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Old 01-16-2003, 08:06 PM
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Default Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

     

Thereís a lot of controversy about which oil is best in a wet-clutch type two stroke motor. There are also a lot of options out there to put in that high dollar transmission. Synthetic or Dyno? What weight? And most importantly, can I use automotive oils in my bike?
Lets start w/ Synthetic Vs. Dyno oil. Theres a lot of advantage to synthetic oils. One of the most important ones is lubrication. On a 4 stroke, you are told not to use synthetic on break in. This is because the superior lubrication does NOT allow the rings to seat. For the rings to correctly seat, there must be a degree of wear. So synthetic lubricates better. Thatís good. Can it lubricate enough for the clutch to slip? In some instances the answer is yes, we will discuss that later. Synthetic also resists breakdown at high temps, for example, Mobil 1 5w-30, a very light oil, will protect and resist breakdown up to 400 degrees Celsius, which if an engine ever reached it would be a glob of melted aluminum. Synthetic also wonít separate at low temps (below 40) like a heavier weighted dyno oil will.
Lets talk about clutch slippage. It can happen with dyno oils, it can happen with synthetic oils. The factor is not synthetic or dyno, its Energy Conserving or not. Its often heard that synthetic will cause slippage, but thatís not entirely true. While some synthetics will, others wonít. The thing to look for is the Energy Conserving logo on the back of the oil bottle. You donít want energy conserving, what it means is the oil contains friction modifiers which reduce friction. This is great in a car, because the clutch is separate from the engine. This lets the engine have less drag, and supposedly increase fuel economy. The problem is, in a wet clutch, the oil lubricates the clutch, and the clutch needs some form or friction to grip the fiber to the steel plates.
So we are down to this, synthetic is better quality, and it needs to be a NON Energy Conserving blend of synthetic oil. But what weight? There are many different weights of oil. 5w-30, 10w-30, 10w-40, 20w-50, etc. What do those weights mean? The w part (10w) tells how the oil will be weighted like when the engine is cold and first starts. The lower the temp, the lower you want the W rating. The other number is the weight the oil mimics while the engine is at operating temp. Particular oil weights almost ALWAYS have the EC label, these weights are 5w-30, and 10w-30. Other weights usually donít have the EC label. Pick oil weight by your outside temperature. A 30 weight is good for winter, while a 40 or 50 weight is good for summer.
Ok, does everybody understand oil weights? Good. Now lets look at some synthetic oils that are good choices for your bike.
Iíll start with Mobil 1. Mobil makes 3 great synthetic oils for our bikes. The 15w-50 is good for summer temps or hot running bikes (XRís). There is also a 0w-40 blend which is great for spring and summer temps, and a 0w-30 which is nice for cold winter days. Many people donít know of the 0w-40 and 0w-30, but they are both great oil. I personally always use Mobil 1 oils. They really are THAT good. There are others that are good too. Castrol Act-Evo, Klotz Pro Drive 30, and Honda HP4, which I have used and liked, but it all comes down to personal, and bike preference. I have always have best luck with the Mobil oils, and will stick with them. Plus they are a bargain for synthetics.
Now for the last question. Can I use automotive oils in my bike? As long as the donít have the EC tag, then yes, you certainly can. A lot of people disagree with this however. Some motorcycle oils have zinc and phosphorus to stop wear. They use these because they canít use friction modifiers in the oils. Zinc and phosphorus arenít used in car oils because the harm catalytic converters. Itís a trade off, but when you pay double the price for Mobil 1 15w-50 for cars by buying the MX4T motorcycle blend, itís a waste of money. The 15w-50 is just fine.
Hope this is useful, if youíve got any questions, please ask.
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Old 01-25-2003, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

Nice!
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

thanks for the info! looks like i'll be gettin' some Mobil 1 20w-50 in my bike. i was using the Yamalube gear oil, because i needed some gear oil right NOW, and didn't have time to go somewhere else. Thanks for the great read!

-Rob
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

in the 2 stroke forum I have heard ATF to be used in many 2 stroke bikes gearboxes since its changed every 1 to 2 races/rides. Is there any truth to this? Also what to use in an air cooled 4 stroke ATV? No mention in 4 stroke discussion forum.
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

I've used ATF in my 125's gearbox. It works fine, but dosent last as long as some of the other lubes i've tried.
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Old 05-23-2004, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

I just changed mine to ATF, $2 a quart vs $4 something for mobil. I think it is a good idea to change the fluid as often as possible so I went with the cheapest fluid I could get. I was useing redline at $13 a quart but I felt bad changing the fluid after a short ride or after sitting a while, so with ATF I change it every time I ride the bike. According to Dirt Bike Magazine ATF is the fluid of choice, not just because of the price, but because of the quality as well. If shelling out more spendolies for synthetic makes you feel more comfortable then go right ahead, but you can use ATF and still feel secure.

My never to be humble opinion
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Old 05-23-2004, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

i agree with Rockey.....mobile1 user myself...15w50synthetic.i've used non-synthetic for years too,with no clutch or trans failures ever.

atf is a very low viscosity oil base...dexron II is/was a 20wt base.if your using any of the newer blends they were made to be an even thinner type fluid.

atf has no rust or moisture protection.
this would only be a concern if you let your bike sit a long time...it probably wouldn't matter what you used as far as storage would matter.....the best thing would be occasional use to circulate oil and to build up heat to drive moisture out.

the AMSOIL site has lots of info on it....good info there too.
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

Since I have owned my CR250R..I have used 3 different types of tranny oil...For the first few months I used Bel-Ray Gear Saver 80W. I loved it..Very pleased...but I was paying $5.85 a liter at the dealer so then I tried some Mobil-1 15W-50 REDCAP...I hated it. It would make my clutch drag ALL the time. I changed it the other day and put in some ATF Type F that was $1.22 a quart..I am VERY PLEASED. Doesn't cause the clutch to drag since its not a thick. I WILL change it more often but I am gonna use ATF from now on.
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

I am using Type F ATF..LOVE IT!! I hated Mobil-1 15W-50 REDCAP..made my clutch drag ALL the time.
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Old 05-23-2004, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Transmission Oil Choices, What To Pick

matt, what's the difference between ATF oils, you said you were using "Type F", what's the difference? what are some other ATF oils you can use??
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