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"KRS/GT" Technical Q&A K1200RS/GT Technical Questions/Answers

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View Poll Results: Have you had the dreaded rear main seal leak?
Yes, and I use dino oil. 37 9.41%
Yes, and I use synthetic oil. 44 11.20%
Yes, and I have used both dino & synthetic oil. 28 7.12%
No, and I use dino oil. 63 16.03%
No, and I use synthetic oil. 154 39.19%
No, and I have used both dino & synthetic oil. 35 8.91%
Yes, and I use dino/syn blended oil. 1 0.25%
No, and I use dino/syn blended oil. 14 3.56%
This thread is a waste of bandwidth. 17 4.33%
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  #121  
Old 01-21-2012, 05:18 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Cars need space in front so that space gets squished in a crash and saves your life.

The car engine is totally enclosed and designed so it can spend long periods in traffic queues without overheating. They have to design the engine to run with adequate cooling and have the space to do it. The weight of a *onda engine can be higher, as you don't have to prop up your car with your feet to keep it upright. I'll bet the car also has a decent oil cooler mounted in a good place where it can get air.

Compare the size of your *onda Civic fan, radiator and oil cooler with what you have on a K-bike. It's no wonder that the VW rear air cooled engine is popular for trike conversions - but then they have 3 wheels to take the weight!

We have to face the fact that Sport motorcycles are designed to be ridden mostly at high speeds. The compromises in engine design to achieve low weight and high power may be at the expense of the engine cooling in high air temperatures and city riding.

One day we might see the same compromises, but the bike will use its starter motor as an auxiliary motor for low speeds, weaving through city and frequent stop lights.



you make the obvious ' rationales ' often unnsupported

take my bikes NOT ridden in the city....................mostly considered abusive

car or bike

you POV doesnt hold water as many HD run past the expected 'time to rebuild '

within spec & they are still air cooled

ive mentioned it b4 & will again

i read 'SAE ' papers & NO where is it supported that motorcycle

engines will wear quicker than a comparable car engine

if you would endeavor to tear down a honda....suzuki

car or bike you will find if not identical ...................... very similar parts

size & spec

john britten DID ! ! ! ! !
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  #122  
Old 01-22-2012, 08:14 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Mine as a leak because the mechanic didn't want to change the gasket when he took a sample on my 600miles inspection. Synthetic oil will not cause leak by it self if your engine is under 15000 miles, but over that it is known to happen since viscosity is a lot thiner on synthetic and the other type has different cleaning agent wich has affected your seal not in a bad way but it like yourself drinking poor quality wine than switching to high quality your system will have a hard time to adjust since poor quality is thick and hard to move and high quality is refine and smooth and when removing the hard stuff from the seal wich did swell and got more flexible du to absortion of petroleum can no longer hold the pressure created by the thiner oil therefore make the seal leak.

That's my experience with switching with an engine with 35000 km to synthetic oil.

I know here in the shop we will not switch unless the engine is new or close to it to avoid a major seal leak i mean all of them will start leaking within 10 to 15000 km
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  #123  
Old 01-23-2012, 01:34 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord9669
Mine as a leak because the mechanic didn't want to change the gasket when he took a sample on my 600miles inspection. Synthetic oil will not cause leak by it self if your engine is under 15000 miles, but over that it is known to happen since viscosity is a lot thiner on synthetic and the other type has different cleaning agent wich has affected your seal not in a bad way but it like yourself drinking poor quality wine than switching to high quality your system will have a hard time to adjust since poor quality is thick and hard to move and high quality is refine and smooth and when removing the hard stuff from the seal wich did swell and got more flexible du to absortion of petroleum can no longer hold the pressure created by the thiner oil therefore make the seal leak.

That's my experience with switching with an engine with 35000 km to synthetic oil.

I know here in the shop we will not switch unless the engine is new or close to it to avoid a major seal leak i mean all of them will start leaking within 10 to 15000 km

This is simply FALSE! 5/20 synthetic is the exact same viscosity as 5-20 dino. This is just another urban legend about synthetic oil. It does not kill roller bearings, it does not attack seals, it does not FIND leaks that dino doesn't. Now, if you had been using an oil that didn't have good detergent qualities for the last 40,000 or 50,000 miles and then changed to a synthetic or other high quality oil like Castrol GTX you might experience a seal or gasket leak after the good oil cleaned all the crude from the gasket or seal. I used Mobile-1 in a 1987 Sable that had 85,000 miles on it when I bought it and the only oil that had been used starting with the first oil change was Castrol GTX. I drove the car for another 200,000 miles using Mobil-1 and had ZERO leaks and never had to add a quart between 10,000 mile changes. Five years after I sold the car I talked to the owner who continued using Mobile-1, had added another 75,000 miles and still had no leaks, no gasket replacement and no rear main seal failure. Care to talk about my 1979 Fiesta I bought new, used only Castrol 20/50 GTX changed every 6,000 miles for the first 96,000 and began using Mobil-1 at that point with the same results as the Sable?

Back around 1999 or 2000 American Iron magazine interviewed the Mobil engineer who lead the Mobil-1 development project back in the early 1970's. The article ran for 3 issues and gave you much more information than you ever thought you would have about synthetic oil. You should read it. It dispels all the myths of synthetic engine oils and lubricants.
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  #124  
Old 01-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Many modern car petrol and diesel car engines now have to be turbo charged to achieve higher engine efficiency and lower emissions from smaller engines. Somewhere, there will be an oil cooler. Times have changed with more regulation and the cars you used to own like the one's I had are mostly scrapped, too uneconomic to run with high gas prices, or have a government tax penalty put on them for high emissions.

A car engine is not surrounded by plastic bodywork 2" from the engine block and sump. On these bikes there is virtually no means of free air circulation. Cooling comes from either the electric fan or ram air when the bike is moving fast enough.

Most K bike temperature gauges rarely stay at the same temperature, whereas car engine gauges show very little change, whether idling for long periods on the electric fans or driven hard in Summer.

Why is that?

He mentioned Honda Civics. I know of NO Honda that is turbocharged from the factory. The S-2000 had a cooler and maybe the Prelude (not positive about the Prelude) but no others that I know of. Well, the NSX. But it was a mid-engine.

What is the thermostat rating for the 'K'? Some cars are 230 f with 16 lb caps, add a/c, p/s, automatic transmissions closed up in an insulated engine compartment and it's no wonder M-B runs 8 quarts in a 3.7 v-6 plus the requirement that you use Mobil-1.
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  #125  
Old 07-18-2012, 02:02 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikethebike61
This is simply FALSE! 5/20 synthetic is the exact same viscosity as 5-20 dino. This is just another urban legend about synthetic oil. It does not kill roller bearings, it does not attack seals, it does not FIND leaks that dino doesn't.

100% correct!!
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  #126  
Old 08-31-2012, 12:12 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

I had a 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88, wonderful car, two door 455 cubic inch machine. Had 100K miles or so on it when I bought it. Ran like a top. Normal oil. One day I figured hey, treat it well, put some mobile 1 in it. Rear main seal leaked like an oil well just drilled in the movies. Drained the stuff out replaced with El cheapo normal stuff, Castrol, and all was just fine. Go figure.
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  #127  
Old 08-31-2012, 08:11 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

In all these oil threads and discussions I do not hear anybody say what the real benefits are of switching from an oem dyno oil spec. to something else.

If the older brick motors were seizing up and wearing out with dyno oils, or the bike produced 15% more horsepower with a lower gas consumption on synth, then I could understand, but they don't.

What are the gains and benefits of fully synth oils in practical terms I can understand? If those that switch from dyno to synth get seal leaks, we can discuss all kinds of possible reasons and theories, but at the end of the day there is a seal leak that was not there before and a very expensive job to get fixed.
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  #128  
Old 08-31-2012, 11:04 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
In all these oil threads and discussions I do not hear anybody say what the real benefits are of switching from an oem dyno oil spec. to something else.

If the older brick motors were seizing up and wearing out with dyno oils, or the bike produced 15% more horsepower with a lower gas consumption on synth, then I could understand, but they don't.

What are the gains and benefits of fully synth oils in practical terms I can understand? If those that switch from dyno to synth get seal leaks, we can discuss all kinds of possible reasons and theories, but at the end of the day there is a seal leak that was not there before and a very expensive job to get fixed.

Yeah I get confused by these threads too, luckily my first bike was a KLR that I swear would run fine with hand lotion in the engine.

So for the K I just put in what I put into all my bikes: Rotella 5w-40 (synth) here in the states it's $25 a gallon and works just fine.

My personal opinion is that the frequency of your changes is more important than what you use during the change.

I came in to K ownership thinking that I am riding a grenade that one day on my way home my FDrive will explode killing me and everyone in a 10 meter radius, also I thought that my clutch seal is already gone and I'm just waiting for it to start screwing up.

Overall I just learned to STFU and ride (aside from my ECU issue that this forum has been so kind and helpful with assistance (wonder whatever did happen to my ECU that i sent somewheres )), do regular maintenance and if stuff goes bad, just deal with it when i get there. People sometimes "major in the minors" as we say in the states. That being said I've never had a bike where I kept $2k saved in case something breaks
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  #129  
Old 08-31-2012, 11:20 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Longer time between oil changes (long trips) and in air cooled motors they will work into higher temperture ranges. There is some indications in bearing tests that they are better friction reducers. If it does not interest you then what the heck don't use 'em.
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  #130  
Old 08-31-2012, 07:03 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Here is a list of new cars that come with "synthetic oil" in them from the factory. The article is interesting. I copied this from Mobile oil so they need the credit.
http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...ics/Myths.aspx
Don't forget there are many other brands of Synthetic oil that are good.
  • Acura RDX
  • Aston Martin DB9, DB9 Volante, DBS, DBS Volante, Virage, Virage Volante, Rapide
  • Bentley Azure, Brooklands, Continental Flying Spur, Continental GT, Continental GTC, Mulsanne
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06, ZR1 and Grand Sport Coupe
  • Chevrolet CR8 and COPO Camaro
  • Citröen DS3
  • Holden HSV
  • Lexus LFA
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG Vehicles
  • Nissan GT-R
  • All Porsche Vehicles
  • Peugeot RCZ
  • All S&S Motorcycles
  • Vauxhall VXR8
  • Viper Motorcycle
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  #131  
Old 09-02-2012, 04:02 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
I had a 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88, wonderful car, two door 455 cubic inch machine. Had 100K miles or so on it when I bought it. Ran like a top. Normal oil. One day I figured hey, treat it well, put some mobile 1 in it. Rear main seal leaked like an oil well just drilled in the movies. Drained the stuff out replaced with El cheapo normal stuff, Castrol, and all was just fine. Go figure.


The first car I used Mobile-1 in was a 1979 Fiesta with 96,000 miles and only 20/50 GTX used since first oil change at 1000 miles. Result? ZERO oil leaks, cut evaporation by about 50%, extended change interval from every 6 months to every year. Sold the car with 250,000 and saw in in 2008, talked with the owner who had 480,000 miles with no engine repairs...he did replace the clutch at about 390,000.
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  #132  
Old 09-02-2012, 04:10 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

No good comparing oil in cars with these bikes. Cars with more engine space have far superior cooling systems. Their coolant temperature stays pretty solid sun or snow and many have a decent oil cooler integrated with the radiator or mounted elsewhere.

Best to get mileage longevity reports and reliability for K bikes. Also remember, our bikes and all their component parts were made to old design specifications and a service regime preceding synthetic oils.
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  #133  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
No good comparing oil in cars with these bikes. Cars with more engine space have far superior cooling systems. Their coolant temperature stays pretty solid sun or snow and many have a decent oil cooler integrated with the radiator or mounted elsewhere.

Best to get mileage longevity reports and reliability for K bikes. Also remember, our bikes and all their component parts were made to old design specifications and a service regime preceding synthetic oils.


And exactly what would be the difference in an engine speced for dino vs syn? I've known and worked with some very well known engine builders and none of them seem to know how to build an engine especially for either type oil. Now, a close tolerance engine like you see in cars/bikes today can run on a 5/20 and 0/20 whereas a 1965 289 Ford would kill the big end rod bearings because it would push the oil out from between them. If you have facts to support your view I'm more than willing to give them an unbiased look, but after reading those 3 interviews with the Mobil-1 engineer I have major doubts there is any hard evidence to the contrary.

The cars that come with syn have it for numerous reasons. One is MPG....the stuff is worth about .25 mpg in a 325 hp LT-4 and the cold flow rate and high temp tolerance and lower evaporation rate about sums up any advantage. Unless it is an 'energy conservation' oil the coefficient of friction is the same.

Personally, I want all of the above PLUS the extended change interval.

Does anyone here know what oil temps the K runs?
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  #134  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:07 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

The K must run with high swings in oil temperature because the oil cooler will not do a lot riding in heavy traffic, the motor is enclosed, the radiators are too small and the fans do not move enough air. This is why the temperature gauge does not stay put in the same place.

I suspect the K oil temperature when running smooth air on cruise and when riding through slow traffic in the Summer will be quite a lot different. But then air cooled motorcyles are probably a lot worse. Those kind of temperature cycles do not happen in most cars with bigger cooling systems. Whatever we say about engine tolerances and specifications, if the oil temperature and environment variables cannot be kept stable within the kind of limits the oil and vehicle manufactures use for their lab testing, then we cannot say whether one oil formulation is better or worse.
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  #135  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:44 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Ever see the Mobil-1 commercial where they cooked dino and syn and the dino turned to grease at 350 degrees and the syn went to 500+?
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  #136  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:05 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

The type of oil used does not seem to produce many reported catastrophic engine failures in K-bricks. But rear seal failure is about as serious a failure as you can get for most of us - expensive specialist tech. repair with long downtime.

The synth oil may achieve 500+, but the real issue is about oil leaks and whether the oil seals in an old motor design will stay good. Old and leaking seals come out of the motor with their sealing lips hard and lacking flexibility. That may be due to frequent wide range temperature cycling, oil additives or something we have not thought about yet. Just showing that a claim made on a particular aspect of an oil may not be relevant to the fundamental problem of oil seals leaking.

It is often said that using synth from day 1 has not produced seal leaks, but switching to synth after running dyno for years has. That is insufficient to condemn using synth because the property of an oil seal after many years cycling in dyno oil may be different to new seals oil companies used in their labs for compatibility tests.

Personally, I feel the argument boils down to why should I switch to synth on my 40K motor for the benefits of reduced engine wear which are not an issue in most k-bricks, when some have posted oil seal leaks afterwards.
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  #137  
Old 11-22-2012, 04:08 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

I switched a 1979 Ford Fiesta at 96,000 miles with ZERO leaks for the next 100,000+ miles. I also switched a 1982 M-B 240-d with 112000...same results for the next 235,000 miles. I also switched a 1987 v-6 Mercury at 85,000 with ZERO leaks.

What causes a rear main to fail is repeated or extended high rpm use.
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  #138  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:13 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

You have to have taken out a leaking rear seal after 40K miles, put it alongside a new seal and poked them around their lip edges to compare how flexible they are and how well the tension spring can reduce the inside diameter of both seals.

Then you slide both seals on to a dummy dry shaft turned down, cleaned and polished, to the same size as the oem part to compare the level of friction on both, whilst holding the shaft and seals in front of your main beam as you rotate the seal. With a very bright light behind the seals you can see how good the contact is with the surface, particularly when you off center the seal, rotate it and see if its shape returns to make good contact.

Then you look very carefully all the way around the lips of a leaking seal under a 30 X microscope. I saw very little flattening of the lip contact surfaces, which to me would indicate high rpm wear and/or lack of lubrication. I did see small dings in the lip which may come from engine wear fragments and a good reason why changing oil often may outweigh expensive synth and keeping it there longer. But the overall problem still seemed to be the hardening of the seal compound which stops the seal lip under tension from its spring, from making proper contact with the shaft surface. The oem shaft also needs careful inspection. Poor lubrication or excessive seal tension not only burns the seal lips but also creates a wear groove on the shaft with tell tale signs of coloured deposit left behind. My shaft was perfectly smooth and clean. When I reflected my red laser pointer off the shaft surface, I could not see a wear track I would be worried about.

Comparison with car engines is a little flawed because motorcycle engines are more compact and not as well cooled. That is the compromise made in the design - high power to weight in a small space. The manufacturer could reasonably argue that a sports bike should spend most of its life running at speeds over 40 mph when their limited air cooling would be ok. In real life, some of us may be touring or doing a lot of slower city riding.

I would accept that motorcycle designs should be as reliable as cars, particularly as they cost more and there is certainly room for improvement, but I sympathise they do have different performance targets and design constraints.

The K-bricks are an old design and their rpm is not that high for modern seals and bearings. Japanese motors have been around for as long as K-bricks running 12-14k rpm redlines and you hear very little about their seals leaking.
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  #139  
Old 10-10-2013, 05:29 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Add my name to the list of people who's bike has done just fine all its life, then I use synthetic and suddenly starts seeping oil after 1 or 2 thousand miles...
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  #140  
Old 10-10-2013, 06:17 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trent J
Add my name to the list of people who's bike has done just fine all its life, then I use synthetic and suddenly starts seeping oil after 1 or 2 thousand miles...

Which is most likely the new oils' detergent cleaning up the old gunk that was blocking the cracks in your seals. I have been using syn oil for 25 years and haven't regretted it at all.
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  #141  
Old 10-28-2013, 04:11 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Maybe I'm a bit superstitious, but if it's not broke, why fix it? My '98 (knock on wood) is very housebroke (unlike my brother's dirty bird HD), never drips a drop of fluid. Damn thing definitely burns or maybe blows out a few ml's of oil with every ride. I'm gonna continue using dino.
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  #142  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:04 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

My clutch slave went and contaminated and destroyed all my tranny seals (most anyways). When I got in there at ~24K I found that the Rear Main was fine and not leaking at all.

I have been using Rotella 5W40 Syn.

I think for me if I had been using regular dino the whole time in my bike I would just stick to it, and vice versa. Since I ride in cold weather 5w40 is perfect 3 season oil for me, it just happens to be syn.
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  #143  
Old 03-18-2014, 01:29 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by slappy00
I think for me if I had been using regular dino the whole time in my bike I would just stick to it, and vice versa. Since I ride in cold weather 5w40 is perfect 3 season oil for me, it just happens to be syn.

In fact, as has been discussed on this site previously, nearly ALL "synthetic" oils sold in North America, are not synthetic at all. They are derived from Group III mineral oil feedstock! So in fact, you ARE using dino oil..... just a very highly refined type of dino oil!

.....and yes it has been proven in court (Mobil -vs- Castrol) that this misleading labeling is indeed legal.
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  #144  
Old 03-18-2014, 11:11 AM
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Post Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Comparison with car engines is a little flawed because motorcycle engines are more compact and not as well cooled. That is the compromise made in the design - high power to weight in a small space. The manufacturer could reasonably argue that a sports bike should spend most of its life running at speeds over 40 mph when their limited air cooling would be ok. In real life, some of us may be touring or doing a lot of slower city riding.

A "Running a cooler engine" spinoff thread at http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?p=604397#post604397
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  #145  
Old 03-18-2014, 08:26 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byknrrtl
Maybe I'm a bit superstitious, but if it's not broke, why fix it? My '98 (knock on wood) is very housebroke (unlike my brother's dirty bird HD), never drips a drop of fluid. Damn thing definitely burns or maybe blows out a few ml's of oil with every ride. I'm gonna continue using dino.


Your brothers H-D cannot be an EVO. If it is an EVO and it leaks oil it is a used and abused, ridden hard-put-up-wet EVO....they don't leak if they are taken care......of My 1977 XLCH does not leak oil and it has 200,000 miles. I bought it new 10March77.
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  #146  
Old 11-30-2015, 08:12 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Massive Lee
Which is most likely the new oils' detergent cleaning up the old gunk that was blocking the cracks in your seals. I have been using syn oil for 25 years and haven't regretted it at all.

My 2c. Some truth here. After I got my '98 (used 35kmi) filled it with detergent oil for the cleaning effect, and it developed a leak within a month (Oil breather hose, but not rear main to my knowledge). Anyway, will pull it all apart this winter to see what the damage is.

-AJ
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  #147  
Old 12-01-2015, 12:02 AM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikethebike61
Your brothers H-D cannot be an EVO. If it is an EVO and it leaks oil it is a used and abused, ridden hard-put-up-wet EVO....they don't leak if they are taken care......of My 1977 XLCH does not leak oil and it has 200,000 miles. I bought it new 10March77.
My 79 FXS has 80+k miles on her. Only oil that comes out is from the breather hose that I disconnected from the primary case and vented to atmosphere. Always used Castroil multi grade, until I switched to solid lifters. Now use straight 50. No leakage.
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  #148  
Old 02-26-2018, 04:34 PM
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Re: Engine seal leaks and synthetic oil

My snowblower was puking oil out of the breather.But had nothing to do with the cheap synthetic blend Castrol 5w30 I used on the last two oil changes.
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