Why is Spectro better than Harley, RevTech, Mobil and Penzoil? What does Spectro contain that makes it better than the competition or is the basic oil better than the competition? What should be in a good air cooled motorcycle oil and what should not? Which of these are in Spectro and are not or are at a lower percentage in competitors oils? On a scale of 10 where does Spectro end up and were does the competition?
Oils are compounded using three categories of ingredients: 1. Additives usually combined into a ‘package’. 2. Base oils sometimes including synthetics. 3. Viscosity index improvers made of different types of molecules for different purposes.
Additive packages are revised every year by Infineum, the chemicals arm of ExxonMobil. They do all of the wear testing and ensure the packages meet the required OEM specifications thankfully, because this is the hardest work in the process. Some of these packages are built to be used at several optional treat rates for different uses. They perform dispersant, rust/corrosion inhibition, anti foaming, wear protection, anti acid and oxidation protection duties. Spectro Oils always opt for the maximum treat rate allowable costs us more money but we believe it is money very well spent for wear and rust/ corrosion protection. Then, we specially modify the package with more zinc/phosphorus for even better cam, lifter, and main bearing wear protection. This adds significantly more to the cost. Only a small handful of companies do this, none of which make V-Twin specific oils. This is the reason for the high levels you see on the additive charts.
The base oils we buy are different from most of our competitors oils also. We buy exclusively from ExxonMobil for continued quality and consistency. You can buy cheaper base oils on the ‘spot’ market, but you will lose all of the aforementioned advantages. Unfortunately, we pay dearly for this benefit. The finer base oils have a higher natural viscosity index, meaning they thin less when temperature rises. This enables us to formulate a more thermally stable motor oil than our competition. The Heavy Duty viscosity index is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with higher quality VI improvers and higher VI base oils.
The viscosity index improvers do additional work on the oils to even further lessen the thinning out as heat rises. The market is flooded with cheap VI improvers none of which we have ever used. One category is Polystyrene. Another category is Olefincopolymers OCP which most higher quality motorcycle OEM oils are made with: OCPs cost more money than polystyrene. At Spectro, we choose an even more expensive product that is higher still in shear stability and in its ability to survive in a gearbox. By the way, the straight grades do not need this component which is why they work fine with methanol. This shear stability polymer combined with huge amounts of zinc/phosphorus, is what gives a rider longer lasting oil and a longer lived motor! The higher viscosity index is what gives the rider a smoother, quieter motor with better protection at start up. Spectro Performance Oils.