Switching to synthetic?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by 01 rk, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. 01 rk

    01 rk Active Member

    I have read up on the plus side of using synthentic oil, but concerned about switching with 46k on the engine. I've used conventional in every HD I've had [5] with no bad effects.
    What is the down side, if any, if I switch with this many miles on the engine?
    A friend switched and had serious problems with leaks, was this just fluke or is this sort of thing common with higher mileage motors?
    Will oil pressure be affected, will engine noise increase?
    I have changed the oil every 3k like clock work and the bike runs fine, I don't want to make problems for myself, but want to use whats best for the engine.
    Having a difficult time with this, any help will be appreciated.
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Yes, leaks can be an issue with gaskets that have some age and miles on them. I don't think the oil pressure will be an issue at all. Engine noise can change from one brand of oil to another. Here again though a little engine noise isn't going to hurt anything. Will your bike leak if switched over, no definitive answer on that.

  3. rkrdr2

    rkrdr2 Active Member

    My question is why would you be thinking about switching?..What you have been doing for the last 46k miles is working I would keep doing it...But changing over to synthetic with 46k miles would not have any ill effects on your motor or create any leaks...In your friends case I would bet it's more of a coincident than the oil...jmo..Do agree with Smitty..get synthetic gear lube in the Trans..

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Full synthetics will offer better cooling of the oil when it gets hot.. Just works that way.. Very slippery and lots of anti wear in the Good Stuff...Says so on their web sites LOOK.... The parts around Cooler oil stay Cooler also..

    Take a big pair of boots,,, Walk across your nice rug for many years,,,Yes you keep rug clean and wipe your feet before you walk on the rug...

    NOW take off the Big boots and put on a sleek pair of sandals....Don't drag your feet:newsmile055:

    Now that is the drift...:newsmile011:

    I think the sandals would show LESS wear than the boots...Over Time....EH.(geezer taught)

    Just the thinking of a 1/2 awake member... Morn'

    Where does this Stuff come from?:laugh
  5. 01 rk

    01 rk Active Member

    I've been using redline in the trans for many years.
    The issue with the oil is that up to now most of the miles are long distance hwy type, not much stop and go. My riding, with age, is changing though,no more 6 or 7k trips, more riding locally, stop and go, more starts.
    From what I have read syn sticks better so when the engine starts less wear.
    Our trip to Sturgis will be the last long distance ride, so if I change it will be after the trip.
    Also does syn help with gas mileage?
    Thanks for the advice so far.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Your #1 in My book... I Preach the Religion of Redline Oil...

    Shockproof in the tranny and MTL or Redline V-twin primary in there...

    20/50 Redline for the engine...
    I don't buy the V-twin 20/50 as Like you I have used the 20/50 Premium motor oil for many years and numerous bikes... Just a little less anti wear in the premium as compared to the v-twin label.

    I doubt IF you'll see any difference using synthetic oil as a way to improve Mileage.. (the Wrist mostly and older age will)

    Personally I'd change Out to synthetic Before the trip,,,Why you ask?

    The synthetic oil in the engine will hold up better and Longer in the heat of Sturgis... Much better than the mineral oil you use now... The way synthetic protects is by Not wearing out under HEAT and Stress like the oil you Now use... Change frequency CAN be Upped by a 1000 or 2000 miles as it will be too good at 3000 to toss out.. I do Mine at 4-5 thousand and it still looks Clean at dump time.. Not Black like mineral after it gets burn up....

  7. blademan

    blademan Active Member

    With that many miles I would just keep running what you have been. As far as oil pressure goes I do know that when I went from Mobile 1 to Castrol in my 72' El Camino oil pressure went up approx 15 LBS.
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Clean oil is what makes the gaskets seal, that said if you have been using a quality oil and changing regularly you should not have any problems. Too many change with high miles for the wrong reasons IMO:s
  9. israguard

    israguard Active Member

    The name "Redline" has come up a few times. How does it stack up to HD's synthetic?. I don't mind changing oils often even if not necessary.. As I feel it's a great investment.. Just always fearful of changing and then being told I'm out of warrantee etc. I also would love an oil that could reduce the "clunk" I get when switching gears. Bikes runs perfectly.. Just noise annoys me.
  10. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    Most oil leaks were there before switching to synthetic; they were just plugged with sludge. The superior properties of the synthetics cleaned away the sludge revealing a dried up seal and the result is a leak. If you haven't been doing alot of short trips, which will result in sludge buildup with conventional oils, you shouldn't have a problem switching to synthetic.

    But, then again, if conventional oils have been working just fine for you this long it shouldn't hurt continuing what you've been doing.

    Just for info, I changed a '95 Safari van with over 100k over to synthetics and never had any leaks in the 60k after that (sold it last month).

    Redline is a class 5 synthetic (top of the line) and HD's is a class 3 (Mobil 1 and Amsoil are class 4). HD's doesn't contain any esters or PAO's which are the basis of true synthetics. Class 3 is highly refined dino oil. HD's syn is made by CITGO (think Hugo Chavez) and Redline is all american. If you find the independant lab testing white papers done for Amsoil, it'll give you an even better view of how HD's Syn stacks up against other synthetics. Unfortunately, I believe the white papers didn't include Redline products.