Spectro Oils Answering Your Sticky Questions

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.


7 Responses to “Spectro Oils Answering Your Sticky Questions”

  1. 1 Rogue Feb 18th, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I have been using Spectro for some time and I am very happy with it.
    As a matter of fact my 2004 FLHT is on the lift right now changing engine, transmission and primary fluids.
    I will be putting SPECTRO back in because it works for me.
    Give it a try and see for yourself.

  2. 2 Slag Feb 18th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Is Spectro better for large evo’s or is Amsoil better ? There is no mention of Amsoil in the sticky questions above.

  3. 3 "Kiwi" Steve Feb 18th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    As an Amsoil user for the past twenty years, all I can say is you can’t go wrong with this oil. It’s been used in my sportbikes, my supercharged car, my wife’s SUV and my Buell with great results. Haven’t used Spectro, so I will defer to Rogue’s testimony on that, just replying to Slag’s. Great Blog, luv to lurk!!

  4. 4 rodent Feb 18th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Oil is oil but different sellers add their own secret additives ti the base oil..That’s the only difference except for price.

  5. 5 Brent Feb 18th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Recently, I saw my dealer changing oil on my bike with Spectro. Didn’t know the brand. Now that I read, I feel more comfortable using this brand.

  6. 6 Slag Feb 18th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks to you “Kiwi” Steve for your posting relating to Amsoil. It’s the only oil I have used and so far no failures due to Amsoil. This not to say that Spectro is not worthy of high praise.

  7. 7 MIke Feb 23rd, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Good article with some good points, however…. I am an Amsoil Distributor, and hopefully don’t come off as an infomercial, but Amsoil did do a White Paper Study about 2 years ago comparing various brands to see how their own oil and the others compared when industry tests were performed on each. Most of what is claimed above is true, they do have a higher zinc content than the brands tested (including Amsoil) and a fairly decent VI, although not as high as many of the others. The question coming to my mind as I look at the testing results are the the claims on rust and wear protection. According to the results on the 4-Ball Wear test (ASTM D-4172) they were about the same as the other oils tested, and when it came to rust/corrosion protection testing (ASTM D-1748) they ended up failing. There were several other tests performed, oxidation, foam, volatility, acid neutralization, etc. Overall they were roughly in the top 1/2 to 1/4 in the final ratings. If you’d like to read the report I have it listed on my Web site: http://www.technilube.com/motorcycle/motorcycle_white_papers.php. As I mentioned, this test is now a few years old, so it is possible they have changed their formulas since. Their claim of buying base stock from ExxonMobil isn’t uncommon. This leads me to believe they are using a PAO synthetic base stock and ExxonMobil is the main manufacturer. Amsoil gets their PAO base stock from them and most likely any other brand using PAO is getting it from them as well. From there it’s the additives and formulas that make the differences.

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