Conventional Oil. vs Synthetic Oil - Honda Rincon Forum : RinconRiders Honda Rincon Forums
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post #1 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Conventional Oil. vs Synthetic Oil

Added comments: If your going to read this post from start to finish, realize this, the stuff I say in the first couple of posts is my first stab at trying to determine what oil to use. This has been a learning process but in the end it looks like a synthetic JASO MA2 oil is the best for performance. For oil weights: go with a 0W40 in the colder climates, go with a 10W40 in the warmer, and in the desert go with either a 15W40 or a 20W50.

From Switched Over to Synthetic Oil post:

I did my first oil change before going out riding today. I don't know what was in the bike from factory but when I put in Honda GN4 10W40 I noticed the bike shifted alot better in automatic and had alot more pep (or engagement) to it when I hit the throttle....maybe its from breaking in. Anyways the shifting was harder but I tend to agree with Sunkagain, the harder the shift the quicker it engages and the less your clutches slip. An oil with a higher viscosity takes more force to shear it, and because its harder to shear it, it engages the clutch plates sooner and transmits power faster. A smooth engagement works only to wear out your clutch faster. Seems counterintuitive but I think you are 100% right Sunkagain.

A conventional oil with the same weight as a synthetic one will have the same measure of viscosity at a baseline temperature but they have different characteristics when it comes to different temperatures, and have different coating thicknesses, yada yada yada....which affect your clutch. Anyways for the conv. and syn. oils with the same weight, at lower temps, conventional oils create a thicker coating then synthetic, but vice versa at operating temps. This is why synthetics reduce engine wear so well, they coat better at operating temps, and are designed this way. Its also the reason to use conv. during breakin b/c you don't operate it at or near WOT for prolonged periods. To get back to what was said, at operating temp. synthetic increases the coating between your clutch plates and it takes longer to engage them, making it smoother. Conventional oil on the other hand has a thinner fluid layer between your clutch plates at op. temp. and results in a more abrupt, faster hookup.

Synthetic has a lower friction coefficient at operating temp and can be used after breakin period is done, but its a double edged sword, whats good for your engine may not be as good for your clutch and vice versa. Personally since the rincon is designed so well I would go with a heavier conv. oil that is better for your clutch because it increases performance characteristics, but change it out more frequently b/c it breaks down faster than synthetic.

Also here is a comparison of viscosity for comparison purposes:

Engine Wt. Centistokes (measure of viscosity)
5W-30 64
10W-30 69
10W-40 94
20W-50 166

A higher viscosity oil like a conventional 20-50 will be my choice when summer comes, thats my 2 cents.

07 Rincon with:
Reverse override
Warn multi mount
Champion winch - wired for front or back receiver
Tamarack box
Uni air filter
Amsoil 0W40
Cost of mods to date: $450
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post #2 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 02:19 PM
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this subject is always debated, use what ever you comfortable with
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post #3 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 09:34 PM
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funny thing.. those that convert to synthetics all report much more positive shifting... very hard, very fast... with stock (kawi) rubber on my rincon I can leave second gear rubber on asphalt on the 1 -2 shift... no shit...

synthetic motor cycle oils also have additives to support wet clutch environments, this is why I argue that those using diesel engine oils might be fcuking their wet clutches very slowly as these additives will not exist in a product not designed for a wet clutch.

your comments regarding lower temps and dyno oil creating a thicker coating while accurate, is contextually incorrect, dyno oils tend to run off and drip back into the oil pan etc, synthetic oils will tend to stick to the surfaces, thicker coating or not, synthetic oil will guarantee a coating at start up...

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post #4 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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The more I read on the subject the more involved and interesting it gets. Here is what I found so far that seems to be common across alot of info

Syn has better heat capacity (wet clutch is meant to dissapate heat), better shearability, doesn't deposit and gum up the clutch packs as much, and doesn't degrade as fast.

Dino oil has a higher coefficient of friction causing less slip.

"Oils with an operating weight of 40 or greater are not required to have friction reducers. These oils are unlikely to cause clutch slippage." Out of Wikipedia. I think somewhere I read Honda bumped up their spec oil from from 5W30 to 10W40, could be wrong here....someone fill me in on this from earlier Rincon years if you could. This makes sense if treu, testing like this on a new application like the Rincon takes years and well its been years since the first bikes came out, so it may look like years of service has told us to use 10W40.

It brings up an interesting point as well, with both types of oil having good characteristics, which one to use. Does a person go with a higher grade synthetic oil that has a higher coefficient of friction like a 20W50, thus getting the best of both worlds? This may seem like a plausable solution. I may just go from the dino 10W40 thats in it now to a syn 10W40, then go to a 20W50 syn and see from there.

Mudchucker, not to be a smart ass but if you had the following scenario:

Cold weather, two engines, one dino, one syn, one has dino with "thick skin", and other has syn. with "thin skin + lower friction coefficient", which one is harder to start and why? Dino b/c of thicker layer and higher coefficient of friction at low temps, for coating its like shaving a thin slice of cheese vs a thick one, its easier for the thin. Seems to make sense to me, moving less oil that is less viscous for syn.

07 Rincon with:
Reverse override
Warn multi mount
Champion winch - wired for front or back receiver
Tamarack box
Uni air filter
Amsoil 0W40
Cost of mods to date: $450
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post #5 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 08:01 AM
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SOOOOO , in english, which damn oil should we be using!!!lol

2007 green rincon...xt 25 warn winch... front and rear bags.NOT KOLPIN cuz they are crap!every zipper broke within 1 yr.kenda 26"executioner tires,6 by 14 ft enclosed trailer...NEXT bumpers like i shoulda cuz the front end is trashed!
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post #6 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 08:06 AM
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__________________________________________________ _______________________________ Quote MudChucker: synthetic motor cycle oils also have additives to support wet clutch environments, this is why I argue that those using diesel engine oils might be fcuking their wet clutches very slowly as these additives will not exist in a product not designed for a wet clutch. __________________________________________________ _______________________________ Exactly what additives are you referring to specifically? Do you have any links to any website with this info?

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post #7 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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I know, I'm like the weather, but after reading some good articles it gets pretty twisted and everyone claims their oil is the best. Anyways my guess is 20W50 synthetic in the summer, 10W40 synthetic in the winter, shift one higher weight in the synt's then you would otherwise run in the dino.

07 Rincon with:
Reverse override
Warn multi mount
Champion winch - wired for front or back receiver
Tamarack box
Uni air filter
Amsoil 0W40
Cost of mods to date: $450
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post #8 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 11:17 AM
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I just switched back to mineral oil.My trans slipped for the first time when I was stuck in a thick mud hole using full syn.Its never happened to me when I was using mineral oil and I ve been in worse cases..It was a heat issue cause I let it cool down for a little bit and it started working fine again.Back to 10w-40 valvoline.This is just my 2 cents.

06 rincon camo 702,27 outlaws on ss wheels,big gun exhaust,dynatek fi controler,mudbuster cam,ported head,trd gear,uni air filter,custom snorkel,tiny tach,rear seat&trunck,extreme sounds4atv box with 4 6&1/2 jbl marine speakers and sony marine cd player,3 inch RD lift
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post #9 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:38 PM
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Just be done with all the debate and run 0w-40 all farking year.


But think for a moment...
How many oil related failures are in the world, with the net connecting us ALL.

Then compare those net reports and rumors, even the over heard comment of your buddies buddy brother in law's sisters mom, who swears their engine blew running brand XXXXX XXw-XX oil, to the number of engines on the street and dirt.

I think you'll find oil related engine failure statistically non-exsistant. But thats that my oppinion from my own 20 year expericance and time spent following these debates.
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post #10 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:43 PM
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muddster, what brand, product and weight of synthetic were you using ?

Outlaw50, spend some time googling and you'll find all the supporting info you need, I believe I found that info in the oil bible...

traps, I run 0W40 Amsoil or Golden Spectro year round...

traps, why is the dyno harder to start ?.... pour point is the interesting value your looking for, in your scenario the dyno oil is harder to start because the oil turned into molasses in the cold temps, where the synthetics have a much lower pour point, that is to say that at cold temps, synthetics will stay "fluid" where dyno will not...

traps, smartass... wouldnt have thought that at all... Im all for people asking questions as part of the learning process...

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