Oil-ATF

Discussion in 'Trials' started by rotorhead511, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. rotorhead511

    rotorhead511 Live and let live.

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    First, feel free to hit with a "did you try a search?" hammer on the topic.

    My bike calls for 10w40 oil and the guy I bought it from thinks he used Amsoil. I read that ATF works best in these bikes and was wondering:

    Has anyone had any experience with ATF?

    Can I switch right now even after conventional oil has been used?

    Is Amsoil blue? Blue is what's in the bike now.

    Thanks all.
    #1
  2. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    DUDE, what bike? be specific, with year and make model.

    Just sayin, honestly you cant say every trials bike takes any generality statement like, they all like ATF...

    FWIW, I've only dealt with Gasgas bikes since '01. As trials riders and using the bikes only for trials, we have been using ATF for a long time now and in gasgas it is generally accepted "OK" for trials use.

    BUT, FWIW I dont use ATF in my own personal Raga, but I do in my sons's raga, and my older gasgas bikes, but I use other oils/types/weights because of clutch feel and preferences.

    But we're not using the trials bikes like hair scrambles Enduro or MX either. When I caught the teen motocrossin the 06 Pro he used to have, he was grounded to the camp, after his class got done, for sake of saving the bike from what I call abuse.

    Some of my gasgas riding buddies, are using other oils. Motul comes to mind as a brand, used by some, not sure what weight. I like Yamalube 0w/30 myself. I cant get motul and some others, as easily as the Yamalube, I buy easy to get not too expensive oil that makes my clutch feel the way I like it.

    Plus, GASGAS "pro" engines since 02, lube the main crank bearings with the oil in trans/clutch area. So, I change the oil with less than 10 hours of run time, aka once a month, just before the trials meet. oil is cheap, tearing down engine to swap parts, is expensive, figuring 2 hours minimum to get apart, and decent mechanics are NOT cheap. I cant tell you specifics about other brands of trials bikes, nor will I be able to go back in time before the 1st gasgas I bought, was a 1999 321.

    Beta or Sherco, honda-tessa might not like ATF. so each bike has different things they like, and riders "likes" vary as well.

    BTW: i dont use ATF in my yamaha ty250 or fantic 240, or suzuki, or honda trials bikes I have either.
    so, as you see it matters what bike, IMHO at least, plus what you doing with it..
    #2
  3. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    :thumb :thumb

    The only thing that you missed is inquiry as to WHY the OP thinks that there's an advantage created by using ATF instead of the manufacturer-recommended 10W40. :ear


    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. rotorhead511

    rotorhead511 Live and let live.

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    Sting, my signature line has my bike in it. Sorry you missed that. I use 10w50 in my KTM and 10w30 in my Jeep. This was not a sweeping hand ATF for all question. I saw a video through the GasGas USA web site that recommended the ATF.

    I'm new to trials and the bike and just looking for info.
    #4
  5. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    I run ATF in mine. I like how it engages. Despite busting just about everything else, my 07 gasser is on it's original clutch, and I wick it up on trail. I do wear rubber gloves during oil changes, the ATF makes my hands puff up pretty bad. I run Chevron, it's available down the street. :D
    #5
  6. dptropepe

    dptropepe Adventurer

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    The "blue" stuff may be GM Auto trak 2. That is what the Gas Gas Pro model has in it from the factory. I keep coming back to Auto trak 2 in my '07 Raga because it seems to work best for me.
    #6
  7. laser17

    laser17 Been here awhile

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    The advantage of ATF is primarily related to how the clutch feels. The clutch is of primary importance in trials. Many top riders like a fast engagement of the clutch. On the Pro, a switch to ATF-F will give you a hard clutch bite/quick engagement. The 10-40 oils while providing decent shift feel, will be much slower engagement AND can also cause more clutch drag; especially in cold weather. That said, many novice riders prefer the 10-40 oils. It tends to let the clutch slip more and the end effect is a nice smooth engagement. This is easier for a novice to control.

    The blue stuff is GM auto trak II transfer case fluid used on chevy 4x4's. (theres a clutch pak in the transfer case) In my experience, it works really well, but is expensive. Acts like 10-40 but w/o the drag. The OEM oil is NOT GM Auto-trak - never has been. Probably dealer installed in above case. More likely its GRO - 10-40. (since 06 I think - but not readily avail over here)

    I use ATF-Dextron III. Its not as hard biting as Type F. Its also Very Cheap and sold everywhere (walmart ect..) So I (my wallet) have no problem changing it every 10 hrs to keep it nice and clean. (I know several guys who change it more than that to keep the clutch feel optimal) I used to use GM Auto Trak II, but it was expensive, hard to find in a pinch, and recently the USA parts importer said 100% synthetic fluids can cause problems. (I never had any)

    If you like the amsoil 10-40, that will work OK IMO. Except its also 100% synthetic and again the USA parts guy says thats bad. He see's more replaced clutch paks than anyone in the USA, but I know many who love the stuff. Go figure. Hence why I use the above ATF.
    #7
  8. SherpaT

    SherpaT Adventurer

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    This is from the "Pro_Technical_Bulletin_October_2_2012.doc", under the GASGAS PRO TECHNICAL INFORMATION section at
    http://www.trialspartsusa.com/tech.html

    Transmission oil:
    Recommend type: ATF DEXRON III

    Alternatives:
    NOTE: GASGAS Spain recommends only Dexron III automatic transmission oil at this time.

    Oil type warning:

    DO NOT USE #12378508 GM auto-trac II (blue) oil

    Never use synthetic oil in the transmission~clutch. The synthetic oils are “stickier” and this adhesion tendency, when applied to the areas between the clutch plates contribute to excessive clutch drag. Some brands of synthetic oil will chemically react when mixed with water, (from creeks, rain, or waterpump seal leakage). This reaction alters the pH factor of the oil. This acidic condition accelerates corrosion of steel engine parts, and loosens the bond of the clutch fiber plate material. Please do not second-guess this information. We have twelve years of experience with the Herbringer/Adige brand clutch plate materials, and we are in direct contact with the technical department at GASGAS Spain.
    #8
  9. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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    I use Elf HTX 740 a gear oil of ATF type, btw. recommended by Honda Montesa 4RT.
    I use it for the SWM, even the mighty Bultaco Sherpa and the Yamaha TY.
    The oil works very well especially improve clutch action ... but expensive.
    #9
  10. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    GM has updated the spec for Dexron, the new Dex 6 is much lower viscosity and synthetic.

    So you will want to continue to find Dex 3. Of GM says backwards compatible, and no longer certifies Dex 3

    Just saying.

    Rod
    #10
  11. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    The advantage of ATF in a MC is that it is specifically designed for clutches, that is how an AT works, series of clutch packs inside of a planetary gear system.

    The disadvantage is that it is HIGH in detergent, that is good for the clutch because it rinses out the burned up clutch debris so the clutch always feels new and good, but a MC does not have the trans filter set up that a AT has to filter out that losened debris and not that is running around in your gear box. Disadavantage 2 is that the high detergent ATF can froth and foam up which lowers the oil level in the trans and cause premature wear.

    I would also not use automotive 10/30,40,50 motor oil in a motorcycle engine because it has NO provision for the clutches. Auto engines have no clutch material, it is only about slippery and viscosity. A motorcycle oil needs to lubricating for the gears, but no so slipery that is causes the clutch to slip and thus premature wear.

    I only use a good motorcycle oil made for wet clutch bikes in the factory recommended viscosity. Maybe lighter weight if not in hot riding conditions, but never heavier.

    That come from years in the automotive field and many seminars on oil products from Lucas, Redline, Amzoil, and oil addative companies. Not an authority here, just a good bit of experience FWIW.
    #11
  12. laser17

    laser17 Been here awhile

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    Yes- this is what im referring to above. Many folks disregard his warning as GG UK recommends synthetics...go figure. I trust Jims judgement on these things and beside, the smurf oil is expensive.
    #12
  13. motorcyclemark

    motorcyclemark Been here awhile

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    Sting, the only 0/30 yamaha oil I see is semisynthetic and made for snowmobiles, Is this what you are using?
    #13
  14. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Yep, missed it (by that much!)

    there are guys chiming in, they wanna only use the amount and type specified, that is just fine. I can read a book too.

    If you take ****ANY**** advice from me at all, my advice comes from competiton point of view and usage.
    ****I dont motocross the trials bike, not even slightly.

    I use yamalube 0w/30 (semi synthetic).

    I love it. If you use your bike any differently, dont do what I said. Because it works for me in KANSAS, doesnt mean it is perfect for you....

    Just sayin.:wink:
    #14
  15. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    rotorhead,
    I did not mean to suggest a person shouldd ONLY run the recommended weight. There are many mitigating reasons to change viscositys and engine performace is one of them. Lighter weight oil will cause less friction and thus free up more useable HP.

    As Sting says, what he uses works for him.

    I would be curious though that Sting is recommending 0w-30 semi-syn and that may be a great oil, I like yamalube products, that is specifically a 4 stroke snowmobile engine oil....your GG 280 is a 2 stroke and the oil formulation is different....there are reasons why ALL of the oil companies designate 2t and 4t on their oils.....even though it is all in a gear box.

    Besides a snowmobile does NOT have a wet clutch as a motorcycle {most of them anyway} does so that oil would not have the additives needed to help clutch life and performance.

    I am sure the feel in his clutch is fine, but that is not the same as GOOD for the clutch.

    This is not just coming from reading a manual....40 years of motorcycles, hot rods and parts counter work and even took a WEEK long course on oil the dumb manufacturer called OIL COLLEGE....lol to much.
    #15
  16. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    Ahhhhhh..........another oil thread.:D
    #16
  17. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    Nope... clutch thread. :D

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Kellymac,

    your acting anal about the subject a little. the factory with std literature used to CYA, states use oil mixed at 50:1, so does whatever the brand/version the oil you add to the fuel in a trials bike. that all is "official" but 99% of it is backed by legal team, not practical use, nor what trials teams or individual riders have shared...

    here's 3 facts. in 2001, when I got the 1999 321 (there were more people that had been riding for years, on a website known as "TRIALS ACTION." shared info was to reduce the amount of ATF used in the transmission & clutch area (which are the same in gasgas bikes since at least 93, I have one). everyone was using ATF, instead of 500cc's we all went to 450. this reduced the "dragging clutch" in the older "then coined as the 'TXT' engines" and yeah it worked, also made the clutch grab quicker.

    ***But again this advice just came from people that were in the "know!" And we were not in a "casual dirtbike" forum, or sub forum, so we all also kind of knew it was TRIALS related info. I would never tell a person who was mending fences with his 321, and also riding like you would a xt350, to do what I do. Not even with gas oil mixes.

    The preponderance of the evidence is, we USE and still USE ATF, we ride like we ride trials not pulling a truck up a steep grade behind the trials bikes. We change the oil very often, more often than most any user except maybe MX riders that tear down every race, or drag racers...

    Plus, compared to 300 bucks to tear down a bike, if you paid shop rates, $2 quart of oil, I get almost 2 oil changes, that is less than $1 a month, that is friggin cheap insurance.

    We've talked about this for 12 years now, 80:1 gas:eek:il ratio's are universally accepted "trials duty" mix. Some have ridden for years adding only 100:1 gas:eek:il and above. I can prove to you that 80:1 is god's plenty, as the exhaust is full of oil, throughout. Oil wasted into exhaust is "WASTED" and is a bitch to clean back to anything even close to like new, for performance et all... nuff said.

    BUT NOT FOR THE OLDER AIR COOLED BIKEs, {with that I say only maybe}. I have a guy, he's been riding trials longer than I have, has ALWAYS mixed his gas, 120:1, even back in the 70's He's a machinist, he rebuilt more bikes and mods to trials bikes, than you can shake a stick at, he's never had any more wear than I had, nor others whom he was called upon to fix bikes... This is true, even though I was mixing my 70's era bikes at 32:1 in those days... FWIW, The oil not used, filled my exhaust parts, that was the ONLY difference... that and he was never caught abusing (WFO'ing a trials bike down the dirt road or what have you).

    I like the properties of Synthetic Oils, so I use 100% in my fuels, with 100% NON ALCOHOL gas. I like to mix race fuel that is something like 116 octane with my pure no alcohol pump gas, at 1 gallon race fuel, with 2 gallons of my regular unleaded gas. it has worked FINE for quite a long damn time.

    Anything else you want to assume we're dumb (according to manuals) to have tested and found to be good, widely accepted, for competition trials riders?

    There are a $hitload of tricks out there, NOT RECOMMENDED by factory, because for many it would be akin to having a customer adapt a "hold my beer, watch this" attitude... this is kind of how the sport has progressed since 72 when I was too young to fix my own bikes.

    I was not trying to sound like an A$$ with my reply, just being factual about this.
    :ear
    #18
  19. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    You are not sounding like an a$$...I do not take online forums like that. I did not mean to sound anal either.

    I guess my issue with your comments would be that you state..."we USE and still USE ATF" but then you say...."I use 0w-30 Semi synthetic" which is not a trans fluid at all.

    Just to clarify, I LOVE synthetics as well. I use them in all of my race bikes. Not in cars, just too expensive and overkill for daily use stuff, but on tight tollerance stuff like motorcycle engines I use full or semi syn. I like semi because you get some of the natural oil qualities and the higher grade chemical properties of the synthetics....best of both worlds kinda deal.

    You are right though that a trials bike is different than other machines. I have ridden a few and love them. I check in here from time to time just cause I love the dicipline. Maybe I should not have chimed in. My backround in mostly in MX, Dez, and Enduro. Yes I change my MX bike oil after every race weekend, 4 moto max if I am lazy. The heat and RPMs on an MX bike are definately higher so the foaming or frothing issue makes ATF a NO go on an MX bike, may be just fine on a trials bike though. I never said NOT to use it, if I did I am sorry, I meant that a person should always be well informed before using something other than what is reccomended and make the best choices.

    I clearly also said that using something other than reccommended is common practice and often has benefits.

    I just was raising a flag for the OP to make sure before he jumps....

    Not being confrontational just asking- Are you also telling the OP that he should use 0w-30 4 stroke engine oil in his 2 stroke? {I am aware we are talking gearbox oil and not premix oil}
    #19
  20. rotorhead511

    rotorhead511 Live and let live.

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    Easy all, no need to go "anal" on anyone. I just want to make sure I don't screw up my bike.

    Manual states one thing and reputable GasGas guy says something else.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
    #20