Harley-Davidson Confirms To
AMSOIL That The Use Of Synthetic Motor Oils Other Than Harley-Davidson
Oil Does Not Void Warranty Coverage
3700 West Juneau Ave., P.O. Box 653, Milwaukee, WI 53201 414/342-4680
January 31, 2003
Superior, WI 54880
Dear Mr. Scanlon:
Thank you for your recent letter
requesting information on Harley-Davidson's one-year, unlimited
mileage warranty when Synthetic Lubricants are used.
Until now, the Motor Company
has never supported the use of synthetic products in our vehicles
because there had never been any test validations completed
on the numerous formulations in HD/Buell motorcycles to determine
the viability of using these products on Harley-Davidson products
We have developed a specially
formulated synthetic fluid called SYN3. This fluid can be
used in Harley-Davidson engines, transmissions and primary
chaincases. This product had been exclusively designed for
Harley-Davidson and is the only synthetic product tested and
certified by Harley-Davidson engineering for use on HD/Buell
The use of a different
brand of fluid does not void the one-year, unlimited mileage
warranty unless it can be confirmed that the
use of such products was the cause of the failure.
Thank you, Mr. Scanlon, for
taking the time to write to Harley-Davidson and allowing me
to answer your questions.
Powertrain Customer Service
Why is AMSOIL Synthetic Oil
Watch this Informative
AMSOIL V-Twin Motorcycle
Oil Torture Test
What You Need To Know
About Motorcycle Oils
As with any vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine,
proper lubrication is essential to insure performance and
longevity. It is important to point out that not all internal
combustion engines are similarly designed or exposed to the
same types of operation. These variations in design and operation
place different demands on engine oils. Specifically, the
demands placed on motorcycle engine oils are more severe than
those placed on automotive engine oils. Therefore, the performance
requirements of motorcycle oils are more demanding as well.
Though the degree may be debatable,
few will disagree that a difference exists between automotive
and motorcycle applications. In which area these differences
are and to what degree they alter lubrication requirements
are not clear to most motorcycle operators. By comparing some
basic equipment information, one can better understand the
differences that exist.
There are six primary differences
between motorcycle and automotive engine applications:
Operational Speed -
Motorcycles tend to operate at engine speeds significantly
higher than automobiles. This places additional stress on
engine components, increasing the need for wear protection.
It also subjects lubricating oils to higher loading and shear
forces. Elevated operating RPMs also promote foaming, which
can reduce an oil's load-carrying ability and accelerated
Compression Ratio -
Motorcycles tend to operate with higher engine compression
ratios than automobiles. Higher compression ratios place additional
stress on engine components and increase engine operating
temperatures. Higher demands are placed on the oil to reduce
wear. Elevated operating temperatures also promote thermal
degradation of the oil, reducing its life expectancy and increasing
the formation of internal engine deposits.
Density - Motorcycle engines produce nearly twice
the horsepower per cubic inch of displacement of automobile
engines. This exposes the lubricating oil to higher temperatures
Variable Engine Cooling
- In general, automotive applications usa a sophisticated
water-cooling system to control engine operating temperatures.
Similar systems can be found in motorcycle applications, but
other designs also exist. Many motorcycles are air-cooled
or use a combination air/oil design. Though effective, they
result in greater fluctuations in operating temperatures,
particularly when motorcycle are operated in stop-and-go traffic.
Elevated operating temperature promotes oxidation and causes
oils to thin, reducing their load carrying ability.
Functionality - In automotive applications, engine
oils are required to lubricate only the engine. Other automotive
assemblies, such as transmissions, have seperate fluid reservoirs
that contain a lubricant designed specifically for that component.
The requirements of that fluid differ significantly from those
of automotive engine oil. Many motorcycles have a common sump
supplying oil to both the engine and transmission. In such
cases, the oil is required to meet the needs of both the engine
and transmission gears. Many motorcycles also incorporate
a frictional clutch within the transmission that uses the
Motorcycles are typically used less frequently than automobiles.
Whereas automobiles are used on a daily basis, motorcycle
use is usually periodic and in many cases seasonal. These
extended periods of inactivity place additional stress on
motorcycle oils. In these circumstances, rust and acid corrosion
protection are of critical concern.
It is apparent that motorcycle
applications place a different set of requirements on lubricating
oils. Motorcycle oils, therefore, must be formulated to address
this unique set of high stress conditions.
Erik Buell Partners With
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle
Oil is the Factory Fill Oil for EBR Buell Motorcycles
Consistent Clutch Feel
- Clutch slippage or inconsistent clutch feel can
prevent dirt bike riders from riding as fast or effectively
as they like. To keep the engine within the power band, riders
often modulate the clutch, increasing the opportunity for
clutch slippage if low-quality lubricants are used.
Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil's superior friction-durability
properties help minimize clutch slippage, fade and chatter,
giving riders consistent clutch feel during takeoffs or when
maneuvering around obstacles on the trail. In an extreme simulated-start
test, AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil continued to deliver
consistent clutch feel following 32 simulated race starts,
while a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-branded
oil demonstrated inconsistent clutch-lever action and poor
clutch feel after 16 starts. The clutch plates lubricated
with AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil remained clean and in
good overall condition, while the plates using the OEM oil
revealed discoloration and wear. AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike
Oil's superior performance helps instill in riders the confidence
that their bikes will perform consistently in all types of
Racing is Research -
AMSOIL corporately sponsored supercross and motocross racers
identified consistent clutch feel as a key performance attribute.
At the time, there was no dirt-bike-specific oil on the market
that provided the level of clutch consistency professional
and amateur riders demand. Consistent clutch feel is critical
to motocross riders during starts to keep the bike from lurching
forward prior to the gate dropping. Trail riders, meanwhile,
need consistent clutch feel to confidently navigate obstacles
without having to shift gears and lose momentum.
In-Depth Product Development
- The process to develop Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil
relied on a combination of lab and track testing. Clutch feel
is inherently subjective, which creates challenges in designing
a lubricant that delivers consistent clutch feel. To overcome
that challenge, AMSOIL designed The Extreme Simulated-Start
Test on Dirt Bikes. The test allows AMSOIL engineers to apply
accelerated stress to a dirt bike's clutch in order to monitor
clutch feel produced by a candidate lubricant.
The test uses a 2014 Honda CRF450R
attached to a dyno. While in second gear, the test administrator
holds the clutch at the point just prior to engagement, similar
to the way a rider would hold the bike in the gates during
a race start. The clutch is then released and the bike is
run to fourth gear, simulating the time from the drop of the
gate to the first corner in a race. The rear wheel is not
allowed to slip during the test, placing additional stress
on the clutch. Test administrators look for consistent lever
action and feel as they wait to let out the clutch and as
they shift the bike through the gears.
Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil was also subjected to extensive
on-track testing in the bikes of GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda Factory
Connection and other professional riders. A combination of
rider feedback and lab testing resulted in the final formulation
of Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil. Its performance in lab and track
testing dispels the myth that synthetics are "too slippery"
and make clutches slip. Results also demonstrate that AMSOIL
Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil delivers consistent clutch performance
while helping extend clutch life. (Buy
NOACK Volatility Test
is a Critical Measurement of Motor Oil Quality
the first motor oil company in North America to use
the NOACK volatility test to measure motor oil quality
and performance. Although competing motor oil companies
initially paid no attention to NOACK results, the test
has since become a critical measurement tool throughout
designs generate more heat than ever, accentuating the
importance of the NOACK volatility test for determining
an oil's ability to provide an adequate level of protection
and performance. More horsepower, turbo chargers and
aerodynamic styling have created extremely hot environments
that receive less cooling from outside air, and high
heat leads to oil oxidation, deposits and thickening
in conventional oils.
for the current API SM motor oils specification, gasoline
motor oils cannot experience a weight loss of more than
15 percent in the NOACK test. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
Oils were exceeding modern requirements over 20 years
ago, while many current motor oils still have a hard
time meeting this minimal requirement, increasing wear,
fuel consumption and emissions.
As seen in
the graph, AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil easily passes
the NOACK Test and falls well below the the maximum
15 percent volatilization (burn off) rate dictated by
the API SM motor oil specification, while the Royal
Purple volatilization (burn off) rate is over 11 percent
and the Lucas Oil FAILS the
test with a volatilization (burn off) rate of over 40
AMSOIL Dealer Michael Mathe's
2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200L with over 50,000 AMSOIL
Why Motor Oil Deteriorates
It is common knowledge
that, at some point, engine oil must be changed. It's something
that is preached relentlessly to vehicle owners by vehicle
manufacturers, quick lubes and oil companies. But consumers
are widely unaware of what exactly makes oil changes necessary.
Many factors contribute
to a motor oil's demise, but it is essentially the accumulation
of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes in the oil
itself that make a motor unfit for further service. With time,
it is inevitable that the oil will be contaminated by dirt
or sludge, or succumb to the extreme pressures or temperatures
found inside an engine. AMSOIL Motor Oils are formulated with
the industry's most advanced synthetic base stocks and additive
packages to combat the forces that deteriorate conventional
What is the NOACK Volatility
Volatization is a term used to describe
what happens to a fluid as it is heated to the point it begins
to "boil off." Upon reaching a certain temperature,
oil will begin to lose some of its lighter weight molecules
as they "boil off" and leave heavier weight molecules
behind. Not only does this cause higher oil consumption, this
process can also cause increased viscosity making the oil
more difficult to circulate through the lubrication system.
Quality Takes Priority at AMSOIL
The AMSOIL chemical
laboratory plays an important role in the daily operations
at AMSOIL headquarters. The lab fulfills tech service requests,
performs competitor testing and comparisons, and works on
the research and development of products at AMSOIL. One of
the most important jobs at the lab is quality control. AMSOIL
is known for formulating high-quality products and the AMSOIL
chemists ensure that everything coming in and going out meets
AMSOIL standards. How do they do it? (read
Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals
on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that
effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy,
saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's
dependence on foreign oil.
INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause
mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when
AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the
company's recommendations and instructions."
synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test
specifications, offering protection far greater than competing
motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil
manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring
to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers
consumers unprecedented protection and economics.
More than 20 years
ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison
tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil
tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed,
and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies
paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company
made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what
AMSOIL had said all along.
NOACK Volatility Test
Volatility Test determines the evaporation loss
of lubricants in high temperature service. The more
motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become,
contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy
and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. AMSOIL
Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization
better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption
AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified
received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management
System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is
the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements
of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality
standard throughout the world for quality management systems.
ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide
setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and
is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization
providing a framework for system development that focuses
on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement.
AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope:
synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment
directly associated with lubricant product.
certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient
companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products
and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the
high level of quality the company always demanded.
AMSOIL Product Information
Form to Get Exclusive Technical Articles and Information
on AMSOIL Products.
weekly newsletter by email - please complete this form.
Personal contact information
will only be used to provide requested information or
assistance. You will not be enrolled in advertising
or marketing programs and your information will not
I welcome the opportunity to
work with you personally as your servicing AMSOIL Dealer.
Use the information on this website to contact me. You may
also check out the AMSOIL
Corporate Website for product and business opportunity
If you would like more information
about AMSOIL INC., click one of the links below: