How much does oil type, grade matter?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Breezlife, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Breezlife

    Breezlife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2019
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Dublin,Ireland
    I have an RE Interceptor 650, a couple of months old. Just had its first service and the official RE dealer's workshop insisted on putting semi-synthetic oil into it, whereas RE clearly stipulates fully synthetic 10w40 -- CORRECTION: 10w50. My service record makes no mention of the grade used, but I'm guessing 15w50.

    At the risk of sparking a bunfight, to what extent does this matter? Should I rush out and change to the recommended stuff?

    I'm in Ireland, so there's lots of humidity but moderate temperatures.
    #1
    REALGRAVEROBBER likes this.
  2. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,756
    Location:
    Kansas City
  3. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,197
    Location:
    the hills
    Plain bearing crankshaft and parent metal cam journals make it a big difference. Bearing oil clearances are set for the weight of oil specified in design. Especially on cold start.
    #3
  4. ozmoses

    ozmoses . Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    36,152
    Location:
    USA??
    If your oil is more than a couple days old it's already toast. :augie
    #4
    dmftoy1 likes this.
  5. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,197
    Location:
    the hills
    #5
  6. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,707
    Location:
    6South Florida
    Since your motor doesn’t read, it doesn’t matter.
    #6
    sieg, gonzomup, ohgood and 2 others like this.
  7. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,004
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    I'm not too sure. It's not a Jap bike. :lol2
    #7
  8. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,707
    Location:
    6South Florida
    5 BMW , an assortment of British and a few Italian and Spanish plus a couple from Central Europe and about 6 from HD. Been riding since 1961. Never saw a bike that wouldn’t run on 30 wt oil.
    #8
  9. bwallca

    bwallca Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    The correct viscosity is more important than synthetic vs semi-synthetic.
    #9
    REALGRAVEROBBER, Kris and LuciferMutt like this.
  10. Jeff Sichoe

    Jeff Sichoe ruddy bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    314
    Location:
    Wellington
    I put the wrong oil in my bike once and the bike came alive and murdered my family.

    don't risk using the wrong oil!!!
    #10
    local1, concours, baldman1 and 8 others like this.
  11. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,553
    Location:
    Clark Co, Wa
    ^ Bwahahaha :lol3
    Avatar+statement= Awesome!:imaposer
    #11
  12. nbsdave

    nbsdave Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    657
    Location:
    sarasota, fl
    nothing is hurt
    #12
  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,544
    Location:
    alabama
    yes, put oil in it.
    #13
    Xchemie, DeepBarney and TonyKZ1 like this.
  14. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,671
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    I just looked at the RE owner's manual.10w-50 is the recommendation for a 2018 Interceptor.

    Specifically some Elf Moto4 lubricant sae10w50 synthetic?

    If so and from what I can see on the Elf website the Moto4 is a synthetic technology based lube (Semi-synthetic for the North Americans) and NOT a true 100% synthetic such as their "Race" oil.:1drink
    #14
  15. Breezlife

    Breezlife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2019
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Dublin,Ireland
    You're right. I should have said 10w50, especially as I was being all precise.
    Interesting on the definition of fully synthetic!
    #15
  16. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,197
    Location:
    the hills
    Look here.
    #16
    Breezlife likes this.
  17. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    15,675
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    I agree.

    Where you start splitting hairs, particularly on motorcycles with engine oil-lubed transmissions and clutches, is how the oil affects things like shift feel and clutch slippage.
    I find shift feel to be considerably better with synthetic oils, but beware of "energy conserving" oils, which can cause your wet clutch to slip. They would be fine in a bike with a dry clutch. Also, synthetic oils handle extreme temperatures a lot better than standard oils, so I prefer them for air cooled bikes. That's also why most turbo engines recommend full synthetics.

    OP, your owner's manual should advise on the correct weight.
    #17
    TonyKZ1 likes this.
  18. Bounder

    Bounder Typing...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,973
    Location:
    West Cork, Ireland
    I don't think here in Ireland the difference between 10w40 and 10w50 is that significant, the temps aren't extreme enough to make that big of a difference.
    good 10w 40 is fine.
    #18
    Breezlife likes this.
  19. zaxrex

    zaxrex Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Frederick, MD, USA
    Spend some time over at BITOG (www.bobistheoilguy.com) -- some of those guys/gals are oil geniuses.

    As I understand it, the synthetic argument only shows benefit in film strength breakdown over time. Royal Enfield engines seem like they are understressed, so probably never going to be an issue.

    My thought -- ride the bike, short-change the OCI for this instance. If you are really concerned, send a sample to Blackstone for analysis and peace-of-mind.
    #19
    REALGRAVEROBBER and Breezlife like this.
  20. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,846
    It's deep and convoluted rabbit hole. I would not fear using a semi-synthetic or even regular oil. But, if it is a wildly hot engine or does have a turbocharger, I'd reconsider. Conventional oils break down at a lower temperature compared to synthetic oils, as very broad sweeping statement.

    That said, you've got a warranty to consider, since you say the bike is only a couple of months old.
    #20
    REALGRAVEROBBER likes this.