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Anti-foam additives #4687304
03/07/18 10:53 AM
03/07/18 10:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
cven Offline OP
cven  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
Noticed some foam on top of the oil in the sight glass in my bike.

Keeping the air in the oil is bad for lubrication so I'd like to know if this is how these additives work?

I put this in the car section because I thought more people would see it.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687333
03/07/18 11:13 AM
03/07/18 11:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 282
San Francisco, CA
Flying_A Offline
Flying_A  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 282
San Francisco, CA
Silicone is the additive used in a finished oil to keep foam at bay. There are base oil choices that can deal with the aeration of the oil better vs. others. Some motorcycle oils are formulated and tend to have more stable foam control- this due to the high RPM of the engines and the nature of riding.

Here is a great article on oil foaming: http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/255/oil-foam

Last edited by Flying_A; 03/07/18 11:16 AM.

2008 Maserati Gran Turismo: Motul 300V Trophy 0W40
2017 Audi A3 etron: Motul X-clean FE 5W30/300V Sprint 0W15
Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687341
03/07/18 11:19 AM
03/07/18 11:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
cven Offline OP
cven  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
Thanks for the link. I thought the same thing about motorcycle oil that's why it surprised me when I saw it.
I guess foam on top is better than air in the oil.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687344
03/07/18 11:21 AM
03/07/18 11:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 668
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Online confused
MotoTribologist  Online Confused
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 668
NJ, USA
What exactly is your question about anti-foam additives? From your post, I think you are asking if the additives are designed to entrain the air in the bulk oil so it doesn't form foam on the surface. If that is your question, the answer is no. Anti-foam additives are designed to weaken the surface tension of the fluid so the air bubbles easily and quickly break preventing accumulation of a head of foam on the surface.

If you are getting excessive air entrainment, that is often a mechanical problem of too much turbulence or churning of the oil. It is possible the oil may contribute by not dissipating the air quickly enough, but if you are using too high of a viscosity or the oil level isn't correct, it is not a deficiency of the oil causing the problem.

Last edited by MotoTribologist; 03/07/18 11:24 AM.
Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687369
03/07/18 11:36 AM
03/07/18 11:36 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
cven Offline OP
cven  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
Yes, I was thinking if the foam is on top the oil was doing its job and that's how anti-foam additive work.

The bubbles are gone within a minute so I guess it's not a big deal.

The oil was Brad Penn 10/40 MC oil in a TL 1000 FWIW. Thanks again for the info.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687370
03/07/18 11:38 AM
03/07/18 11:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 668
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Online confused
MotoTribologist  Online Confused
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Posts: 668
NJ, USA
Right then, sounds like you are good to go. You shouldn't need to worry if it dissipates that quickly.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687452
03/07/18 12:57 PM
03/07/18 12:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,096
US-WA
Dyusik Offline
Dyusik  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,096
US-WA
The gears will cause some surface bubbles. Foaming is when the oil will have air throughout the whole fill.

Foam



Not foam



95 Cherokee 190K DELO 10W30,XG8
07 IS250 100K Napa 10w30,FULL
04 YZF-R1 19K DELO 15w40,XG7317
99 HD XL1200S 20K VR1 20w50,1515
14 RX450h 33k PP MIX,NAPAG
Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687502
03/07/18 01:48 PM
03/07/18 01:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
cven Offline OP
cven  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 328
ohio
Those pics are perfect for the question I had. My oil looks the second pic.... maybe just a tad more bubbles but they don't stay long at all.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4687757
03/07/18 05:16 PM
03/07/18 05:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,663
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,663
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Cool sight glass pics. Do all bike engines have sight glasses?
Take my dipstick if you must, just give me a sight glass.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: Kira] #4688511
03/08/18 10:22 AM
03/08/18 10:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 668
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Online confused
MotoTribologist  Online Confused
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 668
NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Kira
Do all bike engines have sight glasses?

All the ones I've owned have had them. I do like it, but I wouldn't mind a dipstick as well. Having to level the bike (can't use the side kickstand), and where they are located (often behind the footpeg and behind the rear brake lever) makes it kind of annoying in my opinion to check the level. But it's not so bad.

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: MotoTribologist] #4688536
03/08/18 10:55 AM
03/08/18 10:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 151
California
David_g Offline
David_g  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 151
California
Originally Posted By: MotoTribologist
Originally Posted By: Kira
Do all bike engines have sight glasses?

All the ones I've owned have had them. I do like it, but I wouldn't mind a dipstick as well. Having to level the bike (can't use the side kickstand), and where they are located (often behind the footpeg and behind the rear brake lever) makes it kind of annoying in my opinion to check the level. But it's not so bad.

I expect most or all bikes need to be level to check the oil (else suspension changes would throw off the reading). I've only had one bike with a dipstick (on the left), but the centerstand was a dealer added option (which I got). Tall bike, so it might not easy to check while sitting on the bike. Maybe that's how people do it with dipstick-equipped cruisers? Don't remember how I checked mine before I got the centerstand installed.

I think the centerstand was an option also on the only bike I've had with the sight glass on the left. Holding the bike up by hand from the left to check oil isn't as secure as holding it up from the right, since in that case the side stand will catch it if you let it get away from you.

The bikes I've had with the sight glass on the right were pretty easy, centerstand or no.


Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4688845
03/08/18 04:22 PM
03/08/18 04:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,160
Deep in the heart of Jersey
BigCahuna Offline
BigCahuna  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,160
Deep in the heart of Jersey
Harley's and some yamaha's use dipstick's to check their oil. I wouldn't worry about a small amount of foam on the top of your oil, as the oil is drawn from the bottom of the oil sump. As long as your using the type oil that the mfgr recommends, you should be fine.,,

Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4689009
03/08/18 07:37 PM
03/08/18 07:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,199
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline
LoneRanger  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,199
Midwest USA
My Ducati's had sight glasses, the Guzzi has a dipstick.



'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)
Re: Anti-foam additives [Re: cven] #4700334
03/20/18 03:48 AM
03/20/18 03:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 89
Wiltshire, UK
bonjo Offline
bonjo  Offline
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 89
Wiltshire, UK
when I first got my yamaha xt660 I could see oil foam when checking the level.

Foaming is an unwanted property which put air buble and hinders oil's lubrication properties.

At the first oil change (600miles) I wiched to full synthetic and have not had any trace of foaming ever since.

What is an acceptable level of foaming? For me, none. MAybe it is worth you changing your oil at the next service


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