Mobil 1 15W50 or Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W50 in my R100 Airhead?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by TINK, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    OK, I've just bought some non-synthetic oil for the airhead GS. I use this oil in my 2 Nortons as well. It is Pennzoil 20W-50 Outdoor small engine & motorcycle oil. API rating is SG,SH,SJ,and SL, and has the Japanese JASO MA rating. States it exceeds warranty requirements for BMW, H-D, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. It is in a 1 U.S. quart [.946litre] bottel, and is sourced from Sopus Products out of Houston.

    As for the ZDDP levels, here's a letter from a Pennzoil rep stating ZDDP levels, from late 2010.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you for your interest in our products.
    You are correct the zinc in the ZDDP package for motor oil additives has been reduced recently to help protect catalytic converters on today's vehicles. Basically any oils prior to the API SM (such as SL, SJ, SH, etc.) will have at least 1000ppm zinc. The Pennzoil oils with an API SM rating will have the reduced zinc content (800-850ppm) while those such as the Pennzoil Outdoor Motorcycle Motor Oil in both SAE 10W-40 and SAE 20W-50 with the API SH will have 1100-1200ppm zinc. Other oils containing higher zinc levels will be any oil with a diesel rating, API CI-4 or CJ-4. The Shell Rotella SAE 15W-40 contains 1100-1200ppm zinc and Pennzoi Racing Motor Oil SAE 25W-50 has 1980ppm zinc.
    Sincerely
    Product Technical Service, ah

    Here is an update from Pennzoil regarding ZDDP: (The italics are mine)

    Mr. Peter McLean; As mentioned the API SM rated oils found on the shelves today have the reduced ZDDP content to help protect the catalyst in the catalytic converters.

    The additives in these oils are sufficient to protect the metal surfaces found in the majority of flat tappet engines. The biggest concerns are for high compression engines with high pressure springs and those engines with inferior quality or improperly heat treated steels. These engines may suffer excessive wear using the reduced ZDDP oils. This explains why many thousands of motorcycles and automobiles with flat tappet systems have been using the SM rated oils with no adverse affects.

    The Pennzoil Motorcycle Motor Oils, diesel rated motor oils and
    racing motor oils, since not formulated for use in vehicles with
    catalytic converters may continue to contain the higher zinc and
    phosphorous levels in their ZDDP packages.
    Product Technical Service, ah
    #41
  2. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    I think that everyone should use whatever oil they think may be sufficient to work in their engine. Just ensure that you put aside some money for that next engine rebuild.

    I have exclusively used Castrol 20/50 SG for all of my Airheads for the past 34 years. I have put many thousands of miles on these bikes, including one with close to 500,000 miles and my current one with over 300,000 miles. Neither of them have had any major engine work. Just change the oil every 3000 miles and the filter every 6000 miles. These engines were well designed from the start to use dyno oil. I don't ride the crap out of them, but do ride them a lot.

    But, if you are going to ride the crap out of your bike, and maybe do a lot of performance upgrades, then maybe some other oil will work better for you.
    #42
  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    I'll often buy the equivalent Castrol 20W-50 , to the Pennzoil, all depends on price. Yesterday, the Pennzoil was cheaper.
    Interestingly, the Castrol 20W-50 available here in Metro Vancouver is packaged/blended in Canada in a 1 litre container rather than the .946 litre container. It is only API spec SG, not JASO MA.
    #43
  4. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Back in my ill spent youth, I remember going to a large packaging plant just south of Vancouver either in Richmond or Delta, with my father. This was back in the mid 60s and I was only about 12-14 at the time. It was an oil packaging plant. They had just finished filling up cans marked Shell, and were just changing over to a new batch of cans marked Texaco. All from the same big bulk container. There were also stacks of cans marked Pennzoil and Quaker State as well as Castrol GTX. The name on the front of the packaging plant was Castrol. So, who really knows what really is in those oil cans.

    As to SG Spec. that is just fine for our bikes. It works as it should.
    #44
  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    For sure, that happens al the time. Heck, Shell, Esso, and Petro Can gasoline all comes from the same source.
    #45
  6. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Only two refineries in B.C. I don't think they move the gas or oil all that far before selling it. Was in PG last summer, just about all the gas including Chevron regular/midgrade had ethanol in it, comes from the smaller Husky refinery up there.

    Not sure about engine oils, would take some ( a little) digging but lots of the two stroke oils such as Stihl and others is just that, rebranded Castrol blended and packaged in Canada.:wink:

    Unless they changed in the last couple years, Castrol GTX I always used should have a Zinc content of .12 or just above.

    This is fairly recent but things change, don't believe it all because it is in print, best lesson I ever got from my Grandpa.:wink:

    20W-50
    AMSOIL (old) none
    AMSOIL (new) none
    Castrol GTX .12
    Exxon High Performance .11
    Havoline Formula 3 none
    Kendall GT-1 .16
    Pennzoil GT Perf. none
    Quaker State Dlx. none
    Red Line none
    Shell Truck Guard .15
    Spectro Golden 4 .15
    Spectro Golden M.G. .13
    Unocal .12
    Valvoline All Climate .11
    Valvoline Turbo .13
    Valvoline Race .20
    Valvoline Synthetic .12

    20W-40
    AMSOIL none
    Castrol Multi-Grade .12
    Quaker State none

    15W-50
    Chevron .11
    Mobil 1 none
    Mystic JT8 .15
    Red Line none

    5W-50
    Castrol Syntec .10
    Quaker State Synquest none
    Pennzoil Performax none

    5W-40
    Havoline none

    15W-40
    AMSOIL (old) none
    AMSOIL (new) none
    Castrol .14
    Chevron Delo 400 none
    Exxon XD3 .14
    Exxon XD3 Extra .13
    Kendall GT-1 .16
    Mystic JT8 .15
    Red Line none
    Shell Rotella w/XLA .13
    Valvoline All Fleet .15
    Valvoline Turbo .13

    10W-30
    AMSOIL (old) none
    AMSOIL (new) none
    Castrol GTX .12
    Chevron Supreme .11
    Exxon Superflo Hi Perf 135 .11
    Exxon Superflo Supreme 133 .13
    Havoline Formula 3 none
    Kendall GT-1 .16
    Mobil 1 none
    Pennzoil PLZ Turbo none
    Quaker State none
    Red Line none
    Shell Fire and Ice .12
    Shell Super 2000 .13
    Shell Truck Guard .15
    Spectro Golden M.G. none
    Unocal Super .12
    Valvoline All Climate .11
    Valvoline Turbo .13
    Valvoline Race .20
    Valvoline Synthetic .12

    5W-30
    AMSOIL (old) none
    AMSOIL (new) none
    Castrol GTX .12
    Chevron Supreme .11
    Chevron Supreme Synt. .12
    Exxon Superflow HP .11
    Havoline Formula 3 none
    Mobil 1 none
    Mystic JT8 .1
    Quaker State none
    Red Line none
    Shell Fire and Ice .12
    Unocal .12
    Valvoline All Climate .11
    Valvoline Turbo .13
    Valvoline Synthetic .12
    #46
  7. Mtl-Marc

    Mtl-Marc Adventurer

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    #47