Yamaha Sled Talk
About Yamaha Motor CanadaAbout the BlogProductsCustomer ServiceTerms of Use

September 5, 2008

What Oil To Use

030.jpgYK reminds me of a promised article to discuss 4-stroke motor oil. First I must preempt my ramblings by stating, I am not a chemical or petroleum engineer. I did, however meet with a couple of them, pocket protectors and all, listened intently and read their ‘homework’ offerings. The more I dug, the more complicated and confusing the lessons became. I finally came to the conclusion that the whole ‘best oil’ thing is a leap of faith and for the most part we are at the mercy of the marketers and their ads. Case in point: How can an oil company claim to increase the manufacturers warranty if the engine suffers an oil related failure?? Easy… Prove it!

End of the day, Yamaha Motor Company recently embarked on a program to update and improve our genuine Yamalube offerings across all our product lines. We are in the final stages of completion, having developed new blends bottled in new packaging and available through your dealer. On the snowmobile side, the latest Yamalube to be created prior to this program was the semi-synthetic 0W-30 which comes in your new sled and which the vast majori040.jpgty of Yamaha 4-stroke owners are choosing for regular service. The big news, (and you heard it here first) is the soon to be introduced, all new premium grade Yamalube snowmobile , full synthetic with a 0W-40 rating, for those who are running in extreme conditions or are looking for that extra percentage of performance and protection. Note the attached images vary slightly between Canada and the USA, liters, quarts and the like. Also, just for the record, the W in multi-grade oils refers to winter (not weight) prefixed by the viscosity at a cold start.

The main point I learned and wish to emphasize here is actually quite simple. Oil blends have become very specialized and automotive oil differs significantly from the oil required by most other motorsports products. There are abundant claims on the performance achieved from various oils from both consumers and marketers alike. You have to do your own homework and make your own decision as to what you want to believe. Oil related failures will seldom happen in the first year(s) of service,  that’s given the fact that there is oil present at all…yeah, it happens! (but not to mention any names eh YK 😉 ).



The following article is a reprint of a paper I wrote for our accessories department to assist in educating our dealers with respect to the different standards and oil requirements leading up to our new Yamalube: just click ‘more’ if you wish to view it

>>Yamalube: Dealer Information,

>>copy platform cr041007

Change is Good


The only thing original about the new Yamalube is the name.

Before developing the new Yamalube products a lot of research was performed analyzed and applied. Customers and dealers from all across North America gave us input on their oil application, understanding and preference.

There has been a steady trend towards premium oils especially those composed of semi-synthetic and full synthetic blends. It also became apparent; many folks are using oils which, regardless of brand and reputation, do not meet the needs of their motor requirements.

There is a lot of confusion about the different grades of oils and what the base stock and additives really mean. One example of this can be found looking at synthetic oil. Three of the five API oil grades cover full synthetic oil. Grade 1 and 2 are mineral based and Grade 3, 4, and 5 are all classified as synthetic. BUT the difference between a grade 5 synthetic and a grade 3 are vast. In fact in can be argued that grade 3 synthetic is not a true synthetic at all. This is generally reflected in its lower price. There is a reason for this. You are not getting the same performance even though the package touts it as a synthetic property!

So what makes Yamalube the best choice for your customers?

First and foremost it’s formulated to meet the exact needs of each Yamaha engine application and has been proven to exceed other oils where it counts most though extensive testing using our products and performed by our engineers.


Oils in general have changed a lot over the past twenty years. Automobile engines have been designed with primary targets of increased fuel economy and lower emissions.

One way they have achieved this is with new oil blends using lighter viscosity oil with abundant friction modifier additives. The latest API grade for spark ignition autos is now API SM with oil viscosity ratings of 5-20 and 0-20 becoming common.

These oils promise improved fuel efficiency in modern automobiles using friction modifiers, detergents and light viscosity.

(source quote SAE)

“Due to the increased usage of friction modifiers and low viscosities in the passenger car engine oil(PCMO) industry- for fuel economy-, many modern PCMO products are unacceptable in motorcycles, ATV’s and other equipment sharing a common sump between engine crankcase and gear box/transmission.”

In other words; cars do not use the engine oil to lubricate the friction clutch, starter Sprague clutch and transmission. The additives in auto oils will affect the clutch performance (friction modifier additive) and pit damage gears (low viscosity / shear strength).

The need to differentiate PCMO (car oil) from MCMO (4-stroke motorcycle oil) lead to the Japanese Automobile Standards Organization (JASO) working as an extension of the SAE, to develop a new rating system based on specific motorcycle / ATV requirements called the JASO MA. This standard, revised in 2006 rates the performance of lubricants used in engines with a ‘wet clutch’ and integrated gear box.

Another interesting point regarding automotive oils, they do not cover the requirements of air cooled engines or engines with RPM capabilities much beyond 8000; think cruisers and sport bikes.

The point here is the majority of oil sold in retail outlets across North America do not meet the JASO MA standard and do not have the JASO MA rating.

apchart2.jpgThe good news: the newly formulated YAMALUBE not only meets JASO MA, it goes beyond with unique blends in each package to further enhance the performance and increase durability for specialized motor sports models within each product group.

But what does this really mean to us? In a ‘nut-shell’, when you pour in the new Yamalube blends you are getting the best maximum protection for the engine, starter clutch and transmission. As a bonus the output can be improved as much as four horsepower (synthetic) depending on the application.

In summary, Yamalube has been tested against several of the most prominent brands of motor oil and has proven to provide superior protection bar none with measurable performance increases in most applications.

  • PCMO, automotive oils (including synthetics) do not offer the same protection or performance properties as MCMO developed Yamalube. And in some cases will contribute to premature wear or failure of critical engine sub-systems
  • Not all synthetics are created equal. The less expensive formulas (grade 3 and 4) are negligible and not comparable to the pure blend (grade 5) of Yamalube synthetic.
  • Yamalube is now formulated and packaged for applications specific to the exact engine requirements. No other oil company offers this level of refinement with specialized blends for dedicated motorsports and marine products.
  • There is a specific Yamalube blend approved and recommended for all related motorsports and marine applications. It is an excellent choice for competitive products as well as Yamaha.

In the end (IMHO) I believe regular oil changes are as, or more, important than the quality of the oil. All motor oils become apchart.jpgcontaminated in time with acids and other bi-products of combustion. I don’t subscribe to the ‘buy the expensive stuff and run it twice as long’… You really can’t go wrong with Yamalube in your engine beyond that, there’s no guarantee, it’s your call.

Cheers cr

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Related Tags: No related tags found.

Related Posts:
  • None
Posted @ 9:24 am in Tech Talk   

Make a Comment
RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI

9 Responses to “What Oil To Use”

  1. Bakemono says:

    Cool. Ive often wondered why you guys havent offered a full synthetic in the past.

  2. Yellowknife says:

    hahahaha – awesome. Thanks for the speal Chris – appreciate the work you do. Now I wonder how I left that o-ring on there?….

  3. Mark Johnson says:

    Good article!

  4. Cyril andrews says:

    Good Oil for us at -40C

  5. Low slung says:

    Hey chris,will this oil make it to local yamaha dealers in time for the season?
    Hey LS, the part numbers for the 0W40 Gold Synthetic are being set-up today (Sept. 10) which means it will be in the system for ordering. The refinery has the product on the floor ready to ship. All said the oil should be in the dealerships within the next two weeks (providing they order it.)
    cheers cr

  6. Bob Hogg says:

    Good info Chris – had to read it 3 times– clicked another primary number over – maybe that’s why?

    Since we got back into things that burn gas in 99 – it’s been Yamalube all the way. From lawnmowers to 13,500 rpm kart race engines – never a problem.

    I don’t believe in miracle performance oils – your product just does the intended job.

  7. Scott says:

    What about using the new 0w-40 in a sled that recommends 0w-30? (08 Phazer)

    I asked engineering and there is no problem running the new 0/40 full synthetic in any of our 4-stroke SMB engines, in fact they quite like the idea.


  8. Darren says:

    Hey Chris,

    Can we change to the fully synthetic right after break in? or do we have to wait till over 1000 miles? (seating the rings?)

    Hey Darren, that’s a good question and one that will be hard to find a definitive answer to. I’m old school and would wait until the motor was well broken in to be sure.(second oil change) but that’s just my opinion

  9. Pasquale Corradino says:

    oil change needs to be done as often as possible to maintain the good performance of any kind of machinery

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. They may be edited for length and clarity. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.