Oil additives are added to oils during the manufacturing process to improve the performance of motorcycle oils.
Below are examples of commonly used additives.
Additives are often used to improve the lubrication qualities and reduce oxidation (burning) and friction, but they can also be used for simple things like changing the colour of the oil.
Animal and Vegetable oils: Animal oils and fats used to be used for greasing horse and cart axles, but animal fats are not suitable for motorcycle engines as they oxidise (burn) at low temperatures and will form a clogging gum or varnish.
Most vegetable oils have the same drawbacks as animal fats, except castor oil. Continue reading
Single or Mono Grade oil (e.g. SAE 40w)…
This is an oil which is only suitable for use within a very narrow temperature range.
SAE monograde oils usually fall into 2 main categories. The grades with a ‘w’ after them (SAE 5w, 10w, 15w and 20w) are only suitable for use in winter time because they are generally thin oils which are good for use in winter or for cold starting. Continue reading
API (American Petroleum Institute) Grades
A Double letter ‘API’ code classifies oils as suitable for different uses. The first letter of the API grade shows the type of engine an oil can be used in (either petrol or diesel). All petrol engines are classified ‘S’ which stands for ‘spark ignition engines’. All diesel engines are classified ‘C’ which stands for ‘compression ignition engines’. Continue reading