yes, and you replace the bearings once or twice a season, too!
if i raced a 4 stroke, i would run maxima ultra 0w30.
i know some AMA teams use "Royal Purple" synthetic oils. they're available in 0w, 00w, 000, and 0000. the stuff is like water... water that leaves your skin greasy for hours regardless of what you try to use ... gasoline, brake cleaner, etc.
I've always said Synthetic Engine oils are horsepower in a can, & I firmly believe it. Used to run Mobil 1 in my 11 sec street car. It never seemed to rev as crisp with Penrite or Penzoil HP50. Maybe it's something in my head, but I myself firmly believe it.
I run Silkolene Pro 4 in my Duc, but I change it every 2,500 - 3000 Klm ( 2,000 odd miles) The best (& Cheapest) insurance is keeping the vital Honey clean.
What Chris said is Concerning though, abviously the higher the viscosity the lower the protection factor.
Chris, what do you reckon about my theory, using the Silkolene Pro 4 & changing it regularly, it never get's dirty??
Am I getting adequate protection? Or wearing Bearings away prematurely?
the only plain bearings in most ducatis are the rod bearings. the rest are ball rollers. sooooo, the engine is pretty robust as far as "modern" motorcycle engines are concerned. ALSO... "supersport" and "superbike" engine builders intentionally use the largest gap bearings available when assembling an engine. this makes for less pressure on the "oil wedge", which means less friction / drag and also less protection.
i don't know why, but i personally would stay away from a 0 weight oil on a road bike. so, i wouldn't like to see 0w20, 0w30, etc in a road bike. road bikes aren't expected to be rebuilt.
Sport rider did some tests on oils last month. The racing oils did add HP, but they did a shear test on the Maxima racing oil and found it to be highly susceptable to shear (Viscosity loss). The power gains on a gixxer 1K were in the 3.5 HP range, this is with a much higher revving bike, with plain bearings everywhere and much higher rev range. I'd guess the gains to be had by the air cooler Ducs are much less, although perhaps some of those gains come from less friction in the tranny. I'm gonna stick to my 15W50, I find my bike blows smoke when I use thinner oils.
Octane. Higher octane gasoline actually has less energy density than lower octane. It's value is that it is more difficult to ignite due to more octane rings in place of the normal hexane rings. That resistance to ignition allows higher compression ratios without "dieseling" and also prevents carbon buildup and hotspots from causing pre-ignition.
Octane should be selected in accordance with the owner's manual, and increased only if the engine exhibits knocking or pinging.
Otherwise higher octane is a waste of money.
I've got some views on oil as well, but they aren't relevent to horsepower. I'd expect water would give an edge too, for awhile.
Okay, here's some views on synthetic vs. petroleum oils. My company, which builds small gas turbine engines and associated gearboxes for aviation use, insists on the use of synthetic mil-spec aviation oil for all engines, including commercial ones. The reason is actually pretty simple - synthetic doesn't break down as fast, and we prefer that the users, military and commercial, not be changing the oil as we've found that the likelihood of contaminating the oil by checking it and changing it produces a higher risk to the equipment than would be the benefit of changing and checking it.
Synthetic breaks down slower.
We have no reason to believe it lubricates better than fresh petroleum oil. I haven't been keeping up on piston engine applications, but the last study I read was done on a taxi fleet in NYC, and the results showed no benefit to using synthetic over petroleum if changes were done per the manufacturer's recommended intervals. The study didn't extend the interval, probably because the fleet owner wasn't too keen on risking his capital equipment.
Now additives are a whole different thing. Those do make a difference, but I'm not qualified to remark on them beyond that we prohibit several common addititives in fuels and oils, but most of those are due to reactions with titanium parts. Others, like teflon, are deadly to engines that are operated in wide-ranging temperatures.
Your company does the small onboard turbines to generate hydraulic, electrical and pneumatic 'power' for aircraft while they're on the ground? " A.P.U.'s ", right?
I can see how the reasoning would favor synthetics at longer intervals, especially if contamination from checking or changing is a significant failure mode. Especially with a high RPM, high $, and lower factor of safety critter. Not slagging you guys on the factor of safety/design/build quality, just that generally overdesigned=heavier, and your equipment has to fly....
I've had very good luck with petroleum oils in motorcycles and cars. I used car oil in a motorcycle (with a wet clutch) once, and the clutch performance was poor, and shifting was not so good either, possibly due to the clutch. I've used M/C specific oil in my motorcycles since, and had no problems.
I used a synthetic/petroleum blend on the last oil change on my Duc, noticed no difference from the stright petroleum that was in there before.
My main concern with the extended change intervals afforded by synthetic oils is the buildup of combustion product blowby that the oil filter cannot strain out. Maybe it's not significant.
My basic conclusions on oil:
A) I've used petroleum oils for about 20 years on my own vehicles, and not suffered any oil related failures. I've run my Merkur XR4Ti (2300cc Turboed 4 cylinder) from 127k miles when I bought it to 230k now, all parts touching engine oil are still OK.
B) Running cost attributable to oil is minimal. These are actual costs from running my Duc:
Oil & Filter - $33 for 3000 miles = $0.011/mile
Fuel - 44.6 mpg @ $1.80/gal = $0.040/mile
Tires - 5300 miles @ $300 = $0.057/mile
C) Any additional HP to be gained from less oil friction isn't much use to me. The amount of time I spend at WOT is very small, so generally if I need more power I twist the throttle harder.
Let's talk about Oils. "Oils aint Oils" as the Castrol man says!
Maybe I'm waisting money if I'm changing Silkolene Pro 4 every 2,000 Miles, if the only benifit of a synthetic is extended oil changes. I just reckon it's good insurance, not to mention Horsepower in a can. I still believe synthetics are slipryer.
What about the Coeficient of frinction, Vs's Protection, Vs's longevity of Synthetics over mineral.
A synthetic 15w50 has gotta get pumped around easier than say a straight 50weight mineral oil, or even a 25w40, especially at cold startup.
and isn't the most critical time for engine wear when you start up & shut down.
so a thinner (synthetic) oil will get to all the moving, sliding & rotating parts faster than a mineral oil that doesen't have as wide an operating range.
isn't that why Taxi's can get around a million miles out of an engine, beacause they are usually worked 24 hours a day & always at operating temperature when started & stopped during shift changes.
isn't this because when the engines running you never get metal to metal contact because you have a film of oil everywhere it's supposed to be????
Silkolene are claiming there new oil actually increases the brake-horsepower of your engine. They're claiming an increase from 127.9bhp to 131.6bhp
using their new Pro 4 Plus engine oil in a Honda Blackbird. And using the competition only" Pro 0W-20 can alledgedly bump it up to 134.4bhp-a 6.5bhp increase. the rest is blah blah blah....Performance Bikes, Dec 2003.
Silkolene web site: Pro 4 Plus, 5W-40 and
10W-50. APi SG, SH & SJ, JASO MA.
That last post of mine was sorta "ex cathedra." Company position on oils for use in APUs. Personally, I'm less picky.
I used Mobil 1 exclusively in my Bronco and it used no oil to 193,000 miles, when it was destroyed by a girl (a model - OK, I'm a sucker for pretty girls) I'd loaned it to.
I used Mobil 1 in my KLR and found that the bike consumed twice the oil as when I ran a petroleum 10W-40 oil, so I switched to whatever the cheapest is at the truckstop. That bike, a big single, uses at 30,000 mile the same as it used new.
I'm using Honda oil in the VFR because oil change intervals are so long, and it's really only used on long rides, that I can stop by the shop and pick up a gallon without interfering with my riding. It uses no oil at 15,000 miles. Zero.
If I raced, and I don't, I would pay attention to claims of additional horsepower and weigh the risk to the engine in terms of winning. One thing's for sure - there is a cost to any benefit. I'm a street rider and the 620 isn't going to turn into a Hayabusa by using a different oil. If I wanted power, I'd have bought a different bike.
Personally, I believe the most important thing is not which oil, but that there's enough. They're all good. If the clutch is slipping, change to something else. If it's cold, go thinner. Multi-weights do get the oil to the bearings faster when it's cold. And an engine that never cools down will last forever.
Back to APUs. We schedule overhauls based on cycles, not hours. The cold-hot-cold cycle limits wheel life due to thermal stresses, but a similar argument could be made for lubrication and condensation in the oil. A bike running at 100mph continuously all day long will last way longer than a bike cooling and heating and riding in lower gears.
We've got a tribologist here at the company. Kinda like the Maytag Repairman. Once we, and the military, decided on oil, nothing was left to be done. He's now specializing in gear design, so he has something to do.
It's a little O/T, but a buddy of mine had a KLR. It eventually got_really_hard to start when it was cold, but would light off fine when it was hot. The intake valves wore through their hardfacing, and weren't completely closed when the engine was cold...
Hmmm....tribologist/gear designer. Sounds like double jeopardy to me ;D.