Ester based oils....

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6
Location
Canada.
What is the benefit, or characteristics of ester based oils? Specifically when used in a motorcycle. Is this just another form of marketing hype? or is there a benefit to ester based oil? And of course, what is Ester?
 
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4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
In an air cooled engine you would benifit from their higher natural viscosity index. They have a slightly higher capacity for heat which would help there as well. It really depends on the application. Not just the machine but the conditions it's used. Sorry, I don't know anything about KTM's except that the chain is on the wrong side. Edit: So I see the chain is on the proper side. Shows how little I know about dirt bikes anymore. Anyway, on a water cooled bike I'm not sure the benifits are as good. A syn will give you better protection from overheating, less deposits. But any good oil will probably be fine. What weight does the bike call for?
 
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15,056
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Canada
In a nutshell, Esters are 'polar' in nature - they 'stick' to metal very well, reducing start-up friction. Also, Esters have very high natural solvency, so they clean deposits and prevent them very well.
 
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14,013
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Retired | Wausau, WI
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
In an air cooled engine you would benifit from their higher natural viscosity index. They have a slightly higher capacity for heat which would help there as well. It really depends on the application. Not just the machine but the conditions it's used. Sorry, I don't know anything about KTM's except that the chain is on the wrong side.
Did you read something between the lines that I did not see. Where did KTM's come from.
 
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14,013
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Retired | Wausau, WI
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
EXC400 Rider. I assume he's asking about his EXC 400. But all I really know are Honda dirtbikes, and even then mostly from the 80's.
Well, you are a lot sharper than I am. I did not know what EXC 400 was. To date myself, my dirt riding days were on Bultaco and Sachs motorcycles.
 
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East of IGO
 Originally Posted By: Johnny
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
EXC400 Rider. I assume he's asking about his EXC 400. But all I really know are Honda dirtbikes, and even then mostly from the 80's.
Well, you are a lot sharper than I am. I did not know what EXC 400 was. To date myself, my dirt riding days were on Bultaco and Sachs motorcycles.
I have ridden Bultacos and Sachs!!
 

EXC400rider

Thread starter
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6
Location
Canada.
 Originally Posted By: bepperb
EXC400 Rider. I assume he's asking about his EXC 400.
Right you are. A synthetic blend, ester based oil was recommended by a local dealer. Since new the bike has only been run on Amsoil full synthetic. I have been having a hard time finding it this year, and the blend I can find is selling for $20 a quart, so I'm looking for something a little more reasonable....
 
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2,689
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South Carolina
Get with one of the site sponsors here to get some Amsoil if that was working well for you. Pablo, Gary Allan-send a PM to one of these guys and they will hook you right up. Also you can go to the Amsoil site and use their dealer locator if you want someone locally. But I think you will have better results with one of the Amsoil guys here. Schaeffers makes a couple of oils that would be excellent in your KTM. Their racing 20W-50 is a synthetic blend with a great additive package. "salesrep" here is the site sponsor for Schaeffers and Mark is great to deal with. All these guys are very knowledgeable and will help you get the right oil. Not sure about your focusing on an "ester" oil since much more goes into oil than just esters. Redline synthetic oil is sure to have a good shot of ester in their base oil makeup. But no oil will really have an all ester-based oil, but a blend of several base oils to get the desired performance in the end product. Just as important as the base oil blend is also the additive package. Many additives contain some type of ester and a careful balance of quality additives is the key to the perfomance of the final prduct that you pour into your engine. Remember, esters also have friction modifying ability-something to think about when you have a wet clutch. Finally, there are many types of esters and some do certain things better than others. Esters cost money, so using the right ester and enough of it to do the job well and at a reasonable price, is a careful balance. You might read some of what sunruh has posted concerning his experiences trying different oils in his thumper. He was "destroying" higher cost synthetics in an hour or two while racing his bike. I believe viscosity shear, shown in his oil analysis reports, was his main criteria for a thumbs down on each oil he tried. IIRC the EXXON Superflo straight 30 and SAE 40 oils did best in this regard over the synthetics even. Something to think about if you do a lot of hard riding. And if this is you, then 'change oil frequently' seems to be he mantra I hear for that type of service, regardless of oil type or brand.
 
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5,570
Location
New Zealand
Being in Canada Silkolene may be available to you.I used to use Pro4 in my air cooled dirt bikes...they do a 15/50 which is very good.I used the last of mine in the airhead....I don't need a motorcycle specific oil in it,but ester oils are just so good for an air cooled engine.
 

EXC400rider

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
Canada.
Thanks for the info guys. I'm not hung up on ester based oils, It just happened to be an ester based semi-synthetic oil that was recommended to me by someone who's been riding and fixing these bikes for a long time. He's a local dealer, very involved with the local club, donated much time and money to our sport over the years and generally nice guy. I don't think he would claim to be an expert on oil, nor did he claim that it was the best available, but he did say it had been working well for guys, and it was reasonably priced. I didn't know was ester based oil was, or what the characteristics were, which is why I started the thread. So now I know a little more, thanks again for the info. My bike is liquid cooled. I see a lot of references to ester performing well in air cooled bikes, so maybe that that is one characteristic that isn't relevant in this application. Also I am riding offroad, mostly tighter technical woods type riding, so I am generally pretty low RPM's. That being said, I still like to change my oil pretty frequently. I figure that oil is cheaper than metal. I try to change the oil after 10 hrs. of riding. Any recommendations I am all ears. I'm always eager to find out what works best, and if there is a difference, one brand/type over another, I think it's worth paying extra for. (within reason) Quality oil is cheap insurance.
 
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1,967
Location
Kitsap, WA
group 1 mineral is also very polar, but nobody thought to use it as a marketing gimmick. Wouldn't use that attribute as the yardstick to select an oil.
 Originally Posted By: addyguy
In a nutshell, Esters are 'polar' in nature - they 'stick' to metal very well, reducing start-up friction. Also, Esters have very high natural solvency, so they clean deposits and prevent them very well.
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
wileyE, might you be confusing polarity with solvency? Group 1 mineral oils and esters are both used in PAO synthetic oil formulations to increase the solvency of the oil as a way to mix the additive package and keep it in suspension. EXC400Rider, what is this mystery synthetic oil that was recommended to you ... Torco?
 
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