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First, my dealer is not a 'typical low-life'.. he's a friend.. so pls take your disparaging comments elsewhere.

Second, maybe what he said has some validity. The extract from the 2015 owners manual - if that's what you posted above - lists "Shell" oil for the engine. I know most manufacturers list 'their' brand of oil, but Ducati hasn't done that here.

Again.. I'd be curious to see what other Ducati dealers say.. rather than guys like me who merely have an opinion..
Perhaps head over to bobistheoilguy.com and read up on the basics of motor oil. I'm not saying that to be flippant, just that its easy to take things at face value when there's more to it than that. A rough parallel can be found the car world. When Subaru intro'd the next evolution of their 2.5 boxer engine in 2011 they specified 0W20 full synthetic oil, which by the way is redundant because all 0W oil is synthetic because conventional cannot reach the pour point spec to be labeled 0W. Anyhow, they said that 0W20 was necessary to properly actuate the type of variable valve timing introduced in the new design, anything thicker could be problematic. Sound familiar? Is it a coincidence that Ducati recently changed their oil viscosity statement from a mere recommendation for 15W50 to it needs to be 15W50 and don't use thinner viscosity such as 10W40 anymore? The Shell recommendation has been around a while with the sticker even being put on the clutch cover to use "Shell Advance Motorcycle Oil". Which cannot be bought practically at all in North America.

What I'm getting at in my typical long winded fashion is that any oil recommendation revolving around the new VVT technology most likely has to do with initial viscosity and sheer stability (see bobistheoilguy.com), i.e. nature of the VVT system probably has made viscosity more of a critical factor, and since shared sump motorcycle engines tend to sheer (thin out) the oil over time. And where viscosity becomes more critical so does sheer stability over the course of the oil change interval. Sheer stability is the holy grail for tribologists when formulating motorcycle specific oil.

Maybe Shell is claiming new and improved sheer stability on their Advance line of motorcycle oil and that is what this was all about. Viscosity is directly related to oil pressure and most VVT technology needs oil pressure to be within certain limits.
 

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If I was to guess, the reason for the shift to 50 weight oil for the Multistrada it would be the use of a catalytic converter.

Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate (ZDDP) is a anti-wear additive to motor oils. ZDDP, however, contains phosphorous that has a life-shortening effect on the catalysts used in exhaust emission equipment, first only on cars, but now more recently on motorcycles. So the US Environmental Protection Agency mandated a reduction (from a maximum of 0.12% down to 0.10%) of anti-wear additives containing phosphorous in engine oils.

This EPA mandate may be the reason why the Ducati-recommended Shell oils are generally unavailable here in the US.

It's important to note that this mandated reduction was only required for the "energy conserving" designated lower viscosities. The higher viscosity oils were not required to meet this lowered phosphorus level.

Another reason, as Bonaventure points out above, is that shared sump motorcycle engines tend to sheer (thin out) the oil over time. The EPA has pressured engine manufacturers to extend oil change intervals to reduce the disposal problem of used motor oil. But therein lies a problem. Tests have shown that oil that also lubricates the gearbox in a motorcycle looses viscosity quite quickly. The gears in the transmission are the significant factor in cutting the longer oil molecules into shorter pieces that are less viscous.

In one series of tests, non-synthetic motorcycle-specific oils had lost over 30% of their viscosity at 800 miles, and over 35% at 1,500 miles. It should be noted that the viscosity of synthetic-based oils generally drops more slowly than that of petroleum-based oils in the same engine. This doesn't speak well for 7,500 mile oil change intervals (also encouraged by the EPA).

Starting out with a 50 weight oil means that it takes longer to end up with a 20 weight oil, for example.
 

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I have run UOA in my '12 MTS six (6) times, w/a wide variety of oils (my bike has 36,000 miles on it). Oils run: Mobil 1 15/50, Shell Rotella T6, Motul 300V & 7100 20/50 & Amsoil 20/50. I wont go into all the numbers, but the last test is the only time the visocity was ABOVE minimum #'s....and just barely (by a few 10ths). I change oil every 3000 miles.

Oil in last test? Amsoil, but the last Amsoil UOA, the #'s were slightly below minimums. FWIW, the #'s w/Motul & Amsoil were almost identical.
 

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I can't not ask this, 3B43: How did the Mobil 1 15W50 fare in the UOA and was it the older red cap or newer/current one with gold bottle cap?
 

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Since you asked......

1=SUS Viscosity @210 F
2=cSt Viscosity @ 100 C

Mobil1 15W/50 (new stuff): 1= 63.1 should be bet 75-90
2= 11.1 should be bet 14.3-18.2
Miles on oil: 3000

Motul 300V 15W/50: 1= 76.2 should be bet 79-92
2= 14.56 should be bet 15.3-18
Miles on oil: 3200

Amsoil 20W/50: 1= 77.9 should be bet 79-100
2 = 15 should be bet 15.3-21.1
Miles on oil: 3600

Amsoil 20W/50: 1= 81.6 should be bet 81-102
2= 15.93 should be bet 15.8-21.1
Miles on oil: 3000
 

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Considering purchasing an 15 MTS, so which oil to buy is a consideration.

First, the dealer is wrong if they claim ONLY the Shell oil can be used. Pages 382-383 of the owners manual clearly state ANY oil with API SM rating being used according to the chart on page 383 is acceptable.



The Mobile 1 Racing 4T 10W-40 meets API SM so it can be used from -10C to max temp (see chart in owners manual). The Mobile 1 V-Twin oil does not meet the standard (rated API SJ).

Additionally, neither the mfg or the dealer can specify that only a single oil can be used unless they plan on providing said oil to you for free (Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1975). If there are any attorneys on here that can correct me, I welcome the input.
 

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Resurrecting this:

Are the "should be" numbers in this "should be" numbers of virgin oil?

Since you asked......

1=SUS Viscosity @210 F
2=cSt Viscosity @ 100 C

Mobil1 15W/50 (new stuff): 1= 63.1 should be bet 75-90
2= 11.1 should be bet 14.3-18.2
Miles on oil: 3000

Motul 300V 15W/50: 1= 76.2 should be bet 79-92
2= 14.56 should be bet 15.3-18
Miles on oil: 3200

Amsoil 20W/50: 1= 77.9 should be bet 79-100
2 = 15 should be bet 15.3-21.1
Miles on oil: 3600

Amsoil 20W/50: 1= 81.6 should be bet 81-102
2= 15.93 should be bet 15.8-21.1
Miles on oil: 3000
 

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First, the dealer is wrong if they claim ONLY the Shell oil can be used. Pages 382-383 of the owners manual clearly state ANY oil with API SM rating being used according to the chart on page 383 is acceptable.
I see that API says that the latest version now is the SN rating and that rating exceeds the SM rating. You can use SN rated oil in an engine requiring SM oil, but you can't use SM rated oil in an engine requiring SN oil.

I'm trying to decipher if oil for diesel engines (API ratings: CJ or CK) can be used in an engine rated for SM oil? From what I can tell, it does appear that the newer SN rating actually allows the phosphorus anti-wear additive (ZDDP) content to be LESS than what it was for the SM rating. That is not a good thing. The CJ and CK oils apparently have plenty of that anti-wear additive and that seems like it would be well-suited for the desmo gear in the typical Duc engine.
 

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Shell Advance Ultra has become a lot more available since 15... but I started using Motul back then because I could get it and don't see any reason to change.
 

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FYI: Re: 1260's: On page 7 of this: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...47320-9999.pdf , it states: "NOTE
The pressure values indicated in the table have been defined only with the Ducati recommended SHELL Advance DUCATI 15W-50"
So a fairly critical and exacting spec is dependent on using the required Shell oil. While which oil can be used on other bikes is not critical, for the 1260 it is apparently required as the motor was designed for this specific oil.
 
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