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Discussion Starter #1
Let's start a new discussion.

After the oil slicks that were dropped at Mid-Ohio this past weekend some people are starting to talk about banning Synthetic oil for race bikes. Mainly because of the inability to get the track cleaned up after an oil spill.

From what I've been told the most effective method of getting the synthetic oil off of the track is to clean it with a dish washing deteregent solution. And this takes a heck of a lot more time to clean than just putting down handfulls of oil dry, which is completely ineffective against synthetic oil.

Oil pans aren't the final solution in keeping oil off of the track. In fact they really don't do much when you are at speed anyhow.

Synthetic oil certainly handles the heat that the air cooled engines produce better than the non-synthetic. But is that really a problem if the oil is changed every weekend anyhow? And for Vintage engines is synthetic overkill or is it necessary? And should synthetic oil be banned in order to avoid lengthy clean up delays?

Any thoughts?

Craig
 

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Hell, one some weekends, I still smell antifreeze every now and then at the track. And it ain't coming from the cars/trucks.

Even if you ban it, you can't police it.
 

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Craig,
Was that synthetic that was dropped? I was in race 9 and it still looked like there were drops coming to the surface of the oil dry. I hated it, bad. I never slipped on it, but I did ride like a little girl for that race.
I am running regular oil in the Seca but I was planning on Synth in the 500 single since they are so hard on cams and rockers.
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ken,

I don't know for sure if it was synthetic. But I do know that normal oil is usually cleaned up pretty well with the oil dry that they put down. The synthetic usually comes to the surface well after the oil dry is used. As it did in this case.

This could really screw up the AMA guys if it rains this next weekend. It could be a real mess. At NHIS they've banned synthetic with the modern bikes because it keeps coming back to the surface after a rain, for weeks later.


Rosko,

Yes it is the issue. If the various tracks could find a quick and easy solution to the synthetic oil clean up problem we'd all benefit. Maybe pressure washers and dish soap are all that's needed. I'm sure all of the AHRMA guys that had their day screwed up by oil issues would have been glad to kick in for some pressure washers if that would have prevented that.

Craig
 

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chris and aron have done the dyno runs comparing synth vs mineral. it definitely does give an increase in hp. i use mineral. ive never really had an oil leak, at least not one thats oiled the track, so to speak, but i wont run it because of the spill issue. it'd be nice to have an easy answer, but i dont see one. i love me some synthetic oil smell though.

i remember sitting in a riders meeting at nhis, and jerry wood is speaking. i dont remember why, or how i ended up there, but jerry was talking about the subject and some kid shouts out that he "has to run synthetic in his ducati" and jerry just replied, "why, i use mineral oil in my ducati, and i win". pretty funny.

ive crashed in oil at louden. 2x. it had apparently been there for a week. cleaned over and over.


jc
 

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I run Cambells tomato soup in mine with engine and case guards on both sides. I think there is a better chance at trying to keep the oil in the bike then switching from synthetic. My thing is I could care less what rules people choose, just enforce them.

Joe when are you going to come up or atleast go to another round of ESMRA?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah Tech is pretty lax at an AHRMA event.

I've been told that another of the oil incedents this past weekend was caused by a CB350 that had a clutch pushrod seal come out. No retainer was used. She oiled up the track and herself pretty good. I guess she rode around for a while and never realized there was a problem until she came in off the track.

Aaron,
Even if all the rules were enforced I'm not sure you could stop all of the oiling of the track. Bikes break, shit happens, connecting rods go through the sides of motors. Do you see any wear on your rocker arms with Campbells' that you don't get with Lipton's Onion soup?
But yeah, there are rules that aren't being enforced that would go to helping this problem.

Craig
 

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I don't care much anymore since I'm not racing.

I think synthetic is only necessary in engines where it's shown to be necessary by previous friction or heat issues. I know that if NHIS actually banned synthetic for everone that the pros will never race there. They are not going to sacrafice their engines to someone's superstition. I've never seen anywhere, anytime, a cleaning test between regular and synthetic oil. I think track workers just like to bitch about oil, and synthetic is a voodoo that's easy for them to blame it on because no one really has done much research on it. I've never found synthetic to be any more difficult to clean on my garage floor or paved drive than any other kind of oil.
When the track cleaners can do a blind test and identify synthetic on a track compared to regular oil I'll believe there is a difference. Most of the time I hear them bitch about thick, gooey, green oil ....sounds like oil school Castrol to me.
Anyway...it's kind of moot anyway, as I'd run synthetic no matter what, and what are they going to do...send my oil out for analysis? Nascar racers run synthetic, pro bike racers do... most professionals of any kind do...cause they know what they are doing.

Frequency of oil changes has nothing to do with it in a race engine. It's the resistance to breakdown under heat and friction that makes synthetic useful in racing. Synthetics will keep working in temps that literally turn dyno oil into a brown crust. No most engines don't run that hot...overall....but they all do in certain places internally. Some engines are such that they don't turn the rpm, or have the high friction and heat areas that would make synthetic an asset, others do. High pressure areas like rockers and cams benifit most from other additives like Zinc that can be found in regular racing oils. However in my opinion, running a STREET conventional motor oil in a race engine is just asking for trouble unless the engine has shown a good tolerance for it in the past.

I supposed the people cleaning the track can even tell the difference between regular, synthetic and the various dyno/synthetic blends too. Not to mention the bean oils, the ester based oils, common poly synthetics and the ester synthetics. In my opinion it's all just a blame game until someone does a good blind test to find the truth. Seems like that would have been a no brainer right from the start. It's possible they are harder to clean up, but lets see some evidence other than rumor. And lets compare poly synthetics to ester and diester synthetics. Which are two totally different oil coming from totally different methods of manufacture and base oil.

But...personally...screw it, my bikes didn't leak or blow up. So I'll run whatever I want. Those of you with high hp, high revving vintage engines....run conventional...then smell your oil after a few races. If it smells right and doesn't show signs of carmelizing...you'll probably be ok. Even a boderline engine could be ok with some attention to the oiling system to increase flow and decrease temperature to the point where synthetic would be unnecessary. Of course in my mind that's something that should be done as a matter of course on a race engine. I didn't keep the bike long enough to check, but it's possible the addition of an oil cooler to my bike lowered the temps enough that I could have started running poly synthetic again instead of ester synthetic. (Mobil 1 vs Redline). But on a hot summer day at Mosport my engine used to fry Mobil 1 like it was cheap cooking oil. ( I've since enhanced oil flow and added a cooler).

It's also strange that it seems the BIG spills are always synthetic....the little spills are conventional. Hmmmm.... anyone care to organize a blind clean up test at NHIS? Would be interesting to see the results.

I've never heard of the pro-ranks suggesting a ban on synthetics? Why is that? Maybe because their bikes are not big loads of crap that leak, blow up, and break side cases when they crash. Might be best to deal with those issues first. And before anyone says "Hey we aren't pros" ....well, that's what we are imitating and re-inacting...so maybe our wrenching should be held to a similar standard. There are still some amazing pieces of garbage allowed in vintage races.

I'm a dirt guy now....oil just keeps the dust down.
JohnnyB
 

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quote: There are still some amazing pieces of garbage allowed in vintage races.
JohnnyB
*I slowly cover up the wankermobile with my virtual bike cover so nobody can see it!*

Looks like some dishin' on the Vintage crowd is happening.
http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=33428
referring to the "impressive lean angle..." comment. I am not saying the initial statement by the AHRMA Motard rider was appropriate either.
 

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I wish I knew enough about this subject to actually have something to add. I do run synth, running a 4000 year old motorcycle on the track it just makes sense. Never have any problems with clean up in my own workshop. I also meticulously go over my bike after each race and before each race. there is no way anything but disaster is going to cause a leak. It sucks that in this case it was a cb350. Even more that the leak is from a well reported weak area.

I would like to think that everyone on the grid is respectful enough to be responsible for their machine and the welfare of the other racers. Too bad that does not seem to be the case. Honestly, anyone running a 350 honda for vintage road racing who does not make it to this site is an idiot. This is the largest collection of information on the machine available online, bar none. If people took the time to do their research this shit would not happen.
 

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the spill that pete talabach crashed in in t9 a few years ago and broke his collar bone on was a HUGE oil spill. I was corner working t3/10 that day and ran up the hill afer the first bike went down. I seriously could not believe the size of the pool of oil up there. It was gigantic. I have never seen anything like it. A literal pool. I actually ran up past the spill early in the corner where i could be seen to motion people away from it as they wee coming into t9. it wouldnt have mattered what that was, it was going ot be a huge mess.


aaron, my next plan is to do e-town. im bringing my buddy miles with me, hopefully bill will come race too. miles just bought a brand new wr250! just to race supermoto with. should be cool. im looking forward to it. any plans for a year end bash yet? i wanna see how everything ended up looking.

jc
 

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It was a BSA that oiled the entire track. Lost his drain plug and did not have a belly pan. No lockwire. Duh! Teching the night before opens up a whole lot of options for working on the bikes before it hits the track again. No excuse. We all talked about setting up a dunk tank with him in it, except oil would be inthe tank in lieu of water.

I think BFD and I spotted the possible CB350 Perp late Saturday night practicing her starts. By the size of the woman, it's no wonder the clutch actuator seal blew out!
 

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coulda been the fork seals too

They sent out sidecars as the first race to test if the cleanup was effective?? thanks guys. We ran over the dust on the sighting lap to spead it around and it seemed ok but the first race lap proved different. I slid bigtime the first race lap going through the first big left going into the esses so tried to avoid it the rest of the race but it wasn't easy. I slid nearly every time in the esses and had to take it easier through most of the race to keep my wheels out of it. During the 200gp race later it seemed ok. I didn't slide that bike at all but it doesn't go as fast as the sidecar
 

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Discussion Starter #17
For those that have never raced an AHRMA event let me give you some insite into how it goes on Saturday night for the Sunday races.

Tech Guy: How'd it go today? Did you fall down?

Racer: Went well. Didn't fall.

Tech Guy: Here's your sticker.


And we wonder why there's oil on the track on Sundays. No lockwire on a drain plug and no bellypan. Wonderful. And practicing starts in the pits is always a smart move.

Craig
 

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The biggest issue is one that not only faces vintage, but modern club racing: BIKE PREPARATION!

People need to spend more time making sure their bike is safe. There's been a few times I wish I was doing tech so I could fail bikes. I'm not perfect either, as I've forgotten to wire little things. But the holes are already drilled, and wiring things I've forgotten is easy enough.

No matter what you're riding, there should be no leaks at all. Not a single drip. Any bike with cases that are damp with oil should fail tech, even if there isn't an obvious drip. The turkey roasting pans shouldn't be accepted as oil containment. Oil pans should cover the complete bottom side of the engine and side cases.
 

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TOOO clarify, the wankermobile, doesn't leak a drop of oil, but it doesn't run well either, hence the connection to JB's garbage comment. I have made a promise to myself not to return to any track to race until I have the bike running well. It is just a waste of money otherwise and frustrating to boot.
 

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I didn't race on Sunday so the big oil spill didn't effect me personally but I think a very long suspension and/or fine is in order for the rider responsible if the bike really was taken on the track as described.

As for tech on Saturday evening Craig's description is spot on. That's exactly the conversation I had with the inspector. Any rules about the type of oil we can use won't solve that problem. Anyway, at the risk of starting another oil debate, I can't believe that using synthetic oil really would make a different in races that last 15 minutes.
 
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