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Started at 01:02am on the 3rd December, 2017 by Signature1800
Signature1800 Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Hi, What is the best mono grade ENGINE oil to use in my 1988 350 Bullet or should I use a multi grade 20w/50 ?
Posted: 01:02am 3rd December, 2017
DONT use a monograde engine oil! Monograde oils are only suitable for a specific set of steady/constant/continuous operating parameters
Posted: 01:41am 3rd December, 2017
Signature1800 Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
thanks Tim NZ, as I am here in Australia can I use a multi grade Castrol or similar?
Posted: 03:31am 3rd December, 2017
Any decent 20/50 will be fine.
Posted: 08:32am 3rd December, 2017
ed.lazda Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Tim, your advice makes sense to me and I always use multigrades in bikes of any age. But there are some very knowledgeable people around who would disagree -- for example, Les Emery at Norvil, who has probably built more engines than I've had hot dinners, is ADAMANT that you MUST use monograde in a Commando. Any idea why he (and others) think this way?
Posted: 09:59am 3rd December, 2017
Revband Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Good question Ed, I for one don't know, I used monograde for many years in many bikes with no problems, I have used classic multigrade now for many years without problem basically because it is readily available, again no problems, as a hard up teenager I used second hand oil drained from my dad's car in my BSA B31, thrashed if everywhere again no problems, any oil is better than no oil it would seem.
Posted: 11:22am 3rd December, 2017
Hi are two reference points}---1) Go to page 7 of our hosts 2017 / 2018 catalogue and have a good read-up.....2) What does your owner's manual say on the subject ??

I'm with TIM and PETE F on this........In my Iron barreled, 500cc Bullet '65 I use Morris Oils 20 / 50 mainly because it's formulated just up the road at Shrewsbury and I can get it VERY cheaply from my nearest Farmers' shop outlet !!.........Changing oil at the recommended frequency along with a fresh filter and then riding your bike with a "sympathetic ear" will ensure longevity more than anything else I would say....
Posted: 12:22pm 3rd December, 2017
binary Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Gulf Western 20/50 that I buy from Supercheap Auto parts and accessories here in Tasmania Australia. The 20 part is for when the motorcycle is cold and it is then pumped around much quicker at this lower viscosity and the 50 part is for as the oil heats up polymers in the oil change its viscosity to this higher number so that it better protects the engine at running speeds, at least that is what I have been told. Multi grade.
Posted: 08:57pm 3rd December, 2017
Notrun Commonwhores have much bigger problems than what oil to run: Flexing crankshafts, stripped exhaust port threads, cracked cases (eng & Gbox) engine breathing, cam and tappet wear, I could go pon and on and on...

Multi grade Synthetic or Group 111 mineral oils (premium) have it all over any 'Straight' oil for ANY motor that is expected to operate across a broad spectrum of operating conditions.
Rather than run a mono-grade oil for any street based motor-cycle, Les would be better served by fitting a thermostatic controlled oil cooler. Bugger me if that is not the rest of the automotive world does?
There are valid argument for Mono grade oil, but only if you are comparing Supermarket brand cheepo take home packs of multi grade compared to a premium #straight oil. That are not going to be changed in under 2000miles. The situation was worse for the pre 73 Notruns that did not originally have a decent oil filter. Exasperated by extreme cam/tappet loading (DONT run SSS cams) and high pistons speed that all accelerate oil shearing (breakdown) and oil overheating. Norton oil tank temps of over 120c are common, along with big end temps in excess of 50c: The Motors are seriously dated and have poor thermodynamics and cooling.
Make you wonder just who has it right...
Posted: 09:22pm 3rd December, 2017
Hi Guys---------OOoopppsss BINARY, you've fallen into the old "Viscosity" trap I'm afraid....Consider this}----Before you change your old oil you take the bike out for a run to heat it up so that the oil will drain better, yes ??...Now if what you have just said ( and 1,000's of others also do I suspect ) then you'd have to book your bike into an industrial meat freezer so that the oil would come down to a 20 grade and thus flow freely out of the sump..... Clearly that's not the case, so what is going on ??............

Have a read of this to get a better understanding}----- PS}-- the sign cSt means "Centistoke" and is a unit if fluid/mass flow rate...1cSt = 1 square mm per second------
Posted: 09:34pm 3rd December, 2017
Leon Novello Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Regarding Alan`s comment, I always drained the oil when it is cold; the reason is after a run in the heat and standing for a few days, any oil that is going to drain will already have drained down to the reservoir. And as some modern oil has magnetized molecules, that thin film of oil is always going to stay on ferrous metal in the engine. Magnetized oil: that is one reason the lawn mower didn`t seize when I drained it, went to work, bought oil, came home and found the my wife had mowed the lawn with no oil in the engine. The mower was not damaged as far as I could hear, and ran for years afterwards. I seem to have good Gremlins in my shed.
Posted: 10:13pm 3rd December, 2017
binary Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
I agree with Leon Novello. This discussion about what oil to run is a tired old chestnut that is taken out of the forum closet from time to time and given an airing. Here is to hoping that it slips quietly back into the closet where it belongs and the door is firmly closed.
Posted: 08:51am 5th December, 2017
Valsp Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Leon You are a lucky chap. Where did you find a wife that mows the lawn for you?
Posted: 09:11am 5th December, 2017
Leon Novello Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Valsp: We had a deal, she mows the lawn and I don`t work on the bullet in the lounge room.
Posted: 09:23am 5th December, 2017
simon Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Im a fan of monogrades generally but not for Indian Bullets. They have no proper oil pressure release valve and that combined with a plain big end means that oil pressure when cold can get way too high.
Posted: 04:23am 8th December, 2017
ric Subject: 1988 BULLET ENGINE OIL TYPE
Binary, it's a problem of our own making, we're just too polite to simply reply 'RTFM' as soon as the question is asked.
Posted: 09:53am 8th December, 2017
Got to disagree with Leon here.
If you drain the oil hot you have more chance of draining any sludge out with it, as it will be more likely to be in suspension.
Hot or cold, there will be plenty of oil on the engine surfaces to run until the new oil circulates.
People get paranoid about oil circulation after an oil change - there really isn't a problem for the minute or so it takes to get the new stuff round.
Regarding the mower, I'm not at all surprised that the (Briggs and Stratton?) engine ran with minimal oil. These engines don't have an oil pump generally and are designed to manage on minimal lubrication.
Posted: 11:06am 10th December, 2017

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