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Thread: Snowbum, oil and Mobil 1 for Vtwins

  1. #16
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    What got me to call Valvoline tech around 3 years ago was I had heard of a synthetic version of VR1 racing oil but couldn't find much info on it at the time. Plus I wanted confirmation that regular VR1 was a good choice for my Airhead and Harley. Anyway the man I spoke with said not for the clutch but either would be a good choice for flat tappet engines, but I should change it more frequently as they don't incorporate the extended life additives. I believe he recommended every 3-4 months or 3,000 miles but I'm going from memory. I remember thinking not good for enough miles for the Harley and not for enough time for the Airhead because I was taking the Harley on a ride to AZ and I change the Airhead oil once each Fall since I generally don't ride it more than 2,000 miles a season. Valvoline's site here.

    https://www.valvoline.com/about-us/faq/racing-oil-faq

    Maybe he was referring to their synthetic Racing oil as only good for short duration and not VR1 dino?
    16 R1200RS, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  2. #17
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I've not heard about extended life additives. Some brands are marketing a high mileage oil, blended for help with the high mileage...don't know what that is. The link doesn't mentioned frequent oil changes or anything about extended life additives.

    I think Valvoline products should be good to use. As they say, clean oil is better than dirty oil and dirty oil is better than no oil. Just get a good product with appropriate amounts of ZDDP and change the oil regularly, say once a year or thereabouts.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #18
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    On the back of the bottles I have, the only heads-up is something like "not for extended use in vehicles equipped with catalytic converters". They're out in the garage so I can't give the exact quote, but that's the gist of it.

  4. #19
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Paul might have hit on what the Valvoline engineer was really referring to. But since our bikes don't have catalytic converters, that probably doesn't apply.

    I don't remember if Greg mentioned this in his previous post, but a 20w50 oil with large amounts of ZDDP (grade SG) can't be marketed for the street cars of today. An oil manufacturer can still make that oil as long as the intended market is for older engines. But they might make a 20w50 grade SM/SN with much lower amounts of ZDDP, those could still be used in newer cars. Certainly, today's vehicles are not running that kind of oil. They are built with much tighter tolerances and have water cooling to ensure the tolerances remain in spec. They can use the "energy saving" oils and much lighter weights like 5w-20 or 0w-20, etc.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I've not heard about extended life additives.....
    There are various additives in modern oil which have enabled the 6,000 even up to 10,000 mile change intervals (which are not needed in racing application). These include detergents, longer lasting viscosity index improvers, oxidation inhibitors, etc. And most are sacrificial so the type and amounts affect how long the oil can last before needing changed. For instance from an oil site:

    Oxidation inhibitors are used to extend the operating life of the oil.

    They are sacrificial additives that are consumed while performing their duty of delaying the onset of oxidation, thus protecting the base oil. They are present in almost every lubricating oil and grease.
    16 R1200RS, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  6. #21
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I never them by that name. To me, that's what oil is all about...staying within spec for the life of the oil change. I didn't think mineral oils had that kind of longevity...synthetics yes. For me my oils get changed for time, not mileage.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #22
    I'm certainly not an Airhead expert...


    but I do have a lot of experience with oils on air cooled motors
    I also race a vintage porsche and have been monitoring oils religiously
    (rebuilds are $$$$ and happen regularly with a race car)


    So one important piece of info that feels left out in this discussion
    oil manufacturers change their formula's all of the time

    I used to use mobil 1 in the race car (20/50) back when zinc was common and before we all learned about the effects of removing the zinc in flat tappet engines
    back then, I had friends and my mechanic doing oil analysis consistently.
    Mobil 1 changed their formula about 5 times in 10 years.

    so when you read an article or get advice from a forum about any particular oil
    note the date on the article... the information may have been correct the day they sampled/tested it... may have been accurate the day someone spoke with an engineer

    but my builder lost motors (cams and lifters) when manufacturers changed formulas without announcing it
    and since the 90's... I think this formula change just keeps happening.

    we run royal purple in the race car now
    the boutique brands were built for zinc levels that are more consistent.

    VR1 is in my air cooled street car
    but even VR1 has changed formulas a couple of times

    brant

  8. #23
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brant914 View Post
    I'm certainly not an Airhead expert...


    but I do have a lot of experience with oils on air cooled motors
    I also race a vintage porsche and have been monitoring oils religiously
    (rebuilds are $$$$ and happen regularly with a race car)


    So one important piece of info that feels left out in this discussion
    oil manufacturers change their formula's all of the time

    I used to use mobil 1 in the race car (20/50) back when zinc was common and before we all learned about the effects of removing the zinc in flat tappet engines
    back then, I had friends and my mechanic doing oil analysis consistently.
    Mobil 1 changed their formula about 5 times in 10 years.

    so when you read an article or get advice from a forum about any particular oil
    note the date on the article... the information may have been correct the day they sampled/tested it... may have been accurate the day someone spoke with an engineer

    but my builder lost motors (cams and lifters) when manufacturers changed formulas without announcing it
    and since the 90's... I think this formula change just keeps happening.

    we run royal purple in the race car now
    the boutique brands were built for zinc levels that are more consistent.

    VR1 is in my air cooled street car
    but even VR1 has changed formulas a couple of times

    brant


    A bump on an old thread - just what Brant said! You do need to check formulations frequently. I often buy enough oil for several changes in a given vehicle, but when I need more I check on the formulation to make sure the refiner hasn't moved my cheese.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  9. #24
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    Thanks for the informative post. One thing about VR1 (dino and synthetic) is it is very good it oil for Airheads but it is recommended to be changed frequently, like 90 days, as it's a racing oil and doesn't incorporate additives for extended changes. This is from a Valvoline tech I spoke with.
    I've been using Valvoline Racing (mineral) 20W50 for years in both airheads and an '03 K1200RS and always changed at 3K miles..... no drips, no runs, no errors. I replaced the insert bearings on my '76 R90/6 at 140K..... didn't really need to but as long as the top end was off why not.
    Last edited by VIEJO; 05-15-2021 at 03:45 AM. Reason: missed word

  10. #25
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    You have to check oil specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by VIEJO View Post
    I've been using Valvoline Racing (mineral) 20W50 for years in both airheads and an '03 K1200RS and always changed at 3K miles..... no drips, no runs, no errors. I replaced the insert bearings on my '76 R90/6 at 140K..... didn't really need to but as long as the top end was off why not.
    Valvoline has several lines of "racing oil", which one did/do you use? In my experience you can not rely on reputation, marketing descriptions, or what you ran it something years ago. There continue to be many changes to oil "standards" and formulations, and almost all are driven in one way or the other for environmental considerations. The newest is GF-6A and GF-6B (specific to 0-16 weight). You must frequently check the ZDDP levels in any oil you plan on using in a flat tappet engine because companies can, and will, change formulations.

    Take Valvoline for example, their 4-Stroke Synthetic Motorcycle Oil has less zinc and phosphorous then the standard "automotive" Mobile1 20-50 by a significant amount. It's designed for bikes with a wet clutch, but classic BMW's all have a dry clutch, so in this case Mobi1 20w-50 is the better lubricant, and less expensive. This pattern is generally true of all wet-clutch compatible "motorcycle" oils.

    Valvoline 4-Stroke Synthetic Motorcycle Oil:
    Zinc: 1,120 ppm
    Phosphorous: 1,000 ppm

    Mobile1 15w-50
    Zinc: 1,200 ppm
    Phosphorous: 1,300 ppm
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  11. #26
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    BMW has "classic" motor oil for Airheads.

    Porsche has classic oil for old 911 and 356.

    I think Motul just released a classic oil.

    shopping.png

    I'm a long time German vehicle owner and always urge others to forget the notion these vehicles can be maintained from your local FLAPS. (friendly local auto parts store) I also majored in Marketing and understand clearly that these vehicles represent an extremely small bit of these stores' market and they really aren't catering to you. To top this all off, you here are dealing with 40+ year old vintage machines ... also not something of much interest to FLAPS.

    It's a labor of love and effort is required. Wasting time trying to force 'merikun stuff on to German stuff, especially classic German stuff.
    Last edited by lkchris; 05-26-2021 at 12:47 AM.
    Kent Christensen
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