|Amsoil Racing Legends|
|The father of the American superbike, Erik Buell, founded Erik Buell Racing (EBR) on the principles of hard work and American innovation. The team captured four podium finishes in the ultra-competitive AMA Pro SuperBike series last season.||Legendary off-road racer Scott Douglas competes in the Pro 4x4 class in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL. The 11-time World Champion finished the 2012 season in second-place overall.||AMSOIL/Scheuring Speed Sports owner Steve Scheuring has been a driving force behind the meteoric rise of professional snocross since the 1990s. His stable of decorated riders is currently dominating the 2012-13 AMSOIL Championship Snocross season.|
All three racing icons recently visited AMSOIL corporate headquarters for a lengthy discussion on the many ways AMSOIL and its pioneering technology help them dominate on the track. In the first of a two-part series, AMSOIL Magazine provides excerpts of the discussion.
On the effect AMSOIL has had on each of their racing programs:
Buell: We’re the only American motorcycle competing in the [Pro AMA SuperBike] series, and we believe in American technology. The lifeblood of any engine is the oil, and when you’re pushing engines in racing, especially stock racing engines with a really high power level, you’ve got to have the best stuff in them. And it’s really cool to have the best synthetic lubricants in the world come from America, and from Wisconsin. We’ve only been with AMSOIL two years, but AMSOIL has helped us solve problems with the engines, and we’ve pushed them further. So we’re not only finding good oil, but really good research people. “Racing is Research” is real.
Douglas: The quality of AMSOIL lubricants is what draws us all together. We all want to win, we all want to be top on the box, and AMSOIL helps us achieve that.
Scheuring: We started with AMSOIL back in 1997 and have had great success year after year, winning the X Games, winning championships and winning races. We constantly work with Amsoil to make the products better and to document that amsoil lubricants are truly the best.
How Amsoil technical expertise helped Erik Buell avoid redesigning the crankshaft in the EBR 1190RS motorcycle:
Buell: I wanted a two-cyclinder engine because it has a very smooth power band coming out of the corner. But to get a two-cylinder engine up to the power level of a four-cylinder engine, we had to rev it very high, so the loads on the crankshaft are quite intense. V-twins are notoriously hard on crankshafts because that big, long stroke of the two-cylinders just flexes the crankshaft around. We were seeing bearing issues and that's one of the places where Amsoil came in to help us. Some of the mechanical engineering people said we needed to redesign the crankshaft because it obviously had a problem. But the research and development people at Amsoil showed us that it was likely an oil problem, and they were correct - that was the issue. So instead of having to redesign the engine, I just had to use a better quality oil.
On Scott Douglas' ability to modify his racing engine to generate increased horsepower due to his trust in Amsoil synthetic lubricants:
Douglas: Every year we learn more and more about how far we can push the truck. It’s really nice to have a relationship with a sponsor like AMSOIL that not only provides a financial relationship, but engineering support. What we’re doing now is taking it to the next level. We’re working with the engineers at AMSOIL to find out how far we can push this truck. How small of an oil cooler can we put on the truck? Getting those pounds off the truck and getting that rotating mass working a little bit better – running smaller bearings in the engine – is part of finding out how far we can push it. We’re taking some of the engineering help from AMSOIL and relaying it over to our engine builder. This year we gained 12 horsepower by putting a little bit smaller main bearings and rod bearings in the engine. We weren’t sure if it was going to work, but the bearings have been perfect.
On the edge AMSOIL lubricants provide vehicles operating in extreme conditions:
Scheuring: We all race in such extreme environments. In our sport in general, last year we raced in Montreal, Quebec at -27°F, and then we raced in Lake Geneva, Wis. in the spring at 82°F, so we had a 130°F temperature change in three months, and we ran the same AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil (TDR) mixed 50:1, while most manufacturers recommend 32:1. It’s bulletproof. It allows better action in our motor because we’ve got more fuel going in there. It gives us that extra edge.
Douglas: There are times we’ll have a mud race and the whole [truck] will get packed. It’s hardly getting any air, the gauges are all pegged and the throttle is still pegged, too, right to the floor, and we’re running forward. That’s one of the reasons I’m so successful, I think, in a lot of those mud races and everything, where the conditions are just outrageous. The motor’s still revving, it’s still turning, but it’s not getting any of that cooling capacity to it. That’s where Severe Gear®, DOMINATOR, Torque-Drive® and everything we run comes into play – in those severe conditions.
On AMSOIL synthetic technology improving clutch performance in the EBR 1190RS.
Buell: Other twins out there, racing bikes, often have dry clutches. Because the twin has so much torque in the clutch, it makes the clutch slip. But we run a wet clutch, so it’s actually running in oil. How do you get an oil that lubricates a motor and yet doesn’t cause the clutch to slip? Once again, AMSOIL was able to solve that problem with just a 50-weight product [DOMINATOR 15W-50 Synthetic Racing Oil (RD50)]. Because it’s a synthetic, it’s still light and thin, but it has the lubrication properties of a 50-weight. So we were able to get both the crankshaft life and the ability of the slipper clutch to work well. Both the pieces have lasted. The crankshafts last the entire season and clutch plates last four or five race weekends, which is just crazy good.
On the reasons for developing and maintaining a relationship with Amsoil:
Scheuring: AMSOIL is first-class from the top to the bottom. People are friendly, they’re helpful, they’re knowledgeable and you see the quality day by day. That gives you such a feeling of confidence when we’re putting these products in our race vehicles and our day-to-day vehicles.
Douglas: To add to that, the dedication to the perfection of the product is what’s really inviting as well because a lot of companies make products, but their marketing is the big thing; they don’t focus as much on the products themselves, whereas at AMSOIL the dedication to the perfection of the product is number one, marketing second. AMSOIL has even perfected its own formulas to make a product that’s already superior even better. There’s no doubt ever in my mind that when we put AMSOIL products in our vehicles, trusting the lubricant is ever an issue. I just never worry about it.
Buell: We had to come up and compete with giant corporations – Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW – with this little company out of Wisconsin [Erik Buell Racing]. We knew we had a good base and a great engine, but we needed help. We needed people to work with us and advise us on how to push the engine up to that level. We’re finishing on the podium. It’s an exciting story, and it wouldn’t have happened without the support of AMSOIL.
The second part of this discussion will appear in the February edition of AMSOIL Magazine. Follow Scott Douglas, Scheuring Speed Sports, Erik Buell Racing and other Team AMSOIL racers on amsoilracing.com.
This discussion is continued in Part 2.