So one day Greg and Kenny are hanging out, and Kenny tells him about this chance meeting with Spectro Oil. “This guy comes up to me, and tells me he has to talk to me” Kenny says. “He told me that his son said that if he didn’t sponsor Adrenaline Crew, he wasn’t with it.” Greg looked back and told Kenny that he ONLY uses Spectro and if HE didn’t accept Spectro’s offer Kenny “wasn’t with it!”
So there you go, match made in Oil Heaven, the Crew always needs it, Spectro’s always has it. Adrenaline Crew is a proud user of Spectros Oil. If you own a motorcycle, and I don’t care what kind it is, go check out their oil. www.spectro-oils.com
Mike Jones, Greg and a few of the Crew went to do a show for Spectro, it was a good turn out, we are glad we have an oil sponsor… it gets expensive!
We put together some of the facts so you can be the judge, I mean we only abuse the hell out of everything put in front of us, who are we to tell you whats good right?
Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle oil, and Spectro’s oil.
Ive noticed changes in API ratings on automotive oils from time to time: SJ, for example. These are not always reflected in Spectro products. Why is this?
The API American Petroleum Institute quality assurance system is driven by the automobile manufacturers. When API had SG as its highest quality level, it was good for both motorcycles and automobiles. However, when the API went to SH quality levels, changes occurred. Lubricant manufacturers added friction modifiers to increase fuel efficiency and decreased the allowed levels of zinc and phosphorous in these oils. These were concessions to the automobile manufacturers and were a step backward as far as lubricant performance in motorcycles and, in particular, Japanese models was concerned.
Why? Increased levels of friction modifiers can detrimentally affect the clutch and starter systems in some Japanese motorcycles. Decreased levels of zinc and phosphorous are not advised for highRPM, highoutput motorcycle engines which run hotter and have small lubricant reservoirs compared to automobiles. The API SJ rating, for example, further increased friction modifier treat levels to improve automobile fuel efficiency. Zinc and phosphorous were further limited, as well. All of these steps are in the opposite direction of how a premiummotorcycle lubricant should be formulated. Therefore, Spectro Oils do not have the SJ rating on them for the reasons stated above.
I have purchased some of your “Spectro Golden 4″ synthetic blend oil. The label on the bottle has it marked as sf/sg but your web site says that it is good for sh applications. Is the label inaccurate or is the error on your web site?
Your observation is correct…here is a short explanation of the situation. During the API SG period, the API made some changes to the limits on additives for implementation during the SH period with which we, as a motorcycle oil manufacturer did not agree.
Then these restrictions, focused mainly on antiwear additives, became more intense and fuel efficiency tests became more difficult to pass for SJ approval.and manufacturers were forced to use lighter oils and friction modifiers to meet the new SJ fuel efficiency tests.
We decided to stop placing the API symbol on our products since having the symbol in place would mean we would have to limit our formulations to meet these new automotivederived needs. Further, we decided to continue to produce the SF/SG formulation that we always made since we know that it is superior for motorcycles. This has been confirmed by almost all motorcycle manufacturers worldwide by their broad recommendation to use SF/SG oils in their bikes.
As a result, for a while, the API refused to allow even this SF/SG designation to be placed on a label! Their reasoning was that it was not their current rating and nothing but the current rating should appear on labels. They then realized the reason we were doing it and then allowed SF/SG to be put on the label without their “donut” logo since our oil is primarily recommended for use in motorcycles.
Now, if your engine manufacturer requires API SH, we meet and pass all those tests too. Except: we do have antiwear additives in our oil that are over the limit for the SH requirements but we are very confident that recommending our oils for you with these extra additives is the right recommendation for a motorcycle application where SH oil is recommended.
If you need any further information regarding our labeling and API qualifications, feel free to call us toll free at 18002438645.
Hello, I am working on a research paper covering the technical merits of motorcycle oils at Oklahoma State University. From what I understand thus far, automotive oils contain less phosphorus than motorcycle oils, because phosphorus deteriorates catalyst converters in automobiles.
Can you tell what the function of a catalyst and a converter are in an automobile? Why are high phosphorus concentrations in oil bad for the catalyst?
Thank you for your help
Adam, an exhaust catalyzer is designed to convert the unburned hydrocarbon molecules in combustion engine exhaust into C02 and water. This process requires capturing the available heat in the exhaust. Since stored heat is the key, catalyzers only work when extremely hot and thus performance during warmup periods is usually poor.
Also, since diesel engines produce a relatively cool exhaust, these devices do not work on large diesel trucks very well. For this same reason, they also dont work well on the typical 2cycle engine.
The typical design employs a fine “honeycomb” mesh made of high grade platinum covered with a special ceramic coating that becomes white hot as exhaust passes over it, exposing the gases to temperatures much higher than those usually found inside the combustion chamber of the engine. This mesh is usually several inches thick or deep and flow could be restricted with the slightest contamination since the coated honeycomb openings, or channels, are only a few thousandths of an inch.
Because of these close tolerances, catalyzers can literally “plug up” if “lead” is present in the fuel. The phosphorous in lubricants could cause the same condition if an engine is worn and is thus consuming large amounts of oil. These metallic compounds will attach to the ceramic coating in the presence of extreme heat, just as they are designed to do when preventing wear.
I hope you will have a new understanding of the exhaust catalyst after reading this!
Can I mix viscosity grades?
Yes, you can and no harm will be done. Topping up with 10w40, if its all you have available, will not injure the 20w50 in your crankcase. It will, however, lower the overall viscosity of your crankcase oil to a certain extent. This will cause no harm to your motorcycle. Likewise, adding a 20w50 product to 10w40 will slightly increase the overall viscosity in your crankcase. Again, no harm will occur.
I had read that high levels of phosphorous and zinc in motorcycle oil is harmful to catalytic converters in motorcycles. On your website, it states that your motorcycle oils have high levels of these minerals for specific motorcycle needs. Would your oil have an adverse effect on motorcycles with catalytic converters?
I have a new 2002 Honda Goldwing motorcycle and am planning to change the oil and filter at around 600-700 miles for the first oil change. I have planned to use your Golden Spectro 10-40w because I have heard positive comments about it. But since my bike has catalysts, I’m wondering if I need to buy an oil with lower levels of phosphorous and zinc. Thank you in advance for your response.
No, there will be no adverse affect on your catalyst. The motor oils for the first 20 years of catalyst use in America were designed with these levels of ZDDP without any problems. However, vehicles with unusual oil consumption problems and very poor maintenance history could encounter catalyst clogging around 100,000 miles. The laws were passed to restrict the levels of ZDDP in oils for the benefit of these vehicles which do NOT include motorcycles. It is completely safe to use Golden Spectro 4 in your Honda Motorcycle with cats.
I am still getting questions about multi-weight lubricants, so heres an explanation in one short paragraph.
A multi-weight oil is an oil formulation that acts as if it has two different viscosities, depending on the temperature. At the lower test temperature (40C), it flows as the first number would indicate, and at the higher test temperature (100C), it flows as the second number would indicate. This multi-weight nature is made possible by the addition of long-chain polymers to the oil, which are coiled up when cold, but straighten out when hot, and thus change the flow characteristics of the oil. Thus a 10w40 oil will flow like a 10 weight oil when at 40C (fairly thin), but will not thin out more than a 40 weight oil would when hot (100C).
My dealer says I have to use the OEM lubricant in my motorcycle or my warranty is void.
This is not true and may, in fact, be illegal. Have the dealer put this in writing on his letterhead. We doubt he will. All you need to do to fulfill your warranty requirements is to use a lubricant that meets or exceeds the OEM specifications. Spectro products meet or exceed all manufacturers performance requirements.
Have a couple of simple questions. Why is Spectro better than Harley, RevTech, Mobil and Penzoil these are the competitors in Europe. What does Spectro contain that makes it better than the competition or is the basic oil better than the competition? Also the graph on your website show the oils contain phosphorus, zink, calcium and magnesium: what are the advantages of these and what do they do? What should be in a good aircooled motorcycle oil and what should not? Which of these are in Spectro and are not or are at a lower percentage in competitors oils? On a scale of 10 where does Spectro end up and were does the competition?
Just a few simple questions, huh? Well, they are excellent questions and should be addressed on the oil comparison page in addition to where they are now, the FAQ pages.
Oils are compounded using three categories of ingredients:
1. Additives usually combined into a ‘package’
2. Base oils sometimes including synthetics
3. Viscosity index improvers made of different types of molecules for different purposes.
We are committed to using the top shelf products within all three of these categories, and we continually tune our compounds to maximize quality. What this means is this:
Additive packages are revised every year by Infineum, the chemicals arm of ExxonMobil. They do all of the weartesting and analysis to ensure the packages meet the required OEM specifications thankfully, because this is the hardest work in the process. Some of these packages are built to be used at several optional treat rates for different uses. They perform dispersant, rust/corrosion inhibition, antifoaming, wear protection, antiacid and oxidation protection duties.
We always opt for the maximum treat rate allowable costs us more money but we believe it is money very well spent for wear and rust/ corrosion protection. Then, we specially modify the package with more zinc/phosphorus for even better cam, lifter, and main bearing wear protection. This adds significantly more to the cost. Only a small handful of companies do this, none of which make Vtwin specific oils. This is the reason for the high levels you see on the additive charts.
The base oils we buy are different from most of our competitors oils also. We buy exclusively from ExxonMobil for continued quality and consistency. You can buy cheaper base oils on the ‘spot’ market, but you will lose all of the aforementioned advantages.
Unfortunately, we pay dearly for this benefit. The finer base oils have a higher natural viscosity index, meaning they thin less when temperature rises. This enables us to formulate a more thermallystable motor oil than our competition. The Heavy Duty viscosity index is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with higher quality VI improvers and higher VI base oils.
The viscosity index improvers do additional work on the oils to even further lessen the thinning out as heat rises. The market is flooded with cheap VI improvers none of which we have ever used, by the way. One category is Polystyrene. Another category is Olefincopolymers OCP which most higher quality motorcycle OEM oils are made with: OCPs cost more money than polystyrene. At Spectro, we choose an even more expensive product that is higher still in shear stability and in its ability to survive in a gearbox. For us, this is more money well spent. By the way, the straight grades do not need this component which is why they work fine with methanol.
This shear stability polymer combined with huge amounts of zinc/phosphorus, is what gives a rider longerlasting oil and a longerlived motor! The higher viscosity index is what gives the rider a smoother, quieter motor with better protection at start up.
Your website regarding motorcycle oil is highly informative, especially the part where you mention SAE paper #961217. I have been doing research on motorcycle oils for some time now and that’s the first I’d heard of that paper. I’ll be ordering it shortly.
Anyway, I wanted to ask you why manufacturers of motorcycle oil are not required to meet the same standards as manufacturers of automotive oil? I understand that the SJrated automotive oil is inappropriate for use in a motorcycle. I guess my real question is how are motorcyclespecific oils standardized? The automotive oils must meet the SJ ratingis there a similar standard for motorcycle oil?
Thanks for your help.
Amy, at the moment there are only two standards for motorcycle lubricants and, unfortunately, the API is not the institution setting these standards and monitoring them. This means that the API designations have, over the last few years, become much “less useful” for motorcyclists for making informed purchase decisions that is the whole purpose of these ratings.
This does not mean that all API SJ oils are “unsuitable” for bikes. More on that later…
The two standards I mentioned are the JASO T903:1998 for 4t gasoline engine oils and the JASO M345:1993 for 2t gasoline engine oils. They are available from the JSAE SAE of Japan for 2500JPY /copy via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 4t test determines, among other quality issues, if the oil possesses certain friction characteristics so that it will meet a standard set by the Japanese OEMs for their bikes friction requirements and, based on that, JSAE assigns it a designation of JASO MA or MB. Right now, an oil would be either MA or MB depending on this friction test and the OEM’s have yet to step up to the plate and decide which one they want to recommend in this country for each bike they sell. Until they do that, there is no point in using these JASO ratings and they probably will not do this for marketing reasons.
The JASO 2t M345 standard is in worldwide use now for two cycle engines providing standards known as JASO FA, FB and FC, but as you might have already guessed, the US importers of Japanesebuilt engines have chosen to ignore this standard.also for marketing reasons. You see, if they make a recommendation to their customers to use an oil that meets a certain standard, then companies that specialize in lubricants, like Spectro, can meet these standards and then draw the connection of “Factory Approved” legitimately. That is the last thing the OEMs want they sell oil, remember?
This is the one and ONLY reason that HARLEY has no symbols or standards on their bottles other than their own.
What we do here at Spectro is choose the latest technology, highest quality, APIapproved additives and base oils, then modify the additives by customordering them without the friction modifiers that might affect a wet clutch. Then we further modify them here by adding more antiwear and corrosion inhibitors than those normally allowed/defined by the API to help protect a motorcycle engine when resting for long periods and at higher RPMs at higher temperatures.
That way, in the end, you get a significantly betterperforming oil than the API SH/SJ oil originally specified.
Should I use a straight weight or multi-viscosity product?
Multi-viscosity products are the preferred product in modern engines. They offer better flow upon initial startup and are more heat stable than straight weights. In the vast majority of motorcycles and particularly 1970 models forward, multi-viscosity is the preferred product. Older and antique models may require straight weights of SAE 40, 50 or even 60 in some early Harley-Davidsons. Your owners manual should be a useful guide in viscosity selection.