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Another Oil Thread


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Castrol R40 bean oil made it to stage 2 , 242 lbs. It is quite low in friction at 1.9 total heat from friction. Some conventional oils were as high as 7 total heat.
Some synthetics had "not measureable" heat from friction.
Most synthetics were in the .5 to 2 range.
Three Motul oils were tested, the Lemans 300v synthetic, an oil labelled 5100 and another labelled 7100.
The 5100 failed at 195 lbs, Stage 1, the 7100 at 416 lbs, Stage 3. The Lemans 300v failed at 126 lbs. The Lemans had very low heat from friction.
Morris oil also did quite well at 196 lbs. This was Morris VTwin 20/50. Golden film wasn't tested.
One interesting observation was that a given company might have one or two oils that could resist very high loading and also one or two that failed with extremely light loading.
Brand meant nothing.
The expensive Royal Purple XPR synthetic that Jim had been using in his fuel injected Norton Commando 880 failed at just over 100 lbs. Royal Purple HPS made 437, nearly at the top of the stage 3 group.
Yeah, but bean oil exhaust doesn't smell like fossilised, Pterodactyl S**t! :D


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I think it was Slick 50, just been looking it up on the net.
I don't think that Slick 50 is considered a legitimate oil additive by those who have conducted scar wear tests. I would put it with zinc and ZDDP as oil additives that do not work well. Unfortunately, oil with high zinc levels do not work well either. While it does work as an anti wear additive, GM found that it becomes corrosive at high levels. They have spent a lot of money trying to wean Corvette owners off ZDDP and they have changed their owner's manuals to promote low ZDDP oil.

There are oils that provide stunningly high wear protection right out of the bottle. Many owners are using these, which is not surprising. Even though there are additives that do increase wear protection, I would just use an "out of the bottle" oil that gives the same results. Glen mentioned many of these oils.

If you have had good luck with your oil, keep using it. If you are trying to find a new oil I would stick to the 40w oils (including multi grades). High viscosity oils give you a little reserve during high heat moments. Although Vincents rarely get their oil up to cold temps, I think the oil is exposed to some very high temps in the cylinder and cam spindles due to combustion and hydraulic pressure.

Oil provides the highest protection at boiling temps, but the Vincents do not get their oil tanks this hot. So, it is good to start out with a very good oil that performs well cold. Like everything else, oil is a compromise also.



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It was years till the penny dropped that Q8 was from Kuwait ...:oops:
part of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)


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The ideal range for Zddp and flat tappets seems to be in the 1100-1400ppm range.
Some of the Norton owners were spending a lot to get the 2200ppm Redline, thinking if some ZDDP is good , more must be better.
They were mightily disappointed with the Redline scar testing.
There are also many different forms of ZDDP used.
This is why the scar testing was so useful, especially when done by an independent individual who just wanted information, wasn't interested in selling products.


Mike 40M

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When I can get castrol or castorlene R30 thats the stuff!;) no rubber gloves handing that oil, you wont see a cleaner inside timing cover and the old stuff is magic in the lathe. I will admit to going to Filtrate 2 stroke in my Scott though:confused:
Stupid question, what use in the lathe?
As I change the Morris R40 in the Manx after each race, so I've got got gallons of barely used oil.


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Stupid question, what use in the lathe?
As I change the Morris R40 in the Manx after each race, so I've got got gallons of barely used oil.
Don't throw old bean oil out. Once it's used it's even better. That's what the German's did with the Me-209-V1 record breaking airplane. They let used oil settle for a year, or so, then reused it in the Record Attempts. It's called "Picking the Bloom".
Last edited:


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That oil was one of about 50 that Jim Comstock, the Norton guru, tested in his scar tester.
It did very well at 337 lbs load to failure, and it's not expensive.
150 lbs at load failure was considered minimum acceptable for a stock engine.
Some of the very expensive oils turned to smoke very quickly. Redline 20/50 Synthetic with its very high Zddp of 2200 ppm failed at 119 lbs. Shell Aero Aircraft motor oil for flat tappet type engines sounded promising. It turned to smoke as soon as the first weight was added to the load arm.
96 lbs was all it managed.

I haven't been able to find the Castrol Classic here in Canada. Too bad, as the 337 lb load at failure puts it near top of class, recommended for Stage 3, Full Race engines.
The tables listed a number of oils with load ratings in the stock engine group, from 150 lbs to 175 lbs at failure.
Next was Stage 1 performance at 175 to 200lbs, Stage 2 at 200 to 300 and Stage 3, oil for full race engines at above 300lbs. Heat from friction was also measured.

Royal Purple HPS 20/50 (437lbs) also scored extremely high and it is readily available here. It showed negligible heat from friction.
Valvoline VR1 20/50 handled a fairly high load , just into Stage 1,(205 lbs)before failure . The straight 50 did even better at 230 pounds The VR1 is a conventional oil and not low friction like the HPS. A higher friction oil could be a good thing for a Vincent, especially in cool climates. As we know, Vincents take a long time to get the oil up to a good operating temp.
VR1 is one of the easiest to find here on the West Coast of North America, US or Canada.
Its probably not available in the UK, however you have the Castrol Classic which is all you really need.
Brad Penn Penngrade 1 20/50 was the only Brad Penn oil tested. It had load failure at 152lbs. It had very high heat from friction.

Been use this in my Comet since I built it and it gets ridden hard.never had to adjust the tappets.

peter holmes

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What Castrol Classic oil are you using, they supply a few types, are you using the 20/50 multigrade classic or one of the monogrades, they all carry the XL Classic brand name