V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I tried this in the oil forum and did not get much response so I will try it here. We have all read a book or two concerning different types of oil and what they do for an engine. I agree that there is a better quality of oil for almost every application and the properties can be a lot different for whatever reason. But has anyone ever had an increase in power from oil. The discussion came about because of an article stating that their oil removed the poly from the cylinder walls allowing the rings to seat better. I did hear another conversation on this once before and blew it off. I could see if a lighter oil was used so there would not be as much restriction but how about oils with the same weight for a particular application but with different properties?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,741 Posts
can't comment on oil properties per se but in Harley drag racing engines, there are tricks to be played with lower pressures and changes to the oil pump system. This does "release" power for sure but would not be practical on the street. On a fresh engine, we break it in with dino oil and then change that out and switch to 15-40w synthetic for racing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,157 Posts
This is a good question!
Well IMO I would say yes oil can increase power, problem is then there are a lot of Cons or BUTs associated with the proposed change. A lower viscosity oil will produce less parasitic power losses, BUT not provide adequate protection for some of the engine components such as the rod big end bearings, and will leak by lifters causing more valve train noise and potentially the parasitic loss is offset by loss of camshaft event timing and lift.

So once again IMHO it's best to look for oil that will get the job done, and the V-Twin has some unique challenges that can tax poor quality or the wrong type or viscosity oil, hunt for power by more traditional means. So a diesel rated dino or synthetic will fit the bill (API CJ-4 current spec.) in a viscosity per the HD owners manual. When researching oils do your own research!!! These boards generally have a lot of advice based on what somebody's daddy or buddy did and not a lot of substantiative evidence to back up the choice. Read and compare the manufacturers specifications, specifically look for viscosity index, and viscosity tested in Kinematic method, and the types amounts of wear reduction additives. One caveat better base oil needs less additives to maintain viscosity and less additives (which in the case of viscosity improvers are polymers, read plastic) are inherently more stable under extreme temperatures. A synthetic with a good portion of Class V base oil is the most stable based on my research.

There are MANY good choices many fine brands. Get an oil that is the right viscosity rating for the application, API designation, and change it as needed. When based on an oil sample the Total Base Number is reaching a value near 1 and or the Total Acid number is rising, or the values of zinc or phosphorus are out of wack. And the caveat to all of this is that high contaminants, such as silicon or metals or tensioner crap due to a bad air filter or motor parts failure, can necessitate an immediate oil change regardless of the oils condition or age.

The oil will foam period, the scavenge side sucks air by design, but with good breathing the foaming can be reduced. Foam causes engine temperatures to rise and power loss. High quality oils can help prevent this to a certain extent.

All of this is my opinion based on experience and training, and is not flawless.I suggest using bonafide sources such as peer journals, even Wikipedia, to do your own research and develop opinions.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,508 Posts
Oil

After the intial run in on our race bike, years ago, we would use a cocktail of Red Line 0W20 and Prolong. Saw power on the dyno. Used to bleed off oil from the pump to the bag in order to not allow as much to the crank.
Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well so far so good. This is what I was looking for as far as a response is concerned. I really didn't expect this much. I called Pure Power and inquired about their oil. They have a new MC only oil designed for the V Twin. Can't get it in quarts yet so you have to get it in 5 gallon buckets. Kelly took quite a bit of time to explain their process and end result. That is where I got some of the information. The oil is a 15W40. I was apprehensive because of the lower rating but then I was told that the Shell Rotella T 15W40 was as close as I could get to a shelf item for purchase. I did some research and found that several have run the Shell 15W40 with no problems. Kelly did tell me to expect an increase in power if their Pure Power oil was used. He also made the point that I had read about the polymers being washed off the cylinder walls allowing the rings to seat properly. I also have friends that swear by Amsoil. I have never run anything but factory oil in any of my motorcycles for the last 35 years so I am not informed to any extent other than what I have stated here. This is new and I appreciate the effort that went into the responses. Any other input will be appreciated as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,157 Posts
More power from their oil, NOT.
Amsoil a good product, well maybe, probably but let the data sheets speak for themselves.
Shell Rotella a good product for the TC Vtwin perhaps but 15w-40 is not listed in my OM as a recomended weight. 10w40 is recomended for <40°F weather operation. Greater that that the next step is 20/50, and in the hotest of climates SAE 50 and 60.
Pure Power being similar to Shell Rotella, maybe the data sheets might give a clue. Briefly went to their website and low and behold no technical data sheet on a V-Twin product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,741 Posts
well, technically Kelly is not correct, you are not increasing power, what you are doing is reducing loss.

We do this in the race engines finding ways to reduce loss but I would not do this in my street engines.

by the way, we only use 15w-40 in the race engines, not in any bikes for the street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I didn't like the idea of 15W40 in my engine either. If I were to use something other than 20W50 HD (Harley Oil) what would you suggest that follows the discussion here? I have read some wear charts and heat charts but only a few. They seem to follow the oil they are promoting. Amsoil 20W50 is really the only one I can remember and some of the oils that I had heard about in conversation did not seem to fair as well as others. I do remember reading that the HD oil was manufactured with no real frills about it and in the two heat / wear charts that I saw it in it did not rate nearly as well as several other oils.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,157 Posts
Tote is right.
The goal is to get an oil that does it's job without worrying about adding power. There are many good ones. The synthetics will take the heat better without breaking down as quickly. Buy what you can readily purchase and the price is fair. Many good choices on the shelves of WalMart such as Mobil1 if they have the 20w-50 V-Twin or 15w-50. Amsoil I am sorry to say is a good product if you can stomach their marketing techniques. Redline is an excellent product. There are so many and in Dino oil Delo 400 or Shell Rotella are both good products and so is Conoco HD Fleet Supreme (one of the very few mineral oils made from hydrocracked Group II base stock.
Pick your poison and don't worry this is not that complex. BTW if you have a possible choice I would be happy to research it and show the forum the pertinent data and how the oil stacks up with the competition, except Syn3 because HD doesn't publish performance data on their oils. A heads up Castrol gets big points in the advertising department but their product data does not match the claims.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the information. A lot more than I expected. I am going to read up a bit more and see what is out there. I do think I am better off with something other that the HD blend. I have to go to work so I will talk to you later. Thanks for all the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
nw_guy4_fun said:
Tote is right.
BTW if you have a possible choice I would be happy to research it and show the forum the pertinent data and how the oil stacks up with the competition, except Syn3 because HD doesn't publish performance data on their oils.
I would like to see this, I use Mobil1 15W-50 based on the research that I did. What's your thoughts on Royal Purple? (I've never used it)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,508 Posts
Oils

In street applications, the ambient air temps, as well as the aggressive nature of the powerplant/rider with dictate the oil requirements.
We use straight 50w Spectro, in our builds in the summer and 20W50 in the sping/fall, here in the Northeast, and reccomend that same to our clients.
In Moco T/C service manual, 60W is reccomened in temps above 80 degrees.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top