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Now granted, i KNOW there's a plethora of other choices out there for your primary case, but I couldn't help but notice on the Syn3 (standard Harley synthetic engine oil) bottles it reads:
"For Use In Harley-Davidson Engines, Transmissions, and Primary Cases"

On the Formula+ bottle it reads:
"Transmission & Primary Chaincase Lubricant"

So now, I gotta ask... WHAT THE FRIGGIN HELL? Which one is the way to go? And what's the difference when it comes to the Primary Case? Clearly these Harley products are saying either will work... so, i submit to my forum friends, which is the way to go? Opinions? Facts?

For the record, the SERVICE MANUAL (yes i have one) says to use ONLY FORMULA+ Tranny Lubricant!
 

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Makes little difference. Make your choice and you are good to go.

Both oils meet the requirements for transmission and primary, meaning they provide the required lubricity and wear control and are wet clutch compatible. The SYn3 meets the engine requirement as well.
 

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SoundMan
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I was doing my first oil change and was about to buy the synthetic engine oil for the primary, but once the Harley parts guy found out I had a 2014 Sportster he told me the regular synthetic engine oil is used when the bike doesn't have a separate primary oil and sold me the Formula +. I'm new to owning a Harley, but my Yamaha V Star didn't have a separate primary/engine oil. The engine oil lubricated the engine and primary chain. I could be wrong, but that's the way I understood the parts guy.
 

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The Sportster has a combined primary clutch and transmission. So it needs an oil that is wet clutch compatible. That would include most "motorcycle" oils, special oils for transmissions and wet clutches and ATF. If you don't know, or don't have the expertise, then follow your owner's manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Sportster has a combined primary clutch and transmission. So it needs an oil that is wet clutch compatible. That would include most "motorcycle" oils, special oils for transmissions and wet clutches and ATF. If you don't know, or don't have the expertise, then follow your owner's manual.
Well I certainly don't have the expertise that's why I consulted not only the manual, but the interwebs too. Including this forum. Like I said, manual said Formula+, but there's about 400000+ opinions out there that say otherwise. At the end of the day I'm gunna go with the manual recommendation, but I'm just curious as to why the manual says "only Formula+" when RIGHT ON THE BOTTLE of Harley Davidson Syn3 it says that it's able to be used in the primary case. hahah
 

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Well I certainly don't have the expertise that's why I consulted not only the manual, but the interwebs too. Including this forum. Like I said, manual said Formula+, but there's about 400000+ opinions out there that say otherwise. At the end of the day I'm gunna go with the manual recommendation, but I'm just curious as to why the manual says "only Formula+" when RIGHT ON THE BOTTLE of Harley Davidson Syn3 it says that it's able to be used in the primary case. hahah
MoCo Manual...MoCo wants to sell more products. :)
 

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Formula+ makes my clutch happy. Never had any left side problems beyond the usual poor compensator design. Everything else is just experimenting. Syn3 is motor oil. Formula+ is Primary oil.
 

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Of the 2 choices given, go with Formula+ in the primary.
 

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Hah! Truth. I wonder who actually makes the Formula+ that they licensed the product from. Man, Harley is the KING of that :D
It changes all the time....whoever is the cheapest .

I laughed when the MoCo was bad mouthing Castrol at the same time it was using them to bottle Syn3 .
 

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If you read all the service manual, owners manual and such, you'll find either oil is fine. The factory motor oils are wet clutch compatible and fine for a Sportster primary, as is the Formula
+

While some of us prefer other oils, if you haven't the knowledge or experience go with the manual........nobody can fault you for that.
 

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Engine oil in engine. Tranny oil in transmission. Clutch friendly in primary. Synthetics are too pricy in primary. My 2 cents.
 

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Engine oil in engine. Tranny oil in transmission. Clutch friendly in primary. Synthetics are too pricy in primary. My 2 cents.
Agree with that, gear oil for gears and motor oil for motors. They are putting less good stuff in the newer motor oils because of cat. converters (zinc stuff)
 

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Dr. Pending Projects
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Well I certainly don't have the expertise that's why I consulted not only the manual, but the interwebs too. Including this forum. Like I said, manual said Formula+, but there's about 400000+ opinions out there that say otherwise. At the end of the day I'm gunna go with the manual recommendation, but I'm just curious as to why the manual says "only Formula+" when RIGHT ON THE BOTTLE of Harley Davidson Syn3 it says that it's able to be used in the primary case. hahah
In the touring bikes, yes. In those you can use Syn3 in all three holes. CVO bikes even come like that from the factory.

In Sportsters, Syn3 is not recommended...I only use Formula+ in the Sportster...
 

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In the touring bikes, yes. In those you can use Syn3 in all three holes. CVO bikes even come like that from the factory.

In Sportsters, Syn3 is not recommended...I only use Formula+ in the Sportster...
Thanks for pointing that out. Next oil change will include the transmission/primary and the parts guy had sold me Syn3. I'll be picking up some Formula+ before the next change.

Thanks.
 

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From H-D :
A A A

TESTED-CERTIFIED for use in Harley-Davidson® engine, primary chaincase and transmission applications, Screamin' Eagle® SYN3® Full Synthetic Lubricant makes changing and topping-off fluids a simple one-product process. For more information see SYN3® Premium Level of Protection.

The only synthetic lubricant custom-blended, tested and certified for use in Harley-Davidson® engine, chaincase and transmission applications
SYN3® Lubricant is formulated to maintain the coefficient of friction for proper clutch operation and to provide the proper lubrication to the primary chain drive
Designed to provide the correct lubricity for the anti-wear requirements of transmission gears and for improved seal protection
Approved by Harley-Davidson® for use in all stages of engine life and is not detrimental to the break-in stage of engines
Updated technology allows the oil to stay fresher longer by maintaining fluid film thickness and low-temperature pumpability for improved wear protection over the oils life
The only high-performance oil that can be used in all three cavities of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle, SYN3® lubricant offers improved wear protection, high temperature detergency and superior overall field performance
Our engineers have tested powertrains under controlled environments to make sure every additive is the correct additive and the right amount. The end result is the best oil you can buy for your Harley-Davidson® powertrain
SYN3® lubricant can only be purchased at your local dealer. We encourage you to put SYN3® to the test - try it out in your tank and you'll feel the difference from the very first mile
 
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