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I just bought a gallon of Rotella T Multigrade SAE 15w-40 advanced soot control oil. But then i just realized, isn't it better to be using synthetic verion of rotella? or does it really not matter that much???
 

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All modern oils are fine. You just need the right weight for the temps you will be running at/in, and change it often enough to keep it clean.
 

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The 'proper interval' thing is definitely true. The thing is, this interval is waaaaaay bigger w. the synthetic. That said, the non-synth Rotella-T is excellent oil, and if I bought some by accident I'd definitely use it anyway. On my streetbikes, I go 5,000 miles on a Rotella-T synth. oil change, so I guess if I had the non-synth I'd probably go 2500 or so. I've had oil analysis done at the 5,000 mile mark w. the synthetic stuff, and it's not even close to the end of its service life, but my old idiotic superstition kicks in and I just can't go any more than that :)

By the way, anyone who thinks 'oil is oil' should read this.

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
 

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cyclerider105 said:
Holy cow!  That was an education!  I feel smart about oil now!   ;D
+1 Good reading........

PS........ Just put Rotella Dino in the VFR last nite...... lovin it!!!
 

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dietDrThunder said:
The 'proper interval' thing is definitely true. The thing is, this interval is waaaaaay bigger w. the synthetic. That said, the non-synth Rotella-T is excellent oil, and if I bought some by accident I'd definitely use it anyway. On my streetbikes, I go 5,000 miles on a Rotella-T synth. oil change, so I guess if I had the non-synth I'd probably go 2500 or so. I've had oil analysis done at the 5,000 mile mark w. the synthetic stuff, and it's not even close to the end of its service life, but my old idiotic superstition kicks in and I just can't go any more than that :)

By the way, anyone who thinks 'oil is oil' should read this.

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
You really have no comparisons until you do an oil analysis on the dino oil. Dino oil has also come a long way and they last just about as long. Synthetics, IMO aren't necessary unless you're running forced induction or experience heavy loads (towing).
 

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dietDrThunder said:
The 'proper interval' thing is definitely true. The thing is, this interval is waaaaaay bigger w. the synthetic. That said, the non-synth Rotella-T is excellent oil, and if I bought some by accident I'd definitely use it anyway. On my streetbikes, I go 5,000 miles on a Rotella-T synth. oil change, so I guess if I had the non-synth I'd probably go 2500 or so. I've had oil analysis done at the 5,000 mile mark w. the synthetic stuff, and it's not even close to the end of its service life, but my old idiotic superstition kicks in and I just can't go any more than that :)

By the way, anyone who thinks 'oil is oil' should read this.

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
I did not read the article, but I have read it before...and it is very long and I am tired :p

I read a bunch of stuff about oil a while back and developed the opinion that a quality regular is as good as synthetic, as long as you adhere to proper service intervals. What you said really hits the nail on the head: the only true benefit of using synthetic oil is the extended change interval. And the only way to really know how far you can/should go between changes is to do an oil analysis. Extending your oil change interval far enough out to justify the costs of using synth could possibly even require that you change the oil filter without changing the oil, as the filter will be full of gunk and require changing even though your synth may be good for another 2500 miles or so...I read this specific statement somewhere, maybe on the link you posted, maybe somewhere else...sorry, wish I could remember. (EDIT: maybe not...SV's factory service manual only recommends oil filter change every 11,000 miles!)

Personally, I don't mind changing my oil frequently, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about doing something nice for my bike. I use the dino Rotella now, and plan to change every 2500 miles, oil and filter. Filter is probably good longer, but my opinion on that matter is that I'm down there, I'm dirty, hands covered in oil, I may as well change the filter with every oil change...it's just good practice, IMO, and it is what I have done with all of my vehicles.
 

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+1 on the change intervals.

I have proven that on my dirtbike (05 yz250F), with semi-synthetic yamalube I can only go 2 rides and it is dirty. With Mobil 1 15-50W synthetic I have waited 4-5 rides and it is still pretty darn clean. My superstition kicks in also and I change it after that :D
 

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Jesse H said:
You really have no comparisons until you do an oil analysis on the dino oil.  Dino oil has also come a long way and they last just about as long.  Synthetics, IMO aren't necessary unless you're running forced induction or experience heavy loads (towing).
I do have a comparisson actually. I did the analysis bit on 3 different oils to help a friend write an engineering paper about 6 years ago. We used one bike and one car (his Audi, my Daytona 1200). I think I have the paper he wrote in a backup somewhere...I dug it up for one of these conversations a while back...I'll dig again.

I can't recall the numerical detail of the reports that came back, but here's the gist of it. We used Amsoil's test kits (they send them out to some lab, I forget where)...you can still buy these by the way. Anyway, we tested Rotella-T synthetic, Castrol GTX dino, and some discount brand that I can never remember the name of. I can't remember the car mileage #s cuz I didn't care abou them, but in the bike we tested each at 0 miles, 1500 miles, and 4,000 miles. It was supposed to be 5,000 miles, but we ran out of time. In fact, we didnt' get to do the cheapo oil 4,000 mile one, because I didn't ride enough miles :)

Anyway, the results weren't much of a surprise frankly. The cheapo oil sucked in the bike. There were wear products (read: metal from the motor) in the oil at the 1500 mile mark, and it had losts a large % of its viscosity. the Rotella dino was really good, with no appreciable wear products at 1500, and barely any at 4,000. However, there was a bit of viscosity loss at 1500, and alot more at 4,000, although IIRC it was still within service limts at 4,000 according the lab report thingy.

The Rotella-T synth had virtually 0 viscocity breakdown at 1500, and only _barely_ more than that at 4,000, and showed no wear product in the oil at any mileage. Tis is one number that I do remember....one of the things they put in the report is to extrapolate how many miles the oil will be good for based on the mileage you tell them, and the condition of the oil, and the synth mileage number was over 9,000 (ok, I dont' remember the exact number). The Rotella dino was something like 5,500, but I'm not sure on that one...something like that.

Sorry, I know that's an awful lot of foggy detail, but I'll search over the weekend and post the real info if I can find it.

Anyway, since then I have done a few analyses on my cars, van, and bikes periodically, mostly because it's interesting. I say that because I never have the nerve to leave the oil in the vehicles as long as they say I can...I'm too brainwashed from years of bad information. I did do one test at 7,500 miles on my Daytona before I sold it, and the results were the same...the oil was fine, etc. I did one on the van that I tow my race trailer with to see if towing (that's all I do with it) put alot more load on the oil, and it does, but the mileage number they gave me was still something silly like 10 or 11,000...I just can't do it :)

I never did get around to doing one on my racebike this year, but I definitely will on the SV racebike now that we're having this conversation :)  I'll be sure to post results. In my racebikes though, I think I might change it too often to learn much, but what the hell. I go 2 weekends per oil/filter change w. the Rotella synth.

ANYWAY...if you're saying that the dino oils have gotten alot better in the last 6 years, then I should try them again and test, cuz that would be interesting for sure. I'm no slave to synthetics...if the cheaper stuff has improved to the point where the results are the same, I'll be changing my tune fo sho :)


Sorry, one last thing. I did one other comparo if anyone cares. On my Daytona, I did a 3,500 mile test w. Golden Spectro, and the short story is that the Shell oil kicked the Spectro's ass...that stuff is a rip-off, pure and simple. To be fair, this was also a few years ago.

You guys should buy some of those kits and try it yourself...it's not all that expensive, and it's very interesting stuff.
 

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I am privy to numerous oil tests from a wide variety of vehicles and oils. The brutal truth is that if you stick to a name brand oil you can go 6 months or 5,000 miles without any concerns at all. These are in-depth oil analyses, not a home test kit. And they are done on different types of engines with different loading patterns and existing wear.

Sythetics can go longer, but the cost outweighs the benefits.

Oils do lose some viscosity as they age and are sheared in the engines. The folks who build the engines are aware of this so the oil viscosity recommended takes this into account.

The calsci article has a lot of misinformation in it. Much of it is true but irrelavent. Use a good oil, change at the recommended intervals, and your engine will live a long, long time.

I use diesel specific oils (Rotella, Delo, Delvac) because they have a bit extra high pressure additives and they are cheap (high volume production) and top quality from base stock to additive package.
 

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Awesome!

Thanks for the above 2 replies. Diet Dr. Thunder if you do get around to finding the reports please do post them. I'm actually running 5K oil changes in the Miata with Castrol GTX and plan to send it to blackstone labs. Then do another 5K with mobil 1 and see what happens.
 

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andyauger said:
I am privy to numerous oil tests from a wide variety of vehicles and oils.  The brutal truth is that if you stick to a name brand oil you can go 6 months or 5,000 miles without any concerns at all.  These are in-depth oil analyses, not a home test kit.  And they are done on different types of engines with different loading patterns and existing wear. 
Are there at-home kits available? That would be cool...lemme know where you can get them. I'm sure they're not as good as the commercial lab analysis thing, but I bet it would be good for, say...checking my racebike oil at every change to catch possible problems in the motor before they get severe. Let me know fo sho!
 

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I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but an effective home kit for testing oil is highly unlikely. How do you test for acidity or remaining buffers? How do you test the 0 deg. C and 100 deg. C viscosities? How do you test for solids in suspension and metals in solution? That's just for openers.
 

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I have always run Castrol GTX in my CRF250R, and have had great results thus far. If you are changing the oil frequently (every other ride on this bike), you really won't see the benifit of using synthetics. On a MC, you are usually changing the oil because it is DIRTY, as opposed to losing it's lubricating properties.

Everyone uses crazy expensive oils for the baby thumper CRF, but I decided to make an examply of myself with using straight dino oil. I've had great experience so far.
 

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andyauger said:
I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but an effective home kit for testing oil is highly unlikely.  How do you test for acidity or remaining buffers?  How do you test the 0 deg. C and 100 deg. C viscosities?  How do you test for solids in suspension and metals in solution?  That's just for openers.
Ya that's why I was asking...I'm not sure what he meant by an at-home kit. I had to send my oil samples to a lab that does oil analysis for commercial trucking co's etc.
 
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