For your motorcycle engine to function efficiently, it needs a high-quality motorcycle oil. It’s this oil that keeps the engine components lubricated, the pipes clean, and prevents the engine from seizing or overheating.
Using a poor quality oil, or leaving too long between oil changes, is bound to impact the performance and capability of your bike. That’s why it’s important to use the best motorcycle oil you can afford, to ensure everything keeps running in prime shape.
In this post, we’re going to share our top recommendations for the best oil for motorcycles. We also put together a helpful buyers guide and FAQ to make it easier for you to find the right products.
Let’s jump right into it!
The Best Motorcycle Oil
Motul 7100 Synthetic Engine Oil (Best Motorcycle Oil Overall)
The Motul 7100 Synthetic Engine Oil is our top recommendation as the best motorcycle oil for most riders. Not only is it one of the best synthetic motorcycle oil choices, it’s one of the most popular choices when it comes to motorbike oil overall.
Those of you doing your own motorcycle maintenance at home are probably familiar with the Motul brand. This is a motorcycle accessories company well known for their high quality, well-reviewed products and have garnered a lot of well-earned brand recognition.
The same can be said about the Motul 7100 Synthetic Engine Oil. This is a motorcycle engine oil that has been formulated to make it easier to shift, minimize internal engine friction, and to provide your bike with improved performance and efficiency.
As a synthetic motorcycle oil, it’s manufactured to last longer, giving you a longer period between oil changes. While it’s still a good idea to stick to your motorcycle service schedule, you probably won’t run into any issues with a longer time frame between oil changes when you’re using this product.
The shear resistance of this oil is it’s most impressive feature. This helps to protect your engine and your gearbox, lubricating all of the components, while ensuring your bike has smooth shifting and trouble-free performance.
The main drawback to this engine oil is that it’s not ideal for low capacity bikes. As a 10W-40, it also has a higher operating temperature, so it’s not that suitable for shorter rides. On the other hand, it’s more of a high-performance oil, better suited for high-performance bikes and longer rides.
Overall, the Motul 7100 Synthetic Engine Oil stands as our top recommendation as the best motorcycle oil for most bikes It offers excellent value, it’s well-reviewed, and it’s designed to increase performance and efficiency with your motorcycle engine.
The Castrol 06114 POWER 1 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is another great choice if you’re looking for the best synthetic motorcycle oil. This is also a great option when it comes to the best motorcycle oil for cruisers and other bigger bikes.
Castrol is another well-known automotive and motorcycle brand, known for their high quality products. This rings true with this motorcycle engine oil, as its unique oil blend formula is designed to provide improvements to your bikes transmission.
For a synthetic oil, it will effortlessly lubricate all of the internal components in your motorcycle engine. This has a positive impact on the transmission, which helps to improve your bikes acceleration and lets the engine roll fast with little friction.
It’s also an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive motorcycle engine oils out there on the market. Depending on the bike you have, it’s available in a few different grades. Always refer to the motorcycle manual to find the right oil for your bike.
One great feature worth mentioning is that this oil is capable of changing viscosity when it’s subjected to mechanical stress. This makes it more fluid, especially under extreme temperatures, and allows it to continue working efficiently so your bike keep running smoothly.
Some riders have mentioned that the oil tends to leak through the engine oil gasket, if it’s not properly installed. There have also been mentioned that the oil needs to be more frequently replaced compared to others. However, these are specific rider instances, and not generalities to be concerned about.
Overall, the Castrol 06114 POWER 1 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is another great choice when it comes to the best synthetic motorcycle oil. When it comes to improved transmission performance and reliability after oil changes, this is definitely a product worth considering.
Honda GN4 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil (Best Motorcycle Oil For Honda Motorcycles)
The Honda GN4 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil is our recommendation if you’re looking for the best motorcycle oil for Honda motorcycles. This is the oil that Honda themselves recommend be used on most of their bikes.
If you’re a Honda ride and want to stick to the recommendations in your service manual, it’s the Honda GN4 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil you’ll want to use. This is also a great choice if you’re on a budget and don’t want to overspend on other name brand oils.
Many Honda riders have reported that using this oil results in a smoother and better sounding engine. Although it’s specifically formulated for Honda engines, it can also be used in other motorcycles requiring the 10W-40 oil rating.
When putting together this oil, Honda used the best quality base stocks and additives that they could source. This helped to make the product a better choice for the unique needs of motorcycle engines, which run differently than other engine types.
Ordering online, or through your local dealership, the oil is available in a one-gallon container. This gets you at least one or two oil changes without needing to deal with multiple containers or small bottles.
Overall, the Honda GN4 10W-30 Motorcycle Oil is one of the best motorcycle oils for Honda motorcycles. It’s designed for Honda engine, it burns clean, and it efficiently lubricates the internal engine components for maximum performance.
Maxima Premium4 10W-40 Motorcycle Engine Oil
The Maxima Premium4 10W-40 Motorcycle Engine Oil is a great choice if you’re looking for the best motorcycle oil for wet clutch motorbikes. This lubricant takes advantage of a premium blend of petroleum-based stocks and includes advanced try metallic additive technology for ultimate performance.
What’s great about this oil is that it’s long lasting and guarantees a stable viscosity for water and air cooled, 4-stroke motorcycle engines. As a multi-grade oil, it comes with an additive package that offers both anti-wear and anti Shear properties.
It also has anti scuff agents, which makes the oil better for handling higher temperatures and extreme loads on the engine and clutch. The Maxima formula is designed to reduce friction and lower engine temperatures, which gives you the confidence of an easy start, even in cold winter weather.
This is a company that has been manufacturing motorcycle lubricants since 1979 and is a great choice for writers who take their motorcycle maintenance very seriously. You’re bound to notice a difference in this oil if you’re riding a high performance bike or regularly riding in winter temperatures.
The one concern worth mentioning is that some Riders have noticed clutch slipping after switching to the soil. However, it’s not a widely reported issue, and overall it continues to perform quite well.
With that said, we would definitely recommend the Maxima Premium4 10W-40 Motorcycle Engine Oil if you’re looking for the best 10W-40 oil for your motorcycle. It’s affordable, well-reviewed, and a great choice for most bikes.
Lucas Oil Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (Best Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil)
The Lucas Oil Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is another great choice if your bike has a wet clutch and it’s time for an oil change. This oil is specifically designed to exceed the performance requirements of modern four stroke motorcycles.
Added to the oil formula are no friction modifiers, which help ensure maximum performance. These also provide superb film strength meaning the bike can operate at peak performance across a wide range of temperatures.
Inside the Lucas Oil Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil formula is an additive package that you won’t find in other brands of motorcycle oil. This package can improve compression and seal piston rings more effectively, resulting in more power for your bike.
Riders typically notice less problems with fuel dilution and don’t need to perform oil changes as often. It even keeps the gears shifting much smoother and the engine looking clean for the internals.
The Lucas Oil Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is suitable for a wide range of bikes. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a 10W-40 semi synthetic oil and your motorcycle is equipped with a wet clutch.
For the price and great reviews it’s easy for us to recommend the Lucas Oil Semi-Synthetic Motorcycle Oil for most riders. It’s a popular choice many riders and the brand is well known for their high-quality oils and lubricants.
The Benefits of Motorcycle Oil
Lubricate Your Motorcycle Engine
The main function of motorcycle engine oil is to ensure that all of the engine parts are properly lubricated. This is to help minimize friction, reduce wear, and prevent any of the components from overheating.
The engine oil works by lubricating moving parts and covering them with a slick, thick film. Any of the heat or friction that is created in the engine is dissipated through the oil.
For the oil to remain effective, the lubrication system needs to provide a continuous flow throughout the entire engine. That’s why it’s important to continually monitor the motorcycle oil level and stay on top of all oil changes.
Keeps the Engine Cool
Another benefit of motorcycle engine oil is that it dissipates the heat away from the lubricated parts. When the engine is turned off, the oil will return to the oil pan.
When it is in the oil pan, the best motorcycle engine oils will help to lower the temperature of the oil itself. This helps to reduce engine heat overall and prevents any temperatures from going above their flash point
For your motorcycle to keep running efficiently and in the proper temperature range, it’s important that the oil is flowing throughout the engine. If not, this can lead to the engine overheating and other serious engine problems.
Cleans the Engine
There are two basic ingredients in engine oil – additives and base oil. While the base oil helps with lubrication, it’s the additives that provide additional engine protection.
This is done through a cleaning process caused by certain chemicals in the additives. The oil it’s designed to clean up all of the different engine components it comes to contact with.
Specifically, the additives are formulated to remove carbon formations on the engine components, which helps to keep everything running smoothly. With poor quality oils, or a lack of regular changes, these formations can build up and impact engine performance.
Increased Engine Life
A properly lubricated and well-oiled engine will help to maximize the life of the engine. Using good quality engine oil on a regular basis will increase the lifespan of your motorcycle and keep it running smoothly.
Regular oil changes help to minimize sludge buildup while keeping the internal components of the engine clean. They’re also kept well lubricated, so they can continue to operate at an efficient level.
Key Features to Consider
Viscosity is the speed at which the oil flows in your engine. At a lower viscosity, the oil will flow fast and freely.
On the other hand, higher viscosity oil will be much slower. The viscosity can be determined by the SAE rating that you’ll see on most containers.
You probably noticed it, it looks something like “10W-30”. The 10W part represents the viscosity when the engine is cold and the 30 is for when the engine is hot.
Always follow your maintenance manual to ensure you’re using the right viscosity for your engine. Using the wrong viscosity will drastically reduce the efficiency of the oil, which can cause metal on metal grinding in the engine, and lead to further problems or damage.
Additives are added to motorcycle engine oil to neutralize acidity and remove debris. This helps to clean everything out and ensure your engine continues to run smoothly.
These additives also help to lubricate and cool the engine components. Using the wrong oil can result in a shorter engine lifespan, due to increased friction and overheating.
The oil grade that your motorcycle uses is very important. This is the rating that reveals which temperature range the oil is as well as the right amount of viscosity for effective lubrication.
As we just mentioned, the “10W-40” rating are the numbers that represent the oil viscosity. The first number is the low temperature rating, with the “W” standing for winter.
The second number is the high temperature rating, revealing the temperature at which motorcycles can continue to perform efficiently. Those of you living in a cold area should buy a motorcycle oil with a lower “W” level.
Look on the bottle for any standard marks, ratings, or compliance information. All of the highest quality motorbike oils will have a mark left on the container from the manufacturer.
Keep an eye out for SAE, JASO, or API ratings. These are standards that indicate you’re using a high quality engine oil.
Your riding style also needs to be considered when you’re looking at the different motorcycle oils. Those of you on performance motorcycles, or regularly riding at high speeds and RPMs, will likely be better off with a synthetic motorcycle oil.
Synthetic oils are better equipped at dealing with the higher temperatures of higher performance motorcycles. They’re less likely to break down at extreme temperatures and can continue to properly lubricate the engine.
On the other hand, if you’re a more relaxed and calm riding, consider going with a basic mineral oil. These are less expensive and can be a better choice for lower revving bikes.
Motorcycle Oil Pricing: How Much Does Motorcycle Oil Cost?
For less than $20 you’ll be looking at some cheap motorcycle oil options. Most of these are natural blends while you’ll find some synthetic blends at this price point.
If you’re on a budget, synthetic blends are a good choice that provide most of the benefits of fully synthetic oils. While they’re more affordable, you’ll be better off spending a little more for a better quality motorbike oil.
$20 to $30
This is what you can expect to spend for some of the best motorcycle oil options.
These are some of the most popular thanks to the fully synthetic formulas, high efficiency, low viscosity, and better performance available for oils in this price range.
You typically won’t find too many motorcycle oils in this price range. The options that are available are high performance lubricants that are better suited for racing bikes.
These oils offer peak performance and low viscosity with efficiency boosting capabilities. They’re not suitable for small capacity motorcycles and should only be used on high performance bikes.
- Before you change your motorcycle oil, double check the drain intervals from the service manual. With natural oils, it should be replaced after 2,000 miles. With fully synthetic oils, it doesn’t need to be replaced until around 5,000 miles.
- Every time you do an oil change, it’s important to change the oil filter. You never want to use an old, used filter with fresh, clean oil. Using a new filter can provide better performance and increased efficiency from the engine. Check out our post on the best motorcycle oil filters to see our recommendations.
- After changing the oil, some riders like to add some additional additives. Unless this is recommended in the service manual, you should avoid adding any additional additives to the oil. These additives cost more money and typically don’t offer any benefit to performance, especially if you’re using synthetic oil.
- Always start your bike and let it warm up before changing your oil. It’s a good idea to let it run for 10 minutes to get the oil warm. This helps it drain better and makes the process easier. Don’t forget to wear safety gear when you’re handling used oil.
- Along with replacing the filter, it’s a good idea to replace the old washer as well. This can save the threads in your oil pan, since it will take less torque to tighten up the drain plug.
Can You Use Car Oil in Your Motorcycle?
While some riders used car oil in their bikes, this is not recommended. Always use the oil that’s recommended in the motorcycle service manual. Using car oil can damage the engine and cause it to perform poorly.
What Oil Should You Use On Your Motorcycle?
To determine the right oil to use, refer to your motorcycle owners manual. This information can also be found in the service manual, if you have purchased one for your bike.
The manufacturer of your motorcycle knows exactly what type of oil your bike requires. That’s why it’s always a good idea to refer to this information, rather than using any random product.
To make things easier, consider using a motorcycle oil drain pan. This catches the oil during the change and makes it easier to properly dispose of.
Should You Use Synthetic or Conventional Oil For Your Motorcycle?
Synthetic oil tends to last longer and is better at lubricating the components in the engine. However, it doesn’t mean you need to use synthetic on every motorcycle.
As previously mentioned, double check with the owner’s manual or service manual to see what’s recommended. This makes it easy to find the most appropriate product to use for your bike.