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The lubrication superiority of synthetic oil is getting overblown. Apparently the oil refineries are making nearly the same stuff. Imagine what it costs to make different kinds of oil. They won't tell you that synthetic isn't any better than the regular petroleum oil, because they make more money selling synthetic. Toyota recommends the cheap $1.30 a quart oil in their cars.

What is more important is the viscosity and to some extent the additive packages. It turns out synthetic oil is slightly less viscous for the same viscosity rating, because it is a better lubricant and slips better. I tried running 20w50 synthetic in my Harley and started getting a little lifter noise. When I switched back to regular 20W50 the noise went away.

I also read an article from Kevin Cameron who said that the additive packages are overated for motorcycles, at least until the rpm reaches about 19,000 rpm. That explains why oil labeled for cars works OK for motorcycles. But, if you run at redline a lot maybe you should use motorcycle oil. However, Motorcycle Consumer News tested a lot of car and motorcycle oils and found no difference between them.

I've run Mobil1 15W50 car oil in my Triumph Speed 4 with no problems for the last 10,000 miles. It's cheaper than Triumphs' Mobil1 15W50, which I believe is exactly the same as the car oil.

Use the correct viscosity and change the oil frquently (2000 to 3000 miles). Gear boxes chew up engine oil fast. I noticed a change in engine vibration about 300 miles after an oil change in my old Yamaha Virago 750.

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