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.
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.
Best Motorcycle Oil Tips
- 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.
Best Motorcycle Engine Oil FAQ’s
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.