Harley Davidson Motor Oil And Diesel Engine's

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If you look in the owners manual for a new Harley Davidson motorcycle they only recommend using the Harley Davidson brand, HD360 or Syn3, motor oil, but the manual says in an emergency the rider should use an oil formulated for diesel engine's, and they list API standards CH-4, CI-4 and CJ-4. Does anyone know why Harley Davidson is recommending a replacement motor oil formulated for diesel engines? Does that mean all other brand motor oil's formulated for motorcycles like Mobil 1 or Valvoline are bad for Harley Davidson engine's?
 
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All manufacturers want you to use their oil... there was just a thread on an Indian where they want you to buy their 15w60 oil... then they word it so that you dont chance anything and just keep putting money in their pockets by buying their label. Take some time and look at UOAs of Harleys in the motorcyle UOA thread... Mystik 15w50, VR1, Mobil V-twin, Mobil 15w50...and Rotella T4...give great reports.. Last i heard Citgo makes Harley oil..no idea if thats still current. And Mystik is made by Citgo.. To answer your question why they recommend diesel rated oils in an 'emergency'... well they know its stout and robust...and since you used it an 'emergency' as soon as u get home u will drain it out and buy their oils.
 
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Harley does manufacture and produce their oils. Somebody else makes it to their specifications You can look at the specs of their branded oil in the virgin oil analysis and the used oil analysis sections. The Harley branded oils are nothing magic or special I have been riding Harley Davidson bikes for 20 years now and have used many different brands of motor oil For the past 7 or 8 years I have been using Mobil 1 15w50 in the crankcase and primary chain case My current bike has 50k miles and I have never had any engine problem Do some reading in the motorcycle section and you will learn some things there Harley probably wants you to buy their oil in order to move product. They are having difficulty with bike sales these days. They need to make money off clothes and maintenance items as well Anyway, your engine will not implode with use of other branded oil
 
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Originally Posted by toneydoc
Harley does manufacture and produce their oils.
I seriously doubt this.
Originally Posted by toneydoc
Somebody else makes it to their specifications
Oh, right, so which is it? I don't know how HD work, but generally OEMs define the requirements of the oil (ie what physical, chemical and performance limits it needs to meet) and an oil company formulates and produces it. HD are not oil formulators nor manufacturers and have no need to be when there are plenty of companies for whom oil formulating and manufacturing is their business. I've seen suggestions that Citgo make HD oils, but this could change or could be made up.
 
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Originally Posted by BadJack
If you look in the owners manual for a new Harley Davidson motorcycle they only recommend using the Harley Davidson brand, HD360 or Syn3, motor oil, but the manual says in an emergency the rider should use an oil formulated for diesel engine's, and they list API standards CH-4, CI-4 and CJ-4. Does anyone know why Harley Davidson is recommending a replacement motor oil formulated for diesel engines? Does that mean all other brand motor oil's formulated for motorcycles like Mobil 1 or Valvoline are bad for Harley Davidson engine's?
Here is my opinion; I assume based on VOA's and UOA's that HD oil is formulated like a diesel oil. I assume maybe Harley is more concerned about piston/ring deposits which can/will cause wear/keeping the engine clean and why the diesel recommendation. This is pretty much for all the twin cam engines that I know of and certainly for all HD touring bikes. With that said, most people use either HD oil or any number of motorcycle oils and automotive oils with no ill effects that we know of. The twin cam engine is a great engine and I doubt you will have an issue with any good modern oil. I personally stick to the "script" meaning, even though I dont use HD oil, I do use the oil they say can be used in an "emergency" and that is a diesel oil rated API CI4+. On the back of the container it also says it meets the API SL. Whats more, the oil is not expensive and reasonably priced at roughly $25 for a 2 gallon container sold on line by Rural King, also others but that is who I use to get it shipped to my home. Like other oils, the oil I use has turned in terrific UOAs and I continue to use it exclusively. That oil is Mystic JT8 15w50 a Citgo product. Below is their spec sheet. I also believe they make HD oil and Citgo markets many oils including not only automobiles but Marine oils and lubricants. I look at them as a respected company. http://docs.mystiklubes.com/msds_pi/M20096.pdf If your interested in my UOA's here is my last UOA posted in BITOG from late last year. There are 5 UOAs on here all Mystic JT8 15w50. Keep in mind the UOAs on my sheet dated around 2015 was when the engine was still new and besides flushing out break-in metals also was flushing out the remainder of the HD oil so the first 2 UOAs will still have some of the HD oil skewing the make up of the oil. The first oil change I did was HD and I am unsure if the second was or not. I changed frequently in the beginning and still change before the 5000 recommended OCI. Mystik JT8 - UOAs - Click ----------
 
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Yes, I assume it would work well in shared sumps too. At times I would run HEDOs in my Yami 1300. I didn't know about this oil then, a HEDO in 15/50. I eventually started using Conv Valvoline MC 20/50 which was very good as far as shifting.
 
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Yes, I assume it would work well in shared sumps too. At times I would run HEDOs in my Yami 1300. I didn't know about this oil then, a HEDO in 15/50. I eventually started using Conv Valvoline MC 20/50 which was very good as far as shifting.
 
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I use Valvoline VR1 20W-50 in my 2007 Dyna with the 96" Twin Cam engine and it seems to do well. This oil was recommended by someone on this forum.
 

BadJack

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Thanks everyone for your replys. Its a bit unsettling when Harley Davidson says to use diesel oil in an emergency. It makes you wonder if switching to another brand of oil formulated for motorcycles are up to Harley's standards. Many of these other brands market their oil for v-twin motorcycles, and you know Harley's are a big part of that market. These other brands don't bother to get a diesel certification for their oil that I know of. Just saw Walmarts Super Tech 20W50 full synthetic oil for v-twin motorcycles. I guess Super Tech oils are a whole other discussion.....
 
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Originally Posted by BadJack
If you look in the owners manual for a new Harley Davidson motorcycle they only recommend using the Harley Davidson brand, HD360 or Syn3, motor oil, but the manual says in an emergency the rider should use an oil formulated for diesel engine's, and they list API standards CH-4, CI-4 and CJ-4. Does anyone know why Harley Davidson is recommending a replacement motor oil formulated for diesel engines? Does that mean all other brand motor oil's formulated for motorcycles like Mobil 1 or Valvoline are bad for Harley Davidson engine's?
. Harley recommends using a diesel oil only for top offs and then only if you cant find Harley branded oil, and then to change the oil back to Harley's branded oil asap. Of course Harley wants to sell you their oil as does every other manufacturer, but there are many oils on the market that will work as well if not better than Harley's branded oil. I went back to Vr1 after Redline raised their prices by 1/3.
 
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Harley sells motorcycle Lubricant. An oil/ lubricant that carries no API symbol or rating of any kind, past or current. There is no spec for motorcycle oil. so each mfgr sells their own branded oil and says it meets their spec. Why they wouldn't say to use "any oil made and rated for motorcycle use" is their desperate attempt to scare owners, to fear denial of warranty coverage. It's been proven right here on this site that many brands of motor oils that have been used for years , will work as well,or better the what mfgrs recommend. If anyone doubt's what I've said, spend as many hours of your time as you want reading the UAO's for motorcycles. Not just Harley's , all brands of motorcycles posted. Being loyal to an expensive brand even mfgr's oils, do not guarantee a longer motor lifespan in any brand. Changing oil before all the benefits of the oil are used up, does the motor no benefit. It may may the owner feel good, but the cost of ownership goes up while as time goes by, the value of the bike goes down. Blackstone has stated they haven't been able to prove Synthetic oil will make any motor last longer then one ran on regular mineral oil. It may have different properties , but I doubt they run many UOA's on motorcycle oils from cradle to grave of every brand of bike. I feel using the recommended wt of motor oil is more important to longevity , then brand name.,,
 
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Originally Posted by BigCahuna
Harley sells motorcycle Lubricant. An oil/ lubricant that carries no API symbol or rating of any kind, past or current. There is no spec for motorcycle oil. so each mfgr sells their own branded oil and says it meets their spec. Why they wouldn't say to use "any oil made and rated for motorcycle use" is their desperate attempt to scare owners, to fear denial of warranty coverage. It's been proven right here on this site that many brands of motor oils that have been used for years , will work as well,or better the what mfgrs recommend. If anyone doubt's what I've said, spend as many hours of your time as you want reading the UAO's for motorcycles. Not just Harley's , all brands of motorcycles posted. Being loyal to an expensive brand even mfgr's oils, do not guarantee a longer motor lifespan in any brand. Changing oil before all the benefits of the oil are used up, does the motor no benefit. It may may the owner feel good, but the cost of ownership goes up while as time goes by, the value of the bike goes down. Blackstone has stated they haven't been able to prove Synthetic oil will make any motor last longer then one ran on regular mineral oil. It may have different properties , but I doubt they run many UOA's on motorcycle oils from cradle to grave of every brand of bike. I feel using the recommended wt of motor oil is more important to longevity , then brand name.,,
What about JASO specifications? Are they insufficient for Harley Davidson motorcycles?
 
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[/quote] What about JASO specifications? Are they insufficient for Harley Davidson motorcycles?[/quote] I guess we could ask your question the other way around. Harley states a API C rated oil. JASO = Japanese Automobile Standards Organization Harley Davidson uses API = American Petroleum Institute Its really is all we need to know, different standards from different countries, much the same oil. However JASO requires a standard to make sure "wet clutches" do not slip and have certain strong friction requirements to make sure. With all that said, Jaso oil still has to meet one of the following; In order for a motor oil to meet any of the above mentioned JASO standards it must be at least of one of the following quality levels: API SG, SH, SJ, SL, SM ILSAC GF-1, GF-2, GF-3 ACEA A1/B1, A3/B3, A3/B4, A5/B5, C2, C3 If you care to read more = Click here
 
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