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Old 08-21-2016, 06:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm currently running 10W40 Castrol-brand, semi-synthetic and getting better mpg in warm weather than I got when I had 10W30 Amsoil, full synthetic in it. But one thing has changed that seems to have a much greater effect than oil viscosity and that's a different brand of tires; going from Bridgestone Battlax's to Michelin P4s; the latter creates a more optimistic trip meter error, but even after accounting for that error, I'm getting one or two more mpg for commutes and at least two better for trips.

My fantastic mpg numbers in a mid-size parallel twin has me excited, and I'd like to take it further to see the potential of this bike while maintaining practicality and maintaining a basic stock-ness to the bike, but I'm extremely limited on resources and have a limited skill set for constructing things even if I can figure out what to construct. But I'm thinking that if I could produce and mount a proper tail, it would not only make my current bike more fuel frugal, but would also make it more usable...That is, except for regular chain maintenance via a rear wheel lift.

I'm thinking that oil is one of those finishing touches adjustments that can help but somewhat limited, and that anyone looking to hypermile or increase mpg of a motorcycle should look at things like tires, riding style, windshield placement and mount, helmet and riding gear, placement and use of accessories or lack thereof, and adding a tail that can reduce drag w/o drastically impairing stability, which is not an easy thing according to the article linked below.

Tony Foale Designs, article on motorcycle aerodynamics.

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Old 08-22-2016, 10:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
I'm currently running 10W40 Castrol-brand, semi-synthetic and getting better mpg in warm weather than I got when I had 10W30 Amsoil, full synthetic in it. But one thing has changed that seems to have a much greater effect than oil viscosity and that's a different brand of tires; going from Bridgestone Battlax's to Michelin P4s; the latter creates a more optimistic trip meter error, but even after accounting for that error, I'm getting one or two more mpg for commutes and at least two better for trips.(SNIP)
Typically, that would not be the case.

Thinner oils will usually give better mileage. An oil with a low "W" rating usually helps also, because the oil is thinner during the time it takes to reach its full high temp rating. That amount of time can be significant, so the thinner oil can show improvements. Synthetic oils typically flow better at all temps than conventional oils and give better mileage.

A 5W-30 synthetic cycle oil should give you better mileage than a 10W-40 or a even a 10W-30 of any type.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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One thing I found with my summers long lubericheck tests is that air cooled engines with out oil filters were the worst as far as quickly degrading oil.
With in a few tanks of fuel the oil in the engines goes black, then 10 to 15 more tanks later the oil starts to turn to kind of a brownish color. Brownish oil tested as "very bad".
Now these were only honda GC160 engines on a pressure washer.
I'm sure they burned less than 5 gallons of gasoline before their oil was trashed.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
One thing I found with my summers long lubericheck tests is that air cooled engines with out oil filters were the worst as far as quickly degrading oil.
With in a few tanks of fuel the oil in the engines goes black, then 10 to 15 more tanks later the oil starts to turn to kind of a brownish color. Brownish oil tested as "very bad".
Now these were only honda GC160 engines on a pressure washer.
I'm sure they burned less than 5 gallons of gasoline before their oil was trashed.
I think what you are seeing is the effects of "blow-by" in the engine. The rings are worn, and combustion gasses are being blown into the crankcase - contaminating the oil.

I have numerous small air-cooled engines, and they run a full season (used weekly) without much change in oil color.

One of my cars does have a similar issue. The oil does get dark rapidly, unlike the others. I attribute that to poor ring sealing when brand new. When I got the vehicle it had a few hundred miles on it, and even though I intentionally loaded the engine to seat the rings they did not seat well. I speculate that's from extended idling when delivered to the dealer. The day we first saw the vehicle it had been idling for some time, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time. Engines need load to seat the rings, and this engine did not get it until it was too late.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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These little Honda GX160 engines were being used as air craft support equipment washing air craft and when they weren't washing air craft they were being used to wash the other pieces of support equipment. I am surprised the GC as in their "home owner line" stood up to that much constant use and abuse. They were getting used at least once a day.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jkv357 View Post
Typically, that would not be the case.

Thinner oils will usually give better mileage. An oil with a low "W" rating usua

A 5W-30 synthetic cycle oil should give you better mileage than a 10W-40 or a even a 10W-30 of any type.
You're misunderstanding the point of my post...I'm not trying to claim that the Castrol semi-synthetic 40 weight oil from Cycle Gear is responsible for my higher mpg versus 10W30 Amsoil MCTQC-EA full synthetic, the latter of which should be one of the best with regards to mpg that is approved for my bike and I won't risk going beyond what is recommended partly because I'm not that engine smart. What I'm suggesting is that a tire change made such a huge positive impact, that my mpg went up in spite of the higher-viscosity engine oil change.

My point is that for me, oil viscosity changes would be one of those fine tuning changes to eek out slight increases that would be one of the last things I'd look at for mpg maximizing versus other, bigger things that can be done for great mpg; especially on mc's that are often like a brick trying to cut through the air. For instance, if someone is riding a stock bike with a huge, almost 90 degree windshield added, with a typical top box and/or saddle bags or boxes for luggage, then making an oil viscosity change may help, but there are things to do first that will drwarf those engine oil changes. My focus on a bike, if I were a hypermiler and/or an ecommoder would be doing things that lower drag and/or weight and/or gearing changes and after a lot of trial and error and thinking about making my bike slide through the air with less engine load and/or RPM while still being a very useful, stable, and safe bike, then I'd look at lowering viscosity as long as it's not going to hurt the power train to do so.

What I've done is to turn my commuter bike with a pillion seat into a solo rider by placing a rectangular box on the pillion portion of the seat long ways where my lower back is in contact with the front of the box, which I'm sure lowers the turbulence as compared to stock and definitely as compared to a sideways turned box that usually either have a big gap between the rider and the box or big boxes sticking out on the sides catching extra wind. I've chosen a windshield with care and gave much thought as to how it may affect drag, and I chose some tires by accident that produce superior mpg to stock. A gearing change would be my next "look at", but I'm already running only 3250 at 60 mph with stock gearing, so I've got to do some thinking about how that may change my shift patterns in the limited mph areas 30-45 mph. Another example of increasing, significantly, mpg on a motorcycle: I've got an extremely small noggin. Most X-small helmets still have huge shells and the only change is more padding inside. So I researched and found a very low profile helmet that is much, much smaller. Not only is it a much smaller object to catch wind towards the top of the profile, but I can see much better around me making active safety much better. And for the record, I had the same model helmet when I laid it over, and it did save my noggin, so it's a relatively safe helmet from a passive standpoint as well, even though I'd prefer a full-face, but my noggin size makes those choices limited for decent peripheral vision and to prevent unnecessary neck strain that most of those watermelon helmets cause.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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10W30 motor oil is your standard oil.
5W40 or 5W30 (or 5W20) have friction modifiers in them, that will cause clutch slip (for a wet clutch), and wear out the gearbox much faster.

For reference, a Kawasaki gearbox really needs 80W120, while it's engine probably runs best with 0W20-5W30.
I would recommend sticking with Honda GN4.
I personally mix it with 10-15% 10W30 car oil. No biggie. Works wonders.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
10W30 motor oil is your standard oil.
5W40 or 5W30 (or 5W20) have friction modifiers in them, that will cause clutch slip (for a wet clutch), and wear out the gearbox much faster.

For reference, a Kawasaki gearbox really needs 80W120, while it's engine probably runs best with 0W20-5W30.
I would recommend sticking with Honda GN4.
I personally mix it with 10-15% 10W30 car oil. No biggie. Works wonders.
If you like GN4, you should try Rotella T5 10W-30 synthetic blend. It's a much better oil based on UOA tests, and doesn't have modifiers.

Standard automotive 10W-30 may have modifiers, you would have to check the API "Donut" for "Energy Conserving" at the bottom. If it says that, it's got modifiers.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Most 10W30 car oil does not have modifiers.
Thinner or thicker oil does.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Most 10W30 car oil does not have modifiers.
Thinner or thicker oil does.
I don't believe that is correct.

Here's a photo of the back panel of Mobil 1 5W-30 and 10W-30 oils. Both say "Energy Conserving" at the bottom of the API "donut" - so they both have modifiers.



This is the API legend -



All oils in the 40-grade range (5W-40, 10W-40, etc) do not have modifiers.

But that's not the real reason not to use auto oils. The real reason is the lack of adequate levels of ZDDP (Zinc and Phosphorus) that are required to protect the valve train in most cycle engines. Current auto oils have reduced levels of ZDDP in order to extend the life of the emissions catalyst - which is only adequate if the engine has roller valve trains.

Almost all cycle engines do not.

The answer for cycle engines are diesel oils like Rotella. They are generally a heavy duty base stock and have the higher levels of ZDDP that a cycle engines needs. No reason not to use them.


Last edited by jkv357; 02-25-2017 at 09:04 PM..
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