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Legit innovation in motorcycle engine oils?

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On 4/29/2020 at 7:05 AM, El Extremo said:

I really enjoyed this article. It makes sense to me based on the trends i have personally witnessed on the dyno over the years. I love looking deeper into these oil products.

Just a little about me. My Dad was involved in NASCAR in the 1960's with the de-stroked 427 FE Fords (396 CID) that won Riverside in 1968 and i grew up working in his shop and managing our racing teams.

I went on to work extensively with the air cooled Flat 8 and Flat 12 Porsche's and taught track driving for Lamborghini Academy and other sports car clubs. I served as Technical Advisor to Valley Oak Chapter of Porsche Club of America and - as recently as 2012 - ran the dyno and wrenched for FSR in Montclair,  California.

I'm not an oil scientist,  but let me just quantify my statements with some legitimate background in auto racing and aviation.

We had bikes, so we were always looking for newer or better oils, but also for our oval track cars. We were sending out race car oil to FAA analysis labs before we heard of Blackstone.

Back in the 1980's, our oil choices were limited. Most everything got Valvoline 20/50 Racing Oil. Top Fuel engines - Like Donovan's 417 - all used Kendall Nitro SAE 70 to combat nitro dilution, but totally different than our discussion topic.

In my Dad's 305cc Honda Scrambler, we started using 20w50 Aeroshell Aviation Oils, which we also used in my Porsche's.  We figured the protection was probably better than the other oils out on the market at the time, and the ashless dispersant nature of the oil didn't affect the wet clutch, but we knew there was parasitic loss from fluid viscosity that we accepted.

We foolishly built a 429 Ford once, around 1988, using Mobil 1 Synthetic 15w50 for assembly and break in, and the rings never seated, and back then, we really didn't understand why this happened. We just went back to old oils.

As an aircraft engine builder, we were also aware of major lawsuits against Mobil 1 for engine failures with their synthetic aviation oils, so we kinda became biased against synthetics.

Rotella was always popular because it was cheap and avaiable in bulk, and Mike made a very honest evaluation of Rotella. Its a heavy duty, low RPM, extended drain diesel engine oil. Although it does work, i believe there are better oils for higher specific output applications.

When using Rotella in air cooled Porsche's - having spray jets to cool the piston crowns - we noticed a tendency for Rotella to aerate on the race track and we stopped recommending it for that application, but that oil was literally used in everything else from wind machines to farm tractors with good results. Its a good oil for extended drain intervals or dirty environments. 

However, i have always thought there was a better oil.

Several years ago, through testing with Blackstone, i discovered two great synthetic oils that outclassed all the other automotive oils for VOA's and UOA's - Rheinol Primus 5w40 and Liqui-Moly 10w60. I've used both with great results in my daily driver 4.6 Ford 3-Valve V8, now  with over 230,000 miles and no consumption between 10,000 mile OCI's, but that's not a shared sump, wet clutch application either.

On my 1982 Honda XR500R, I've been looking hard at motorcycle-specific synthetics, so i was glad to read this writeup by @Mike@MaximaUSA

I'm really liking the principles behind this Maxima PEAC formulation, especially with the classes of additives that are being used and how each is being sought for a particular property.

The power increase claimed is believable and i have seen 1,200 horse 2JZ Toyotas pick up HP and TQ on the dyno from just a reduction in viscosity.

I think we must evaluate this new Maxima oil as a complete lubricant package. HP increase tells you the science behind the formulation is working, as opposed to just a hollow marketing claim about power gains.

I'm really excited to try it.

Sorry El, i didn't read your post before i posted my highly insencetive one liner.

I really respect all your racing and engine oil anyalasis, and testing, that's good info to share with others. I'm not against companies striving to develop better oils and see slight improvements on racing engines, but this is a DRZ forum, a work horse of an engine. As you probably know, there are many, many oils out there that will work well in this engine, and even ones that are relatively cheap. I just see no need to put high priced, developed to the pinnical of performance, "motorcycle" oil into these bikes.   Hence my proclaimation,  "marketing fluff".

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3 hours ago, SimsNT said:

Oh no...here we go...

Haha,  you know it, there hasn't been a good oil debate on here in a long time, and this Quarintine has got me going stir crazy.:bonk:

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23 minutes ago, Arctic Pride said:

wut

Haha, how did I get on general, I'm never on general:doh:

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On 4/16/2020 at 3:06 PM, Mike@MaximaUSA said:

Hey all, great discussion on this topic and I'm happy to see that it's inspiring spirited debate! This topic is pretty close to my heart as the technology director at Maxima and primary formulator behind the new oils. I'd like to provide a little more info as to why we ran certain tests and why those tests matter. I'd love to hear your thoughts and will be happy to elaborate further and answer any additional questions as I'm able.

For my part, I've been working with oil my whole professional career. I graduated from Pitt with degrees in chemistry and biology and went to work at a lube blending plant / refinery (American Refining Group) right out of college. If any of you are also 4-wheel guys you might recognize their former brand name Brad Penn. After that I was a technology manager at Lubrizol, the largest of the big 4 additive companies, where I developed additive packages, specialty chemicals and finished fluids for oil companies. It was at Lubrizol that I began working with Maxima, ultimately joining Maxima a little over three years ago to manage their technology. As a former moto rider, current motorcyclist and all around enthusiast for things that burn fuel and go fast, it was a perfect blend of my professional experience and personal interests. Maxima being located in San Diego had absolutely nothing to do with it...

Sorry for the boring intro, but the intent in sharing my background is to add some legitimacy to the message and hopefully offer some assurance that I'm not some snake oil salesman blowing Castor 927-scented smoke back up your respective tailpipes. I'm not a marketing guy or salesman and am legitimately surprised they're letting me speak directly to consumers due to my occasional lack of uh...tact, if you will.

So, on to PEAC, "Performance-Enhancing Additive Chemistry", pronounced "peak". I came up with the acronym myself and since I am neither a marketing guy nor especially creative, that's why it's lame. Sorry. Lameness aside, it has real meaning and really does improve performance.

It was noted that our primary power gains in the dyno curve are at low to mid engine speeds. This is 100% true and the reason is because the aforementioned additive chemistry reduces friction at those very speeds, the "boundary and mixed lubrication regimes", in nerd-speak. As engine speed increases and/or load decreases, moving out of boundary and mixed friction, additives stop playing much of a role in regard to friction as the hydrodynamic lubrication regime is entered. In this lubrication regime, fluid viscosity is the primary determiner of friction and since both oils were 20W-50s, with nearly identical kinematic viscosity and high-temperature / high-shear (HTHS) viscosity, it makes sense that they start to look more similar as engine speed increases. The only way to see large differences at high engine speeds is to use a thinner fluis, but if we had used a 10W-40, for example, it would have defeated the purpose of the exercise. We wanted to show that if you have a machine that recommends viscosity grade X, the new oil will help facilitate more power output than the previous iteration in the same machine using the same viscosity grade. Factory Kawasaki was kind enough to help us prove that out with dyno testing. 

The reason we discuss clutch friction and compared with a leading OEM oil is because in most cases when you reduce friction to increase power, some slippage is experienced in the clutch, often to a detrimental degree. We wanted to show that our new oils help increase power while also still helping to facilitate effective power transfer through the clutch. You can have the most powerful engine on earth, but if the output doesn't get to the wheels, it doesn't really matter. 

For cleanliness, it's a fair argument that it is insignificant if you're changing your oil very frequently, but not everyone does. Also, we had to account for other applications where our oils are used, such as street, that do run much longer drain intervals. The 125cc engine was chosen not to mimic a dirt bike or a road bike, but to provide the most severe conditions possible. Power density (output/displacement) is typically higher with smaller displacement engines and provides the most challenging environment for an oil to maintain cleanliness. Running it for 48 hours at full load and high temperature ages the oil artificially to mimic the cumulative effect of many, many hours of riding. 

Ester-fortified means that we have selected and included specific esters to do specific things. In the case of Pro Plus, those esters help to improve power. In engine oils, esters are used as base oils, similar to a PAO or a grp II mineral oil. The difference between esters and most other base oils is that esters act more similarly to additives in that they're functionalized, meaning they interact with surfaces. Most other base oils act as carrier fluids and do not have any functionality, while esters add benefits beyond what can be achieved with additive chemistry alone. In this specific case, the esters we use in Pro Plus help to provide that increased power at high engine speeds you can see in the dyno comparison. The esters help to keep friction lower at high engine speeds, where in their absence, these two oils of equivalent viscosity would otherwise have equivalent power output. I'm not aware of any 100% ester 4-stroke engine oils on the market, since esters are like most other things, in that there can be too much of a good thing. Specifically, too much ester can compete with additives like ZDDP, detergents and dispersants, ultimately resulting in a loss of performance. Not to mention that since esters are polar, they can attack elastomers in seal and gasket materials, causing them to degrade prematurely. It's all about balance, using the right components, in the right amounts, for the right application.

This response has been a novel and I apologize, but before I stop blabbing I have to address Rotella. With 100% cross-my-heart honesty, I can tell you Rotella is a fantastic oil. I personally know the fine gentleman who created the additive package specific to Rotella and who worked with Shell to develop the finished oils. He's one of the smartest people I know at a company full of very smart people. In retrospect, I have no idea why they hired me. 

Anyway, as I said, Rotella is an absolutely phenomenal oil...for heavy duty diesel engines. The demands of heavy duty diesel means that Rotella contains a bunch of detergent and subsequent TBN, a ton of dispersant to handle all the soot and contaminants produced from diesel combustion, boatloads of antioxidant due to long drain internals, etc. etc. All of these things are great for just about any engine, but do you need that much detergent or dispersant for a dirt bike or a street bike? You sure do not.

"But it's cheaper, so why not?" 

Because you want to go faster, right? Or heaven forbid, want better fuel economy??? Dispersants and detergents are big, surface-active molecules that create drag and increase friction, reducing power. Diesel oil has tons of both, because it has to, so while it may be cheap, and it will work, and you almost certainly won't have any hardware issues, it's not giving you any more than protection. It's not giving you an edge or an advantage, even a minuscule one, because it's not a racing oil. It's made specifically for a different application, where our oil was designed from the get-go to help maximize power from your machine. I spent the last three years working on these oils and getting them as close to racing perfection as possible, because we're Maxima Racing Oils, not Maxima "Adequate, Cheap and Available at Walmart" Oils.

Thanks for hearing me out, assuming you're still awake and I'd love to hear any more feedback, questions or castrations you guys have. I'm quite delicate, so please take it easy. 

Cheers,

Mike

My man just won Thumpertalk.  

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5 hours ago, bucket list said:

Sorry El, i didn't read your post before i posted my highly insencetive one liner.

I really respect all your racing and engine oil anyalasis, and testing, that's good info to share with others. I'm not against companies striving to develop better oils and see slight improvements on racing engines, but this is a DRZ forum, a work horse of an engine. As you probably know, there are many, many oils out there that will work well in this engine, and even ones that are relatively cheap. I just see no need to put high priced, developed to the pinnical of performance, "motorcycle" oil into these bikes.   Hence my proclaimation,  "marketing fluff".

Better look again...

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On 4/25/2020 at 11:22 AM, SimsNT said:

My 350xcf manual calls for 10-50 / 10-60...I ran out and switched to the Rotella T6 15-40 I run in my wife’s KLX 140 and 2 hours later pushed home with blown top end (dropped exhaust valve). Not Rotella problem, but a weight problem...or maybe coincidence.

My opinion - if you can get the proper weight, give an oil a try. It’s not that long until you change it. This new Maxima is now on my list - after the Amsoil dirt I just decided to give a go. 

If there was a 50 Rotella, sure...but not running the right weight to save money: oh no no - never again.

I seriously doubt that oil had anything to do with your    dropped valve...  more than likely ,it was caused by a fuel problem  causing the valve to sieze in the guide  .......    this is why I burn mixed fuel in all my bikes ,    Except ,  those with a catalyictic converter  ....

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On 4/25/2020 at 1:34 PM, highmarker said:

Just wanna see the kawasaki 125cc 4 stroke mx bike ?  

Hard to find .....     maybe a KLX 140 G  With  KX FORKS AND REAR SHOCK  ?

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On 4/16/2020 at 1:36 PM, Doctor Shakalu Rotazion said:

My research tells me that Esther is so beautiful she bewitched a persian king and was a great benefactor of her tribe.

 

Or like aunt Esther!

image.gif.c9f2fae5765b0faf133a76f4d6c8200f.gif

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  Having had the connecting rod big end bearing on my CRF250 go out at about 140 hrs. I wondered if a "better'' oil might have made it last longer (was using Honda HP4 w/moly in the crank side). I know the cranks on modern 250F's have a "limited shelf life" but it seems like rod bearing life of 140 hrs. is kinda short. I'm more interested in what will make my engines last longer rather than gaining a half horsepower.

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On 4/16/2020 at 3:06 PM, Mike@MaximaUSA said:

Hey all, great discussion on this topic and I'm happy to see that it's inspiring spirited debate! This topic is pretty close to my heart as the technology director at Maxima and primary formulator behind the new oils. I'd like to provide a little more info as to why we ran certain tests and why those tests matter. I'd love to hear your thoughts and will be happy to elaborate further and answer any additional questions as I'm able.

For my part, I've been working with oil my whole professional career. I graduated from Pitt with degrees in chemistry and biology and went to work at a lube blending plant / refinery (American Refining Group) right out of college. If any of you are also 4-wheel guys you might recognize their former brand name Brad Penn. After that I was a technology manager at Lubrizol, the largest of the big 4 additive companies, where I developed additive packages, specialty chemicals and finished fluids for oil companies. It was at Lubrizol that I began working with Maxima, ultimately joining Maxima a little over three years ago to manage their technology. As a former moto rider, current motorcyclist and all around enthusiast for things that burn fuel and go fast, it was a perfect blend of my professional experience and personal interests. Maxima being located in San Diego had absolutely nothing to do with it...

Sorry for the boring intro, but the intent in sharing my background is to add some legitimacy to the message and hopefully offer some assurance that I'm not some snake oil salesman blowing Castor 927-scented smoke back up your respective tailpipes. I'm not a marketing guy or salesman and am legitimately surprised they're letting me speak directly to consumers due to my occasional lack of uh...tact, if you will.

So, on to PEAC, "Performance-Enhancing Additive Chemistry", pronounced "peak". I came up with the acronym myself and since I am neither a marketing guy nor especially creative, that's why it's lame. Sorry. Lameness aside, it has real meaning and really does improve performance.

It was noted that our primary power gains in the dyno curve are at low to mid engine speeds. This is 100% true and the reason is because the aforementioned additive chemistry reduces friction at those very speeds, the "boundary and mixed lubrication regimes", in nerd-speak. As engine speed increases and/or load decreases, moving out of boundary and mixed friction, additives stop playing much of a role in regard to friction as the hydrodynamic lubrication regime is entered. In this lubrication regime, fluid viscosity is the primary determiner of friction and since both oils were 20W-50s, with nearly identical kinematic viscosity and high-temperature / high-shear (HTHS) viscosity, it makes sense that they start to look more similar as engine speed increases. The only way to see large differences at high engine speeds is to use a thinner fluis, but if we had used a 10W-40, for example, it would have defeated the purpose of the exercise. We wanted to show that if you have a machine that recommends viscosity grade X, the new oil will help facilitate more power output than the previous iteration in the same machine using the same viscosity grade. Factory Kawasaki was kind enough to help us prove that out with dyno testing. 

The reason we discuss clutch friction and compared with a leading OEM oil is because in most cases when you reduce friction to increase power, some slippage is experienced in the clutch, often to a detrimental degree. We wanted to show that our new oils help increase power while also still helping to facilitate effective power transfer through the clutch. You can have the most powerful engine on earth, but if the output doesn't get to the wheels, it doesn't really matter. 

For cleanliness, it's a fair argument that it is insignificant if you're changing your oil very frequently, but not everyone does. Also, we had to account for other applications where our oils are used, such as street, that do run much longer drain intervals. The 125cc engine was chosen not to mimic a dirt bike or a road bike, but to provide the most severe conditions possible. Power density (output/displacement) is typically higher with smaller displacement engines and provides the most challenging environment for an oil to maintain cleanliness. Running it for 48 hours at full load and high temperature ages the oil artificially to mimic the cumulative effect of many, many hours of riding. 

Ester-fortified means that we have selected and included specific esters to do specific things. In the case of Pro Plus, those esters help to improve power. In engine oils, esters are used as base oils, similar to a PAO or a grp II mineral oil. The difference between esters and most other base oils is that esters act more similarly to additives in that they're functionalized, meaning they interact with surfaces. Most other base oils act as carrier fluids and do not have any functionality, while esters add benefits beyond what can be achieved with additive chemistry alone. In this specific case, the esters we use in Pro Plus help to provide that increased power at high engine speeds you can see in the dyno comparison. The esters help to keep friction lower at high engine speeds, where in their absence, these two oils of equivalent viscosity would otherwise have equivalent power output. I'm not aware of any 100% ester 4-stroke engine oils on the market, since esters are like most other things, in that there can be too much of a good thing. Specifically, too much ester can compete with additives like ZDDP, detergents and dispersants, ultimately resulting in a loss of performance. Not to mention that since esters are polar, they can attack elastomers in seal and gasket materials, causing them to degrade prematurely. It's all about balance, using the right components, in the right amounts, for the right application.

This response has been a novel and I apologize, but before I stop blabbing I have to address Rotella. With 100% cross-my-heart honesty, I can tell you Rotella is a fantastic oil. I personally know the fine gentleman who created the additive package specific to Rotella and who worked with Shell to develop the finished oils. He's one of the smartest people I know at a company full of very smart people. In retrospect, I have no idea why they hired me. 

Anyway, as I said, Rotella is an absolutely phenomenal oil...for heavy duty diesel engines. The demands of heavy duty diesel means that Rotella contains a bunch of detergent and subsequent TBN, a ton of dispersant to handle all the soot and contaminants produced from diesel combustion, boatloads of antioxidant due to long drain internals, etc. etc. All of these things are great for just about any engine, but do you need that much detergent or dispersant for a dirt bike or a street bike? You sure do not.

"But it's cheaper, so why not?" 

Because you want to go faster, right? Or heaven forbid, want better fuel economy??? Dispersants and detergents are big, surface-active molecules that create drag and increase friction, reducing power. Diesel oil has tons of both, because it has to, so while it may be cheap, and it will work, and you almost certainly won't have any hardware issues, it's not giving you any more than protection. It's not giving you an edge or an advantage, even a minuscule one, because it's not a racing oil. It's made specifically for a different application, where our oil was designed from the get-go to help maximize power from your machine. I spent the last three years working on these oils and getting them as close to racing perfection as possible, because we're Maxima Racing Oils, not Maxima "Adequate, Cheap and Available at Walmart" Oils.

Thanks for hearing me out, assuming you're still awake and I'd love to hear any more feedback, questions or castrations you guys have. I'm quite delicate, so please take it easy. 

Cheers,

Mike

Legitimately sold on your product, and brand, now. That was the most informative post on oil, and I truly appreciate the care you took on it, and the care you take in your work. 
 

Got yourself a new customer. 

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On 5/15/2020 at 5:06 PM, Suaver said:

Legitimately sold on your product, and brand, now. That was the most informative post on oil, and I truly appreciate the care you took on it, and the care you take in your work. 
 

Got yourself a new customer. 

@Suaver, thank you for the kind words and welcome to the Maxima family! Please let us know how the products work out for you or if you'd like any additional info. You can message me directly on here or contact us through our website: https://www.maximausa.com/contact/.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Mike

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On 4/29/2020 at 7:05 AM, El Extremo said:

 

In my Dad's 305cc Honda Scrambler, we started using 15w50 Aeroshell Aviation Oils, which we also used in my Porsche's.  We figured the protection was probably better than the other oils out on the market at the time, and the ashless dispersant nature of the oil didn't affect the wet clutch, but we knew there was parasitic loss from fluid viscosity that we accepted.

As an aircraft engine builder, we were also aware of major lawsuits against Mobil 1 for engine failures with their synthetic aviation oils, so we kinda became biased against synthetics.

I'm somewhat familiar with Aeroshell oils (& greases.) While it may not be approved for Porsche, it IS for Continental/Lycoming. It's probably best to stick with automotive oils for cars, rather than aircraft oils. It isn't so much the metallurgy thing, as it is a fuel component thing. And a service life between major overhauls. As you know, aircraft have a strict schedule for this. (Ok, racing engines likely do too.)

I'm so very surprised anyone knows about Mobil's "AV-1" debacle w/ "gray paint." I thought only the people in the industry knew about this. (Granted, you did state you are an aircraft wrench.)  

Enjoyed reading your post, but, I gotta admit, I'm jealous. 

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4 hours ago, Mike@MaximaUSA said:

@Suaver, thank you for the kind words and welcome to the Maxima family! Please let us know how the products work out for you or if you'd like any additional info. You can message me directly on here or contact us through our website: https://www.maximausa.com/contact/.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Mike

Appreciate that! 
Just finished the break in on my fresh full top end. I’ll be pumping some of your goods in at the change, and I’ll report back! 

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