AMSOIL INC. continually monitors trends in the powersports market to maintain its position as the industry leader. AMSOIL synthetic two- and four-cycle motor oils, filtration and performance products for powersports applications are the result of years of research and provide Dealers distinct advantages in the marketplace. AMSOIL Magazine spoke with AMSOIL Technical Powersports Product Manager Len Groom to identify trends in the industry and the opportunities they present Dealers.
AMSOIL Magazine: Daytona Bike Week Presented by AMSOIL marked the unofficial start to the spring motorcycle season. As bikers take to the streets this summer, what trends figure to surface?
Len Groom: Fuel maintenance is already a big issue and will only become more prevalent. Currently, most gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent ethanol (E10), and government agencies and lawmakers have been debating increasing ethanol levels to 15 percent (E15). As such, riders need to be aware of their environments. Because ethanol is very susceptible to water intrusion, bikes should not be stored in damp or wet environments. When water is allowed to collect in the gas tank, the bond between ethanol and gasoline can break, causing a phenomenon known as phase separation. The ethanol bonds with the water and sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank, which can create a whole host of problems, including the formation of gums, varnish and other insoluble debris that can plug fuel fiow passages and negatively affect engine performance. When this ethanol/water mixture is pulled into the engine, it creates a lean-burn situation that increases combustion chamber temperatures and can lead to engine damage. Once this happens there is no easy or inexpensive fix. To avoid these problems, contaminated fuel tanks should be emptied and refilled with fresh fuel.
AMSOIL Magazine: What can riders do to protect their bikes against phase separation?
Len Groom: For best performance, fuel should be treated with AMSOIL Quickshot® as a preventative measure. Quickshot is designed to keep water dispersed throughout the fuel tank, moving it out as a normal part of operation and decreasing the chance of phase separation. Not only that, Quickshot helps clean deposits that have formed in fuel systems, injectors and carburetors, while also cleaning piston tops, spark plugs and combustion chambers. Unlike many competing fuel additives, Quickshot is extremely potent and not diluted. It provides some of the most effective cleaning action available today, making it an all-around great product for motorcycles and other powersports equipment and presents Dealers prime sales opportunities.
AMSOIL Magazine: Many enthusiasts and Dealers question why AMSOIL does not manufacture a transmission-specific lube for bikes at present.
Groom: The motorcycle market is very diverse, and one transmission fluid cannot meet the needs of all the different bikes. Engine power, riding style, gear ratios and final drives all play a part in the selection of a transmission fluid. A heavy bike with a modified engine and an aggressive rider can place enormous amounts of stress on a transmission. In this case a heavier, more robust fluid is beneficial. On the other hand, a light bike with a stock engine and average rider could use a lighter fluid since the transmission does not suffer as much stress.
The quality of our synthetic motorcycle oils allows us to effectively promote one fluid for a bike’s engine, transmission and primary chaincase. They are incredibly shear-stable and demonstrate excellent results in the FZG Gear Test (ASTM D-5182). AMSOIL is aware that some riders prefer to use a traditional gear lube in their transmissions. For those riders, we recommend Severe Gear® Synthetic Gear Lube. It works well in heavily modified bikes and has also been very successful in quieting the “whine” from certain straight-cut gears. In the sport bike segment, however, gear lube is not used as much because it is friction-modified and many sport bikes share a common sump with a wet-clutch. Some applications, like the Honda CRF450R, combine the transmission and wet-clutch. In these cases, our synthetic motorcycle oils are the best choice due to their wet-clutch compatibility and excellent performance.
This approach, as opposed to manufacturing and recommending a single transmission-specific lube, allows AMSOIL and its Dealers the fiexibility to be more application-specific and demonstrate to bikers how well we know the market. …continued on next page=>