Internet BMW Riders — Is This The Right Oil For My Bike?

9 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Internet BMW Riders — Is This The Right Oil For My Bike? отключены
BMW R65 (reduced effect)

Is This The Right Oil For My Bike?



This seeks to answer questions use of the latest grade of motor in motorcycles. Motor oil standards changes recently and some have been raised, by BMW, about use of this new oil in motorcycles. BMW, like other engine manufacturers, a self-branded oil through its dealer

To some, this raises the of BMW’s objectivity. Mobil 1, a favorite of motorcyclists, has introduced a of motorcycle-specific oils. They the latest, questionable API rating, but at a of double the already pricey Mobil 1. What about old like Castrol GTX and the bike-friendly Spectro? They’ve been for years. Are they still

Have they actually at all? What’s a biker to do?

In study, the American Petroleum (API) specifications are examined to what exactly has changed in the Analysis was performed on a range of oils to quantify their packages. These packages compared to the specifications and to each to determine which were protection for engines, which had depleted by the new specs, and which selling snake oil.

If the protection for your motorcycle is of to you, read on.

What’s in stuff?

To understand what all fuss is about, one needs to a little about motor For purposes of this report, we start with the base This is the base oil formulation to the oil company mixes in its chosen package. The additive packages are by the desired performance characteristics, against cost of the additives, and as we see, limited by industry

For the purpose of this report, we focus on the anti-wear and anti-corrosion

Zinc and phosphorous are the prime additives in today’s motor These additives provide from metal-to-metal contact on such as cam lobes and followers, as as piston walls. They protect at bearing surfaces oil pressure is too low to build up a protective such as during engine

Sulfur is present in the gasoline we During the combustion process, sulfur can combine with to form sulfur dioxide, or acid. This, along other corrosive nasties, its way past the piston rings and the motor oil where it is pumped the engine. To prevent these from destroying the internal surfaces, oil companies mix in anti-corrosion

These are typically magnesium, (much like your stomach antacid) and boron. additives neutralize the acids pushed into the oil and keep our innards nice and shiny.

Why are API guys messing with my

The American Petroleum Institute is an organization that, amongst things, issues standards for products including motor Oil companies agree to label products with the appropriate API This allows your manufacturer to tell you that you for example, SH oil. Without standards, they have to say you an oil that passes ASTM D volatility test at 700 degrees less than 18% loss.

trying to compare all those results while standing in the oil at WalMart!

API has been grading for years. Chart A shows the of grades from the original SA to the SJ. Oils intended primarily for use in engines are graded on a separate ranging from CA up to the current CH.

To what API grade your oil is, for the donut on the bottle. The oil’s is listed in the center of the donut. The API is listed on the upper half.

The new saving oils have Conserving posted on the lower of the donut.

Why is this new oil any different?

the best effort of your rings and valve seals, of your oil gets into the air through your engine. In and some bikes, this it straight through a catalytic All those additives that are so for protecting your engine are not so for the catalyst.

The Environmental Protection has asked for a reduction of the anti-wear phosphorous due to its life-shortening effect on When the new API oil grade, SJ, was released in phosphorus levels had been from a maximum of 0.12% to 0.10%.

But the reduction was only for oil viscosity of 0W-20 through (yes, there is a zero oil). The thicker oils not required to meet this level. That is not to say that won’t.

Additives cost the oil money. If they can get by with they might be inclined to do so. the additive packages across all would also simplify lives.

Given this reduced of phosphorous in some SJ oils, and the for it in others, BMW issued a service to address the issue. It said SJ oils were not approved for use in BMW engines. BMW recommended oils API specifications of SF, SG, or SH.

These are the previous which, in API’s mind, had superseded by the new SJ. BMW did not consider it a supersedure and to void warrantees if the SJ oils used.

Confusion reigned in the of BMW riders. Were not their especially in K bikes, very like automotive engines: cylinders, water cooled, dry separate transmission oil? BMW SJ oils in their cars, why not the

Other motorcycles manufacturers object to SJ oil, what was the

BMW finally attempted to clarify the by stating that the SJ rating was if the oil was additionally rated at one of the previous SG SH grades.

Problem solved, the big deal?

While it may have that this answered the of its customers, BMW actually raised questions than they Remember that the phosphorous are listed as a maximum allowable Any amount under the maximum, 0.10% for SJ oil, is acceptable to So for an oil to be rated SH and SJ it still needs to be the tighter SJ limit. Being rated SH doesn’t provide any phosphorous!

BMW’s logic is questionable.

In the course of this the author spent a lot of time oil bottles. Of all of the oils in this and all the oils scanned in auto houses, none were SJ alone. All the SJ oils had additional of SH or SG.

So if all oils have a multiple what oil is BMW trying to protect us

Some questions obviously here. Your author set out to find the right questions.

So do we want to know?

When any kind of testing, its always a idea to have specific in mind. This gives to the test and allows you to discard the data that distracts your purpose. Questions what’s the best oil and is synthetic than petroleum oil are great for bar fights, but are a bit too vague for the scope of testing.

A survey was done of the internet BMW community. Their favorite were listed and whittled to a manageable number. With specific oils in mind, questions could be generated. that will hopefully be here include:

Was the phosphorous actually dropped from SH to SJ

Are BMW’s own bike oils than automotive oils?

about the new Mobil 1 motorcycle Is it better than Mobil 1

Is there any difference between $1 per oil and $4 oil?

Read on, and you too can amaze friends with trivial oil

How was this testing done?

The reported here is the result of analysis of new oils. The oil samples submitted to National Tribology Inc. of Peabody, Mass. NTS is a lab that routinely does analysis for industry. For oils, use Rotrode Filter Spectroscopy for investigations. Through a rather mechanism, a film of the subject oil is with an electric arc, the oil to vaporize.

The light emitted by the arc is by the spectrograph. The wavelengths of the light the constituents of the oil.

This method is commonly used for of engine conditions. Fleet interested in knowing if their bearings are wearing, submit of used oil. The tests detect traces of bearing in used oil also work to the levels of phosphorous and zinc in new

So the sample oils were for their levels of anti-wear and additives. Analysis of the base and retention of additives or viscosity in oils was beyond the scope of testing. These issues are to a full understanding of motor however, and may provide a good for some follow-on testing.


The oils included in this are on Chart B . Its make-up may need a explanation. The choice of BMW synthetic and oils is obvious. Castrol GTX is a of many riders for many

The selection of GTX 10W-30 and 20W-50 a comparison of an oil regulated by the API’s SJ and one exempted.

The Gulf Super and the Valvoline Premium Blue are primarily diesel oils. the CF and CG ratings. These were to address the rumors that oils offer better specifically anti-corrosion protection, do automotive oils.

Spectro Oils has made specific oil for years. Its Golden has a strong following in the BMW community. The of BMW petroleum oil says that it is for BMW by Spectro Oils.

Are they the same oil?

The Mobil 1 present an interesting study by The motorcycle rated SG/SH oil (at $8 per could be contrasted to the automotive Availability of an older automotive SH for comparison to the newer SJ grade.

And the Conserving 10W-30 Mobil 1 illustrate if Mobil varies additive packages as they viscosity.

The Pennzoil GT and Valvoline are popular oils available at stores at close to $1 per quart. Is the sacrificing the life of his bike by a few bucks on these oils?


Chart C lists the levels of in the test oils. The numbers are in per million (PPM). Those of you spent your time in class doodling pictures of hot will want to know the 0.10% in the API specification translated to PPM, 0.12% equals PPM.

While all the answers lie in chart, it is often easier to see by graphing specific data. Of interest is the levels of phosphorous in the Graph D shows that the Spectro Blend and the BMW petroleum SG contain the highest levels of

The high viscosity Mobil 1 are closely grouped at 1050 to PPM. Note that the to Conserving SJ oils, the Castrol GTX and the Mobil 1 10W-30 are both 1000 PPM. This is in with the API’s 0.10%

Graph E combines the zinc the phosphorous levels. While the of additive increases, note the relationship between the oils the same. This is likely the oil industry adds zinc and as one chemical, ZDDP.

Graph F the level of acid neutralizing additives in the oils. Here the is led by the synthetic oils, the Mobil 1 and BMW SH. may well be related to extended intervals used by some customers.

The longer an oil is run in an engine, and synthetics are going a long the more acid they to neutralize.

So what about the 1 oils? Are they all the same? G compares only the four oils for each of the five

Note that the first oils, the higher viscosity are all closely grouped. It is the opinion of the that the additive packages in the old 1 SH, the current SJ, and the new motorcycle-specific SG/SH are all the The Energy Conserving Mobil 1 SJ has levels of all additives with the of magnesium.

How about the BMW oils? How do compare, and are they the same as the Spectro? Graph H highlights the two BMW synthetic SH and petroleum SG, against Spectro’s synthetic blend.

SG and the Golden Spectro have the phosphorous and zinc anti-wear respectively. BMW SH has far more calcium, the other two lead in the other additives. From this it appears that the BMW SG oil is not a rebottled Spectro.

And finally, do you get what you pay Are there differences between the oils and the costlier ones? The BMW SH, at per quart, was chosen as having a additive package. Graph J it to the K Mart oils that from $1.29 to $1.89 are often available for less).

is an obvious difference in the approach to resistance, BMW favoring magnesium, of the others choosing calcium. No advantage here. But note the additives. The BMW oil has far more zinc and

It is also interesting to note the cheaper oils contain or below the 0.10% phosphorous by API, despite their viscosity exempting them the standard.

This chart suggests that Castrol the same additive package in its Energy Conserving oil that it in the 20W-50 more likely by motorcyclists. This is an ominous for us all. Discussions with insiders reveal that the phosphorous specification for the Energy oils will drop within the next few years.

If oil continue to use a standardized additive these drops will impact the oils we run in our bikes.

— Did we answer anything?

the questions posed at the start of report, lets see what has learned.

Did the phosphorous levels with the new API specs? Not having of pre-spec oils to compare all the current spec oils, question can not be definitively answered. a comparison can be made, the Mobil 1 SH SJ, there appears to be no change.

But those are 15W-50 oils are exempted from the spec. In the of the thinner oils where the API applies, all complied with the low standard.

Are BMW’s oils than the automotive oils? For the BMW SG oil is tough to beat. It has been to be better than the cheaper oils, and ahead of Mobil 1 in fighters.

Mobil 1 motorcycle is it worth buying? The viscosity of bike oil has been changed Mobil 1’s standard to 20W-50. This just to be what Harley specs for bikes.

If you smell a marketing here, you may want to trust nose. The additive package the same amongst all the 50 weight 1 oils.

Is there a difference $1 per quart and $4 oils? This to be a case where you do get what you pay The cheaper oils need to their automotive customers, and afford additives that may be needed by the fringe motorcycle

And what about the diesel and their rumored added The rumors were not substantiated by testing. Gulf Super and Valvoline Premium Blue mid-field or lower on both wear and anti corrosion

Future Activity

There is work underway to establish an standard specifically for motorcycle This was prompted not just by wear concerns, but by the Japanese Their wet clutch bikes are slippage problems with new oils.

Expect to hear of these new oils within a What is in them will an interesting follow-on investigation.

As previously, there is a new API standard prepared for automotive oils, to be called SK. It will reportedly phosphorous levels further, SJ’s 0.10% down to A repeat of the type of testing here may be justified at that


BMW R65 (reduced effect)

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