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Engine Oil?

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There certainly are a lot of engine oils on the market, and I'm trying to decide where to begin for my next oil change. I am planning to go full synthetic, probably 10w40, and I have no bias toward any particular brand. From what I've seen on the internet, AMSOIL seems to have a good following, but so do many others like Mobil, Shell, and Castrol. I looked at some of the oil comparison info posted at the AMSOIL website, and it is interesting reading at least. Last night I noticed an ad in Sport Rider magazine for Silkolene Pro-4 and with CSS endorsement, and that raised my interest level. However, I've found Silkolene is one of the more expensive brands at upwards of $20 per quart, and no one around here carries it, so I'd have to buy it through special order/mail order. Same deal with AMSOIL, although it's much more affordable at just over $10 per quart. Mobil 1 4T is available at a few local retailers for about $10 per quart. I was surprised to find I can get Honda HP4 from the Honda dealer for $7.50 per quart. Anyway, I suppose I'm just looking for some additional advice and/or any comments on which oil people here prefer using. Thanks!

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You will find support for any and every oil every made, but all the tests I've seen suggest that Mobil 1 retains its viscosity over time better than any other oil. Which is important in order to protect your engine, but doesn't really matter in normal use if you change your oil ever 4,000 or once per year, whatever comes first. Just as an example: There was a bloke some years ago that went well over 200,000 miles (he may still be going on the far end of 300,000 for all I know) on his CBR900RR Fireblade using only cheap mineral based engine oil. Using fully synthetic oil specifically made for motorcycle use should offer even better protection. Personally, I have had good experience with Quaker State and Pennzoil (semi-synt) and not so good with Shell and Statoil motorcycle oils, but that has been down to issues like minor leaks and noisuer/harsher gear changes - I have no way of telling if there was more or less wear with those oils compared to others.


One thing is certain; the Honda 4T oil is a good one and you can be very sure that it will protect your engine in a very good way - there is no chance Honda would risk their reputation nor tons of warranty claims by selling a bad oil. You cannot know it is the best in the world, but do you really plan on keeping your bike for 100,000 miles anyway? And even so, as shown by the CBR owner, most oils will suffice ;)

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This was the response posted in "ask the chief mechanic". I figured I'd post it here just in case someone stumbled on this thread and wondered about the answer.



while I only have my experience of one of bikes (03 Kawasaki)loosing the shaft that runs the water and oil pump ( unseen crash damage) at a latter school when running pinned in 6th on the back straight at Road America to draw from. The student noticed the temp warning light and looked down to see 248 flashing and shut the bike down. I knew it was bad and when the valve cover came off everything was black from the heat. I flipped the motor over and cracked the cases only to see all the mains still looking fresh? I took all the rod caps off and only one rod had any sign of a scuff! That is like those commercials where they drain the oil and do a dyno run! that engine ran at 12,000 RPM in top gear with no oil pressure and the bearing were fine! SOLD on Silkolene I am!


That being said the only comparative data i have ever found published was on Amsoil's site. They have different tests where you take rollers and races and drag them and test the pressure and wear. I have seen a few where they have used Silkolene Pro 4 and Motul 300V against their oil and they were all very close. Those test are just that, a very narrow focus and may or may not pan out in the real world.


I understand your final decision will come down to price point vs availability vs quality and asking a question about oil will bring out some much too learned opinions and put everyone to sleep. You asked my opinion and by my experience you will not go wrong using Silkollene, that's 11 years without an oil related failure!

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