207,111 MILES – A PART-BY-PART ANALYSIS

What We Learned After Putting More than 200,000 Miles on this Harley-Davidson*

It’s no secret that we go the extra mile when it comes to product testing. In the case of our 2012 Harley-Davidson, we went 207,111 miles. Since arriving at the AMSOIL mechanical lab in March 2015, the bike has been a fixture on our SuperFlow CycleDyn engine dynamometer. It has served as the proving test grounds for several different motorcycle oil formulations. After several rounds of testing spanning more than two years, here are the highlights of the bike’s eventful time in the AMSOIL mechanical lab.

THE MOTORCYCLE

2012 Harley-Davidson FXDB Dyna* Street Bob* 1584-cc engine

THE TESTING

All totaled, we ran 14 different tests using the Harley. We typically tested candidate motorcycle oil formulations with the goal of constantly improving the final product available to customers. To do that, we designed a 250-hour (about 14,000 miles) proof-of-performance test designed to create a motorcycle oil’s biggest enemy – heat.

The computer-controlled engine dyno is programmed to hold the bike at a steady 55 mph, alternating between low-torque (25 ft. lbs.) and high-torque (57 ft. lbs.) conditions to simulate high – way cruising punctuated by periods of hill climbing. A 25-hp fan directs air over the engine, simulating airflow at highway speeds.

Early on, we discovered that the rear cylinder was abnormally hot compared to the front. We realized lack of airflow was to blame. When a rider is sitting on the bike, his or her legs deflect cooling air over the rear cylinder. To recreate this scenario, we construct – ed a metal shield that mimics the effect of someone sitting on the bike, resulting in accurate rear-cylinder temperatures.

250-HOUR TEST BY THE NUMBERS

260ºF – Avg. Oil Temp
2,475 – Avg. rpm
383º – Avg. Rear Cylinder Head Temp.
266º – Avg. Front Cylinder Head Temp.
1,459º – Avg. Max. Exhaust Temp.

10May 2018
Cows and methanol

What Motor Oil Should I Use in a Methanol Engine? John Baker|Sep 15, 2017 8:49 AM Frank wants to know, via our Facebook page, the pros and cons of using mineral oil versus synthetic oil in a methanol-fueled engine. Thanks for the question, Frank. What is methanol? For those who already know, bear with me. Methanol […]

07Mar 2018
Making synthetic oil

Are all Synthetic Oil Groups the Same? Group III vs IV vs V John Baker|Feb 06, 2018 11:27 AM The simple answer No. In fact, there are wide performance differences between base oil categories. Generally speaking, Group IV base oils offer the best performance, Group III second best, and so on in reverse order. But […]

07Mar 2018
Oil Life Monitor

Oil Life Monitors – Everything You Need To Know Josh Kimmes|Jan 22, 2018 3:31 PM For the past couple months, every time I start my truck I hear an annoying “ding” followed by an equaling annoying message saying “Change Engine Oil Soon.” I know what you’re thinking – you’d better change your oil! My oil […]

06Mar 2018
Warranty Secure

Your Polaris, Ski-Doo and Arctic Cat Dealer Can’t Void Your Warranty for Using Aftermarket Parts or Lubricants Andy Arendt|Jan 18, 2018 8:47 AM As in the automotive market, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have introduced new snowmobiles, UTVs and other powersports equipment with advanced materials and new technologies. Prices have risen considerably the past 10 years, […]

06Mar 2018
Dobie Gillis Statue thinking w/ Amsoil cap

Your Most Common Motor Oil Questions Answered Ed Newman|Sep 29, 2017 11:14 AM One thing the Internet has done is create a lot more “experts.” In the old days when you had a car maintenance question, you knew whom to ask – ‘ol Mike up the street with grease under his fingernails and a rag […]

06Mar 2018
Sema car on Ford

On the Road to SEMA with Chris Mangum of MAD Industries Ed Newman|Oct 30, 2017 9:40 AM It’s been a lot of fun going to SEMA these past 21 years. SEMA seemed big even back then when the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center didn’t exist yet. Today it’s massive and still bursting […]