Are we beating the which oil should i use to death?

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I’ve been riding and driving for over 40 years. I have always used a good quality name brand oil and ran the manufactor recommended viscosity for that particular vehicle. I have never had an oil related failure with any vehicle because i change it when the manufactor says to. Synthetic, non-synthetic, motorcycle only oil, which do i choose? The point i’m trying to make is in my opinion as long as you use the right viscosity and choose a good quality oil and change at the recommended intervals along with a quality filter there should be no debate. I think this topic gets beaten to death for really no reason.
 
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I ageee with the OP in most applications that are non motorcycle. Simply use the recommended type of oil and viscosity. In this day and age, its a no brainer, all API rated oils are just that to the engine, an API rated oil, doesnt matter if it is a $2 oil or $8 oil. In the engine makers opinion they are both equal if they meet the API (or similar) recommendations.

The thing is with choosing a motorcycle oil for me it was always about shift quality when I owned metric bikes. Since sooooo many motorcycles on the market share their oil with the primary (wet clutch) AND transmission plus the engine its no longer a "motor oil" but one which is called to also maintain good shift quality and smooth transmission operation.
IN this regard there is a difference between oils but if you change the oil between 2 and 3,000 miles the difference will be tolerable but with some oils they will really maintain shift quality for a good amount of time.
 
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Well, what about people that have never owned a car or motorcycle in their lives?. How are they supposed to KNOW which oil to use, and when to change it?. Like just about everything these days, when you want to find out how to do or fix something , you go online and ask. Isn't that what this sites all about?. What about people that haven't been born yet, they don't have 40 years of oil using experience to draw from. This info needs to keep being handed down to future generations.,,,
 
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There are so many choice in the marketplace that people seize when they go into the store. I can understand that.
Also, there are choices to be made based on whether your moto is air cooled or water cooled, your environment and riding style (typically covered in the owner's manual, but who reads that?). People know how to turn the key and hop on, but don't feel comfortable with the mechanicals. If there were quick change oil places for motorcycles like there are for automobiles, I think the amount of questions would decrease. People would just go and get an oil change, no questions asked.
 
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I’ve been riding and driving for over 40 years. I have always used a good quality name brand oil and ran the manufactor recommended viscosity for that particular vehicle. I have never had an oil related failure with any vehicle because i change it when the manufactor says to. Synthetic, non-synthetic, motorcycle only oil, which do i choose? The point i’m trying to make is in my opinion as long as you use the right viscosity and choose a good quality oil and change at the recommended intervals along with a quality filter there should be no debate. I think this topic gets beaten to death for really no reason.
Out of all the things you list none are what I would consider most important. Grade is important yes but at least for me one other thing is more important.
 

Morganator

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Well, what about people that have never owned a car or motorcycle in their lives?. How are they supposed to KNOW which oil to use, and when to change it?. Like just about everything these days, when you want to find out how to do or fix something , you go online and ask. Isn't that what this sites all about?. What about people that haven't been born yet, they don't have 40 years of oil using experience to draw from. This info needs to keep being handed down to future generations.,,,
I guess i was smart enough to be able to figure out what i needed when i was 16. There was no internet or FB when i was a kid. An unborn person doesnt need to be asking questions in moms womb. They have 16 years after birth to figure that out.
 
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You've hit on the ultimate BITOG reality.
It's just not that great of a place to discuss motor oil and there are a couple of reasons for that.

1. In the preponderance of circumstances, "What motor oil should I use and how long should I run between OCI's?" has been settled.
Here's why:
Automotive lubrication systems are an engineer's wet dream.
-Good industry standards that define performance requirements.
-Both feed forward (maintenance minder) and feed back (UOA) information to drive data based decision making.
-Generally decent OEM recommendations for viscosity grade.
You put that all together and it enables you to answer the question at hand, put the issue to rest, and move on.

2. BITOG fanboys. This is anyone that can't have a reasonably intelligent discussion about a topic without reverting to some indefensible position. Sometimes these are thickie/thinnies. Sometimes these are boutique brand advocates. I'm sure you can think of a few others. At any rate it is the individual that can't handle an informed discussion that contravenes their predeliction for a certain perspective. Trying to talk to or have a reasonable discussion with these folks regularly devolves into name calling or worse.

Now to what makes BITOG a great place to frequent.
1. Auto repair insight and advice. BITOG is just about the best place I've found for general repair advice. Excellent insights, broad depth of knowledge, well reasoned troubleshooting. Just the best.
2. Rebate/sales/discount notices. There are plenty of members here that love to save a buck. That turns this into a great place to share deals, discounts, etc.....

All of this beings us back to the subject of what is BITOG. It's a place overwrought with hand wringing about a topic that is settled and a great place for deals and repair advice.
 
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Morganator

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wpod posted the answer. What defines the proper oil in any application is the required specification, license or approval since that's the real-world demonstration of an oil's performance. The rest comes alongside that.
Did my statement about running the recommended viscosity not cover your reply?
If my owners manual recommends 5W/40 Synthetic or Regular what else do i need to be looking for? Most will provide all the specific SAE or JASC specs also.
 
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My strategy is to buy as much oil on sale as I can find regardless of viscosity or brand. Then I look to purchase vehicles that can accept what oils I bought. That way I never have something I can't use.
 
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There are two categories of truth that shape our understanding of oil...

1) Objective truth; as that which has been established as true by
virtue of large bodies of experiment and observations and Its true no
matter if we believe its true or not (examples)... There are no
significant differences in wear between 30 40 and 50 grade oils...
Either Motorcycle Specific or Auto oil will meet and exceed your
mileage expectations... Roughly 60% of total engine wear occurs during
cold start up conditions before oil can circulate through the
engine...

2)Personal truth; in a free country these are your feelings and we
believe to be true because of whatever experiences or beliefs matter
to us like and to convince someone else of that truth it will not be a
matter of experiment and observation it will be a matter of verbal
persuasion... (examples) 40 grade affords more wear protection than 30
grade by a factor 10... 50 grade affords more wear protection than a
30 grade by a factor of 20... I sleep better buying Motorcycle
specific or Manufacture brand oil... I don't trust 5W oil will address
my start up wear over 10W or 15W...
 
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2)Personal truth; in a free country these are your feelings and we
believe to be true because of whatever experiences or beliefs matter
to us like and to convince someone else of that truth it will not be a
matter of experiment and observation it will be a matter of verbal
persuasion...
I'm pretty sure these are just plain old feelings. Not facts or reproducible testable hypotheses, just anecdotal experiences and your impressions of those experiences.
 
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