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Synthetics, Slipperiness and Wet Clutches

Do not use car oil in a motorcycle. Use motorcycle oil in a motorcycle.

Many people have the perception that since synthetics are more slippery than petroleum oils (which simple don't reduce friction as well), that wet clutch packs in either their automotive automatic transmission or motorcycle transmission will slip when using "super slippery synthetics". Synthetic oil is no more "slippery" than petroleum oil. It simply has a more uniform molecular structure which reduces frictional resistance better than the irregular shape and size molecular structure of a petroleum oil.

Look at it this way. Wet sandpaper removes paint as well as dry sandpaper does. The slipperiness of the water does not impede the sandpaper's ability to function. The same applies to the "slipperiness" of synthetic lubes in wet clutches.

If used dry, the sandpaper is soon filled with paint and no longer works- it slips across the surface without grasping the surface. If kept clean and free of paint, it continues to work. The lubricating/cleaning solution used can be water, soap, oil or any other liquid. The liquid's slipperiness does not affect the performance of the sandpaper.

It is simply not an issue. However, just as rinsing the sandpaper keeps it cleaner longer so it functions better longer, so the synthetic lubricant keeps wet clutch plates cleaner longer so they function better.

AMSOIL synthetic lubricants will prevent deposit buildup on clutch plates, therefore keeping the face clean and able to do its job in preventing slippage.

And, since synthetics are superior cooling agents to conventional petroleum lubes, using synthetics will help wet clutches last longer, too.

Petroleum oils have low resistance to heat and allow varnish and glaze to form on clutch plates, which eventually leads to slippage and increased heat generation and eventually failure of the clutch pack.

Also, AMSOIL motorcycle oils are specifically formulated without any friction modifiers for compatibility with wet clutch packs. AMSOIL ATF lubricants are also designed with specific coefficient of friction values to meet the requirements of each and every specification that it not only meets, but far exceeds.

Now you know the facts. The next time your buddy mentions this as a potential issue, you can explain to him exactly why it is simply not an issue


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