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Old 06-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
rfuerst911sc OP
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what oil are you running in your airhead ?

Last week I purchased a 1976 R90/6 and the previous owners have always run synthetic oil. When I purchased the bike last week the seller said he was running Mobil 1 0w40 oil which I think is too thin. I'd like to run 20w50 but I'd like to stay with synthetic because that is all this bike has seen. So what would you guys run in this scenario ? I use Mobil 1 in several other vehicles so I like it but I am not married to it. So what do you guys recommend ?
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
supershaft
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BMW 20-50. Real good Spectro brand oil at a real good price.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
disston
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That bike could not have only ever had Synthetic oil in it because it was built before they existed. I have heard convincing arguments against synthetic oil in our Airheads.

I use BMW Dino oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. 20-50 wt. If my dealer is out I will use Spectro 4 sometimes. The BMW oil is made by Spectro.

I use any name brand gear oil. GL-5, 80-90 wt.

I have no problems getting either of these products or spending a few extra cents if need be. If you live in some parts of the World where it is hard to get what is recommended by BMW I guess you would be special. Other than that I see no reason to debate the issue.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #4
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
DoktorT
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Vaolvoline VR-1 20/50 for a number of specific reasons. It all adds up to perfect for my Airhead use.

Not difficult to find at most FLAPS everywhere. A few bucks less than boutique oils. Perfect levels of ZDDP for early valve train designs. Better anti foaming than most. Designed specifically for high stresses and high heat tolerance.

I always change it before it gets very dark (1500-2000 miles) so do not need detergents at a high percentage. Only need to change the filter every third oil change.

It all adds up to lowest possible cost per mile while insuring proper lubrication at all times.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
JustinP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoktorT View Post
Vaolvoline VR-1 20/50 for a number of specific reasons. It all adds up to perfect for my Airhead use.

Not difficult to find at most FLAPS everywhere. A few bucks less than boutique oils. Perfect levels of ZDDP for early valve train designs. Better anti foaming than most. Designed specifically for high stresses and high heat tolerance.

I always change it before it gets very dark (1500-2000 miles) so do not need detergents at a high percentage. Only need to change the filter every third oil change.

It all adds up to lowest possible cost per mile while insuring proper lubrication at all times.

I'm new to airheads, so I am following this thread closely. Does the fact that the VR-1 has Friction modifiers not matter in the airheads? And is VR-1 synthetic or Dyno?
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #7
wirewrkr
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Castrol 4 stroke MC oil, 20w50
when it goes on sale once in a while I buy ALOT.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinP View Post
I'm new to airheads, so I am following this thread closely. Does the fact that the VR-1 has Friction modifiers not matter in the airheads? And is VR-1 synthetic or Dyno?

Airheads have dry clutches so it doesn't matter.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wirewrkr View Post
castrol 4 stroke mc oil, 20w50
when it goes on sale once in a while i buy alot.
+1
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
rfuerst911sc OP
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So if I go with conventional oil what mileage intervals are you running ? I do like the idea of synthetics as they generally work better under extreme conditions and they can be found with sufficient levels of zinc and phospherorous.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:24 PM   #11
Bill Harris
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> what mileage intervals are you running ?

Oil change every 3000 mi, filter change every other oil change (@6000mi)

Old oil seals can leak with fully synthetic oil, which is why it's not a good thing to change over. But if you know for certain that the was run on Syn oil and you can see no gushers, go for it. If Mobil 1 has good levels of ZDDP, go for it in a 20W50.

Back in the '70's-'80's I used Castrol GTX, post-90's I use Spectro Golden 4. But really, a quality oil is a quality oil...
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #12
Bigger Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
So if I go with conventional oil what mileage intervals are you running ? I do like the idea of synthetics as they generally work better under extreme conditions and they can be found with sufficient levels of zinc and phospherorous.
Yay, an oil thread!!

A lot of people (myself included) find that synthetic oil gets around Airhead seals with more enthusiasm than does dino oil, thus leaking all over the garage floor.
All of the oils mentioned here will do an admirable job of keeping the internal parts internal.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
mattcfish
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Valvoline VR-1. I've seen what the lack of ZDDP in the oil does to VW cams. Not pretty. Never seen the problem 1st hand on airhead cams but have seen pictures taken by others. Flat tappet engines need this stuff and VR1 is one of the last readily available oils that still has the proper amount of it. Lots of info on the web from many different forums on this subject.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #15
pit0rz
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So here's a kinda related question... I got a case of Kendal 20-50 dino oil a while ago. Probably 6 or 7 years? Until now all of my bikes are/were using synth so the Kendal just sat on the shelf unopened. Now for the 10 Thousand dollar question!!! Does oil go bad? Full case sitting in an unheated garage through all of the northeast seasons... What sayeth the herd?
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