I thought I had put a little about BMW ON having an article about syn vs. real oil... and there conlusion was that even the BMW brand syn oil didn't have the same protective qualities of some of the higher end regular oil. The article stated that the amount of zinc in the oil provided the protection to the bearings and their surfaces. The aditives in syn oil and the BMW brand oil had either more or less compared to the others tested - and this was doing the standard oil lab tests.
We used standard oil in our vehicles in the service. Started doing oil tests in the 70's for tanks (diesel) engines. The transmissions weren't tested. This was in an attempt to extend the life of the engines, the oil used, and lessen the amount of down time when a piece of equipment was showing excessive wear and tear on the components.
The aviation guys were always using syn oils in their craft, and were always doing the oil lab tests with the services performed following the scheduled maintenance, or if excessive metal could be seen with the naked eye - this was back in the 70's... when I got to the Guard we were testing all desiel engines, but not the trany or the difs. It generally imporved the life of the engines and did lessen the amount of down time due to early failures due to excessive metal in the oil, bearing break down, and the like.
I've been using simi-syn oil in my bike since last year... thought of going the whole route as stated earlier... the only thing that bothers me is that when Mobile One first came out in the 80's, owners were warned not to use it in four cyclinder engines (cars), or cars/trucks with over 12k on the clock... my brother-in-law had some information that supported this claim (seems the oil clearence was too great with engines over 12k and the oil would just run out between the bearing and the bearing surfaces - something the may hold true today). The advantage I felt was supported by another article that I read about simi-syn oils were good to keep the modern engines cleaner from deposits and exhaust blow-by through the cyclinders. The cost difference isn't that much, and since I buy it by the gallon the price was cheaper in some ways than by the quart (and where you bought it from at the time - Walmart/Auto Zone/Advance Auto).
Then there is another guy that is a frat brother of my brother-in-law that never changed oil, just the oil filter in his then "Datsun" pick-up truck... this is the same guy that worked at Indy a few years during the races, is a mech engineer, and money isn't the object as he's a batchlor (at the time)... I don't know what's up with the Datsun, or Shaun, but I'm sure he didn't change the oil out, or his ways...
Overall I would say that the main thing is to change your oil and filter on a regular schedule and continue to drive on as always... but don't buy a used car from me unless you are willing to change out the engine as I don't follow a regular oil change schedule (for the most part on my older vehicles prior to '07). So I guess the current stable is ok to buy from me when you are looking for a beater, or derby car.
Ok, looks like I'm scheudled for the early in the morning train to Toledo... and an overnight stay in the "new to us" hotel.
I'm hoping to be in town Tuesday night for a ride to Warsaw for dinner... but won't know that until Sunday/Monday rolls around - the life of a railroader.