Three Industry Innovators (Amsoil Racing Legends) Discuss their Relationship with Amsoil - Part 2

Amsoil Racers Scheuring, Buell, Douglass

Amsoil Racers Erik Buell, Scott Douglass, Steve Scheuring

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 Super Bike 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.

The race-engineered vehicles of Scott Douglas, Erik Buell and Steve Scheuring help Amsoil test and validate its synthetic lubricants – the same synthetic lubricants available to all motorists. The three recently visited Amsoil corporate headquarters for a lengthy discussion on the many ways Amsoil and its pioneering technology help provide dominance on the track. In the second of a two-part series, Amsoil Magazine provides excerpts of the discussion. For part one, see the January edition of Amsoil Magazine.

This discussion is continued from Part 1.

How Amsoil synthetic lubricants helped save Scott Douglas’ truck during one particularly challenging race weekend:

Douglas: One of the situations we had with Amsoil quite a few years back had to do with one of the big Cup races. We had built a new chassis and tried to make it as light as we could. You’re always fiddling with your cooling packages. The bottom line is we made some calculated mistakes on that. We got to the bigger track, Crandon [International Raceway], where we’re running the thing, just twisting the motor at 8,000-8,400 [rpm] in between shifts. And those long pulls, those big, long straight-a-ways, you get up to about 100 mph. And all of a sudden the gauges are just pegging from qualifying on. We’re trying to duct air in and do everything we can. We finally realized we didn’t have a choice and we were just going to have to run the race. We had the confidence in Amsoil that it was going to pull through. That was the most successful weekend I’ve ever had in my racing career. We won every race that weekend – both Pro 4x4 races and the Cup race. All three runs, including qualifying, we were over 300º-320º on the oil temp. We took apart the motor afterwards figuring the whole thing was going to be pretty tore up, but we were really happy with the results.

How Amsoil DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil (TDR) prevented Steve Scheuring’s Ski-Doo® Rotax® engines from failure:

Scheuring: At the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., we raced at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. All the dynamics of the engine changed. You experience lack of oxygen and reduced horsepower, so you have to adjust for that. You have to increase compression; you have to increase timing. There were six factory-based Ski-Doos running in the Pro Open class. Out of those six, we had the only ones that didn’t blow up. Our engines ran flawlessly all weekend. All our guys ended up in the finals, and Robbie [Malinoski] ended up on the podium, which represented the only Ski- Doo-based team in the top 10. Amsoil helped us get through that edge where everyone else kind of fell off.

On competitors in the AMA Pro SuperBike series taking notice of the durability Amsoil synthetic lubricants provide Erik Buell’s racing bike:

Buell: Our engine is the talk of the pits. Two-cylinder engines pushed to that horsepower level are more fragile. We never touch our engines all race weekend. The other guys are swapping engines Saturday night for a new engine for the race on Sunday. We are just running the same stuff, and everybody is really impressed by it. They ask us about it and we say it’s a good engine, but without a doubt some of the things Amsoil has been able to give us have helped the engine. Maybe we would have redesigned it mechanically for a lesser-quality oil, but why do that?

On some of the benefits Amsoil expertise provides race teams:

Douglas: Everyone was running 20W-50 [motor oil], but the engineers at Amsoil said we should go to a 15W-50 to gain a little horsepower. I’m an old-school kind of guy, so I had to be sold on the idea. Amsoil sold me and the testing we did was phenomenal. We tore down the motors and the bearings looked perfect. I was caught up in the mindset of everyone else that the viscosity is what makes the oil good. No, it’s not; it’s the quality of what you put in the oil, and Amsoil puts in nothing but the best.

Buell: It’s a whole level of technology I’ve never been exposed to before. It’s not just about performance, it’s about understanding the whole picture. And that’s the world of what Amsoil gives to the everyday owner. Racing is not just about peak performance, it’s about durability.

On Scott Douglas’ 900-hp race truck providing critical data in the development of Severe Gear® Synthetic EP Gear Lube:

Douglas: The off-road community is so difficult on differential gears, whether it’s short-course or desert racing. We’re landing with all that power, and that little film of oil is all you have between that ring and pinion. If you think about that surface area, it’s crazy to think you’re putting 900 horsepower through.

It might be the best motor oil there is, but if Amsoil finds out they can make it better, they make it better. - Scott Douglas

We used to run this stuff that was like molasses; it literally was like honey. We’d have to jack the truck up on stands – and this wasn’t on cold days, this was on a day that might be 60º – and we’d have to warm it up for about 20 minutes and get all the oil moving. Hopefully it would get out the axle tubes and get to the bearings. This was the only stuff that would live in the off-road industry until I hooked up with Amsoil and realized how well Severe Gear worked. We started running Severe Gear, and made some formula changes to make it even better. The rings and pinions were better than I’ve ever seen them. And I’ve got a lot of experience in this industry. We run a ring and pinion all year long on this truck.

On Steve Scheuring’s involvement with Amsoil product testing and validation:

Scheuring: We spent all last year working hand-in-hand up at our race shop dyno testing oil on Ski-Doo Rotax engines. We saw minimal wear and we saw everything exceed expectations and set the bar for what a lubricant should do. Today we’re working on future oils and we’re conducting testing with each of our drivers using a special blend of oil. As we accumulate 200 hours or 1,000 miles on a vehicle, we’ll break that vehicle down. The Amsoil technical staff will measure wear, scuffing and clearances to gather information showing which of the newer formulations will take the product even further.

On the high performance standards demanded of Amsoil synthetic lubricants:

Douglas: The thing I love about Amsoil is it doesn’t take a failure to change the product; Amsoil changes its lubricants just to make them better. It might be the best motor oil there is, but if Amsoil finds out they can make it better, they make it better. It’s like racing. You might be winning every weekend, but if you’re not trying to better yourself all the time, you’re going to fall right off the map. That’s not what I do with my career and that’s not what Amsoil does with its products.

Scheuring: This year we’re setting the bar on performance. We’ve really opened eyes to the whole synthetic market in our form of racing, two-stroke engines, and have shown that it is a superior product. People have really risen to that and realized this is the best product. There’s no proof like racing. What we do in one weekend takes the consumer or a test team two years to do. We have such a condensed test period and the products work great.

Buell: As soon as I came and visited and started talking with the research people, I realized I was in my kind of territory. Amsoil is interested in solutions; passionate about what they wanted to do and passionate about making the best lubricants. Amsoil is open to learn, listen and think – no canned solutions. Everything is about ‘what is going on? We want to understand it, we want to look at it, we want to see it, we want to think about it.’ Amsoil became completely engaged with us as a development partner.

There’s another piece of this that’s cool: My industry, the motorcycle sport racing industry, is mostly import. It’s not only imported vehicles, but imported ideas. They now see an American-made motorcycle and American-made lubricants, and they know we’re reliable. They know we’re not tearing engines down. They’re sitting there going, ‘Whoa, this is really cool that American technology is absolutely at the top of the world.’

Follow Scott Douglas, Team Amsoil/ Scheuring Speed Sports, Erik Buell Racing and other Team Amsoil racers all year long on Amsoilracing.com.

Three Industry Innovators (Amsoil Racing Legends) Discuss their Relationship with Amsoil - Part 1

Amsoil Racing Legends
Amsoil Racing Legends Scheuring, Buell, Douglas
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:

Steve Scheuring, Scott Douglas, AMSOIL Race Program Manager Jeremy Meyer and Erik Buell talk racing at AMSOIL corporate headquarters.
Steve Scheuring, Scott Douglas, AMSOIL Race Program Manager Jeremy Meyer and Erik Buell talk racing at AMSOIL corporate headquarters.

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.