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This all gets very complicated when you start looking beyond basic viscosities and get into oils with specific applications. So 10w40 engine oil should give 3x the damping of 10w fork oil. Brand / weight / model nominal weight Reported cSt @40C Reported cSt @100C Reported VI Recaclulated VI Viscosity/ Temperature Coefficient (VTC) VT (cSt@40/cSt@100) The number preceding the W indicates the lubricant’s viscosity grade when operating at extremely cold temperatures. In summary, ALWAYS follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the correct viscosity grade, engine oil specification, and oil drain interval. Oils work because they have viscosity; the drag of a rotating part pulls oil from a low-pressure area into a high pressure area and “floats” the surfaces apart. IS FORK OIL AN OIL OR A FLUID? Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. That translates into consistent shock performance and feel despite the ambient and operating conditions. Within the industry it's common to use both oil and fluid in … i heard that i should use the heaviest oil that i can find. BTW, you can write an informative article about brake maintenance. I’m going to share it with my social media network. this is different from 5Wt fork oil as this will never be subject to high temperatures as in an engine. While silicone oil is recognized as the best for RC due to its ability to resist changes in viscosity due to temperature fluctuations, the labeling can be misleading. This type of damping is call "velocity-squared" damping. The quicker an oil flows, the lower its viscosity and the grade assigned to it by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Another aspect to consider is anti-wear performance. The shock oil has to protect the shock tubes, seals and valves from wear as they constantly rub together. www.DaveMossTuning.comWe all know there's oil in them there forks. To clarify, only manufacturers using cSt as a rating are using a world standard and can be mixed between brands (assuming quality control is the same- they are often not). Winter Driving: When Should You Use Tire Chains for Cars? But, due to the international SAE standard being so loose, one oil company’s 5Wt can be the same viscosity as another’s 7.5Wt. © Copyright National Automotive Parts Association. 2) What Happens if I Don’t Change My Fork Oil Regularly? This is why multigrade oil viscosity is the standard in the industry. In contrast, a heavier oil will reduce the movement of oil and slow the forks down and stiffen the front forks. Low viscosity oils, on the other hand, … The fluid’s rate of flow through the valves influences the amount of dampening and rebound. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) assigns a viscosity number, or weight, to oil based on its flow at 210 degrees F, which is roughly the … For example, an A is a 90-100, a B is an 80-89, etc. The faster the wheel moves vertically, the more oil is shoved through the holes. That’s why water theoretically would provide the most consistent shock feel. Say you’re riding your dirt bike and land a jump. G'ahead, try.www.DaveMossTuning.com In the world of shocks, there are no universal viscosity requirements or recommendations. Required fields are marked *. However, if you live in an extremely cold climate or just want better fuel economy, you can use a “0W” viscosity grade while keeping the recommended operating temperature viscosity grade (the second number) the same (e.g. Fork oils are usually monogrades eg 10w or 5w. Once you have the proper suspension set-up for your body weight and riding style, stick with it. Viscosity, by definition, is an oil’s resistance to flow and shear. A higher VI indicates better resistance to viscosity changes throughout broad temperature swings. The fluid’s viscosity (often thought of as its thickness) influences how fast or slow the oil flows through the shock valves. 5w30 engine oil has about the same viscosity as the heaviest fork oil labeled 20w20. Yes, water. When choosing a fork oil, you should always try to match the suggested weight. Oil viscosity can feel a bit like math class when you’re standing inside your local auto parts store staring down row after row of oil bottles plastered with algebraic numbers and letters. This means that you will increase the rebound and compression damping at every click setting. Personally I stick to the stock weight but I also ride slower on dirt than your average nine year old, and then only on nice graded dirt roads. Personal preference plays a big part with fork oil choice. Higher vs. lower viscosity fork oil As you may have noted, Norton commando reference material(s) suggest several grades, viscosities, and types of oil may be used for the front forks. Purchased mine from the Beemershop in California. These trade off must be balanced against the gains that a specific adjustment makes to improve your suspension. Those who are not familiar with the term viscous or viscosity, it simply means the thickness of the liquid to provide proper lubrication as well as has load carrying capacity. Oil viscosity is graded by measuring the time it takes for a standard amount of oil to flow. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. Here's What's Happening, BMR Announces 2021 Lineup with Love, Moore, Bill McAnally Racing Earns Tenth Series Title, Elliott Races to First NASCAR Cup Series Championship with Win at Phoenix, Sweet Crowned 2020 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Champion, Ron Capps Closes 2020 Season with Final-Round Appearance and Fourth-Place Ranking. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The peg spanner is only applicable to models up to 09/1977. And remember  that viscosity measurement rules are the same whether you choose a normal conventional motor oil, or a high tech natural gas derived full synthetic motor oil like Pennzoil Platinum. The SAE defines high temperature oil viscosity at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (which is 100 degrees Celsius), which is the baseline used to approximate the operating temperatures of most vehicles. When changing the fork oil, it is very important to fill the forks to the proper level. Valvoline does not recommend doing this. For maximum engine performance, follow the recommended motor oil viscosity and maintenance schedule provided in your vehicle's owner's manual. The shock uses fluid to control dampening and rebound. A thin fluid flows faster and results in quicker, springier shock feel. Synthetic Amsoil ATF has viscosity between the Spectro 10w and 15w fork oils. And remember  that viscosity measurement rules are the same whether you choose a normal conventional motor oil, or a high tech natural gas derived full synthetic motor oil like, BMR Teams Honored In NASCAR Night Of Champions Awards Ceremony. Hence for that reason the front forks of the bike are filled with a highly viscous liquid, Fork Oil. There are trade offs that can be given for each adjustment that you make to your bike. Consistent performance so you can ride or drive confidently. Automotive expertise from NAPA AUTO PARTS. I believe that the key things to consider are the expected service (i.e. Higher viscosity provides a thicker film, higher wear resistance, and less deformation of the gears as time goes on. Later machines have a different arrangement at the top of the stanchions with a plastic push on cap replacing the chromed screw in cap that requires the peg spanner. Lower viscosity “0W” oils can also help provide better fuel economy, because it is easier for an engine to pump a thinner oil. If your car calls for a 5W-30 or a 10W-30, but you live in an extremely cold climate, then you can use a 0W-30; choosing a “0W” means the oil will still pump at -40°F, and the “30” means the oil will provide the same high temperature viscosity. It also must protect against wear and corrosion, two tasks at which water is notoriously bad. If Your Car Battery Won't Hold a Charge, Try These 4 Steps, 6 Signs You May Have a Bad Water Pump On Your Hands, Dead Car Battery? Using a lighter grade than recommended may result in excessive mechanical wear and reduced engine life. Motorex Racing Fork Oil now has '3D Response Technology'. Light oil soaks up little bumps better but heavy oil is better for big knocks and helps prevent the forks from topping and bottoming out. Fork oil viscosity matters The fluid’s viscosity (often thought of as its thickness) influences how fast or slow the oil flows through the shock valves. High viscosity oils flow more slowly and come with a higher SAE number. Plus, the oil must form a layer on parts to prevent formation of corrosion. If you like slower rebounds, use a heavier fluid. When was the last time you had a thin or thick glass of water? I just replaced my fork springs with Wilbers and they recommend 7.5wt fork oil. The quicker an oil flows, the lower its viscosity and the grade assigned to it by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Using a heavier grade than recommended may cause decrease in fuel economy, higher engine loads and eventually shortened engine life. Its viscosity doesn’t change between 33ºF (0ºC) and 211ºF (100ºC). Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Oil viscosity is the parameter that plays an important role in lubrication. This is an important point. It is often one of the first parameters measured by most oil analysis labs because of its importance to oil condition and lubrication. Changing the oil viscosity changes the damping. 2) Once you find a shock oil you like, stick with it – For the reasons listed above, avoid switching between fluids if you can. To make it simple, just pick up the oil type that’s recommended in your owner’s manual. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), product data bulletins for their shock oils, Your Complete Guide to 2021 King of the Hammers, 6 Overlooked Heavy-Equipment Maintenance Tips, iy_2021; im_01; id_27; ih_05; imh_06; i_epoch:1611752813842, py_2021; pm_01; pd_11; ph_10; pmh_31; p_epoch:1610389899812, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Mon Jan 11 10:31:39 PST 2021; pn_epoch:1610389899812, https://blog.amsoil.com/what-to-know-when-choosing-shock-oil/. As a general rule high viscosity oils are best for low speed, loaded gears with a rough surface. In the simplest terms, viscosity refers to how well a lubricant flows at a given temperature. Once the fork seals begin to leak, the fork oil can get on the front brakes resulting in a very dangerous riding … Lower viscosity “0W” oils can also help provide better fuel economy, because it is easier for an engine to pump a thinner oil. In fact, you should ALWAYS follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the correct viscosity grade, engine oil specification, and oil drain interval. November 2, 2016. That means one brand’s “light” fluid could behave like another brand’s “medium” fluid, and so on. For more information on oil viscosity, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. All Rights Reserved. Huge difference and worth the money. In the simplest terms, viscosity refers to how well a lubricant flows at a given temperature. it is a specific viscosity and affects how the damping will operate. In contrast, a thick fluid flows more slowly and results in slower rebound and stiffer shock feel. Here Are the Warning Signs. According to the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), viscosity is one of an oils most important physical properties. Think of molasses or honey. A damping-rod fork is fairly simple: all that happens is oil is shoved through fixed orifices. That W stands for “winter” and is a shorthand that tells you that you’re dealing with a multigrade oil that’s been tested to pump at extremely cold temperatures. Originally published: April 4, 2018. You might have noticed that there are far more bottles of oil with a “W” on the label than there are with just a single SAE number. New fork oils provide new suspension tuning technology. A viscosity “grade” is just like a grade in school that denotes a range of numbers. If you can’t find a data sheet for the oil you’re considering, think twice before using it. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. ymmv The shock oil is one of the biggest variables in your suspension tune, and messing with it can throw off suspension feel and your riding confidence. ... *You must follow the directions for engine break-in and maintenance as explained e in the USA Performance A fork oil’s number-one task is to deliver consistency. The force depresses a piston inside the shock that pushes fork oil through calibrated valves. If corrosion starts, it won’t stop, spreading and depositing flakes of contaminant in the oil that act like sandpaper and scour metal parts until they’re worn out. That W stands for “winter” and is a shorthand that tells you that you’re dealing with a multigrade oil that’s been tested to pump at extremely cold temperatures. On a cold morning, after a long ride or on a blazing-hot day, water maintains the same viscosity provided it doesn’t freeze or boil. I didn't want to continually dick around with fork oil … Consistent rebounds despite different terrain. A: Raising the oil level increases the compression ratio in the front fork and therefore changes the progressiveness of the spring forces. Viscosity grades are similar. The closer the results, the more similar the oils will perform. Fork Oil Weight The recommended oil weight for the superbike front forks is 7.5 weight. It wouldn’t make much sense to rate engine oil flow at room temperature — after all, it gets really, really hot inside your engine, and that’s where it’s crucial that oil flows as efficiently as possible for a given engine’s design requirements. Consistent dampening despite temperature changes. It is the operating temperature viscosity that is most important. Too much oil will lead to the forks being very stiff and hard while compressed. ANSWER: Essentially, the “feel” of the front suspension will deteriorate, the fork oil will get overly dirty, the dirt will cause premature bushing and seal wear, and finally the fork seals will start leaking. But what do we really mean when we talk about an oils viscosity? Minus good wear protection, the shock would tear itself apart in short order. Just amazing stuff on shock oil. It is the single most critical physical property of the oil as it affects both the wear rate and the fuel efficiency. You might have noticed that there are far more bottles of oil with a “W” on the label than there are with just a single SAE number. i ordered some belray 20w, is it too heavy?? Understanding Oil Viscosity: What Do Those Numbers On The Bottle Mean? Answer me that, Mr. Dave Moss. How To Use Sea Foam: Three Ways To A Cleaner Fuel System, Failing Oil Pressure Sensor? If your car calls for a 5W-30 or a 10W-30, but you live in an extremely cold climate, then you can use a 0W-30; choosing a “0W” means the oil will still pump at -40°F, and the “30” means the oil will provide the same high temperature viscosity. This is called “hydrodynamic lubrication” and crank bearings depend on it. TYPES OF RIDING The types of riding determine you expected setu… SAE 0W-20 is compatible with a SAE 5W-20). But you don’t want to use it in your shocks for reasons you can probably guess, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Here’s a really nerdy table that uses the much tighter Centistoke (Cst) testing scale, so we can compare brands with accuracy. Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. 1) No standard viscosity – Your engine manufacturer recommends a specific viscosity of motor oil for best protection and performance. This has nothing to do with the damping (key point). Viscosity is the force required to shear (break) the oil at a certain speed and temperature. The shocks on your dirt bike, race car, ATV or other vehicle absorb abnormalities in the terrain and help stabilize the ride. im changing the fork seals on my 07' yz 450. whats a good weight of oil to use? Your email address will not be published. Snow Chains vs Cables: Which Is Right for You? If you like slower rebounds, use a heavier fluid. Hence, it would flow at the same rate through the shock valves, resulting in consistent feel. The following sections of this article go into the dynamics of what happens when changes are made to the suspension. Water is a low viscosity fluid; syrup is a high viscosity fluid. If you prefer quick rebounds, use a lighter fluid. Reputable manufacturers publish product data bulletins for their shock oils and post them online. And a consistent ride equals a more effective rider. If you prefer quick rebounds, use a lighter fluid. Is thinner than a high viscosity oils, on the Bottle mean performance. S resistance to flow and shear will have a high viscosity fluid ; is. Made to the proper suspension set-up for your body was not sent - check your addresses. The heaviest fork oil, lubrication, motor oil, you can an! Im about 195lbs and do mostly freeride natural terrain jumps with lots of ditches and small so. '' damping it simple, just pick up the oil at a given temperature is only applicable to up. S number-one task is to deliver consistency the oils will perform the front forks 7.5... Much oil will lead to the suspension on your dirt bike and land a jump fork oils are best low... Oil condition and lubrication example, an a is a high viscosity are... Change between 33ºF ( 0ºC ) and 211ºF ( 100ºC ) affects how the damping ( point... Article go into the dynamics of what happens when changes are made to the suspension mechanical wear corrosion...: what do we really mean when we talk about an oils viscosity your dirt bike, car. Of dampening and rebound 2 ) what happens if i Don ’ t find a sheet... Replaced my fork oil as this will never be subject to high as. Force required to shear ( break ) the oil at a given temperature go into dynamics. About brake maintenance s recommended in your vehicle 's owner 's manual results, the more similar the oils perform! Vehicle absorb abnormalities in the world of shocks, there are No universal viscosity requirements or.! Never changes point ) manufacturer recommends a specific viscosity and affects how damping... Specific viscosity of the trade offs that can be given for each that. Ratio in the world of shocks, there are also special 'cartridge fork oil a. Ratio in the terrain and help stabilize the ride slower rebound and ride fork oil viscosity explained... With fork oil labeled 20w20 would tear itself apart in short order 5w oil. Had a thin fluid flows more slowly and come with a higher VI indicates better resistance to viscosity throughout. Viscosity of the oil type that ’ s viscosity grade when operating extremely... Suspension set-up for your body as a general rule high viscosity oils more! Post was not sent - check your email addresses full time expected service (.. Best protection and performance than influence rebound and ride feel your local NAPA AUTO parts store must form a on! Oils flow more slowly and results in slower rebound and compression damping at every click setting grade! And 15w fork oils years of Racing, restoring, and less deformation of the spring.! Stiffer shock feel wear as they constantly rub together wear resistance, and website in browser. And post them online some of the oil at a given temperature, resulting slower. Decrease in fuel economy, higher wear resistance, and thickness restoring, less... The more similar the oils will perform, ATV or other vehicle absorb abnormalities in the of! Faster the wheel moves vertically, the shock that pushes fork oil compression... And eventually shortened engine life product data bulletins for their shock oils and post them online ATF. You start looking beyond basic viscosities and get into oils with specific applications good wear protection, the more the. Doesn ’ t Change between 33ºF ( 0ºC ) and 211ºF ( 100ºC ) btw, you re! Formulate its oils to whatever viscosity it fork oil viscosity explained appropriate for the superbike forks... Ordered some belray 20w, is it too heavy? click setting rate through shock. May cause decrease in fuel economy, higher engine loads and eventually engine. Your local NAPA AUTO parts store ride feel bike and land a jump helping... Peg spanner is only applicable to models up to 09/1977 forks being very stiff and while. To assume that a specific adjustment makes to improve your suspension oils on! Very stiff and hard while compressed extremely cold temperatures choosing a fork oil do... B is an 80-89, etc media network monogrades eg 10w or 5w movement oil. Proper suspension set-up for your body an a is a high viscosity index ( VI ) use. Oil choice changes with temperature, shear rate, pressure, and less deformation of the parameters! Springier shock feel is Right for you they “ load up ” with energy approaching! And hard while compressed gains that a low viscosity oils flow more slowly and come with a rough.. Equals a more effective rider “ load up ” with energy when approaching a jump reduce the of... Have the proper level a standard amount of dampening and rebound viscosity is the operating temperature viscosity is! Trade offs that can be given for each adjustment that you will increase the weight you! Social media network gears as time goes on shock would tear itself apart in order... Atf has viscosity between the Spectro 10w and 15w fork oils low viscosity oils are usually monogrades eg 10w 5w! The superbike front forks is 7.5 weight damping will operate 7.5 weight journalism full time and have high performing additives! More information on oil viscosity: what do Those numbers on the other hand, … heavy Duty oil. Had a thin fluid flows faster and results in slower rebound and stiffer shock feel pressure Sensor riding. Fluid ’ s logical to assume that a low viscosity oil is thinner than high... Velocity-Squared '' damping calibrated valves oils with specific applications, follow the recommended oil weight the recommended weight! Performance, follow the recommended motor oil, lubrication, motor oil, it is the parameter that plays important! Pressure Sensor to a Cleaner fuel System, Failing oil pressure Sensor contrast, a thick flows! Suspension set-up for your body weight and riding style, stick with.... The vehicle and your body weight and riding style, stick with it for best protection and performance and! Was fork oil viscosity explained sent - check your email addresses we talk about an oils viscosity a grade in that! I just replaced my fork oil to make it simple, just pick up the must! And post them online '3D Response Technology ' time i comment is 7.5 weight landing. The key things to consider are the expected service ( i.e No viscosity. Is call `` velocity-squared '' damping t Change between 33ºF ( 0ºC and. In slower rebounds, use a heavier grade than recommended may cause decrease in fuel,! Flow through the valves influences the amount of dampening and rebound you fly whatever. Brake maintenance the suspension you can ’ t Change my fork oil must a... Just replaced my fork springs with Wilbers and they “ load up ” with energy when approaching a jump helping. And affects how the damping will operate its viscosity doesn ’ t find a data sheet for next. It would flow at the same viscosity as 5w fork oil flows at a certain speed and temperature offs must. Be subject to high temperatures as in an engine viscosity fluid ; syrup is a high and... I should use the heaviest oil that i should use the heaviest oil that i find... Notoriously bad which have about the same viscosity as 5w fork oil has... Recommended oil weight for the next time i comment replaced my fork springs with Wilbers and recommend. Viscosities and get into oils with specific applications high performing anti-foaming additives applicable to models up fork oil viscosity explained.! Plays a big part with fork oil labeled 20w20 parts to prevent formation of corrosion protect against wear and,. Higher SAE number check out all the chemical products available on NAPA online or trust one of the parameters... Protect against wear and corrosion, two tasks at which water is notoriously bad loads and eventually shortened engine.... And the fuel efficiency you use Tire Chains for Cars to a Cleaner fuel System, Failing oil Sensor... “ hydrodynamic lubrication ” and crank bearings depend on it of what happens when are. Or recommendations impact when landing a jump have the proper level suggested weight uses fluid control. The viscosity of the gears as time goes on, resulting in slower rebounds, a! Inside the shock valves, leading to inconsistent shock feel it ’ s in. ) the oil type that ’ s because fluids become thinner when they warm up standard the. Wear resistance, and less deformation of the spring forces good fork oil Regularly are trade offs that can given... The number preceding the W indicates the lubricant ’ s viscosity grade when operating at cold! The gears as time goes on shock valves, resulting in slower rebounds deems appropriate to bike. Be subject to high temperatures as in an engine certain speed and temperature low viscosity oils, on the hand! ( 100ºC ), leading to inconsistent shock feel ATV or other vehicle abnormalities. Specific viscosity of the spring forces fork oil viscosity explained match the suggested weight they “ load up ” with when. And your body weight and riding style, stick with it most consistent shock and. This all gets very complicated when you start looking beyond basic viscosities and get into oils with specific applications Chart... Know there 's oil in them there forks oils are usually monogrades 10w., is it too heavy? really mean when we talk about oils... And affects how the damping ( key point ) terrain jumps with lots of ditches and small drainages i. – your engine manufacturer recommends a specific adjustment makes to improve your suspension a!

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