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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the store today to pick up a fuel stabilizer for the winter, and came across several different fuel or oil additives that claim to prolong the life of your engine. You know, "cleans your motor from the inside out."
I don't want to throw something in my bike that will harm my engine (do any of us?), and I would like to try something that would help. What should I get? There are additives that you can put into your oil (which makes me nervous) and same with fuel. Any one have any experience with something like this, whether it's "my friend told me about", or what you have experienced first hand?
 

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I read a magazine article awhile back that 99.999% of the fuel additives out there do nothing or even may cause harmful effects to an engine.

-I know alot of people here and elsewhere swear by Seafoam, but I've used it 4 times on 3 different vehicles (2 motorcycles and a car) and not once did I notice anything different.
 

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When it comes to oil additives, the major oil manufacturers add tons of stuff to their oils to make it perform best for whatever they designed the oil to do, be it motorcycles, cars or big diesel trucks. Why would you tinker with it as an individual when you don't know where you are starting in terms of performance additives?
 

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Sea Foam is a fuel system cleaner and stabilizer. StaBil is simply a fuel stabilizer for gasoline engines. Either one can and should be used for storage.

Personally, I don't use oil additives and never had any problems from not using them. If you change the oil on a regular schedule, I don't see anything bad happening with the oil.
 

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My experience with Sta-Bil was that my CB450 ran terrible in the spring, until I kept topping off with fresh gas. That was before they came out with the alcohol formula, though.

Seafoam, however, cleaned the carb of a chipper-shredder that I had forgotten to drain out; it would only run full choke, until I added Seafoam to the tank, after which, it began running better. By the time the tank was run through, I no longer needed to take the carb apart. That's when I started winterizing all my small engines and bikes with it, and have had no springtime running issues since.
 

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The only "problem" I ever had with StaBil is that the stuff smells funny when you run it through the engine after storage. After running through and refilling the tank, it's no longer an issue.
 

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I'd stay away from oil additives. Many of them conflict with the additives the oil companies add to get you a good product. Now fuel stabilizers are different. It's my understanding these chemicals used to be added to fuel to begin with but to cut cost they stopped. Fuel from the 50's never went bad. Today it can go bad in two weeks. I used to use Sta-bil but switched to Pri-G and Pri-D for gas and diesel but I purchase and store fuel in bulk. 500 to 600 at a time. So I looked for something that did the job for that much fuel without breaking the bank any further. I've never used Seafoam as a stabilizer so can't say if it would even work for that much fuel for as long as 18 months in my case. But the ones I have used and are using do. Never had an engine problem either from bad fuel. The stuff works well past what they recommend. That will probably change since you know they want you to spend more.
 

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The biggest reason fuel goes bad, today, is the added alcohol sucks water out of the air and separates out, leaving behind lower-octane gasoline, and an un-burnable puddle in the bottom of your tank. Not much of a problem with a pressure-sealed tank (as in modern autos), but most of our tanks are vented. Filling them as close to the top, as is reasonable, before storage helps; additives that keep the alcohol 'dry' and in solution help, too. Seafoam does this, and, I understand, the new formula Sta-bil does too; Lucas makes one I haven't tried.

Oil additives are off my list, too. Just put in fresh oil and pump it about, and it will keep the acids away from the metals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why would you tinker with it as an individual when you don't know where you are starting in terms of performance additives?
I'm not really looking at this as a performance additive to increase horsepower or torque, more of something that will help with keeping my engine clean and help with longevity. I would prefer to stay away from any oil additive because of my lack of familiarity with it.
 

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I'm not really looking at this as a performance additive to increase horsepower or torque, more of something that will help with keeping my engine clean and help with longevity. I would prefer to stay away from any oil additive because of my lack of familiarity with it.
I worked for an international oil company for over 20 years, last 9 of them in their international technical centre as a Lubricant Product Technologist.

A motorbike engine oil has a friction modifying component to address wet clutch operation, this deteriorates over the engine oil service period, so you'll notice a drop off in clutch sensitivity before oil drain and then an improvement in clutch feel after oil change.

A modern motorcycle engine oil will have more than enough additive package to keep your engine clean and long lived. Choose one which has the highest API Service Rating, I think something from API SH, SJ, SL, SM or SN (?). Also choose a motorbike engine oil which has a JASO MA rating, this reflects the friction modification characteristics for wet clutch use.

If you want to improve your engine's cleanliness and increase it's life, then change the oil more frequently. I've never found a piece of equipment which was made worse by shorter oil change intervals.

Don't go adding additive packages to your engine oil. The balance of some of the additives is synergistic, that is they inter-react with each other, and an added additive package may alter the balance of additives in the oil and lead to a drop in performance. If an additive is needed in an engine oil, the manufacturer has put it there to achive the level of performance stated for the oil.

Use the highest rating oil you can get, shorten the oil drain period, don't add aftermarket additive packages.

As for gas additives, I used Chevron's Techron additive for years and swear by it. Don't know if its still available, gas will be marked "Techron" if it's in the fuel at the pump. If you can get it in the small bottle as concentrate then add it at the stated rate (I think its one bottle to a tank for a car, so only a part bottle for a motorbike tank depending on tank size). Keeps carburettors and fuel injectors clean, improves starting and power/fuel economy - fuel consumption and power increase are mutually exclusive, you only get one :)
 

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I use Startron additive in the fuel (when I cannot get alcohol-free gas) of my '68 CB350. Startron is supposed to be specifically designed to alleviate issues caused by the alcohol in gasoline and to clean carbon deposits from the combustion chamber. What sold me on Startron was an experiment I did, where I rode halfway without Startron and halfway with it. I rode the bike from Central Florida to Maggie Valley, NC, then to Leeds and the Barber Vintage Festival, then back to Central Florida. Without the Startron I was getting about 55-60 mpg and with it I got 65-70 mpg. I figured in the cost of the Startron over those mile sand added it to the fuel costs and compared. It was cheaper to use the Startron than not. With the Startron at one fillup I even got up to 75 mpg. I have also had this motor apart and the engine was very clean inside, and the carbon was light.

All that said, I have tried it in my 2011 Triumph Bonneville and cannot find any difference at all. My conclusion is that in the older naturally aspirated (the Bonnie is fuel injected) engines Startron is pretty useful. It also acts as a fuel stabilizer if you end up parking that old bike from time to time. I took about a cap for the CB350 on a fillup.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Its too bad that most or all of the additives (stabilizers exluded) don't work. If they did, you could keep your bike/car/truck/small engine running forever just by adding cheap bottles of liquid. I got bored one day and read the backs of all the additives and some of the things those additives claim to fix is unbelievable.

-Once I was at an oil change place that is notorious for trying to sell gimmicks to the unwary and they told me that my block was cracked but for $59.99 they could use an additive that would repair it. Really? a cracked block? Thats f***ing amazing! I didn't buy it.
 

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Also, While ultimately it killed my radiator and water pump, Bar's Leak did give me an extra 3-4 months before having to replace my radiator and waterpump in my old truck. It was a $1000 repair so those extra few months really helped! When they pulled them out, they were completely covered in that metal stuff that comes with Bar's leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
-Once I was at an oil change place that is notorious for trying to sell gimmicks to the unwary and they told me that my block was cracked but for $59.99 they could use an additive that would repair it. Really? a cracked block? Thats f***ing amazing! I didn't buy it.
Now that's funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Changing the oil at regular intervals will help keep the engine clean and provide longevity.
I agree. Alot of my friends get irritated with me because they think I'm wasting good oil. My bike has about 4000 miles on it and have done about 3 oil changes. A little extreme, but it's the blood for bike.
 
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