Suggestions on airhead friendly engine oils, please

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Mane, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

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    Hi,

    I'm about to perform the first engine oil change on my R100GS this weekend and I've been searching for an appropriate oil for this lady.

    I've read the Snow Bum's essay on ZDDP and Airhead engines, and while is very illustrative, it lacks on hard recommendations (except for Golden Spectro 4 20w50, which I can't get here. :bluduh) on specific oil products.

    I've know this is a polemic subject and I don't want to start a long discussion, just want to hear a list of brands/products you guys used (with good results, that is...:D) and see which of those are available to me at the local stores.

    Thanks for your help...

    Regards,
    Mane
    #1
  2. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Mobil 1 20w-50 has a good amount of zzdp. Also is good synthetic anyhow. Just put it in and don't worry too much.


    I think most quality 20w-50 oils will have plenty. They seem exempt from a lot of the requirements.
    #2
  3. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    SG is the go isn't it?
    I doubt you get Penrite Everyday driving 20w-50. Maybe?

    #3
  4. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    I've been using any good automotive 20w50(10w40 if riding in winter) from the autoparts store or wally world. have over half a million miles on various airheads, never an oil related problem. if you run synthetic, you will have new oil leaks you never had before. these are simple engines, no need for any special oil.
    #4
  5. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    I've been running Harley Davidson dino 20/50 for years. Don't flame me, but if you have an HD dealer close by....I get a discount since I am kind of an employee.:D
    #5
  6. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    Oh no here I am contributing to an oil thread.
    Try diesel oil like rimula x or penrite 20-60 or whatever you get there.
    Al the good stuff like ZPPD or whatever and shit loads of detergent for your crusty old engine.
    Doesn't snow much where you are does it?
    #6
  7. bmwloco

    bmwloco Long timer

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    Just remember: Lubrication is the Key.

    I use Castrol Synthetic in my R100RS and das beast. Mojo, my '66 R60 only gets 20w50 Castrol... synthetic leaks out of it, dynojuice does not.

    It sure is cheap insurance...
    #7
  8. photomd

    photomd Been here awhile

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    Autozone in my area now has Castrol 20w50 for bikes...$4.99/quart. It's SG, availible locally and 1/2 the price of BMW oil. It's about 2/3 what I can find Spectro.
    #8
  9. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    fish,
    Quit talking sense. Stop right now. My baby needs the best money can buy or else it will grenade immediately.:rofl
    #9
  10. DoktorT

    DoktorT BigBrowedNeandereer

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    Valvoline VR-1 Racing 20/50 is specifically designed for high ZDDP and high heat, high pressure use, extreme protection. Perfect for the Airhead. I change my oil often so am not concerned with a lower detergent package. Only a buck or so more than plain car oil and available at many local auto parts stores.
    #10
  11. 97oilhead

    97oilhead Been here awhile

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    Keep an eye out for their sales. I got 2 cases of Castrol 20-50 Motorcycle oil in the spring from Autozone for $1.99 a quart.
    #11
  12. KingsX

    KingsX Adventurer

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    I'm sold on rotella 5w40 Syn 6 Diesel synthetic oil
    cheap at Wallywhirled


    KingsXXX
    #12
  13. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Its a small tractor motor,check with the local John Deere outlet.:D
    #13
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    just installed a new pan gasket, filled my airhead with Valvoline 20-50 synthetic
    it leaks ... draining and refilling with 15-40 Rotella diesel oil
    #14
  15. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    +1 If your engine has any propensity for "seepage" anywhere, throw in some synthetic oil and watch the leaks grow ten fold. :eek1
    #15
  16. Kurt V

    Kurt V Been here awhile

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    I have an Airhead, but I also have an older Porsche 911, which as you know is also a horizontally opposed, air cooled engine. There is a thread on a 911 board that I frequent that is solely dedicated to finding oil that has the proper level of ZDDP content. If you want to read all 88 pages, here is the link: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/pors...motor-oil-thread-why-we-hate-cj4-sm-oils.html

    If you just want the list of oil brands, here they are:

    Brad Penn Racing Oils (same as the old Kendall from the '70s);
    SWEPCO 306;
    Redline;
    Royal Purple;
    Castrol GTX High Mileage; and
    Mobil 1 V-Twin MC 20w-50.
    Mobil 1 MX4T 10w40
    Royal Purple Max Cycle 20w50
    Amsoil m/c Harley V-twin 20w50
    Castrol Syntec "Classic" 20w50
    Valvoline VR-1 20W-50 -it is marked "Non-Street Legal".
    #16
  17. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    good post for me to find right now, since i just picked up a '78 r100s. I was thinking I better go with a 20-50 dino oil and stay away from the synthetics.

    Hey, by the way, any "perfect" tires of choice? :lol3
    #17
  18. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    just went thru the same which tire questions ... here's an extensive discussion on that topic. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=730033&page=21
    #18
  19. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Autozone often has this on sale at about $2.50 a quart.
    I've heard that it's the original formulation of Castrol GTX, with the zinc still in it.
    Last time I found it on sale, I bought out their supply. They also have it in 10/40.

    BTW, I read something in one of the many oil threads that was written by a guy who claimed to be an engineer at one of the oil companies, who said that all the major oil brands have long since found a suitable replacement for the zinc that's been removed from most modern oils, and that the whole "you'll wear out your cam lobes using modern oil" thing is a myth.
    Better safe than sorry, and if I can get oil with zinc in it on sale for the same price as standard Castrol GTX, I'll do it.

    I guess this begs the question; why would Castrol bother to make a motorcycle-specific version of GTX that has zinc in it?
    Perhaps because people think they need it, and if they can sell it for twice the price of their standard product, they'll be happy to do so.
    #19
  20. coastranger

    coastranger Been here awhile

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    been running castrol 20w50 for years. I change oil often, esp on the bikes

    I know its been said before about syn's leaking and I have seen it first hand on my bikes. However if everything is newish and rebuilt I will run synthetic, example my tranny was recently rebuilt and after the first few k and many oil changes to flush and check, my tranny now runs syn.

    My son recently put Amsoil in his wifes hi mile quad ( dirt/sand bike) puked it all out in almost a day. I think any syn would have leaked out like that, he just happened to use amsoil as he sells it also at his wewb site ( his specialty is high horse dodge diesels)
    #20