Why Red Line
In 1991, Rotax began production of a double overhead cam version of the 604 engine, including liquid cooling of the cylinder head. Ron Wood immediately began work on high performance parts and modified both the dirt track and road race frames to accept the engine. Bigger cams, shim-under valve lifter buckets and titanium valves were just a few of the parts that went into the new project. The twin cam engine also made more torque than its predecessor, meaning more stress on the clutch.
With the new parts and higher stress on the engines, more wear appeared on the cams, lifters and other parts. Up to that time, premium petroleum racing oils had been used in the Rotax engines. Ron consulted his good friend C.R. Axtell about the problem and “Ax” suggested that he try Red Line 40wt synthetic racing oil.
With the new oil, the cam and bucket wear was next to nothing. All the engine parts were in excellent condition after several races, whether in the dirt tracker or road racer.
In the past, synthetic oils had been avoided due to clutch slippage problems. Red Line had a history of working with some of the top motorcycle racers in northern California, and had experience with wet clutches. The extra torque had been a problem with the standard organic plate clutch, and there was obvious wear on the sintered bronze clutch at the standard driven plates. Switching to Red Line improved clutch life and reduced wear and slippage for both clutches.