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Thread: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Oil

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Harley Davidson Motorcycle Oil

    I have some HD motorcycle oil. Can/should I use it in my R1150RT?

  2. #2
    CTHalk
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    HD oil

    I know it works great in the Harleys.....better than most other brands of oil. Being that it 'might' be formulated for guys who 'might' be less inclined to follow service schedules on their bikes, it may be made a little better than the average stuff? My Buell loved it, never any problems. H.

  3. #3
    P Monk
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    Is it 20w50?

    I heard Harley's don't like it. That is why they puke it out.













    joke

  4. #4
    motorcycle cowboy roostershooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrymcc10 View Post
    I have some HD motorcycle oil. Can/should I use it in my R1150RT?
    Yes, you can use it, but your bike will succumb to the dreaded potato, potato, potato sound. Also, more than likely you will not be able to ride more than 20 miles without stopping. And then you will be overcome with the desire to stand around.
    2013 Goldwing

  5. #5
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Motor oil is motor oil, meaning it is not motorcycle brand specific. Now there are distinct differences in oil quality and performance, but for the most part there is no problem using Harley oil, Honda oil, high grade standard motor oil, or the pricey specialty oil. As long as the oil matches the recommended viscosity range for your bike you can use it just fine.

    Harley's oil is made by a local Wisconsin lubrication supplier, and it is nothing exotic or special, just pricey.
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  6. #6
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy VH View Post
    Motor oil is motor oil, meaning it is not motorcycle brand specific. Now there are distinct differences in oil quality and performance, but for the most part there is no problem using Harley oil, Honda oil, high grade standard motor oil, or the pricey specialty oil. As long as the oil matches the recommended viscosity range for your bike you can use it just fine.

    Harley's oil is made by a local Wisconsin lubrication supplier, and it is nothing exotic or special, just pricey.

    Kinda like BMW oil huh.
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  7. #7
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    The Harley motor oil used to be made in Wisconsin back in the day. Now they have a cheaper supplier that makes it in Japan along with their carburetors and electronics.
    That's my story and Harley is sticking to it/to you.

  8. #8
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Exactly, and thanks for the update.
    I don't "buy" the rationale of buying the factory name brand oils, cause no cycle manufacturer makes their own oil anyway. Also, their specialty is not making oil, but making cycles. So the oil manufacturers are the experts and I make my oil choice for my bikes based on what I feel is the best protection and effective lubrication for my bike.

    I also don't buy oil based simply on the motorcycle specific oil. However, in recent years some of the new oil formulations are not good for cycle applications. That gives the "cycle specific" oils more validity. But a quality high grade automotive oil, petroleum or synthetic, is a good choice for us Oilhead riders, especially since we have seperate engine and tranny oils on our bikes.
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  9. #9
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    Exclamation Andy, Forgive Me!

    'Tis a rare day that I would 'disagree' with Andy VH, but today's the day.

    I attended a 'Tech Session' recently at my local BMW dealer, and according to the BMW Master Mechanic giving the presentation, automotive oils are a 'no-no' in cycles. Too many detergents and other 'performance' additives that do not treat our seals and inner components kindly.

    While 'brand-specific' oils are not always the way to go (Back in the day when I owned a number of Suzuki's, my Suzuki Dealer told me to AVOID Suzuki-Brand lubricants), BMW or Amsoil (Dino or Synthetic) are recommended for boxers.

  10. #10
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    Oh, no....an oil thread!

    I believe it is the clutch which has problems with oils made for autos, if there is a wet sump and the engine and transmission/clutch share oils. Not the case for the BMW, and my local indy swears by regular Mobil 1, just as I use in my Porsche (comes from Stuttgart with Mobil 1 already installed). In my old Road King, I also used Mobil 1 in the engine, and used motorcycle specific oil in the primary gear case which housed the clutch. I, then, used 75W-90 gear oil in the transmission----a combination which was used by many Harley owners, and worked very well. But remember....you will get as many opinions in an oil thread as there are folks responding....and YMMV!
    Last edited by hlothery; 04-24-2007 at 08:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
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    Walmart and Checker

    Oil is oil but with a wet clutch special additives for that are in motorcycle oil
    Checker and Walmart carry motorcycle oil and it is usually cheaper that dealership oil
    On the other hand almost all BMW's are dry clutch so those additives are not needed
    Bottom line is to change oil periodically and it will not be the oil that creates a problem with the engine.

  12. #12
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    'Tis a rare day that I would 'disagree' with Andy VH, but today's the day.

    I attended a 'Tech Session' recently at my local BMW dealer, and according to the BMW Master Mechanic giving the presentation, automotive oils are a 'no-no' in cycles. Too many detergents and other 'performance' additives that do not treat our seals and inner components kindly.

    While 'brand-specific' oils are not always the way to go (Back in the day when I owned a number of Suzuki's, my Suzuki Dealer told me to AVOID Suzuki-Brand lubricants), BMW or Amsoil (Dino or Synthetic) are recommended for boxers.

    Sorry but that master tech is full of it, as the seals in our engines are the same as on cars or 4 stroke outboards etc. Just sizes differ. This guy just gave you the BMW corporate story. Just my 0.02 cts

  13. #13
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    Thumbs down "Full of it?!"

    One peculiarity I frequently notice among BMW owners is their pursuit of the most frugal ways to maintain their bikes?! Perhaps, it is an oxymoronic reaction to the premium price we pay to acquire these machines in the first place.

    Regardless, and in defense of my dealer mechanic, you don't get to be a BMW Master Technician by "being full of it." He has been 'dead-on' with so much other advice and service, I find little motivation to call his credibility into question. In fact, the oil he recommended was not BMW's, but rather Amsoil, which I can buy in bulk at Fleet Farm. So much for the 'corporate line.'

    This 'thread' didn't really start out debating the 'best oil,' but rather a solicitation of comments about Harley oil in particular. My only contribution was advice to avoid automotive lubricants. Maybe you have used them for years without trouble......my grandfather smoked Camels every day and lived to be 80. Not exactly the logic I'll trust for the maintenance of so expensive a ride.

    Ride safe.

  14. #14
    On the Road
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    I'll have to chime in here and agree with Greenwald. Most of us paid a premium price for a premium machine and scrimping on gasoline, oil and general maintenance items just doesn't make sense. In the greater scheme of things, saving a few pennies on upkeep is false economy.

  15. #15
    srb
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    I just spent $20,000 on a motorcycle, is it ok to use the $3.00 oil filter from www.cheapass/wallyworld/automegazone.com. I hate to line the pockets of those greedy dealers.

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