Steve Scheuring, Scott Douglas, AMSOIL Race Program
Manager Jeremy Meyer and Erik Buell talk racing at AMSOIL corporate
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 together with AMSOIL to make the
products better and 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-cylinder 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 is 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
On the edge AMSOIL lubricants provide vehicles operating in extreme
Scheuring: We all race in such extreme environments. In our sport in general, last year we
raced in Montreal, Quebec at -27ºF, and then we raced in Lake Geneva, Wis. in the spring at 82º, so we had a 130º
temperature change in three months, and we ran the same AMSOIL DOMINA TOR® 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®, DOMINA TOR, Torque-Drive® and everything we
run comes into play – in those severe conditions.
On AMSOIL synthetic technology improving clutch performance in the EBR
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 [DOMINA TOR 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
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. Read the 2nd part here!