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Old 02-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Critical oil temperature

I ask this question because like most oil related questions there are many opinions. But seldom is there a discussion about at what point does your oil temperature become critical. Imagine that your bike has an oil temperature gauges and you were watching it. When it hit 230 degrees, would you start to panic? 260 degrees? 325? 375? How high does it have to get before you shut the bike down and let it cool off? So, how about it? Does anybody really pay attention to high oil temperatures and at what point does it become critical on our air cooled Harleys?
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96349 View Post
I ask this question because like most oil related questions there are many opinions. But seldom is there a discussion about at what point does your oil temperature become critical. Imagine that your bike has an oil temperature gauges and you were watching it. When it hit 230 degrees, would you start to panic? 260 degrees? 325? 375? How high does it have to get before you shut the bike down and let it cool off? So, how about it? Does anybody really pay attention to high oil temperatures and at what point does it become critical on our air cooled Harleys?
This is a very good question, something I think a real oil guru needs to answer. I run synthetic oil and no cooler and never seen my oil temp go over 245 on the hotest days or longest rides. I don't do parades or ride alot in city stop & go traffic but even then you'd have to have a fan on you're cooler to have much effect. That magic number would be a good thing to know.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good question. If I shut down every time I breached 230 degrees, I'd never get to ride. Guess it'd keep the miles down though...

I panic the minute it goes into "heat management" mode, but that always seems to happen where it would be unsafe to shut down.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96349 View Post
I ask this question because like most oil related questions there are many opinions. But seldom is there a discussion about at what point does your oil temperature become critical. Imagine that your bike has an oil temperature gauges and you were watching it. When it hit 230 degrees, would you start to panic? 260 degrees? 325? 375? How high does it have to get before you shut the bike down and let it cool off? So, how about it? Does anybody really pay attention to high oil temperatures and at what point does it become critical on our air cooled Harleys?
If you like to do a lot of reading, Bob might be able to answer your question(s). Check him out at

www.bobistheoilguy.com
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This might be helpful.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have owned a progression of Road Glides, Fat Boys and Sportsters that represent model years from 1987 to 2007. I wish I never put an oil temp gauge on the 2006 and 2007 Road Glides. During summer months in the Mid Atlantic I've recorded temps well above 275 during highway runs....much higher in stop and go traffic in Washington DC commute. I spent the previous 30 years in AZ and never had any oil heat concerns on pre-2005 bikes. It seems they leaned them out so much to meet ever increasingly stringent EPA requirements that a new bike runs at what I'd consider insane temps for the previous generation of Harleys. (EVO's vs TC's) Part of my solution is not a mechanical fix...its me getting used to the fact that the new bikes run very hot and I need to update my thinking. I've ridden the Blue Ridge Parkway while snow on the ground and temps below freezing and my 07 RG was running around 235 degrees. I only hit the temp management trigger once in all this time and my bikes run perfectly so I guess they are doing what they are designed to do. Sure, I've done all the upgrades to lower operating temps and improve ride comfort such as richer fuel maps via Dyna Jet EFI Module and Syn 3 but it still gets scary hot. In the end it looks like I just need to forget about how bikes used to run so cool and realize the current Harleys run hot as He!!
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I got stuck in traffic at the Carlisle bike show when the air temp was 107 degrees. Oil temp went to about 265-270 (Syn3). That was last summer and the bikes been fine ever since. It sure had my attention, though.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Anyone know how to get the oil filter off when a HD olil cooler is put on the bike. I have a 02 Road Glide, my son was kind enough to have the cooler installed while I was laied up, it was a nice gesture escept for two items: 1 they had to remove the great pro one rubber mount from the front of the engine ? Now the darn thing shakes so much my headlight assembly fell apart with the stock front rubber mount . 2 How do you get the filter off, I kind of reluctance to pull it apart. Thank You, will check back in a few days.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been running UOA for the last 20,000 miles. I've come to the conclusion that with a synthetic oil (I use Amsoil, but I suspect any synthetic would do the same), you don't need to obsess about heat. I don't have an oil temperature gauge on the Limited, and don't see any need to install one.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm slow sometimes, what is UOA??
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Used Oil Analysis.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where's that darn delete button?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My dip stick dripped on the head pipe of my 2011 RG. The oil baked on the pipe. Whatever temp that is seems to be more than the oil can handle.

Otherwise, the two HD's I have owned run 230 in the summer all the time. Had seen it get over 300. Blackstone didn't seem to thinkg there was a problem.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've ran extended times of 300+ and the UOA came back as near like new oil. The first post in the UOA sticky above is the results.
That's changing it at 5000 miles.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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ExxonMobil folks tell me that 125F is the break point for one of their diesel oils. Below that it lasts with no temperature effects. Above that the Arhennius (sp ?) equation is in effect.

Essentially, every 10C (18F) increase cuts remaining life in half.

so, an oil that will last for 500 hours at 250F will last for 250 at 268F. Assuming steady state conditions.

In short, a brief, on the standards of oil life, temp excursion will not likely effect the time to change. (One hot day won't kill it)

More pertinent is oil film strength, as an easy analog, viscosity. A certain viscosity is required from an oil. That will vary with load and bearing type, But I can look up some general values.

It's late right now and almost time to head home. I'll run some numbers on a typical oil later this week.

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