 20w-50 has a good amount of zzdp. Also is good synthetic anyhow. Just put it in and don't worry too much.


I think most quality 20w-50 oils will have plenty. They seem exempt from a lot of the requirements.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:06 PM   #3
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SG is the go isn't it?
I doubt you get Penrite Everyday driving 20w-50. Maybe?

Quote:
EVERYDAY DRIVING 20W-50
Great value and great quality these oils are just the job for general-purpose applications for mid range petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles in good condition. With full ZDDP, it’s available in two grades: the 15W-40 grade for vehicles built from about 1990 and the 20W-50 for vehicles built before 1990.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:54 AM   #4
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I've been using any good automotive 20w50(10w40 if riding in winter) from the autoparts store or wally world. have over half a million miles on various airheads, never an oil related problem. if you run synthetic, you will have new oil leaks you never had before. these are simple engines, no need for any special oil.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:42 AM   #5
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I've been running Harley Davidson dino 20/50 for years. Don't flame me, but if you have an HD dealer close by....I get a discount since I am kind of an employee.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bikerfish View Post
I've been using any good automotive 20w50(10w40 if riding in winter) from the autoparts store or wally world. have over half a million miles on various airheads, never an oil related problem. if you run synthetic, you will have new oil leaks you never had before. these are simple engines, no need for any special oil.
fish,
Quit talking sense. Stop right now. My baby needs the best money can buy or else it will grenade immediately.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:59 AM   #7
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Oh no here I am contributing to an oil thread.
Try diesel oil like rimula x or penrite 20-60 or whatever you get there.
Al the good stuff like ZPPD or whatever and shit loads of detergent for your crusty old engine.
Doesn't snow much where you are does it?
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:11 AM   #8
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Just remember: Lubrication is the Key.

I use Castrol Synthetic in my R100RS and das beast. Mojo, my '66 R60 only gets 20w50 Castrol... synthetic leaks out of it, dynojuice does not.

It sure is cheap insurance...
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:12 AM   #9
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Autozone in my area now has Castrol 20w50 for bikes...$4.99/quart. It's SG, availible locally and 1/2 the price of BMW oil. It's about 2/3 what I can find Spectro.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:30 AM   #10
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Valvoline VR-1 Racing 20/50 is specifically designed for high ZDDP and high heat, high pressure use, extreme protection. Perfect for the Airhead. I change my oil often so am not concerned with a lower detergent package. Only a buck or so more than plain car oil and available at many local auto parts stores.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:50 AM   #11
97oilhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomd View Post
Autozone in my area now has Castrol 20w50 for bikes...$4.99/quart. It's SG, availible locally and 1/2 the price of BMW oil. It's about 2/3 what I can find Spectro.
Keep an eye out for their sales. I got 2 cases of Castrol 20-50 Motorcycle oil in the spring from Autozone for $1.99 a quart.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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Keep an eye out for their sales. I got 2 cases of Castrol 20-50 Motorcycle oil in the spring from Autozone for $1.99 a quart.
So, you got two cases (24 quarts) for $48? Holy crap. I just paid that much for one case of Castrol 20w50 at O'Reilly. (Autozone didn't even have any cases of Castrol.)
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
So, you got two cases (24 quarts) for $48? Holy crap. I just paid that much for one case of Castrol 20w50 at O'Reilly. (Autozone didn't even have any cases of Castrol.)
There were no cases at Autozone, I just bought all their stock at three stores over a couple of weeks as they restocked. At the time the regular price was $3.99 and they had $2 off a quart. They also had a Valvoline M\C 20-50 for the same price.

Keep an eye out for their sales, I am pretty sure that it was on at least a couple of times in the spring and summer. I figured I had enough with the 2 cases, but I will probably top up again if I see the sale in the spring.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomd View Post
Autozone in my area now has Castrol 20w50 for bikes...$4.99/quart. It's SG, availible locally and 1/2 the price of BMW oil. It's about 2/3 what I can find Spectro.
Autozone often has this on sale at about $2.50 a quart.
I've heard that it's the original formulation of Castrol GTX, with the zinc still in it.
Last time I found it on sale, I bought out their supply. They also have it in 10/40.

BTW, I read something in one of the many oil threads that was written by a guy who claimed to be an engineer at one of the oil companies, who said that all the major oil brands have long since found a suitable replacement for the zinc that's been removed from most modern oils, and that the whole "you'll wear out your cam lobes using modern oil" thing is a myth.
Better safe than sorry, and if I can get oil with zinc in it on sale for the same price as standard Castrol GTX, I'll do it.

I guess this begs the question; why would Castrol bother to make a motorcycle-specific version of GTX that has zinc in it?
Perhaps because people think they need it, and if they can sell it for twice the price of their standard product, they'll be happy to do so.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by caponerd View Post
I guess this begs the question; why would Castrol bother to make a motorcycle-specific version of GTX that has zinc in it?
Perhaps because people think they need it, and if they can sell it for twice the price of their standard product, they'll be happy to do so.
The motorcycle specific oils have additives in them to prevent wet clutches from slipping. Some car oils will cause wet clutches to slip like a mofo, some won't. It's kind of a crap shoot. Motorcycle specific oils will never allow that to happen though (at least they shouldn't). These qualities are totally irrelevant for our application of course, but the added ZDDP couldn't hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastranger View Post
been running castrol 20w50 for years. I change oil often, esp on the bikes
I'm of the opinion that what oil you use (as long as it's semi-decent) is not nearly as important as how often you change it. I've met too many world travelers with multiple hundreds of thousands of miles on the original untouched bottom end who have to use whatever oil is available where they are. They change it often, but you can't buy royal purple golden spectro super synthetic bla bla bla in rural Bolivia. They just use whatever they can find and their bikes just keep on going. That's a good enough argument for me. I just use castrol GTX 20W-50 and change it every 3000.
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Airhead Wrangler screwed with this post 11-10-2011 at 09:30 AM
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