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Semi or Full Synthetic

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Hi guys, I'm new here so bear with me. I'm wondering if you guys run semi or full synthetic oils in your MX bikes. If you use full, is it a PAO Syn blend? I'm trying to gauge my best option for the buck so was curious what others are using. Thanks

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First: Year, make, and model needed. Different oils for different engine designs and types. 

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I'm not looking for those specifics. Just an all around general question. I've seen Honda 70 trail bikes with full syn so...

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If it is within spec to run it then there is no reason not to run full synth, just as long as it is JASO if it is in the gearbox.

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Many oils labeled as full synthetics are actually mineral oils that have gone through a more severe refinement process.  The distinction in performance is blurred these days.  True synthetics have a few advantages in shear resistance, viscosity index and oxidative stability.  Very few applications require true synthetics, some applications may benefit but in most cases a good conventional oil is perfectly fine.

In some cases you're actually better off with a mineral oil.  I have seen cams wiped running full synthetic due to an inferior additive package.  Changing over to a conventional oil with suitable extreme pressure additive package solved that issue.

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Wow turbo dan, I would have never thought a full syn would have a weak additive package. Thanks for that info.

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In most engine oils that are labelled 'full synthetic', there is often a small percentage of mineral oil used as the 'carrier oil' for the additives.

Unrelated to which type or group of synthetic a particular product it's made of,

it is the total 'recipe' or package of the oil which makes it well suited for an application or not. 

 

While many think it's a 50% blend of mineral and synthetic, there is no industry standard for semi-synthetic engine oil.

Meaning it can legally be labelled and sold as a blend and only contain 5% of synthetic.

You pay more but don't know exactly what more you are getting.

 

In a highly stressed dirt bike application with small sump capacity,

you are better off changing it often with a 'good' oil rather than trying to extend intervals using more expensive oils.

Edited by mlatour
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Are you asking about pre-mix needs for a 2stk or tranny/engine oil needs in a 4stk? Regarding both in general with modern, name brands I don't think it makes any real difference. As long as it meets the spec or ratio the mfg recommends it will be fine. My real suggestion is to not throw money away needlessly. Buy the spec, not the marketing.

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I have always felt it’s fine with conventional oil as long as it’s rated for motorcycles and you change it often.  If that is the case, then I had yet to hear any real advantage to synthetics.  I change my oil every 400 to 500 miles.

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1 hour ago, piltoyougram said:

The OLD oil question? Best to run the oil the bike manufacturer recommends!

I believe our Hondas are supposed to use their oil OR the equivalent.  So there you are back at the question again.  Look at the specification.

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My DS hates synthetic oil. Tried a few variants of the really expensive $100 a jug stuff (Motul, ipone, etc) and my clutch shifts really clunky. My particular bike likes the cheaper BelRay 10w40 mineral, shifts the smoothest with it.

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I met some guys in the oil production business here locally and they let me visit the manufacturing plant. Learned a lot about oils, additives, semi and full synthetics. They are getting ready launch to the masses they told me and are working on a website.  They do real testing on dirt bikes and street bikes out there. Specializing in motorsport engine lubrication. He didnt give me the name but said when they launch he will email me. They use group3 oils to do the semi-blend and from what I read is a great base.?

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Good oil is good oil. Change it often, get rid of the debris (like worn clutch sparf and engine blow by). You also need to change it often due to the gears in teh trans 'chewing it up' Syns have longer molecule chains which is why they tend to last longer. But if you change it often enough, this is not a concern. Fancy oils do not do a lot.

The only oil related engine failures I have ever seen were dues to a lack of oil, failure of the oil delivery system, failure to put in oil and failure to change oil. Never were any due to cheap oil. Some like expensive oil just like they like exhaust system swaps. Easy to do and running racing oil and loud pipes makes them feel like they are faster.

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From what I read and was told by them is you will have a better oil with the group 3 as to using group 1 or 2. Would you agree William1?

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Group 1 & 2 oils are standard mineral,

Group 3 is commonly referred to as 'synthetic' in north america is still based on mineral oil but has been refined differently.

https://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/29113/base-oil-groups

 

Group 4 engine oils aren't really common, price being an issue.

A few that come to mind is Redline Racing oil and some Mobil 1 formulations like their 0W-40 

(as discussed on the Bob is the Oil Guy forums)

 

As suggested many times, the most important factor is replacing it on a regular basis to flush out contaminants and, avoid shearing due to the gearbox. 

As William mentioned, lubrication failures in dirt bikes are rarely the oil's fault but caused by other factors.

 

Many forums members successfully use mineral diesel engine oils (Rotella or equivalent) which is likely a group 2.

Edited by mlatour

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