New Horizons for a New Era of Motorcycles

May 5, 2020

Topics: Motorcycles

Since the 1960's, motorcycle technology has evolved significantlyfrom cable-operated throttle to fly-by-wire technology, drum brakes to twin discs and kick to push button start—and the engine oil requirements have also evolved, from the use of multiple oils to just one.

In this video, we discuss the competing performance requirements dedicated motorcycle oils must meet, while operating under higher power density conditions, the market's move to lower viscosity fuel efficient lubricants and more. 

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Video Transcript

The swinging 60's. A time of exciting change, cultural shifts, incredible feats, and monumental engineering firsts. First man to take steps on the moon. Or touch down in the Mariana Trench. And, as the decade began, production bikes were already smashing speed records.

Today's modern counterpart is advanced and technology-rich. Beauty and beast combined. Compare the two, and its clear, they share a style. But there, the similarities end.  Look closer. A lot's changed. From a cable operated throttle, to fly-by-wire technology. Drum brakes to twin discs. From kick to push-button start.

Look even closer, and you'll see the old bike had a separate gearbox to the engine, which needed its own oil. So did the transfer case between the two. With today's bike, there's just one oil to lubricate and protect the engine, gearbox, and clutch. That's despite each having competing performance requirements, yet all operating under higher power density conditions.

The old bike was air-cooled, with a separate reserve oil tank below the seat. Vastly different to today's with liquid cooling, a radiator, and all its oil held in the engine. Plus, it’s fitted with a catalyst to comply with strict emissions standards. Today's four-stroke bikes use a single oil to lubricate their engine, gearbox, and clutch. They demand multigrade lubricants engineered to optimize efficiency, engine and catalyst durability. And the market continues to move towards lower viscosity, fuel efficient lubricants. So why, with such huge technological advances, such precise engineering, do so many riders use oils engineered for cars? Or very dated bike engine oils?

We believe we have a responsibility to embrace and support engineering achievement. Not just for today's modern motorbikes, but also the hardware advancements, the evolutions to come, the possibilities we've yet to realize. So together, we're prepared for the exhilarating journey ahead.