Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-26-0070

Advanced Lubricant for Motorcycles with Fuel Economy Benefits without Compromising on Hardware Durability 2013-26-0070

Oil is a non-renewable resource and we can not sustain our current rate of use indefinitely.
Rising fuel prices, security of fuel supplies and most importantly need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has put pressure to look at fuel economy more seriously in recent years. As already witnessed in the passenger car industry, motorcycle manufacturers are looking at engine oil as potential tool to improve efficiency and therefore reduce emissions. Carefully formulated low viscosity engine oils can bring increase in engine performance and fuel economy thereby reducing tailpipe emissions when compared with conventional, high viscosity engine oil. However, this approach needs a well balanced formulation technology and thorough testing program since in a typical modern four stroke motorcycle power-train with integrated clutch and gearbox, requirement for low engine friction should be carefully balanced with those for gearbox protection and clutch compatibility.
This paper describes the development of new, high fuel efficient motorcycle lubricant with optimized viscosity and friction coefficient for improved fuel economy, capable at same time to protect stressed motorcycle engine and gearbox and maintain a high level of wet clutch compatibility. Effect on fuel economy of different experimental oils was measured on chassis dynamometer using an air-cooled, single cylinder motorcycle ridden over standard drive cycle.
A final candidate was then tested for 100 h durability/piston cleanliness in test cell and later field tested for 30,000 km to ensure engine, clutch durability and gear protection from micro and macro pitting. The candidate formulation showed a statistically significant fuel economy benefits over conventional engine oils with equal or better power-train durability, clutch compatibility and gear pitting protection.


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