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Which synthetic oil?


Hermes

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Last year I switched to Synthetic oil and used Mobil1 15w/50. When checking the oil today I realized I was a tad low and poured in the rest of what was left in the original container. At our automotive store, Canadian Tire, I couldn't find the 15W/50 and it got me wondering if it was the right choice in the first place.

It also got me wondering what those numbers really mean.

Can someone explain this to me and suggest the right number for summer weather (75 to 90 F).

I appreciate the help.

Jurgen, The Sensitive One.

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ShovelStrokeEd

In short, the first number refers to the relative viscocity when the oil is cold. The second number means that at temperature, the oil will have the same viscocity as a single viscosity oil of the same rating. So, in your case, the oil would be the equivalent of a 15 weight oil when cold and a 50 weight oil when warm. That really is a simplistic explanation of it but should suffice unless your motor asks for a more complex one.

 

Since M1 15W50 has been discontinued, you can switch to another synthetic or back to a mineral oil should you so desire. So long as the oil meets BMW's recommendation for SF or SG duty, another coding system, you should encounter no problems.

 

As outlined in your owner's manual, for temps in the 70-90 deg F range, a 20W50 oil is suggested. If you don't tell the motor what your pouring in there, you could probably use a 10W40 as well. I have been strongly considering using Shell Rotella 10W40 in all my bikes. It is readily available here and seems, from owner reports anyway to be some pretty good stuff.

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Thanks for the reply, Ed. No wonder I couldn't find the 15W/50 if it's discontinued.

If I take your meaning, the Shell Rotella 10W/40 is also a synthetic oil?

I like to make the switch to synthetic oil permanent, if possible.

Thanks again

Jurgen

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Mobil 1 15W-50 is still very much alive and well, although it can be somewhat harder to locate than the other grades. I have been sticking with it so far due to my regular commute in 95-100 degree temps this time of year but the Shell Rotella 15W-40 (conventional) and 5W-40 (synthetic) do seem like good alternatives.

 

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Thanks Smiller,

I will look around for it, trouble is, Canada represents a relatively small market and if any product is pulled or its marketing decreases, Canada is the first place where it is pulled.

Jurgen

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Consider an AMSOIL synthetic. I've reviewed several tests comparing various brands at different viscocities; AMSOIL regularly lands in the top tier. You can check them out at: Amsoil Oil Products No affiliation.

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is this correct Amsoil product for our 1100 & 1150 oilhead engines?

 

MCVQT SAE 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil: 1-quart bottle

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Consider an AMSOIL synthetic.
The problem with Amsoil is availability. Even in the Los Angeles area (hardly a backwater in motordom terms), the Amsoil website lists only two vendors, neither within ten miles of where I live. How do others solve this problem?
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The problem with Amsoil is availability. Even in the Los Angeles area (hardly a backwater in motordom terms), the Amsoil website lists only two vendors, neither within ten miles of where I live. How do others solve this problem?
By not bothering to look for it in the first place..?

 

Any quality synthetic oil is easily up to the job and using Amsoil will not result in the slightest increase in engine life.

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Any quality synthetic oil is easily up to the job and using Amsoil will not result in the slightest increase in engine life.
A case can be made for "better performance" for some oils over others, but you're probably right. In the end, the benefit over regular changes with other good oils is probably non-significant. I have an R69S (see my avatar) in its forty-first year of regular changes with Castrol 20-50, and when we took it down for inspection recently, the wear in the engine was negligible. Even the slingers weren't full.
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Paul Mihalka
What are "the slingers?"confused.gif
Oh well, prehistoric technology. Pre-1968 BMW bike motors had all ball and roller bearings inside. These bearings only require the presence of oil, not pressure. So there was something like a spoon attached to the crankshaft that dipped into the oil in the sump and SLUNG it around in the engine. So a "slinger". In those times oils were not as detergent, crud dissolving as today and the oil did not run through a oil filter. So oil changes every 1.000 miles were the norm and regularly engines were opened to clean the slingers because that is where sludge accumulated and they stopped slinging grin.gif

 

--

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I have an R69S (see my avatar) in its forty-first year of regular changes with Castrol 20-50,

 

Hey Jon,

 

At the risk of wading into an oil thread ...

 

What flavor of Castrol are you runnin'? I just put some Castrol 20/50 Syntech Blend into my scoot (not motorcycle specific). Even though I've used synthetics a lot in the past, I'm getting tired of 7 bucks a quart.

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What flavor of Castrol are you runnin'?

From the time it first came on the market until this year, I used garden variety Castrol 20-50 GTX. I'm just putting the bike back together after the preventive teardown, and haven't decided what to use now. Looking forward, it is virtually certain that the engine will outlast me, so I'm not overly stressed about this issue.
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Mobil 1 15W-50 is still very much alive and well, although it can be somewhat harder to locate than the other grades. I have been sticking with it so far due to my regular commute in 95-100 degree temps this time of year but the Shell Rotella 15W-40 (conventional) and 5W-40 (synthetic) do seem like good alternatives.

 

The RedCap 15w is gone, at least in the US. The current 'Extended Performance' Gold Cap is regularly stocked in my local Walmart...

I switched to it when I changed my oil ~8700mi...about 4000mi ago. The bike seems to like it just fine....

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Thanks for educating us kids, Paul.

 

Now I'll go back to watch the Teletubies and sucking on a lollypop.

 

--

Mikko

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The current 'Extended Performance' Gold Cap is regularly stocked in my local Walmart...
Used to me at mine, too... then it disappeared from both Walmarts in my area. That grade probably wasn't selling enough to justify precious shelf space but it seems that if they were going to carry it anywhere it would be in Texas in the summer. confused.gif
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Rotella

 

I understand that Rotella being a diesel oil has properties that keep the crud in suspension so when you change the oil more crud will be removed from the engine, and that it is a very high detergent oil. How late in the life of an engine

would you suggest changing over to Rotella?

 

JON

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ShovelStrokeEd

There are two Rotella oils, a 5w40 synthetic and a 15w40 mineral based oil. Change to them when you like, your motor won't care. Just about all oils today carry a pretty substantial detergent package.

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