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Old 11-18-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
paulter OP
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Maine foothills
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Gas Additive?

I'm new to airhead ownership having recently bought a 1982 R65. It is mostly original with the exception of the EM alternator and ignition system. My question is should I be adding a gas additive to protect valves? And, along the same line, should I be using a specific oil/additive to protect internal engine components? Thanks for any insight.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:40 AM   #3
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Discussions about oil are a touchy thing. People get tired of the same rants from the different camps. I'm going to give you the short version of my theory and then if the others want they will do the same but I will not argue this subject. I just think you need this info at the beginning so you can move along.

I'm not aware of any additives that work.

What is need is a compound known as ZDDP. Other oils have this. They are usually advertised as Older car or Motorcycle oils. But not all these products advertised as such do contain ZDDP. There is apparently some way to Google this info and I have tried but I don't get the info I want. We have a dry clutch so Motorcycle oil is not always right either.

What I do know that works is BMW Motorcycle Oil that I buy at my local BMW Motorcycle Dealer. I use only the 20/50 wt which is what my motorcycle was built to run. I save a little bit of money by buying in the one gallon size but it's not much savings. This oil is expensive. The only alternative to the BMW Brand oil I use is Sectro 4, also in 20/50 wt. This is almost the same oil as the BMW brand I am told.

Somebody will suggest an over the counter major brand. As long as it has enough ZDDP it should be OK.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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What Disston says and I also use Sea Foam in the gas to counter act the effects of Ethanol. It acts as a stabilizer during storage and also stops the corrosive damage of Ethanol. Valvoline makes motorcycle specific oil as does Castrol.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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I'm sorry but what I said earlier might not of been plain enough. Motorcycle oils are usually not the right thing for an Airhead. Motorcycle oils are made to work with a wet clutch which is not used on an Airhead.

Our bikes have what is called a flat tappet cam shaft. Because of this we need Zinc. The element Zinc. It is found in motor oils under the name of ZDDP. Modern oils do not have ZDDP because of problems it causes with catalytic converters. Some oils made and advertized for older vehicles may have ZDDP in them. Try Google.

If you don't know of the ZDDP content of the oil you are using you can do what I do. I use BMW 20/50 wt from the dealer.

These engines develop severe problems if the wrong oil is used.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

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Old 11-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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got several quart size tins of real lead that I've bee saving for my 56 Austin Healey 100-4. along with several quarts of non-detergent motor oil.

older motors made pre-lead gas era uses valve guide/valve stems not designed for unleaded fuels. will run real lead sparingly along with marvel mystery oil for top end lubricant.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
isdt BMW
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Be also advised that products such as Sta-bil will stop gas from turning to varnish, but do NOT hold octane rating. The best thing is drain float bowls and gas tanks for storage.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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I have been trying to use unleaded only in all my scoots & generators etc. But I also use an additive in all the air cooled motors. MMO is my additive for near on to 50 yrs.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:06 PM   #9
Mark Manley
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The highest mileage airhead I have ever seen was an R100 that a friend of mine used as a despatch rider in London so fairly heavy going. He took it from 12,000 miles to 425,000 and changed the oil every 5,000 miles using the cheapest 20/50 he could buy. The top end was rebuilt every 100,000 miles and he never looked at the bottom end, the bike is still running. The moral seems to be don't waste your money on expensive oil in such a low-tech engine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:09 PM   #10
red bud
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i didn't read the rest of this but if it coughs and sputters add seafoam, it's magic
"if your not outta gas, your not lost" BDXMPL

"red bud has anyone ever told u you're bit of an ass" bmwblake
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