AMSOIL Magazine: That being the case, how do Dealers determine which product to recommend and in which viscosity?
Groom: In most cases a product recommendation starts with the owner’s manual. Warranty coverage must be considered when dealing with new bikes, while older bikes or modified engines can change recommendations. Sometimes a heavier gear lube is required to deal with added stress, or quiet a noise that can be common with a thinner fluid.
AMSOIL Magazine: Longtime Dealers remember objections over synthetics being “too slippery” and leaking past seals. How has that myth also pervaded the dirt-bike market?
Groom: Clutch operation is critical with dirt bikes. Riders want a particular feel and they do not want any slippage. Some believe the myth that synthetic oil causes clutches to slip, but nothing could be further from the truth. A properly designed synthetic oil can actually provide better grip than a conventional product. As long as the product meets JASO specifications, there should be no problems. Using an automotive oil in a wet-clutch, however, can cause slipping because automotive oil contains friction modifiers to increase fuel efficiency. Although ideal in engine applications, friction modifiers can be very bad for a wet-clutch.
AMSOIL Magazine: As in the auto/lighttruck market, manufacturers are building motorcycles that produce increased torque and horsepower compared to their predecessors. Plus, riders often modify their bikes for even more power. What challenges does this trend present to the fluids that protect them?
Groom: Increased power creates challenges, including additional stress on engine components and elevated operating temperatures. Inferior oils may not provide sufficient wear protection, high-temperature performance or shear stability. The added stress can rupture the fluid film, allowing metal-to-metal contact. Extra stress also degrades the oil more quickly due to increased oxidation and can shear the oil out of its intended viscosity grade, causing accelerated wear. Problems resulting from elevated operating temperatures are especially noticeable in air-cooled bikes, where oil temperatures can become so high in stop-and-go summer driving that riders are forced to pull over and shut down.
zine: Those sound like good reasons to use AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils.
Groom: Absolutely. Because of those challenges, use of synthetic oils in general, and AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils in particular, is becoming commonplace. The efforts of AMSOIL and its Dealers are paying off, and most bikers now understand firsthand that synthetics provide increased wear protection, better high-temperature performance and maximum shear stability in today’s more powerful bikes. This understanding presents outstanding sales potential to Dealers everywhere. Enthusiasts have received the message about the benefits AMSOIL provides, and they are increasingly recognizing our status as the leader in synthetic lubrication technology. They know that AMSOIL uses the best technology available to satisfy the needs of modern powersports equipment; we examine each application and develop products based on needs and we invest in extensive testing to ensure each product performs to AMSOIL standards. With AMSOIL there are no compromises.
AMSOIL Magazine: What trends are surfacing on the water this summer? Groom: Again, ethanol is huge. Outboard motors and fuel tanks are just as susceptible to its corrosive effects as motorcycles. Because boats obviously contact water constantly, the threat of phase separation only worsens. Dealers should make their customers aware of this and recommend Quickshot as a solution.
Another key development is the increasing use of sophisticated engine technologies on some modern outboards that place additional stress on the motor oil. As with other markets, synthetic oils are being relied on more and more in the boating industry, and AMSOIL synthetic two- and four-cycle oils provide exceptional protection in all types of inboard and outboard motors.
AMSOIL Magazine: Moving on to ATV applications, why does AMSOIL recommend Formula 4-Stroke® Power Sports Oil (0W-40) in applications that call for OEM-labeled 50-weight oils?
Groom: As the graph shows, while Polaris Synthetic PS-4 Plus and Arctic Cat Synthetic ACX motor oils fall within a 50-weight viscosity range directly from the bottle, both quickly shear down into the 40-weight range. AMSOIL subjected both oils along with Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports Oil to ASTM D-7109 shear stability testing, and after only 30 passes, both OEM-labeled oils sheared out of their starting viscosity grades. After 90 passes, the Polaris oil lost over 33 percent of its viscosity, while the Arctic Cat oil lost over 30 percent. The AMSOIL product, however, lost less than 5 percent. Its exceptional shear stability allows it to protect high-RPM ATV engines as well as or better than both 50-weight OEM oils.