Time for an oil change. My previous Pulsar blood was a concoction of Respol fully synthetic 4T 20W50 (800ml) and Motul 300V 15W50 (400ml). The Repsol was what remained from the oil change when I was in Phnom Penh’s Bajaj dealership, and the 300V was what remained of the oil that I brought along for the long SE Asian tour.
To be honest, I did like the 300V. But my own research suggested that the 300V, while being an excellent oil, was really designed for “racing use” (only). At the recent Singapore Bike show, I had the opportunity to speak to the technical representative at the Motul booth. He confirmed my suspicion that the 300V was built for “racing use” and the 7100 4T was probably more suitable for my purpose – daily commute and touring.
Not that the 300V is not good. It’s just that the additive package within the 300V was designed to squeeze out some additional BHP from the engine and wasn’t designed for general / extended use. Racing oils have been known to have minimal detergent in their additive package – stuff which is really necessary to keep the engine clean for street / touring and extended (or even normal) oil change intervals.
I found an excellent technical writeup on engine oils here. The author is a medical doctor and surgeon by training. But he has taken interest in motor oils since high school and have been studying the viscosity properties of motor oils. He continues this curiosity with the study of flow mechanics of human blood. Warning – VERY technical writeup here. But I shall extract a paragraph he wrote:
“Motor oil that is labeled for RACING ONLY is not usable for every day driving. Often these have more additives that are toxic to your catalytic converters and the environment. These oils generally do not have detergents. These are very important for your engine unless you plan on taking it apart every few weeks and cleaning every single surface. The oils do not meet the API / SAE requirements for ratings as SJ, SL or now SM.”
Of course, Motul claims that the 300V is suitable for catalytic converters (and I believe them!). But yup. I checked – Motul’s 300V 4T is NOT certified JASO MA or API SL that the Bajaj manual calls out for. Heck, I don’t even remember that it came with any JASO or API specifications at all! As far as the engine manufacturer is concerned, the 300V is NOT an approved oil type for the Pulsar’s triple-sparked single-cynlinder! And Motul also doesn’t claim that the 300V meets any of these specifications! And rightfully so – because it doesn’t!
Here’s an extract of an exchange from a Ducati forumer with a Motul USA rep:
The Motul 7100 4T oil is being marketed as “a grade lower” than the racing 300V. But I suppose it’s probably more suitable for my purpose. Similar to the 300V, the 7100 is also ester-based. Which means greater film strength and natural adherence of the oil to the metal surfaces, resulting in greater protection as compared to the more common PAO-based synthetic lubricants.
So, for now, I’ll be sticking to the JASO MA (in fact, it’s JASO MA2) compliant 7100 4T ester-based fully synthetic oil.
Plus, it’s cheaper than the 300V too!