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Engine Oil

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by In my own world, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:46 PM.

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  1. In my own world

    Dec 22, 2018
    43
    18
    West Sussex
    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Car and Bike Engine oil?.
     
  2. Flashp

    Flashp Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    136
    93
    Hants
    Friction modifiers primarily. Wet clutches hate them.
     
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  3. In my own world

    Dec 22, 2018
    43
    18
    West Sussex
    Was in Europarts today and both oils are the same spec, just the Bike oil was dearer.
     
  4. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    4,470
    800
    Central France
    With car engines the clutch doesn't share the same oil; whereas on most bikes they do. This is a change of use which requires changed oil specs.
     
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  5. DH88UK

    DH88UK New Member

    Mar 8, 2019
    17
    3
    Hampshire
    Car oils are made to be as slippery as possible to reduce friction, not ideal properties for a wet clutch
     
  6. Callumity

    Callumity Elite Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    1,483
    750
    Nr Biggar
    Same spec or same viscosity?.......not the same thing.

    Quote us an SAE Spec, API or JASO spec.
     
  7. Eldon

    Eldon Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2018
    316
    63
    North Yorkshire
    One of the problems here Callumity is that specifications such as SAE are very broad so two quite different oils can be classed same. A military specification is far tighter and specific.
    Otherwise I agree without a specification it is impossible to compare.
     
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  8. Callumity

    Callumity Elite Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    1,483
    750
    Nr Biggar
    Yeah well the military tend to over specify and over service!
     
  9. Eldon

    Eldon Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2018
    316
    63
    North Yorkshire
    Can you over specify IF you know exactly what you want?

    Obviously they have the funding and/or the might to get what they want.
     
  10. Callumity

    Callumity Elite Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    1,483
    750
    Nr Biggar
    Well sometimes the best is the enemy of the good because expensive stuff designed to outlast arduous combat use and obviate field maintenance gets poured away barely used and money IS an issue.

    There is more diagnostic oil testing these days - especially for aircraft and big propulsion units but, like bikes, a semi-synthetic will lubricate just as well as a fully synthetic for typical mileages and annual oil changes and cost less. The fully synthetic comes into its own in higher temperatures and longer service intervals.
     
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  11. In my own world

    Dec 22, 2018
    43
    18
    West Sussex
    So its a no no the using car oil. Although ive never used car oil in a bike i just wondered what the difference was. I did think if it would have an effect on wet clutch plates
     
  12. Callumity

    Callumity Elite Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    1,483
    750
    Nr Biggar
    From Mobil US website:

    Motorcycle oils and passenger car oils are very similar, with the exception of a couple of areas that are key to motorcycle operation. The first area concerns common sumps, or the use of motor oil, to lubricate and cool the transmission. As you know, in a passenger car the transmission is lubricated by an ATF fluid, which has frictional properties required for transmission operation. In a motorcycle, where the engine oil may lubricate the transmission, an engine oil that does not have the same level of friction modification (for fuel economy) of a typical passenger car engine oil will provide better transmission performance in terms of transmission lock-up and slippage. So motorcycle engine oil does not contain the friction modifiers of a passenger car engine oil. The second area of concern for motorcycle engine oils is that they tend to shear (break down viscosity) more quickly than a typical passenger car. Mobil 1™ motorcycle oils are designed to provide exceptional protection against viscosity loss.
     
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  13. Dozers Dad

    Dozers Dad Bushmills Chief Quality Controller
    Subscriber

    #13 Dozers Dad, Mar 15, 2019 at 4:34 PM
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 5:08 PM
    Hi Mate,

    I'd really rather not get into this as a debate. So I'll just tell you a fact & you can make you own mind up.

    A few years back I bought a Honda VTR1000 (a v-twin torque monster sports bike)
    Around the same time I got talking to a guy who worked in the oil industry. He told me that the whole car oil V's bike oil thing was nothing more than a big con job. Apparently the only car oils that can affect a wet clutch in a bike are oils such as Castrol Magnatec. Due to whatever it is that makes the oil cling to the internal surfaces rather than draining back into the sump when the engine is turned off?

    We as bikers are seen by the oil industry (among others) as a cash cow. Our bikes are often weekend toys & everyone will throw money at a toy. Whether it's a motorcycle or a speedboat etc etc.

    Long story short. I did an oil/filter change on my VTR1000 using 10w40 semi synthetic car oil. It suffered ZERO ill effects! No clutch slip or any of the other things people will tell you it'll do to a bike engine.
    As it's a massively torquey engine. If car oil on a wet clutch was ever going to cause it to slip? That was the bike to test it on.

    I sold the bike to my Father-in-law who rode it hard for approx two years. During which time I changed the oil for him at least once more using exactly the same car oil I originally put in.
    The bike ran as sweet as a nut. It would easily pull wheelies off the throttle & it never missed a beat.

    This post will no doubt bring dozens of armchair experts out of their closets & onto their keyboard.
    When they start, ask them this question...

    ..."Are you talking from personal experience? Or just repeating what you've read on the internet?"...

    Don't forget the oil companies have a vested interest in perpetuating this rumour.

    BTW... I now use oil with a picture of a motorcycle on the bottle. But only because I can buy it through a contact in the trade. For less than a bottle with a picture of a car on it! :cool:
     
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  14. Rocker

    Rocker Senior Member
    Subscriber

    May 1, 2016
    514
    243
    Suffolk
    Used all sorts of oil, car or bike even 20/50 in the A10 will no ill effects:)
     
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  15. Tricky-Dicky

    Tricky-Dicky Senior Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    402
    113
    Norfolk UK
    The problem with that statement is that its referring to ATF automatic transmission fluid (makes sense since its US) ATF is totally different to engine oil, other than the friction modifiers/additives mentioned previously there is no difference in car and motorcycle oils.
     
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  16. BigCLM

    BigCLM Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2017
    404
    63
    San Rafael, CA
    Agree a no-no to use car oil on a bike. Bike oil needs to do 3 things (different from a car) . Lube engine, lube gears and wet clutch operation. And clutch will slip if car oil is used.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 3
  17. Kiwidave4

    Kiwidave4 Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2016
    132
    83
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Also ran my VTR1000 on car oil - Castrol Magnatec! No ill effects. Ran my K75s Beemer on Magnatec for 20+ years too. Again no ill effects.

    There is no way an oil company is going to admit that oils are the same when they are charging extra for 'motorcycle' oil.
     
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  18. Dozers Dad

    Dozers Dad Bushmills Chief Quality Controller
    Subscriber

    Hi Dave,

    That is very interesting mate. Magnatec or similar was the only type the guy said to avoid. Yet it was absolutely fine for you.
    I reckon that proves beyond any doubt that bikers are being conned into paying more for the exactly the same products. Just because it comes in bottles with a picture of a motorcycle!

    Something else I know mate. You & I have absolutely zero chance of convincing a lot of people of these facts. Regardless of the fact we have tested it for ourselves. Not just believed some boll#cks we read on the internet.
    Hence my refusal to debate the subject. Let them fit whatever oil allows them to sleep soundly at night.
     
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  19. Eldon

    Eldon Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2018
    316
    63
    North Yorkshire
    I haven't used car oil in bikes so can't comment on that clutch issue but.....

    For years I have used atf in off road bikes. Other mates have discussed, and prefer, modern synthetic 75 gear oil. Strangely you (I) cannot use just any atf. I found this out by buying a gallon of cheaper stuff when my preferred Motul wasn't available. With off road bikes the clutch operation is significantly affected by your choice of oil and I always found Motul to give the best snatchiness and abruptness.
    On the Montesa 315s (1998 - 2002) the clutch has some paper plates (No not what you have at barbeques!) and a definite tell tale that the gearbox oil was going off was a squealing clutch when on significant load.

    Personally I don't always use the noted oil but I wouldn't use anything that I had doubts over concerning the clutch.

    A £10 saved on oil isn't going to buy me a set of clutch plates. You may or may not agree but that's fine as I'm not buying your plates :p
     
  20. BigCLM

    BigCLM Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2017
    404
    63
    San Rafael, CA
    Dilligaf, help me understand your disagreement. Clutch slippage? I know of clutch slipping issues w/ car oil. Car oil does not belong in a bike with a wet clutch.
     
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