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This is perhaps one of the most common, and controversial questions asked by all Harley Davidson owners. It is not surprising because there are so many tranny oils to choose from, and you aren’t sure which is safe for your bike.
But you want the best oil that can reduce the accumulated engine heat. This is required because the Harley Davidson is an air cooled motorcycle that gets hotter quicker than a water cooled motorcycle. It is the right oil that helps ensure your Harley’s engine runs at optimal temperature.
Most important, you should know that you should never use motor oil for your engine and your tranny. Sometimes dealerships may state that single oil is more than enough for all your lubricating needs.
However keeping a high-quality fully-synthetic 20W40 motor oil for the engine, a synthetic gear oil for the tranny and a synthetic gear oil for the clutch and chain is a much better practice which Harley Davidson owners, and other motorcyclists should maintain.
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What happens if you use motor oil in the transmission?
If you wonder what happens if you add motor oil to the transmission, well motor oil contains additives that keep transmission contaminants suspended. This is not at all good for your bike, which is there are specific tranny oils in the market. Here is a brief description of the three most popularly used oils in Harley Davidson motorbikes:
1. Amsoil MYTQT-EA Synthetic V-Twin Trans Fluid, 1 qt.
The Amsoil Synthetic V-twin Trans fluid is specially formulated for those drivers looking for a dedicated transmission fluid for their Harley Davidson bikes, instead of something multifunctional. This oil helps give smooth shifting of gears and keeps transmission noise down. Regular use of it will lead to an improved clutch feel as it protects your gear, chain and bearings from wear and tear.
The Amsoil Tran fluid helps your bike function smoothly and quietly by forming a durable oil film on gears and bearings. It is this oil film which with time dampens any loud chunks produced while shifting gears.
This layer of oil also helps protect the tranny against possible gear and bearing wear and tear. It can also resist viscosity loss and withstand extreme heat which proves ideal for optimal wear protection. It is the strong molecules in the oil that creates a film which keeps the tranny protected from any damage inflicted by shock loads.
It is the combined efforts of all these features that help provide for smooth shifts and helps prevent riders from missing shifts. The oil is highly recommended for a maximum of 20,000 miles or for a year, whichever comes first. This oil is just right for bikers reluctant to use multi-use lubricants. And thanks to their wide range of products, Amsoil tranny oils appeal to most people.
2. Red Line 42804 V-Twin Transmission Oil
- This product dampens transmission noise (reducing the notorious shifting clunk found in these gearboxes), dramatically reduces temperature, provides thicker oil films between gear teeth and resists throw-off
- For all aftermarket versions like Baker, JIMS, S&S, etc.
The Red Line 42804 V-Twin transmission oil is especially engineered for use in four-stroke motocross and ATVS sports bikes. It’s known to be ‘shockproof’ because of how well and effectively it dampens transmission noise.
It is a pink gear oil formulated with high levels of anti-wear chemistry like zinc and phosphorus friction modifiers. They protect gear teeth and in the process, reduce tooth wear. It also dramatically reduces heat to help provide for a thicker film of oil between gear teeth.
This is a 90W gear oil, and is not so ‘heavy’ in structure. This is because the oil clings well with metals that dampen noise so well while preventing wear and tear.
In fact, most users agree that continual use of this tranny oil helps eliminate the shifting ‘clunk’ commonly found in gearboxes. Users notice and enjoy the smoother shifting of gears and notice a great improvement in their bike’s performance with regular use of Red Line’s ‘Shockproof’ tranny oil.
3. Spectro R HDPG6 Heavy Duty Platinum Full Synthetic 6spd Trans Lube
- Cures noisy six speed transmissions
- Smoother shifting, reduces fifth gear whine and eliminates clunks
The Spectro Heavy Duty Full Synthetic Trans Lube was specially formulated for use in Harley bikes, especially for the owners who were unhappy with their great, but noisy 6 speed transmission.
Its proprietary oil formula uses G4 Technology and special additives which together help provide for additional anti-wear protection. The oil also helps reduce drag and gear noise, prolongs gear life and also creates a higher film strength in between gears. This SAE 75w140 formulation even helps ease the shifting of gears when cold.
Regular users notice smoother shifting of gears and a remarkably reduction in 5th gear whining. The transmission fluid also helps eliminate the shifting clunk found in most bikes.
Spectro’s technology makes it the perfect oil on long drives and heavy use because the oil does not get affected by high loads and extreme heat. The oil is famous, and known for exceeding Harley Davidson warranty requirements.
It is left to you to choose the right transmission oil for your Harley Davidson based on its budget and availability. Whichever transmission oil you finally choose to use on your Harley Davidson make user you change the oil on time.
The first oil change is generally suggested after 500 miles and consequent oil changes after every 2500 miles. It is even suggested to change the oil filter while changing the oil.
No matter which oil you use, and how good the oil may be, it will not work at reducing heat and wear and tear in the gear box if it is not changed regularly. Once again, it is always better to check with your manual to ensure the oil you choose is suitable for your Harley Davidson bike.
Last update on 2020-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API