What 2-Stroke Oil Should I Be Using?

Question:

Dear Motorhead,

I also have a 2-stroke oil question for you. I have 4 sleds…2006 Arctic Cat M5, 2000 Panther 550, 1991 Phazer and 1983 Enticer 340T. Just for convenience I have been running Arctic APV Oil in all of them.

The M5 burns the most oil, but does not smoke much. The Panther 550 sips oil, but smokes a decent amount, and you really smell of two stroke oil after riding it. The Phazer and ET340, using the same oil, also sips oil, but leaves very little 2-stroke oil smell on clothing after riding.

I realize the APV oil is overkill for these sleds, but it has a decent odor when riding and doesn’t leave your eyes burning like some other oils.

Can you shed some light on this for me AND suggest the best 2-stroke oil?

Thank you for your expert analysis.

Rob

Reply:

Thanks for your email!

What you are asking us amounts to the $64K question. Here’s what I think about oil after three decades of arguments leading mostly nowhere.

The SAE (Society of Auto Engineers) has classification codes on every lubricant used for Cars/trucks and recreational vehicles. These ratings are available at the SAE web site. I would use a TC-W rated injection oil as minimum standard.

Many oils exceed these minimums and make claims which are unquantifiable except for the SAE rating. Joe’s “Super Injector” may achieve an SAE TC-W rating but Joe may be claiming the stuff actually grows steel and does a jillion other things like reducing cavities.

Great – however, at the end of the day I would stick with the highest possible SAE 2 cycle rating. That doesn’t mean to say there are not really good oils out there – clearly there are – however it is difficult to quantify how much better than a SAE rating they have achieved.

The engines you have mentioned are almost 25 years apart in age – this means a lot and you should consider what the older engines might need versus the newer ones. You are likely spending more than you need on oil.

Do some research yourself on this and see if it helps you decide what oil to buy. I guarantee it will help you quantify different brands of oils and the widely divergent prices many snowmobile oils demand.

All the best,

Motorhead Mark

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