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Old 02-13-2007, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rotella 15-40 in Harley engines

Hello fellow forum members....I posted this same question on the HDForums and would like to get y'alls opinion too. I've read that this oil has the same high temp film strength as 20-50 oil does, so with that in mind and the fact that it seems to be used by many metric riders whose oil also lubes the trannny with good results due to it's high shear strength, I wanted to hear from Harley riders who have used this oil and what their results were, especially in the warmer months. It would seem that this oil would be excellent for use in our big twins (mine's an evo) especially since there are no gears to shear it down. No need for a synthetic vs dino debate as I have used Amsoil for a few years with no complaint...'cept the price...doing once a year changes, but was thinking that this oil would be good for at least 2,500 miles and that more frequent changes with it may be just as well overall ??? So, tell it like it is......
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't contribute but I have a deisel truck and I buy the Rotella 15-40 by the case, I'll be interested in seeing the replies.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Arrow Short answer,

YES, it is fine to use diesel oil in a motorcycle engine ( I do )

Long answer, read all this All About OIL

If you can't read it all, at least scroll to near the page bottom and read about motorcycle applications

Not to forget our very own Informative LINKS right here in the OIL Forum

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Old 02-13-2007, 11:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep Snowman, that's where I learned of the high temp film strength...What bike do you ride and how often do you change the oil? Details, gotta have the details ! Thanks....
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is what I broke my bike in on after the 98 build. Cheap for dumping oil as often as I did on break in. It is also winter here so it was the right grade for the first 1000 miles. Oil is over debated.
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpig1ms
Yep Snowman, that's where I learned of the high temp film strength...What bike do you ride and how often do you change the oil? Details, gotta have the details ! Thanks....
I'm an admin over on the BOBISTHEOILGUY forum and I can tell you there is a lot of inaccurate information in that article. For example, the "C" in diesel rated oils stands for "compression," as in the type of ignition, not "commercial." Oils rated for gasoline engines are "S" for "spark" type ignition. And Mobil did not "sue" Castrol over the Group III issue in a court of law. Mobil simply filled a complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. It was the NAD that ruled that Group III could be labeled as a "synthetic" on the bottle and in ADVERTISING. There was nothing legally binding about this ruling.

The HT/HS (High Temp/High Shear) viscosity requirements as listed in the SAE J300 specs set the MINIMUMS for the various grades. Thus, the MINIMUM for SAE 40, 50, and 60 grades is 3.7. The table reproduced in the article is from the J300 spec sheet. It DOES NOT mean that a 15w40 oil has the same "film strength" as a 50 wt or 15w50.

Rotella 15w40 is a great oil, IMO, and I use it in my Sportster. However, I can assure you that the HT/HS vis of virtually any 20w50 oil, be it conventional or synthetic, will be higher than that of the Rotella 15w40.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't do it. It is going to blow up.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpig1ms
Yep Snowman, that's where I learned of the high temp film strength...What bike do you ride and how often do you change the oil? Details, gotta have the details ! Thanks....
2004 Softail Standard EFI, Black - changed oil about every 8,000 kilometers lately, as per service manual, I did a few extra changes early on when I put the oil cooler on and then had to do some more tightening on it when it leaked.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Gary7....what model and engine size does your sportster have?? How long you been using the Rotella? Ever do any UOAs ??

Thanks again,
Ken
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpig1ms
Thanks Gary7....what model and engine size does your sportster have?? How long you been using the Rotella? Ever do any UOAs ??
I've got a new fuel injected 07 XL883. I decided to use Rotella based on the good UOAs I've seen posted over on BITOG, coupled with the good reports from other Harley riders on the various Harley forums I looked at before deciding.

I changed out the factory fill at about 500 miles. I've got about 900 miles on the Rotella now and I'm planning to change it again at 2000 miles, and then every 2000 miles thereafter. I probably won't do a UOA until the third oil change.

Harley riders who switch to Rotella seem to uniformly report a reduction in top-end noise vs whatever oil they had been using. I can report the same thing. Valve train noise on my 883 is much less with the Rotella.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, recon why that is? More flow maybe or the oil mixture itself or maybe both...hmmm. Seems like a good thing though.. I noticed the same thing when I went from Harley dino to Amsoil synthetic.

Thanks for your input,
Ken
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I use Rotella synthetic in my FJR and am pleased with the results. I also used it in a Honda VFR I used to have.

Motorcycle Consumer News does a comprehensive series of articles about oil every so many years, the last time around 2000. They rated Rotella highly in their tests. It outperformed most every motorcycle specific oil in about all the critical areas.

I've used it ever since.

With that being said, however, I've been pleased using Amsoil in my H-Ds and haven't seen any need to switch. I only change cycle oil once a year or so. Saving $15 once a year doesn't make a lot of difference.
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Shell Rotella® T Synthetic SAE 5W-40 is widely used by folks on the Gold Wing board. I put in my GW a few weeks ago and will most likely put in my Fatboy for this spring/summer.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Swuts in my 98" as we speak. First change on the new build was at about 65 miles, 360 miles on it now, I'll change it again in a few hundred to Amsoil.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Harley riders who switch to Rotella seem to uniformly report a reduction in top-end noise vs whatever oil they had been using. I can report the same thing. Valve train noise on my 883 is much less with the Rotella

Anybody else comment on this? I noticed my FLHTC top end was much noisier when i switched from Dino to Amsoil last year.
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