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  1. #1
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Default Blackstone Labs Oil Analysis

    I don't usually post things like this as the OP. But every once-in-awhile I come upon a service or product that really impresses me. I hope this is of use to you.

    I get my oil tested every time these days. Spyder, Ryker, VW TDi, F-250 PowerStoke Diesel. Haven't done my lawnmowers or ATV. You have to draw the line somewhere! This is something that I used to feel was only for the extremely anal person. But I have since changed my mind. Change can be good!

    What with vehicles getting so expensive, and repair costs going up as the vehicle loses value. I have come to the conclusion that it is cheap insurance. Oil analysis gives you a lot of very valuable information about your vehicle that you really have no other way of knowing. Other than when it breaks and the mechanic tells you what you should have done to prevent it. I've tried a number of analysis services over the years. They have all been quite reliable and professional. I've been quite satisfied. But awhile back I decided to give Blackstone laboratories a shot. Wow! They take this to a whole new level! They are very pro-active. Give a lot of good, ancillary information with every analysis. Reply to my emails if I have any questions, usually within a few hours. Their answers are very clear. They do not try to impress with technical jargon. Just very useful input, helping you to get the most out of the hard data in the analysis itself.

    I highly recommend getting an oil analysis, at least just 1 time (though to get full benefit you need to get a track record to make comparisons). Most will only need 1 each year. Knowledge is power! Or so they say. But I do it for the piece of mind it brings.

    Have a Great New Year everyone!
    Last edited by BajaRon; 01-14-2020 at 10:23 AM.
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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Any tests on the Ryker yet? That engine shouldn't be hard on oil.
    2016 F3 Limited
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    Very Active Member bmccaffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaRon View Post
    I don't usually post things like this as the OP. But every once-in-awhile I come upon a service or product that really impresses me. I hope this is of use to you.

    I get my oil tested every time these days. Spyder, Ryker, VW TDi, F-250 Diesel and tractors. Haven't done my lawnmowers or ATV. You have to draw the line somewhere! This is something that I used to feel was only for the extremely anal person. But I have since changed my mind. Change can be good!

    What with vehicles getting so expensive, and repair costs going up as the vehicle loses value. I have come to the conclusion that it is cheap insurance. Oil analysis gives you a lot of very valuable information about your vehicle that you really have no other way of knowing. Other than when it breaks and the mechanic tells you what you should have done to prevent it. I've tried a number of analysis services over the years. They have all been quite reliable and professional. I've been quite satisfied. But awhile back I decided to give Blackstone laboratories a shot. Wow! They take this to a whole new level! They are very pro-active. Give a lot of good, ancillary information with every analysis. Reply to my emails if I have any questions, usually within a few hours. Their answers are very clear. They do not try to impress with technical jargon. Just very useful input, helping you to get the most out of the hard data in the analysis itself.

    I highly recommend getting an oil analysis, at least just 1 time (though to get full benefit you need to get a track record to make comparisons). Most will only need 1 each year. Knowledge is power! Or so they say. But I do it for the piece of mind it brings.

    Have a Great New Year everyone!
    So Ron . Are you switching oil or sticking with Amsoil?

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    Very Active Member RICZ's Avatar
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    Ron, I 100% agree. I mistakenly let Rotella T-6 oil ride in my Victory 106 for over 7K miles. Thinking I overran it's use by date, I sent a sample into Blackstone and the report came back that everything was normal and there was at least 2500 miles left on it.
    I continue to use Rotella T-6 and Blackstone. Thanks Ron for this thread.
    Ours is a red, black and chrome 2017 F3 Limited. Bought new in 2/2019. The avatar is my first bike back in 1952, a Simplex Servi-Cycle. Photo taken at the Barber Museum.

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    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmccaffrey View Post
    So Ron . Are you switching oil or sticking with Amsoil?
    No, I'm still with Amsoil in the bikes and the VW. The tractors and Powerstroke take a lot of oil and I don't put that many miles/hours on them. So I'm using Rotella in them. If I were putting more miles on the Ford and hours on the tractors, I'd have them on Amsoil as well. It was actually these oil analysis that got me interested in different oils. Over the years I've tried a number of different products. The numbers for Amsoil were consistently better, so that is where I ended up.
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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaRon View Post
    No, I'm still with Amsoil in the bikes and the VW. The tractors and Powerstroke take a lot of oil and I don't put that many miles/hours on them. So I'm using Rotella in them. If I were putting more miles on the Ford and hours on the tractors, I'd have them on Amsoil as well. It was actually these oil analysis that got me interested in different oils. Over the years I've tried a number of different products. The numbers for Amsoil were consistently better, so that is where I ended up.
    No one and I mean No one has posted any " LAB " information for Amsoil YET, have you ??? and if so what were the results ….. thanks … Mike

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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    SOAP testing is mixed in my experience.

    Can be good for trend monitoring.

    I have taken many samples over the years on various aircraft. While interesting to read the reports, I have had engines failing based on cutting filters yet SOAP says all is well. Conversely, SOAP has indicated high levels of something and recommend short interval retesting. Sadly, the trends on those engines stays steady and the engines run strong and make TBO with no issues.

    Comparing to the data provided on these automotive samples, yes they show levels, but breakdown of the oil seems to be a key point.

    I will be odd man out and admit I pay close attention to the drained oil, magnetic drain plugs, and filter inspection if needed.

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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    CB11BD7F-DCDE-4886-A08B-016F1C06D96B.jpgI have and it came out great. Much better than Mobil 1. Amsoil on the left Mobil 1 on the right. 1,000 more miles on the Amsoil.
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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    SOAP testing is mixed in my experience.

    Can be good for trend monitoring.

    I have taken many samples over the years on various aircraft. While interesting to read the reports, I have had engines failing based on cutting filters yet SOAP says all is well. Conversely, SOAP has indicated high levels of something and recommend short interval retesting. Sadly, the trends on those engines stays steady and the engines run strong and make TBO with no issues.

    Comparing to the data provided on these automotive samples, yes they show levels, but breakdown of the oil seems to be a key point.

    I will be odd man out and admit I pay close attention to the drained oil, magnetic drain plugs, and filter inspection if needed.
    What does SOAP mean? What about TBO?
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  10. #10
    SpyderLovers Ambassador Little Blue's Avatar
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    Default Oil Samples

    TBO = Time Before Overhaul. Used for Air Craft engines. SOAP = ?? (I don't know)....
    2016 RT LTD 'Little Blue-Boy'

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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    SOAP = Spectrometric Oil Analysis Program

    Blackstones Spectrum test would be this. Blackstone also accomplished viscosity and other tests.

    A quick Google search found this which is a simple explanation.

    http://www.spectro.in/Spectrometric-Oil-Analysis.html

    As the article mentions, the key limitation is any wear particle must be small enough to undergo analysis. I have sampled engines at an owners request that were obviously failing. Drained oil had obvious metal sparkles, and the filter, which we cut open and inspect was loaded with metal. Sadly, sometimes those samples come back that all is well. The particles were too large. Other times we can use a SOAP analysis to see trends as engine begin to show increased levels of concern items, or possibly trends of stable but elevated amounts over time. I was recently asked my opinion of several trending on the same engine over the past few oil changes. The tests, and now an issue with operation had me offer the shop owner and customer a plan to verify the condition of one of the engine bearings. The engine overhaul shop agreed with my thoughts on what was failing. Sadly the engine did require an overhaul.

    SOAP has its place as a tool. It is not fail safe. Depending upon how the persons gathers the sample can be a factor too. Ideally, the oil is hot and the sample is collected midway through the draining. Any other way can lead to inaccurate results.

    As the other person mentioned TBO = Time Before Overhaul. Aircraft engines are logged by hours, not mileage. Depending upon the engine some have TBO of 2000 hours, while others can be hundreds of hours less. Turbine engines tend to have very long TBO, but often require midlife inspections and / or hot section overhauls before an entire engine overhaul.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman2013 View Post
    CB11BD7F-DCDE-4886-A08B-016F1C06D96B.jpgI have and it came out great. Much better than Mobil 1. Amsoil on the left Mobil 1 on the right. 1,000 more miles on the Amsoil.
    I am cautious when reading these reports. Your comment of better is viscosity based. It would be more informative to have the known baseline of new oil viscosity to compare to. In simple terms, if as new oil the Amsoil is actually more viscous from the start, it should be expected that it would be more viscous at draining.

    If it were me, I would ask Blackstone for baseline specs on both oils. Knowing this allows you to trend monitor accurately. Switching from one oil to another can make trend monitoring difficult.

    Understand also, your results are excellent, another rider, living in another location, that may not ride as you do or even warm the engine up, could see much worse results with the same oil. SOAP is simply a tool, but unlike that 10mm socket that fits every 10mm nut, regardless of location or the sockets owner, there can be far more variation in a SOAP test.

    Do not misunderstand or rewrite my intentions. I like SOAP, but also understand its limitations and have a pretty good understanding when reading the report. Also, I do not SOAP any of my own vehicles, and do not have any of the aircraft I maintain on a SOAP program.

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    Very Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    I believe in checking the virgin oil analysis vs the used oil analysis in comparable equipment. In some instances different manufacturers start out with a heavier base, which will show up as less sheared down on an equal mileage test. These lab reports (UOA) are great to tell you about viscosity breakdown if you know the starting point (VOA), and give you the remaining TBN. I know it's not rat540, but if you like making your own decisions there is a wealth of information here; https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...alysis-reports . I'm with PMK, in the industry I was in we tore big engines down based on some of the reports and found nothing wrong, and also saw instances where green flagged engines has a bearing failure that went unnoticed. It is my belief that for most of us, the oils used today are so far ahead of oils even 30 years ago as far a protection goes that worrying about which oil is pointless. Pick a good brand that you trust, that has the specification for the equipment you're running it in, at a cost you want to pay. IT will be more than adequate for the mileage interval set forth. Most of us will never make the 9300 mile change every year, and fall between 2000-7500 miles.

    To put this in perspective about overthinking oil, I bought a used tractor because I wanted one I could work on without all the computer and smog equipment. It had only around 250 hours on it. I picked a top quality synthetic oil that met the specs of the motor. Doing the math, I figure that at 100 hours per year use, and knowing these tractors go into the 5000-8000 hour range before any normal wear problems manifest, I figure I'll be about 105 years old before I need to do something mechanically to it. Use good oil, change it periodically, and inspect the filter element and magnets at each change. Your Spyder will probably outlast you.
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    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLUEKNIGHT911 View Post
    No one and I mean No one has posted any " LAB " information for Amsoil YET, have you ??? and if so what were the results ….. thanks … Mike
    Two lab results for Amsoil here:
    https://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/...=1#post1432915

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman2013 View Post
    CB11BD7F-DCDE-4886-A08B-016F1C06D96B.jpgI have and it came out great. Much better than Mobil 1. Amsoil on the left Mobil 1 on the right. 1,000 more miles on the Amsoil.
    Why do you feel Amsol is superior? Given that the Mobil 1 was used for approximately 11% fewer* miles but the oil contained about 30% less iron, given that the bores, piston rings, camshaft, gears and crankshaft are all iron based, I'd say your engine is wearing out faster using Amsoil.
    Last edited by PinkRosePetal; 01-10-2020 at 02:37 PM. Reason: * originally made an error here..oops
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    Very Active Member troop's Avatar
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    I scope out BITOG daily to read the motorcycle info. I saw highwaymans post at that site. Based on multiple UOA's in shared sumps, M1 4T 10w40 had similar TBN's, albeit in different machines. IF one is to go the full 9300 miles between changes, MAYBE Amsoil is the route to go. Here in WI, a good season at most, will likely be 6K miles as I split time with another bike. I have (2) quarts of Castrol ActEvo 10w40 syn blend, (6) quarts M1 4t 10w40 ($5/qt closeout) and (3) quarts of Quick Silver 10w40 full syn m/c oil ($3/qt closeout) on hand for three more seasons of riding. At my annual miles, not gonna worry about anything


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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkRosePetal View Post
    Why do you feel Amsol is superior? Given that the Mobil 1 was used for approximately an extra 11% miles but the oil contained about 30% less iron, given that the bores, piston rings, camshaft, gears and crankshaft are all iron based, I'd say your engine is wearing out faster using Amsoil.
    Pretty certain, you will see the M1 was the earlier test and Amsoil the second. The Amsoil had more miles on it. The M1 does indicate aluminum being up. The Amsoil indicating greater iron is odd too.

    Cylinder bores are Nikasil, so wear to them is likely nil. The iron rings though, and other internals seems viable. The elevated aluminum of the M1, possibly piston skirt, but unlikely, more likely oil pump bedding in.

    Regardless, neither seem alarming to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Pretty certain, you will see the M1 was the earlier test and Amsoil the second. The Amsoil had more miles on it. The M1 does indicate aluminum being up. The Amsoil indicating greater iron is odd too.

    Cylinder bores are Nikasil, so wear to them is likely nil. The iron rings though, and other internals seems viable. The elevated aluminum of the M1, possibly piston skirt, but unlikely, more likely oil pump bedding in.

    Regardless, neither seem alarming to me.
    Oh yeh, thanks, I got crossed up, I meant approx 11% fewer miles for the Mobil 1. I'll go back and rectify that so it makes sense.
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    Very Active Member bmccaffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajaron View Post
    no, i'm still with amsoil in the bikes and the vw. The tractors and powerstroke take a lot of oil and i don't put that many miles/hours on them. So i'm using rotella in them. If i were putting more miles on the ford and hours on the tractors, i'd have them on amsoil as well. It was actually these oil analysis that got me interested in different oils. Over the years i've tried a number of different products. The numbers for amsoil were consistently better, so that is where i ended up.
    awesome!!!!

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    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    My purpose with this post was not to promote any oil product, or say that an oil analysis is the end all, final word on lubricants. Oil analysis is a tool. Having said this, I know the question always pops into my mind, is this guy getting something out of promoting this product or service? The answer is no. I simply like Blackstone's service and want to pass that along. I think the data is valuable and informative. And they make it easy to understand what the data means to you.

    Test bottles are mailed to you free of charge. The basic test costs $28.00. Shipping is included in this cost. The kit comes with a Pre-Paid shipping label already applied to the container. Blackstone can provide additional test parameters at additional cost. You can get the free test kits here.
    https://www.blackstone-labs.com/prod...ree-test-kits/
    Last edited by BajaRon; 01-11-2020 at 11:10 AM.
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    A UOA isn't the end all solution. It will show you a trend if you are consistent with doing them. You go along 4,5 analysis, and see iron trend with miles. then you get a result on analysis 6 showing iron has jumped 3 fold. That might indicate a problem.
    A UOA is useless if you switch brands every time. It can be useless at times with brand consistency because of reformulation of the product.
    I used Mobil 15w50 for a long time in other machines. UOA were great. Mobil switched from a healthy dose of PAO to their Visom base, and results went to heck in comparison to to previous results.
    You folks running Amsoil and Mobil are in pretty good company. Both companies would have an enormous amount of reputation to lose if something went boink with their product.
    I've chosen Motul for mine, and will be trying both 7100 and 300V over the next several changes. I like their ester base technology, and it's on par at 11.xx a liter (7100, 300V is a bit more) with Amsoil.

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    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbonation View Post
    A UOA isn't the end all solution. It will show you a trend if you are consistent with doing them. You go along 4,5 analysis, and see iron trend with miles. then you get a result on analysis 6 showing iron has jumped 3 fold. That might indicate a problem.
    A UOA is useless if you switch brands every time. It can be useless at times with brand consistency because of reformulation of the product.
    I used Mobil 15w50 for a long time in other machines. UOA were great. Mobil switched from a healthy dose of PAO to their Visom base, and results went to heck in comparison to to previous results.
    You folks running Amsoil and Mobil are in pretty good company. Both companies would have an enormous amount of reputation to lose if something went boink with their product.
    I've chosen Motul for mine, and will be trying both 7100 and 300V over the next several changes. I like their ester base technology, and it's on par at 11.xx a liter (7100, 300V is a bit more) with Amsoil.
    Not to be contrary, but I disagree somewhat here. If you get 1 test and it shows that your oil has sheered down from the rated 40 weight to 20 weight. I'd say that information alone is worth the $28.00 for the test. By the same token. If it shows that you went from 40 weight to 36, that is also valuable information. All oils suffer over the miles. It's how much they degrade that this analysis can tell you on the first test. Not only that. But Blackstone, and most other services, will tell you what their extensive database shows as a good report average in each category to compare your results to. This also gives you a valuable status report on how things are going inside on the very first test. If you have an outlier, that will show up. Blackstone also gives recommendations based upon the test results. As in, 'You need to change your oil sooner. Or, 'You can go miles on this oil'. Or, 'You're service interval is just about right for this application'.

    Granted. To get the most out of this tool it needs to be used with each oil service, because trends and comparison are the strong points here. But even just 1 analysis can be very useful. As always, just my opinion.
    Last edited by BajaRon; 01-14-2020 at 10:33 AM.
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    WOW, when do you guys have time to ride?

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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h0gr1der View Post
    I believe in checking the virgin oil analysis vs the used oil analysis in comparable equipment. In some instances different manufacturers start out with a heavier base, which will show up as less sheared down on an equal mileage test. These lab reports (UOA) are great to tell you about viscosity breakdown if you know the starting point (VOA), and give you the remaining TBN. I know it's not rat540, but if you like making your own decisions there is a wealth of information here; https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...alysis-reports . I'm with PMK, in the industry I was in we tore big engines down based on some of the reports and found nothing wrong, and also saw instances where green flagged engines has a bearing failure that went unnoticed. It is my belief that for most of us, the oils used today are so far ahead of oils even 30 years ago as far a protection goes that worrying about which oil is pointless. Pick a good brand that you trust, that has the specification for the equipment you're running it in, at a cost you want to pay. IT will be more than adequate for the mileage interval set forth. Most of us will never make the 9300 mile change every year, and fall between 2000-7500 miles.

    To put this in perspective about overthinking oil, I bought a used tractor because I wanted one I could work on without all the computer and smog equipment. It had only around 250 hours on it. I picked a top quality synthetic oil that met the specs of the motor. Doing the math, I figure that at 100 hours per year use, and knowing these tractors go into the 5000-8000 hour range before any normal wear problems manifest, I figure I'll be about 105 years old before I need to do something mechanically to it. Use good oil, change it periodically, and inspect the filter element and magnets at each change. Your Spyder will probably outlast you.
    Who is rat540 and what makes them so special? Why do you have to change oil every year?
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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman2013 View Post
    Who is rat540 and what makes them so special? Why do you have to change oil every year?
    The manual from BRP has the recommended oil change listed by mileage and calendar months. The calendar months is more important in areas of wide temperature changes. Personally I typically go a month or two past 12 months and hit the mileage number I use of 5000 miles. Temps here are fairly stable and while humid, the machine is stored indoors and run enough not to be a concern.

    540rat, is a, in my opinion, very smart and talented person. He has been independently testing and rating oils for years. He offers very accurate repeatable results, and his test methods are real world based on friction and heat. In his blog he gives insight into what he tests for and why. His blog is a long read, but if you understand and read it all, it is very informative.

    Since he is not accepting money from oil companies to test their oils, he purchases each oil tested. I have never noticed him holding back and calls it as it rates. Previously, I would sometimes visit Bob is the oil guy website. I found, unfortunately that the posts there were often heavily opinionated without true facts. 540Rats blog is like Joe Friday, just the facts with test data to back it up.

    As I mentioned before, I have not yet seen 540Rat test Amsoil motorcycle oil. He has tested a various Amsoil automotive and truck oils. Some Amsoil products did very well, others not so well. Myself, using 540Rats ranking list of oils, I use Mobil 1 10w40 Racing Motorcycle oil and it is the number 2 wet clutch rated motorcycle oil behind Motul 300v. Other popular oils such as Rotella T6 and Valvoline are on the rankings also. It takes a bit of reading and small effort to compile and segregate the motorcycle and popular oils out from the automotive oils. Not bad, just a bit of extra effort.

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