Star Venture/Eluder air cooled V-twin and oil Base Oil Groups Explained - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Star Venture/Eluder air cooled V-twin and oil, Base Oil Groups Explained

As you know the Yamaha Star Venture and Eluder use an air cooled V-Twin flat tappet cam style engine. While you can run any oil in your air cooled Yamaha V-Twin that is designed for a wet clutch there are oils that will perform better than others in the following groups.

Conventional oils are your mineral oils in the following three groups:

Group I

Group I base oils are classified as less than 90 percent saturates, greater than 0.03 percent sulfur and with a viscosity-index range of 80 to 120. The temperature range for these oils is from 32 to 150 degrees F. Group I base oils are solvent-refined, which is a simpler refining process. This is why they are the cheapest base oils on the market.

Group II

Group II base oils are defined as being more than 90 percent saturates, less than 0.03 percent sulfur and with a viscosity index of 80 to 120. They are often manufactured by hydrocracking, which is a more complex process than what is used for Group I base oils. Since all the hydrocarbon molecules of these oils are saturated,

Group II base oils have better antioxidation properties. They also have a clearer color and cost more in comparison to Group I base oils. Still, Group II base oils are becoming very common on the market today and are priced very close to Group I oils.

Group III

Group III base oils are greater than 90 percent saturates, less than 0.03 percent sulfur and have a viscosity index above 120. These oils are refined even more than Group II base oils and generally are severely hydrocracked (higher pressure and heat). This longer process is designed to achieve a purer base oil.

Although made from crude oil, Group III base oils are sometimes described as synthesized hydrocarbons. Like Group II base oils, these oils are also becoming more prevalent.

Group IV

Group IV base oils are polyalphaolefins (PAOs). These synthetic base oils are made through a process called synthesizing. They have a much broader temperature range and are great for use in extreme cold conditions and high heat applications.

Group V

Group V base oils are classified as all other base oils, including silicone, phosphate ester, polyalkylene glycol (PAG), polyolester, biolubes, etc. These base oils are at times mixed with other base stocks to enhance the oil’s properties. An example would be a PAO-based compressor oil that is mixed with a polyolester.

Esters are common Group V base oils used in different lubricant formulations to improve the properties of the existing base oil. Ester oils can take more abuse at higher temperatures and will provide superior detergency compared to a PAO synthetic base oil, which in turn increases the hours of use.

To summarize:

Group I, II and III base oils basically reflect the evolution in refining technology over the past 70 or 80 years.

Group IV base oils are polyalphaolefin (PAO) synthetic base oils that have existed for more than 50 years. They are pure chemicals created in a chemical plant as opposed to being created by distillation and refining of crude oil (as the previous groups were).

PAOs fall into the category of synthetic hydrocarbons (SHCs). They have a VI of greater than 120 and are significantly more expensive than Group III base oils due to the high degree of processing needed to manufacture them.

Group V base oils comprise all base oils not included in Groups I, II, III or IV. Therefore, naphthenic base oils, various synthetic esters, polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), phosphate esters and others fall into this group.

Did you know that the only oil that will survive in a turbine jet engine is a Group V synthetic oil. Oils in the Group I, II, III and IV will not survive the high heat load generated by a turbine jet engine. Only a Group V synthetic based oil will survive that environment.

Now that you know what each group of oil is and what they are made of and how they are refined it is clear to see that the best choice for this V-Twin is a Group IV or Group V synthetic oil while Group II and Group III oils will work they fall short of Group IV and V synthetics.

Imagine getting caught in heavy traffic with little airflow, or running the engine hard both of which will stress the engine and transmission/primary heat wise. Remember that pure conventional oil is Group II and Group III while the National Advertising Division (NAD) ruled Group III can be labeled as a full synthetic is still just a more refined mineral oil.

I am much more comfortable with a quality Group IV or Group V true synthetic oil in those conditions because of their ability to withstand high heat loads. While we will never see heat loads that a turbine jet engine will see the benefits of having Group V ester in your oil is a plus if you run into that heavy traffic situation in 90 plus degree weather or that spirited run in hot weather.

Remember we are not just lubricating the engine, we are also lubricating the transmission and the primary.

That brings us to the next benefit of using a Group IV or V synthetic oil over Group I, II and III mineral oils and that is the oils molecules, in Group I, II and III mineral oils each molecule is a different size so the smaller molecules will break down faster.

Group IV and V synthetic oils each molecule is the same so they don't get used up as fast as a mineral oils molecules do which gives us superior protection.

There is one more positive factor that Group V synthetic oils have over Group I, II, III and IV oils and that is synthetic ester base oils contain a natural positive charge that allows them to cling to metal surfaces which is a benefit at each start up.

I won't go into the benefits of having 1,200 PPM or more of ZDDP (Phosphorus and Zinc) in the oil other than to say that ZDDP is a sacrificial coating that also protects the metal parts during start up.

In the end the choice is always yours on what oil you want to run but at least now you have a little bit of knowledge in the differences between the groups of oils, I still feel that NAD did a huge disservice to the consumer with their ruling that Group III mineral oils can be labeled as full synthetic oils as this has caused much confusion for the consumer. Nice knowing that a bunch of non engineers in an advertising division of the better business bureau decided what was and was not a synthetic oil for the consumer.

Oil is a competitive market so at least for most oils you can usually determine which ones are using Group III mineral oil and labeling it as full synthetic because they will be on the lower end of the price range. Some however will price their Group III like a Group IV or V true synthetic so you have to make sure you do your research.

A true Group IV and V synthetic costs more to manufacture and will be on the upper end of the price range but what you get is a superior oil that you know you can count on when or if you ever get into that extreme condition.

One last word on the oils molecule size:

Imagine this is your bearing surface or a gear surface the straight lines represent the bearing surface or gear surface.

This represents the molecules of a true synthetic oil on the bearing or gear surface, see how the molecules are uniform and providing full coverage protection.
______________________
0000000000000000000000

This second example represents the molecules of a Group I, II, or III mineral oil, see how the molecules are different sizes with the larger molecules doing the lions share of the work to protect the bearing or gear surface.
______________________
o00ooo00o00ooo000o00o0o

Remember also that molecules will shear as they are stressed with the biggest factor causing shearing for us are the gears in the transmission and primary. Synthetic oils are more shear resistant than are mineral oils because of the make up of the molecules.

I hope this helps some people understand the differences between Group I, II and III mineral oils and Group IV and V synthetic oils.
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Last edited by American; 10-09-2019 at 05:59 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 08:25 AM
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Excellent info, thanks!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 09:42 PM
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--

Next we need a chart of which common oil brands and type are in which category.

--

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2000 Road Star
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How will I know when I get there if I don't know where I'm going?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonK View Post
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Next we need a chart of which common oil brands and type are in which category.

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That’s a great idea @RonK! @American if you’re doing research and posting info and it appears you like to inform people about things such as this, why don’t you compile a list of various commonly used lubricants and what category and such they fall into?
Just a thought, but I think Ron is onto something.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonK View Post
--

Next we need a chart of which common oil brands and type are in which category.

--
That is the information that is hard to come by because the oil companies that are using Group III conventional oil labeling it as full synthetic normally won't list that information.

The only company that I have found that is the most transparent is Redline, they list the base oil and with their automotive oils it is group V Ester, their motorcycle oils are group V Ester and group IV PAO and their professional series of oil they list as Group III and group IV PAO.

Redline automotive oil = Base Oil Group V Ester.

Redline motorcycle oil = Base Oil Group V Ester with Group IV PAO.

Redline profesional series oil = Group III conventional with Group IV PAO.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Royal Purple was bought out a few years ago and after the buy out their product line up changed, they also got more tight lipped about their oils and won't reveal much information about them anymore.

Mobil One which is owned by Exxon/Mobil when Exxon bought out Mobil many many years ago is also pretty tight lipped about their oils.

Castrol is known to use Group III oil labeling it as synthetic, you hear about CG Castrol which stands for Castrol Germany, in Germany you are not allowed to label Group III conventional oil as synthetic so the CG Castrol is a true group IV PAO or group V Ester or combination of the two synthetic oils.

Valvoline again a company that is tight lipped but has been known to use Group III labeled as synthetic.

The list goes on.

Motul does make a group V synthetic but I rarely see Motul oil and even rarer to see their full synthetic oil on a shelf.

Golden Spectrum like the others tight lipped but has been known to use Group III labeled at synthetic.

Like I said Redline is the most transparent oil company as they list the information I posted above right on their website when you open the link to which oil you are interested in.

You can dance with the companies who refuse to reveal their base oils or you can dance with the company who is not hiding what they use which is Redline.

I choose to dance with Redline and know what I am paying for.

Last edited by American; 10-10-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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From Royal Purple website:

Is Royal Purple synthetic motor oil?

Yes. Royal Purple Motor Oils are composed of a proprietary formulation of synthetic base oils and synthetic additives containing iso-paraffinic diluents. Royal Purple Break-in oil is the only non-synthetic automotive engine oil offered by Royal Purple.

__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

Notice they don't give much information and with NAD saying you can label Group III conventional oil as a synthetic this statement from Royal Purple screams they are using Group III conventional oil and adding in some group IV PAO.

There motorcycle oil does not seem to say anything on its make up other than to say it is synthetic and includes their Synerlec. The best I can figure from the limited information they give is their Synerlec is really just some group V Ester based synthetic added to either a Group III conventional labeled as synthetic or a very big maybe Group IV PAO and Group V Ester (Synerlec).

Royal Purple is even more tight lipped on their motorcycle oil than they are on their automotive oil and they are very tight lipped on their automotive oils.

Last edited by American; 10-10-2019 at 02:47 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a answer about Royal Purples HPS series of oil which has been known in the past to be a group IV PAO with Synerlec Group V Ester added to it and its effect on catalytic converters, HPS has more ZDDP in it than the API allows.

Will HPS harm my catalytic converters?

No. Testing has shown no short or long term adverse affects on catalysts in mechanically sound vehicles.

__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

If you read descriptions of the Synerlec additive it reads exactly as group V Ester synthetic. All the benefits are the same. So I think we can safely say that Royal Purples Synerlec additive is just group V Ester and they likely add some other additive so they can call it proprietary.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Lets move on to Golden Spectro Platinum 4 motorcycle oil which I assume is their top of the line synthetic oil.

Their safety data sheet is the only place I can find any information of the oils make up and once again they refuse to state what group oil they are using.

Section 3 composition states:

Synthetic Base Oils: Proprietary

Proprietary Additives: Proprietary

Zinc Alkyl Dithiophophate: Proprietary This one should be ZDDP.

There lack of transparency screams out they are using Group III conventional oil labeled as synthetic oil. They likely add a little Group IV PAO or Group V Ester but the base oil screams Group III conventional oil labeled as synthetic.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Moving to Motul oil, their 4T 7100 motorcycle oil is stated as a 100% Synthetic Ester oil.

There safety data sheet only says Lubricating oils (petroleum) and C20-50, Hyrotreated Neutral oil-based.

Tight lipped but may be group V Ester.

Not a lot of information available.
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