Traditionally, API rated automotive engine oils have been successfully substituted for motorcycle oils, with little or no immediate problems. However, over the long haul, automotive engine oils break down faster in a motorcycle. This is due to the higher rev range of a motorcycle engine, and the fact that an engine oil must also be used to lubricate the transmission and the "wet clutch" design inherent on most modern motorcycles.
Essentially, an automotive engine oil is forced to work harder by doing triple duty lubrication when it was only designed for single duty engine lubrication. This is where a motorcycle oil fills the gap. These oils are specifically designed for the multiple tasks of engine, transmission and wet clutch lubrication. The best of them will maintain their viscosity longer, break down less over a longer period of time and limit metal on metal wear to nearly imperceptible levels.
This list addresses all of those specifications for the best motorcycle oil available. If you want the best, you go with AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil. Although Amsoil makes other viscosities of motorcycle oils, like a straight 60-weight and a 10W-40 weight among others, their 10W-30 weight is the most versatile of the bunch and will work with virtually any motorcycle made. This is a true synthetic motorcycle oil, and synthetic means slippery.
The slipperier the oil, the less wear there will be on internal friction parts and the longer the engine will last, period. Because it is so good, you can double the manufacturers drain intervals for engine oil changing. That makes AMSOIL a bit more cost effective over the long run.There are many scientific tests that will determine just how good a motorcycle oil is. Ss scar testing records the amount of scarring in metal to metal contact under load.
NOACK volatility is also a good test, which tests how hot an oil gets before it boils off and no longer lubricates. You can also study the the oil's "total base number," which is used to understand how many wear-causing particles an oil will hold yet still remain effective. In all of these categories, AMSOIL finished at the top.The reality here is this. Virtually every other motorcycle oil will give your motorcycle superior lubrication over an automotive engine oil.
But if you want the best motorcycle oil for your bike, then you want AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil. Although it may be difficult to find because it is distributed by independent dealers, there is nothing better than AMSOIL. Read Full Review For the second best motorcycle oil in this category, here is one that you may be unfamiliar with. It's Red Line 20W/50 MOTORCYCLE OIL. Red Line comes in second to AMSOIL in nearly every engine oil lubrication test there is.
Which means that this is an extremely good motorcycle engine oil that will keep your bike running efficiently and powerfully for the life of the engine.This oil is good enough to stay in your bike for extended drain intervals. It just doesn't break down as fast as a conventional motor oil, and that makes it a bit more cost effective to use. There are several different viscosities of Red Line, but the 20W-50 is the most versatile and will work in virtually every bike made.
If you like the underdog here, then consider using Red Line 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil in your bike engine. It's the best motorcycle oil at this party, as long as AMSOIL doesn't show up. Read Full Review See it at: If you are traditionalist and like regular non-synthetic motorcycle oil, then Pro Honda GN4 4-Stroke Motor Oil 10W-30 is the one for you. This is one of the non-synthetic oils that compares favorably with the highest rated synthetic brands out there.
Granted, it doesn't give the protection that a synthetic does, it isn't as slippery as a synthetic, and it will need to be changed at manufacturers recommended intervals. But, this is still an incredibly good oil for any motorcycle engine and it rates high on this list.The best part about Honda GN-4 is that is costs about half as much as the top rated synthetic blends. So it won't break your bank account every time you use it.
And since it is a 10W-30 weight engine oil, it will work in virtually every motorcycle engine made. Many bikers of all types swear by this stuff, even though it isn't a synthetic and isn't as highly rated. Make no mistake about it, this is a true high-quality motorcycle engine oil that will keep your engine running clean and mean for the duration.Even though this is a non-synthetic formula, you won't sacrifice quality when using Pro Honda GN-4 Motorcycle Oil.
Yes, it's that good. Read Full Review See it at: Next on the list is another conventional formula called Maxum Maxima Racing Oil Premium 5W-30 Weight, Motorcycle Specific Motor Oil. This is another regular type of motorcycle oil that compares favorably with the slipperier synthetic oils in this list.It rates slightly below the Honda non-synthetic engine oil, but that doesn't mean Maxum is an inferior product.
It will work well with virtually any motorcycle engine to give you the power, efficiency and longevity that you would expect in a conventional type of oil.Maxum 5W-30 weight oil will cost about half as much as a synthetic, although it isn't as durable and will need to be changed according to the intervals suggested by the motorcycle manufacturer. However, as long as those intervals are followed, Maxum Motorcycle Specific motor oil will be there for the life of your motorcycle engine.
Read Full Review See it at: Arguably the best synthetic motor oil for your car or truck, Mobil 1 94001 Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil also makes a darn fine motorcycle oil for your bike engine. Mobil 1 synthetic will be the easiest motor oil to find for your motorcycle needs, yet it will cost a bit less than the top grade of synthetic motorcycle oils out there.Regardless of the fact that it is made for automotive and truck use, it is still a synthetic motor oil and it will give any bike engine all of those synthetic properties.
That means it will reduce wear and friction while slightly increasing gas mileage and performance.Although not a true motorcycle engine oil, many people use this in their bikes and will use nothing else. Couple that with the aforementioned price compared to strictly synthetic motorcycle oils, then add in the fact that it's available almost everywhere, and that makes Mobil 1 Synthetic Engine Oil one of the best engine oils to use in your bike.
Read Full Review See it at:See Also: Ohio Motorcycle Temps
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Why would you want to use the best motorcycle oil? Unlike cars, motorcycles use their engine oil not only for the engine but also for the gearbox and clutch. Because of this, motorcycle oil has to withstand more abuse than car oil. This makes both higher quality oil and more frequent oil changes a good idea. Although you can use car oil in a motorcycle engine, especially if it is high-quality car oil, I would recommend against it.
Car oil has a lower level of friction modification and a higher rate of shearing (viscosity breakdown). The first makes your transmission run less smoothly, while the second can harm your motorcycle engine if the oil goes bad too quickly. Motorcycle oil is pretty cheap, and even when buying the best motorcycle oil available, the price is going to be almost nothing compared to the price of your motorcycle.
Or even just the engine. (Assuming you aren’t riding a third-hand 40-year-old piece of rust.) If you value your motorcycle, take a few minutes to learn about what oil to use. What to look out for Most motorcycles either use 20w50 motorcycle oil or 10w40 motorcycle oil. Which one is the best for you depends on how the motorcycle works. If you don’t know which one to pick already, check the manual.
20w50 motorcycle oil is slightly thicker than its 10w40 counterpart, and in some engines (not many) using the wrong motorcycle oil can actually cause some harm. There are both synthetic and natural motorcycle oils. Synthetic motorcycle oils tend to last almost twice as long and are often of higher quality. They do tend to be a bit more expensive as well. Very generally speaking, most natural motorcycle oils should be changed once every 3000-4000 miles, and most synthetic motorcycle oils should be changed once every 5000-7000 miles.
This does depend a lot on your bike though, so make sure to check the manual or change often. Additionally, high-quality synthetic motorcycle oil can improve your gas mileage quite a bit. With that, synthetic motorcycle oil basically pays for itself. As such I personally recommend using only synthetic motorcycle oil. Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you read the experience other people have with the motorcycle oil.
Finding the best motorcycle oil is tricky, and how any specific oil ends up performing can be difficult to predict. Because of that, I recommend reading the reviews from other people, for example on Amazon, as that can help you with your decision. You may even find someone with the exact same bike as you have. Besides that, try out different high-quality brands and oils till you have found the best motorcycle engine oil for your bike.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Oils Castrol Motorcycle Oil Review In this review we do have a clear winner. Castrol Power1 Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil is not only one of the best motorcycle oils you can find, but also the cheapest in this list. With both API SL and JASO MA-2 certifications you know that it is a good oil in theory, like so many other motorcycle engine oils. When it comes to actual riding, however, the improvements in transmission shifts and cooling are very noticeable.
Compared to the other motorcycle oils the Castrol motorcycle oil really does work wonders. The longevity of the oil is excellent as well, it is a fully synthetic motorcycle oil, which means it should last almost twice as long as “natural” oils. And even then, at the recommended oil change time the motorcycle oil still looks very good. The Castrol Motorcycle oil is available as both a 20w50 motorcycle oil and as a 10w40 motorcycle oil, and both in a single quart bottle and a discounted six-pack of quart bottles for a total of 1.
5 gallon. Compared to the other brands, the Castrol Motorcycle oil isn’t more expensive at all. Combined with it being the highest quality motorcycle oil I could find, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an oil change. Mobil One Motorcycle Oil Review Mobil One Motorcycle Oil is about as good as the Castrol oil, and deserves its second place. When it comes to certifications, the Mobil One motorcycle oil is even slightly better than the Castrol motorcycle oil.
With both API SM, SL, and SJ qualifications and JASO MA and MA2 qualifications, Mobil One motorcycle oil is one of the best you can find. However, when it comes to actually biking around, the performance seems slightly worse than Castrol oil. Besides that, Mobil One oil is also 40% more expensive (for a six-pack) at the time of writing. Despite the higher price, it still beats out all other competitors with its excellent quality.
Mobil One Motorcycle Oil is available in both the 50w20 motorcycle oil and 40w10 motorcycle oil versions. Overall, Mobil One is one of the very best motorcycle oils you can find, and definitely worth out trying in your motorbike. Royal Purple High Performance Synthetic Motorcycle Oil In third place is the Royal Purple Motorcycle Oil. Royal Purple contains a higher level of zinc, which makes it ineligible for API SM.
However, it does still hold the API SL certification. The reason for the added zinc is because of a possible performance boost. There’s been a long debate about that which I won’t delve further into. What I do know is that for some people the Royal Purple Motorcycle Oil seems to be as good as any ordinary motorcycle oil, and that for others it seems to work wonders. Especially when it comes to noise reduction, in some motorcycles the Royal Purple motorcycle oil works very, very well.
One downside is the cost. Royal Purple motorcycle oil currently costs almost 60% more than the first place, which is in my opinion simply too much for an oil that does sometimes work wonders. When it does work wonders I would definitely recommend it, but in most cases it is indistinguishable from cheaper oils. If want to reduce the noise your bike makes and don’t mind trying out a new brand of motorcycle oil, I definitely recommend Royal Purple a shot.
Lucas Oil Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Review Lucas Oil only comes in a 20w50 version, so if you need 10w40 motorcycle oil you are out of luck. Check the last motorcycle oil of this list in that case. If you are looking for 20w50 motorcycle oil, however, the Lucas Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is a solid option. It is a high-quality high-performance oil that does work very decently. Much like the Royal Purple Motorcycle Oil, it may be the best oil for your bike despite being worse than the top two on average.
Minor differences between engines and gearboxes can make one brand of oil perform a lot better or worse in some situations. When it works you will notice the engines will be a lot quieter, and the transmission will work more fluently. So if you are currently dissatisfied with your motorcycle oil, and tried out the oils above, it may be a good idea to try the Lucas Oil Motorcycle Oil. Motul 7100 4T Synthetic Ester Motor Oil Review Motul comes only in a 10w40 motorcycle oil version.
It is certified by API for SL, SH, and SG, and also has the JASO MA certification. When it comes to using Motul oil, much like the Lucas oil and the Royal Purple motorcycle oil the performance depends a lot on your bike. Motul oil never performs worse than the average synthetic oil, and I do know some people swear by it. So if nothing in this list worked so far, feel free to try out some Motul motorcycle oil.
Conclusion Both the Castrol and the Mobil one are your best bets, although none of the motorcycle oils mentioned in this review are bad by any means. If you’re looking for some car oil as well, check out our article on the best synthetic engine oils. We reviewed the best synthetic car oils in that article. Lastly, refreshing your oil every so often is one of the most important parts of motorcycle maintenance, but far from the only part.
Don’t forget to check your tires and chain regularly either. If yours are starting to wear down, have a look at our best motorcycle tires article or our best motorcycle chains article.