Triumph Troubles Q and A

Readers ask Keith about problems surrounding their Triumph motorcycles.

article image
by Roland Brown

Oil choices

Q: Hi Keith, my pre-unit Triumph restoration is nearing completion, including a complete engine overhaul. Should I use a certain type of engine oil for the break in, and what weight and type after that? Thanks.

Smitty in Ohio

A: My personal opinion is that break-in oil is a thing of the past. My method is to buy a decent brand of non-synthetic oil in the manufacturer’s recommended viscosity and take it for a ride. Get it good and warm and drain it into a clean container. Inspect it carefully for any major debris. Minor whiskers of magnetic and non-magnetic metal are to be expected as new sliding and rotating surfaces get acquainted. If it passes inspection you can put the oil back in the tank and repeat the inspection at 100 miles. Replace the oil after that inspection and continue riding with regular oil changes. If you’re inclined to use synthetic oil, I’d wait until you’ve got about 500 miles on the bike. By then the rings should be bedded in.


Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!