5W-20 oil


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tylers883
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Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Motorcycle: 81 GL1100

5W-20 oil

Postby tylers883 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:25 am



Just wondered if any of you have some insight on motor oil.

I've noticed that there is a growing trend in my local auto supplies store to stock lighter weight motor oils such as 10w-20 and 5w-20. This is making it harder for me to find more traditional motor oils like 10w-30 and 10w-40. The reduced availability is translating to reduced availability of sale prices.

Anyway, this led me to do a little reading about the newer oils. As far as I can tell, a major factor toward creating these new oil is improved fuel economy in our new cars.

Frankly, for my 81 goldwing, I care more about protecting my engine, not fuel economy.

Everything in my old school brain tells me that the 5w-20 oils are bad news. I don't trust them.

If you know more about why they are good, can you chime in here?

special thanks in advance.

Tyler



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themainviking
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby themainviking » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:16 am

5W20 oils are formulated for the new standard of engineering in brand new (or brand new within the last ten years or so anyway) automobiles. The tolerences are tighter in the engines, so a thinner oil makes sense. The second reason for this is indeed, improved fuel economy. This creates no problems for these newer vehicles, but will NOT work for your bike. Your bike should have motorcycle specific oil, in 10W30, 10W40 or 20W50, in accordance with your owners manual. Motorcycle specific oil is recommended because your cluth is in the same bath as your engine, and so should not have friction modifiers in the oil.

Hope this helps
Viking
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harvey01
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Location: Henrico, Virginia
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby harvey01 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:32 pm

Just want to echo what Mainviking said. Use the proper motorcycle oil called for in your owners manual. If you don't have an Honda owners manual or service manual you can get either one or both at www.helminc.com
harvey
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dnehasert
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 with Watsonian sidecar

Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby dnehasert » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:35 pm

Many use Delo 400LE 15w40 or Shell Rotella 15w40 with good results. Though they are diesel oil they have all the ingredients needed on motorcycles. They also have synthetic oils but that's a waste of money on 30-40 year old motorcycles.

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:14 am

I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.

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WingAdmin
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:43 am

Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.


This is true. Car manufacturers live and die by CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) numbers. I have owned a car that was specified to use 5W20 the year it was made, and the following model year they changed it to 0W20 - same exact car, same exact engine, absolutely nothing changed except the numbers in the owner's manual and on the oil cap. Solely because they needed to get the mileage numbers up in order to help fix their CAFE problem.

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Location: Tampa, Fl
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:04 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.


This is true. Car manufacturers live and die by CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) numbers. I have owned a car that was specified to use 5W20 the year it was made, and the following model year they changed it to 0W20 - same exact car, same exact engine, absolutely nothing changed except the numbers in the owner's manual and on the oil cap. Solely because they needed to get the mileage numbers up in order to help fix their CAFE problem.


I've never seen 0W20, but I bet it pours like water. Scary that the manufacturers would recommend something like that, without some caveat stated in the manual explaining their position. 95% of the driving world would have no idea, and just follow the "cap" specs. I've never followed the 5W20 recommendation on my vehicles. Always done 5W30 if I expected to be in some freezing climates on a trip, or 10W30 here in the 'oven' known as Florida :-)




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