Superalce. Aargh, an oil question!

I’ve recently bought a Superalce. It’s been civilianised but is still essentially a Superalce probably from the first half of the 1950s. My question is about… engine oil. I’ve got hold of a users handbook which says to use SAE40 oil when the temperature is over 10 degrees C and SAE30 when its below. The previous owner says to use SAE50 mono of which I have plenty. That being what went in my BSA. What are the rest of you using in your 500 singles?

Probably a question that would attract a better response on the Google Guzzi singles group. There are a lot of knowledgeable folk in that group, far more singles owners than visit the forum

Yes Don. I’ve joined the guzzi-singles group and posted my question. The replies are already coming in. Many opinions as always with an oil thread. However, oil is the least of my problems now. I went for my first short 15 mile ride around this morning. On my return the fuel tank let go right outside my workshop. Bit of a mess. There are now a number of holes!

Ah well: at least it was outside your workshop and not a long way from home….
I had my Nuovo Falcone tank welded to resolve a couple of leaks, but only time will tell how long that will last. After draining, washed out with very hot water and washing up liquid, then left a hose running through it for quite a long while to make sure no chance of any fumes. Dried it off in the sun, not that you’ll have much luck with that at this time of year!
Back onto topic, there will be a good reason why the mono grade viscosities were chosen, and a 50 second oil is a very long way from a 30 second. Although it may be tempting to use what you have, why would you, when it’s not what it was designed for…?
Of course, as it’s an oil thread, everyone will have their own opinion, but when oil of the correct viscosity and spec. Is readily available, there’s little point in changing, IMHO at least.
Good luck with the tank

Google Real Classic , Technique “The oil truth”
Oil explained by a professional :+1::sunglasses:

I use Silkolene Chatsworth 40 in my 1948 GTV and the previous owner used 40 grade for many years. If I used it in the middle of winter I’d probably let it warm up a bit more before ‘belting off???’ down the road! Which reminds me…have a listen to Iain Tyrrell saying about how important it is to thoroughly warm up an ‘old’ engine before giving it full throttle. Goggle ‘Iain Tyrrell how to warm up’
I’ll have a look in my many Guzzi single manuals tonight just to refresh my memory and report back.


Having listened to the responses here and on the singles group I think I’ll be using SAE40 or 30 as per the original manual. I’ll choose a non-detergent oil with a sensible level of ZDDP. More likely to be just the 40 grade as the bike’s unlikely to get used over the winter. I have the loopframe with its better weather protection I can use. Thanks everyone.

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