Anyone care about oil?
I called megacycle camshafts because I had some cam questions. Some old tech-lady I spoke with was great. We talked about a bunch of shit. She asked what oil I normally use. I said conventional 10-40 mc oil. She said nope, that shit ain’t good enough.
She said I really need to be using an oil with zinc in it. It prevents camshaft lobe and tappet/lifter/rocker wear. She recommended Valvoline VR1 racing oil. Or Motul racing oil.
So. I started thinking about oil more. Due to the fact that zinc oil isn’t abundantly available at auto stores I’m ruling it out as a viable, realistic option.
So often you’re on the road or need oil ASAP and run to pep boys. So it needs to be oil I can get whenever… wherever. I’m going to start running synthetic mc oil in all my bikes. It’s only $2-3 more a quart and it’s super easy to find at auto stores.
I’m gonna try it out. Maybe it’ll be great and maybe it won’t. I’ll report back.
Also since I’ve been talking about oil recently I’ve run into more than a couple people that mentioned they don’t really change their oil or think about it. Blowing my mind. Being on top of oil changes is fuking imperative. It’s literally the most important thing to think about. More important than gas.
Look at the photos below. If those motors had been running synthetic mc oil or regular 2-3k mile interval oil changes I’ll bet the wear / scoring wouldn’t have happened… despite the 450 motors are known for eating followers and despite Adams kz oil ports were half way blocked.
Good oil that’s not broken down yet actually lubricates metal on metal.
7 responses to “Anyone care about oil?”
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Published - Jan 19, 2014
Philly dirt bike weekend
Adam and I went and ripped around on the dirt bikes yesterday. We checked out the mountain bike trails behind the hostel in Fairmount park. They go from there… Pretty much all the way to city line ave. It’s way too technical for dirt bikes. We had to lift our bikes over fallen trees. Then […]
You change your oil?
I’ve heard good things about avocado oil. And it does have zinc…
Here is a link to an article about zinc in oil. I think I might try using a zinc additive in the convention mc oil I use.
I just picked up a Triumph TR25W and the guy I bought it off of swears by the Valvoline VR1. He runs a few old British singles as scramble/dirt bikes and says the zinc helps wear and tear.
I use synthetic motor oil and add a zinc additive, both you can find at any chain auto parts store
VR1 is good oil. Just keep in mind its racing oil, which means that it is meant to be changed quite frequently. In motorcycles where almost every oil contact surface is cast aluminum, anti-oxidizers in oil is actually pretty important. VR1 doesnt have any of these. I do recommend this oil if you dont plan on running it all year without a change.
The oil I have been using since my second motorcycle oil change is Shell Rotella. It has a ridiculous amount of ZDDP (essentially what you mean when you say your oil has Zinc) yet its meant to stay in your engine a long time, and its pretty cheap, and widely available. Both the T4 and the T6 are JASO-MA rated, which essentially means that they are good to go with wet clutches. I have gallons upon gallons of this stuff at home because I run it in all bikes (Air Cooled Kawasaki 4 cyl, Kawasaki Dirtbike, Harley Evo), I run it in my car (Turbo Subaru making ~ 145 bhp/liter) and I run it in all my low end Craftsman lawn and garden equipment because its cheap enough and I dont feel like having multiple different kinds of oil in my garage.
People get strangely attached to and thusly defensive of their oil choices. Zinc is good for metal to metal wear, but there are actually alot of jobs that oil does and someone can tailor their oil choice best to their personal approach to maintenance.
My take on synthetic is this: It doesnt necessarily ‘perform’ any better than dino oil, however, when you really heat the oil up, you have a better chance of the oil still being able to do its job (prevent wear) when you are running synthetic. Synthetic oil is cheap enough these days anyway. I’m not the most anal about preventative maintenance, I’m more of a run it hard, fix it when it breaks kind of guy so synthetic is a good compliment to my style.
Another advocate for Shell Rotella here. I run the T6 in my CBR1000RR and it runs great. Tried a few oils and only Rotella comes close to Repsol and Motul to giving me smooth shifting action. At half the cost, loaded with tons of ZDDP, and with great TBN’s from Blackstone, I don’t run anything else. I recommend it for everyone’s bike I work on.