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Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle #4729448
04/16/18 10:52 PM
04/16/18 10:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content OP
Chris142  Online Content OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Assuming your like me and don't ride if it's cold? Would a sae40 be better? Won't shear like a 10w40?


02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729474
04/17/18 12:01 AM
04/17/18 12:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,221
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Online shocked
Reddy45  Online Shocked
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,221
Where the wind comes sweepin'
I've been tempted to test out this idea, but I'm curious if startup wear would get worse?

Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729485
04/17/18 12:33 AM
04/17/18 12:33 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,094
Saskatchewan, Canada
Johnny2Bad Offline
Johnny2Bad  Offline
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,094
Saskatchewan, Canada
I think multigrade oils are better for every engine. But, if the motorcycle is air cooled (no water cooled motors, they *need* multigrade) and the manufacturer recommended a single-weight oil when the motor was built, it won't harm anything.

I used single-weight 50 for quite a few years before switching to synthetic 20W-50, but that was because I had two 20-litre pails of AeroShell 100 (aviation 100 = SAE 50) to go through, that I got for free when the company I worked for converted the engines in the two DeHavilland Otter w/air cooled radial engines that they (still) own, to turboprops.*

You can't resell aviation oil, for the most part, unless it's in fresh, unopened containers (which these weren't), and the turbos don't use it, so a nice gift to me.

But my motor is 60 years old (built in Milwaukee in November 1957) and called for 50-grade when new. I think the bigger question would be can you run multigrade oil in an air-cooled four-stroke motorcycle, and I believe the answer is yes, and further if you can, you should.

Now that I look at my post, I should change my sig for the big twin oil.


* Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-S1H1-G Wasp 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 600 hp (448 kW)
Turbo conversion: 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34, 750 shaft HP


'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
'96 Ram 1500 [3.7L Mobil1 0W-20 / 1L 15W-50]
'01 PT Cruiser [Mobil1 0W-40]
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729503
04/17/18 01:44 AM
04/17/18 01:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,816
New Zealand
Silk Offline
Silk  Offline
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,816
New Zealand
I'm running SAE 30 in my old Stornello, works just fine...I'd never be out on it below 5C. BMW has 30 recommended from zero to 30 C, the temps I ride in, so will give it try after the next oil change.


1987 BMW R65 - Penrite V Twin 20/50
2005 Nissan Expert - Gulf Western 10W-40
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729512
04/17/18 02:12 AM
04/17/18 02:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,226
Slovenia EU
Kamele0N Offline
Kamele0N  Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,226
Slovenia EU
Monogrades are 20w...25w anyway...


2008 Toyota Yaris 1ND-TV 1.4 D4-D Elf FullTech FE 5w30
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Shell Rimula R6M 10w40
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729526
04/17/18 03:39 AM
04/17/18 03:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,793
Taiwan
Ducked Online content
Ducked  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,793
Taiwan
Think so.

I've used SAE 40 in small Honda air cooled clones (CB/CG 125/150) here, and as 2-stroke transmission oil (Yamaha 133 RZR). Seems OK

Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729592
04/17/18 07:06 AM
04/17/18 07:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content OP
Chris142  Online Content OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
My bikes are water cooled. But use the oil for the engine and trans. I have seen 230f oil temps on my klr.


02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729630
04/17/18 07:44 AM
04/17/18 07:44 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 1,094
Ocala, Florida
racin4ds Offline
racin4ds  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 1,094
Ocala, Florida
I'd say if you live in a warm climate and only ride when warm, it would be just fine. Especially in bikes that share the oil with the trans/engine because they really beat up oil.


Just say NO to thin oils and M1!
05 F350 Powerstroke
05 Hyundai Tucson
08 Legacy GT
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729757
04/17/18 10:02 AM
04/17/18 10:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,955
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,955
Kalifornia Kollective
Well let's see - bike ran on straight grades from 1903 to the 1980's and they did not have issues. Multi's will all shear down. Straight grades can not shear. There are no VII's.

As far as start-up wear, that's covered by residual film. A far as any pumped oil, as long as it's liquid, it will get there in the same time because it's a positive displacement pump.

There is no downside to straight grades, as long as it's not snowing outside ... laugh.


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4729788
04/17/18 10:48 AM
04/17/18 10:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 165
New York
jeff78 Offline
jeff78  Offline
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 165
New York
I've been running Valvoline VR1 SAE 40 in my bike (liquid cooled shared sump) for about a year now. Shift quality is amazing and doesn't degrade at all over the oil change interval. Which could be a problem if you're used to changing oil by shift feel - you may end up running the oil longer than you intended!

Even rode the bike over the winter with monograde in the sump. I should qualify this by saying that my bike is kept in a garage where the temperature doesn't drop below 50F so cold starts aren't difficult. At freezing and above, a monograde 40 is no thicker than a 20W-50.

I'd say give it a try, especially if your motorcycle's engine is particularly brutal on oil.


Edit addition:

You mentioned the 230F oil temp - if your intent is to try to lower it by changing the oil type, I'd opine that's not the best way to go. If anything, a monograde 40 will probably run a bit hotter (more viscous friction) than a multigrade 40. If your bike doesn't have an oil cooler, installing one would be the best way to bring the oil temp down.

Last edited by jeff78; 04/17/18 11:04 AM.
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Johnny2Bad] #4729795
04/17/18 10:57 AM
04/17/18 10:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 165
New York
jeff78 Offline
jeff78  Offline
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 165
New York
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
I think multigrade oils are better for every engine. But, if the motorcycle is air cooled (no water cooled motors, they *need* multigrade) and the manufacturer recommended a single-weight oil when the motor was built, it won't harm anything.


Why do liquid cooled engines need multigrade? And how would they know what kind of oil is inside them?

Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Reddy45] #4729914
04/17/18 01:38 PM
04/17/18 01:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,039
Idaho
CT8 Online content
CT8  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,039
Idaho
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I've been tempted to test out this idea, but I'm curious if startup wear would get worse?
Why would the start up wear be worse?


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: jeff78] #4729956
04/17/18 02:07 PM
04/17/18 02:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content OP
Chris142  Online Content OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,498
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: jeff78


You mentioned the 230F oil temp - if your intent is to try to lower it by changing the oil type, I'd opine that's not the best way to go. If anything, a monograde 40 will probably run a bit hotter (more viscous friction) than a multigrade 40. If your bike doesn't have an oil cooler, installing one would be the best way to bring the oil temp down.
naw. Just trying to find an oil that will shift smooth more than 50 miles.


02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Johnny2Bad] #4730615
04/18/18 04:13 AM
04/18/18 04:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,215
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,215
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
I think multigrade oils are better for every engine. But, if the motorcycle is air cooled (no water cooled motors, they *need* multigrade) and the manufacturer recommended a single-weight oil when the motor was built, it won't harm anything.


For bikes, if the multigrade achieved it without shearable polymers, then I'd agree.

If they have to get it by packing the oil with plastics, I disagree.

Re: Is a straight weight better for a motorcycle [Re: Chris142] #4730714
04/18/18 07:56 AM
04/18/18 07:56 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,952
Cedar Park, TX
sunruh Offline
sunruh  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,952
Cedar Park, TX
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Assuming your like me and don't ride if it's cold? Would a sae40 be better? Won't shear like a 10w40?


my testing proves it to be true


motorcycle oil myth buster
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