The Oil I Use

The Oil I Use

Postby EMS » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:28 am

This is not intended to be the start of another oil thread. I had a business meeting with an Exxon engineer/chemist and as a little side excursion we talked about oils as he was looking at my eclectic collection of motorcycles. I just want to share some of the information he provided which I consider very useful for myself. You do whatever you think of with it. I may answer questions regarding the facts, if I can, but I will not engage in any kind of argument or discussion about what is right and what may be wrong. To me the source is a capacity in his field and I take his word for it.
Please note that we mainly talked about Mobil1 synthetic oils.
Ever so often the EPA reviews components and additives in motor oils and recommends certain limits to be adhered to. The API – American Petroleum Institute – accommodates the request by grading oils and issuing specifications and standards usually identified by a two-letter designation. The current and latest of these designations is SN, although most oils available on the shelf are still SM and some are even SL.
You will have a hard time finding any major brand automotive oil that still carries SF,SG,SH or SJ designation.
The key issue here, in a nutshell, is the presence of phosphorous (P) and zinc (Zn) as anti-wear additives as they negatively affect the catalytic converter in automobiles and sulfur, which causes corrosion.

The interesting thing, however, is that the recommendation for such limits of, for example 8oo ppm of P does only apply to oils with a viscosity rating of 0W-20 through 10W-30. Oils with ratings of XW-40 or higher have no such limits.
There is quite a bit more to that, but in order to concentrate on what was important for me, we focused on the question what Mobil1 synthetic oils I should use in what motorcycle.
Motorcycles have clutches to be considered and the fact that the transmission gears accelerate the shearing process and degradation of the oil. Also many motorcycles have flat tappets
1. BMWs with separate engine oil. Does not come into contact with clutch or transmission gears.
Mobil 1 15W-50. Recommended for performance vehicles, higher ambient temperatures and (important!) flat tapped applications. 1200 ppm of P and 1300 ppm of Zn! Excellent corrosion protection to counteract the negative effect of sulfur.
2. Other bikes with “unit” powerplant., e.g. all my Hondas and Kawasakis and the new BMW K bike.
Mobil1 Racing 4T 10W-40. For motorcycles where clutch lubrication is important. 1600 ppm P and 1700ppm Zn. This oil still has a SJ/SH rating, but also complies with SM as it was exempt due to the fact that it is heavier.
3. The HDs could use 15W50, but of course there is Mobil1 V-Twin 20W-50, supposedly formulated for V-Twin engines and this oil has a SG,SH designation. Same P and Zn content as the 4T 10W-40
4. Finally for the Ducatis, I stay with Agip Racing 4T, SAE 20W-50 and 10W-60 , full synthetics, which are API SG. The reason being mainly that I get a killer price for that stuff.

The gentleman from Exxon left me a complete data sheet for all the Mobil1 Oils. If anybody has a specific question about an oil, pm or e-mail me.
To be understood is the exception
To be misunderstood is the rule.
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