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Best engine oil?

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3030vision Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:42 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Best engine oil?

Post by 3030vision » Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:26 pm

After much frustration trying to get my '64 Superhawk running, i impulsively bought a running '65 Superhawk off eBay. The bike appears to be in really nice condition with only the right muffler having a few issues. I took the bike on the road as soon as it was delivered and it rides nice. Supposedly it was driven for a year or so and then covered in a garage. The speedo shows around 5k miles.

Now that i've been riding the bike and getting accustomed to it, I'd like to change the oil and think about what other maintenance I should perform. Is there a particular oil weight or brand that would suit this bike particuarly well? I have an original manual and I don't see any mention as to what weight to use.

I'd welcome any suggestions on things to check or perform as this bike is brand new to me but has allegedly been shelved for 40+ years. My most recent experience is with old Vespas.


kustommusic Member
Posts: 585
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:44 pm
Location: Goshen Indiana

Post by kustommusic » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:16 pm

3030, I believe the owners manual calls for 30W non-detergant. Steve Greer

piecutter Member
Posts: 326
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:03 pm
Location: Maryland

Post by piecutter » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:16 pm

No need to fret much over it. A modern motorcycle grade 10w40 (or 20w50 if it's really clapped out) that is commonly available at your local shop is certainly not going to hurt it.
Remember that automotive oils are NOT formulated for engines that use the oil in the clutch and transmission. An average motorcycle engine "chews" on the oil a bit harder and faster than a car does, so a synthetic blend actually gives you a bit more protection, as it maintains it's viscocity longer due to it's long chain molecules having a higher "sheer" strength than ordinary petroleum.
I'm not saying that you can't use a car oil, any oil is only as good as the owners ability to know when to service it. Obviously an oil with a longer service life is going to require less attention and give you a greater protection buffer if you should forget the service interval. I personally have been useing Spectro or Silkolene synthetic blends in all my bikes with great satisfaction. I'm not going to push one over the other since I don't want people to get the idea that I have a "sales" oriented bias since I work in the M/C parts & accessories industry. They are just 2 brands that are highly rated that I have easy access to and use frequently, and feel that I'm able to offer an educated opinion on.
It all boils down to this. If it's your pride and joy, then your investment in a good oil should not be a matter of economics. It doesn't take that much oil, so put something good in it. These bikes don't benefit from modern oil filtering capability either, so don't let your service interval lapse. At least you'll have a better margin for error when you do forget, if you use a better product.


FiremanBob Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by FiremanBob » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:52 pm

I use Shell Rotella 5W-40 full synthetic (in the blue bottle) in my V65. It works great. Thin enough to pump quickly throughout the motor when starting cold, thick enough to protect. Being synthetic, it also has good sticking quality; i.e., it doesn't drip off the parts so much at rest.

rbaselt Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:24 pm
Location: Seal Beach, CA

Post by rbaselt » Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:28 am

I have read that the modern API-rated automotive engine oils are deficient (due to their deleterious effect on exhaust system catalysts) in the types of additives that our high-revving overhead cam engines need, so it it probably best to stick with a 4-stroke motorcycle oil, whether it be petroleum-based or synthetic. --Randall

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