Motorcycle Tech Knowledge By Spectro Oils

spectrooildQuestion: Have a couple of simple 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 aircooled 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.

We are committed to using the top shelf products within all three of these categories, and we continually tune our compounds to maximize quality. What this means is this:

Additive packages are revised every year by Infineum, the chemicals arm of ExxonMobil. They do all of the weartesting and analysis to 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, antifoaming, wear protection, antiacid and oxidation protection duties.

We 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 Vtwin 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 thermallystable 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, by the way. 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. For us, this is more money well spent. 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 longerlasting oil and a longerlived motor! The higher viscosity index is what gives the rider a smoother, quieter motor with better protection at start up. Spectro Performance Oils.


10 Responses to “Motorcycle Tech Knowledge By Spectro Oils”

  1. 1 Lyle Jul 28th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I always use HD oil but the way the prices on it have gone within the last year approaching 5 or 6 dollars a quart, I’m starting to ask myself why? Maybe it’s time to switch.

  2. 2 ben Jul 28th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Still didn’t answer as to why they are specifically better than Mobil 1. So is it really better, or are they all about the same once one gets into the higher performance oils?

  3. 3 Pitbull Jul 28th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Try LAT performance oil, they have this molly along with their other additives that really make a difference. I picked up 3 horsepower just by swithing oils (used to use the Harley stuff). Its not cheap though, I figure I put all the other money into my bike why skimp on oil, afterall, its the life blood of the engine.

  4. 4 Jim Jul 29th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Do your own research and find out which oil is the best. Nothing but AMSOIL for me!

    Customs By Jim, Inc.

  5. 5 Rodent Jul 29th, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Castrol out performs Amsoil and Wal-Mart brand oil out performs Castrol

  6. 6 ROGUE Jul 29th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I use Spectro Oil in my engine, transmission and primary and am very satisfied with how they work.
    I am not a engineer so I can not give you some report on what would make one product better than another But as a biker with over 55 years riding experience I have found specific brands that I like and use.
    I switched from Harley oil to Spectro some years ago and am happy that I did
    The only thing I can suggest is you try it and see if you like it
    I just changed my oil and filter on Monday and am in the process of riding to Sturgis.
    I do ride a lot of miles traveling around the country and feel confident that the Spectro Oil is doing the job of lubricating my motorcycle.

  7. 7 Rodent Jul 29th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Read the SAE requirements for your vehicle car, bike or whatever engine and then read the top of the oil can. As long as the code is the same for both it’s good to go

  8. 8 Rodent Jul 29th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Scratch SAE should be API

  9. 9 VenomSC Jul 29th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Dino oil is Dino oil. Some have additives, some dont. It’s all on how well you treat your engine and how often you change it. Been using RevTech both Synthetic and regular high performance and Mobil 1 and they both work great with all the oil changes I’ve performed. That’s it. Cant see why someon would pay twice the amount for “oil”…

    never failed me.

  10. 10 Nick Roberts Aug 3rd, 2009 at 8:09 am

    First thing I need to say is that I am an Amsoil Dealer. I sell and use Amsoil because it has the test data and track record to back up it’s claims of being “#1 in Synthetic Oils” and has been on the market for over 36 years. Amsoil pioneered synthetic oil use in automotive applications and from there they took on all other lubrication challenges by designing oils that meet the unique requirements of each application.

    When A.J. Amatuzzio puts a product on the market his first criteria is that it be the absolute best product made for the application. Amsoil Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is clearly the #1 motorcycle oil Made in America today and to prove it Amsoil tests it’s motorcycle oil against all competitors and shows the results of that testing to the world.

    Amsoil has just released a comparison of most of the major motorcycle oils on the market today which shows that many of the oils are marginal and in some instances out of spec when compared in the lab using ASTM and SAE test methods which are the industry standards. See it for yourself at

    Sorry to burst your bubble here but Spectro is stretching the truth with this viscosity index claim. While they have a high initial viscosity, though not as high as many other motorcycle oils, they don’t say that it shears down rapidly to a lower viscosity going from 18.75 to 17.5 during the ASTM D-6278 test methodology. Amsoil MCV 20W50 maintains a consistent Viscosity Index of 20.5 all the way through the test.

    This test is used to determine oil shear stability. First an oil’s initial viscosity is determined. The oil is then subjected to shearing forces using a test apparatus outlined in the methodology.Viscosity measurements are taken at the end of 15, 30 and 90 cycles and compared to the oil’s initial viscosity.The oils that perform well are those that show little or no viscosity change. Oils demonstrating a significant loss in viscosity would be subject to concern.

    An oil’s viscosity can be affected through normal use.Mechanical activity creates shearing forces that can cause an oil to thin out, reducing its load carrying ability.Engines operating at high RPMs and those that share a common oil sump with the transmission are particularly subject to high shear rates.Gear sets found in the transmissions are the leading cause of shear-induced viscosity loss in motorcycle applications.

    I know many riders consider their experience using a particular brand of oil as proof that a particular oil works best in H-D engines but just because they haven’t experienced oil failure it is not proof that their chosen oil is the best. The only accurate way to compare oils is to take them into the lab and test them using the accepted and credible test methods by which all lubricants are evaluated.

    Nick Roberts

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