Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Oil Testing
Amsoil rated the best in Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Testing
In Test Results of Industry Standard Four-Ball Wear Testing, Harley-Davidson's Own "Genuine" Oil
Produces the Highest Wear Scar vs. Other Leading Motorcycle Oil's!
Harley-Davidson Maintains That You Use Their "Genuine" Oil, yet Harley Davidson Doesn't Even
Make Their Own Oil.
Learn The Facts About Harley-Davidson Oil in this Eye-Opening Article written by A.J.
Amatuzio, President and CEO of AMSOIL INC.
"A situation my daughter, Lyn, told me about recently got me to thinking about how good it is to be able to blend
our own oils and have complete control over our own product quality.
Lyn loves to ride motorcycles. She recently purchased a Harley-Davidson bike and took it to the local Harley shop
to have our new AMSOIL Motorcycle Oil installed. The mechanic took issue with her not using the oil Harley-Davidson
sells, saying, "I'll use AMSOIL motor oil when AMSOIL starts making motorcycles!"
How would you answer a challenge like that? I was pleased to hear Lyn's response. She said, " I'll start using
Harley-Davidson motor oil when Harley starts making oil!"
Perfect! The fact is that Harley-Davidson, like so many other "brands" of oil, contract
with one or more oil companies to make their lubricants. Often, the decision as to who actually makes a private
labeled product is based on low bid, and like almost everything manufactured by a low bidder, short cuts are taken
in order to meet the low price.
I understand that Harley-Davidson has contracted with one company for a number of years to make their oil. That's
good, but it still doesn't change the fact that they make motorcycles, not oil. Now consider all the private label
oils out there. Every manufacturer that makes equipment with an engine has it's own name on an oil bottle. That
includes all the major auto manufacturers, the makers of motorcycles, ATV's, snowmobiles, farm equipment, you name
it, they all have oils. But none of these equipment manufacturers actually make an oil. They sell oil to make
more money, and then they often price these oils well above the going rate for competitive lubricants because, like
Harley-Davidson, they can specify or create the impression that only their oil be used in
Now there's nothing wrong in having a goal to make money, but let's get real here. Why would anyone want to use
a product manufactured down to a price rather than up to high quality standards? We have tested a number of
these private label motor oils and two-cycle oils and we found that many are mediocre quality products. None of
them even comes close to performing as well as AMSOIL lubricants, and that's a fact!
I'm not taking shots at Harley-Davidson. They make good motorcycles (although I liked my Goldwing better). And I
understand their concern that normal automotive oils not meeting API C specs shouldn't be used in their bikes. But
when they imply that AMSOIL Motorcycle Oil is not as good as their brand or I hear that one of their dealers
recommended not using AMSOIL, I get a little hostile. Those kinds of statements are the very reason we introduced
our motorcycle oils in the first place. And when we say use our 20W-50 motorcycle oil in V-Twin motorcycle engines,
that definitely includes Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Our Motorcycle Products Brochure, G-391, includes wear comparisons of AMSOIL Motorcycle Oils vs. other oils,
including H-D "Genuine". Both our oils demonstrate superior wear protection over all other tested brands.
Interestingly enough, the highest wear scar in this test turned out to be
Harley-Davidson's own "Genuine" oil!
There is a good reason why AMSOIL Motorcycle Oils protect so well against wear. They are formulated with
significantly higher levels of zinc and phosphorus, which when included in proper formulation with other high
quality additives, provide superior wear protection at the high operating temperatures typical of motorcycles. In
addition, synthetic oils inherently reduce sump temperatures so the engines actually run cooler.
The fact is, Harley would do well to have AMSOIL make their oils for them. Then they could be assured that their
oil was indeed a superior product. As it is, there may be absolutely nothing wrong with their oil for use in
average service, but I guarantee you as the oil temperature gets hotter, like it does when sitting in traffic on
asphalt on a hot summer day, the Harley-Davidson with AMSOIL in the crankcase is going to be far better protected
and run far cooler than the bike with H-D "Genuine" oil in it. There's just no two ways about it!
So, my daughter Lyn will be going back to this mechanic armed with the facts about AMSOIL Motorcycle Oils and a few
facts about H-D oil. Nobody's going to tell her that her dad's oils are not the very best. She knows better, and
she's on a mission to prove her point. Who knows? Knowing Lyn, she might sign up another AMSOIL Dealer in the
AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-40 and 20W-50 motorcycle oils give motorcyclists what they need:
Superior wear protection for high- stress motorcycle engines and transmissions that stay clean and
One of the most common questions we are asked is what is the recommended transmission lube for Harley-Davidson,
both big twins and sportsters?
The answer is for 883cc and 1200cc sportster motorcycles, the AMSOIL Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil is recommended
for both the engine and transmission. On 1340cc and 1450cc models, the 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil is recommended for the
engine crankcase, Series 2000 75W-90 Gear Lube for the transmission and the 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil for the
AMSOIL submitted five popular motorcycle oils to spectrographic analysis and Four-Ball Wear (ASTM
D4172) testing and compared the results to those of AMSOIL Synthetic 20W-50 and Synthetic 10W-40 Motorcycle
None of the popular motorcycle oils compared favorably to the AMSOIL products in wear additive content or wear
protection (see Spectrographic Analysis chart and Wear Protection graph).
Test Results: HD Syn3 vs AMSOIL V-Twin Motorcycle Oil
As seen in the chart below, AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils contain significantly higher levels of
zinc and phosphorus than the competing oils, and while simply adding more zinc and phosphorus doesn’t insure
good performance, AMSOIL has formulated motorcycle oils with the best additives in the optimal quantities to
provide superior wear protection.
What about oil temperature and wear? A Four-Ball Wear Test was conducted at 302°F/150°C, a higher
temperature that would typically be associated with motorcycle oil operating temperatures in extreme high
performance situations. AMSOIL products protect better in higher temperatures than any of the tested motorcycle
oils do, leaving a wear scar up to 37 percent smaller.
Some motorcycle transmissions and engines share a common oil sump, so the engine oil must also
provide wear protection to the transmission gears, which, according to Motorcycle Consumer News (Aug. 1998) are
subject to high gear surface pressures and gear rotation speeds. The superior performance of the AMSOIL
Motorcycle Oils in the Four-Ball Wear Test applies here too.
Motorcyclists will find no better oils than AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils.
Here's what a few of our satisfied customers have to say about AMSOIL:
Dear Dave.....How's it going? Fine I hope. I just wanted to bring you up to date. I received my AMSOIL 20W-50
Motorcycle oil today via UPS. I wasted no time, and changed my H-D 20W-50 oil to your 100% synthetic. I can already
tell a definite change in how my transmission shift's smoother! My engine sound's quieter, and I notice the
throttle response is better, and more responsive. Although my H-D 2002 V-Rod only has 1976 mile's, and is still
very new, I feel more confident for the future life of my fine machine knowing it now has adequate protection in
the engine, transmission, and final drive. The wet clutch seem's to be easier to operate as well. I showed my
Harley pal's your wear test's specification's, and how poor a quality H-D 20W-50 really is, and some of them are
now interested in switching their motorcycles to AMSOIL as well! One of my Harley pal's is a Master Diesel
Mechanic, and he quit using H-D oil year's ago. He knows there are many better quality regular petroleum oil's out
there than the way over-rated H-D brand! I will happily promote your product to other enthusiast's down the line.
Thank's Again......Charles Graham
If you would like a complete chart on the recommended oils for
your Harley Click Here
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