As part of ongoing motorcycle maintenance, you’ll need to change your spark plugs at some point. Knowing when to change your motorcycle spark plugs is information that can be found in the owners manual or maintenance schedule.
Depending on the bike, this can be an easy task or a long, difficult, arduous one. Regardless, this is something that needs to be done to keep your bike running at its top performance levels.
It’s a good idea to check on YouTube for instructions on how to change them on your motorcycle. To get started you’ll need the best motorcycle spark plugs.
In this post, we put together a list of the top quality spark plugs on the market. Don’t forget to scroll past our recommendations for an in-depth buying guide and FAQ!
Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!
The Best Motorcycle Spark Plugs
E3 Powersports Spark Plug (Best Motorcycle Spark Plug Overall)
The E3 Powersports Spark Plug is our top recommendation as the best spark plug for motorcycle use. These are a popular choice among motorcycle riders and offer some decent improvements over the standard spark plugs.
This plug comes with a DiamondFIRE ground electrode configuration for faster ignition. With it installed, the bike is more likely to fire up on the first shot as opposed to turning over and waiting for the engine to catch.
This is a nickel plated spark plug, meaning it will last longer and protect against corrosion. It’s specifically designed with colder heat ranges, which offers better performance and can more capably handle intense riding conditions.
With its unique energy design, more pressure is created against the cylinder and more of the available fuel is used for combustion. This can improve power up to 6% and give more life to your motorcycle engine.
Thanks to the faster flame propagation, the engine will have smoother acceleration, a better idle, and more energy efficiency overall. With the better efficiency, less fuel is wasted, and fuel consumption can be improved by up to 4%.
All of these different features means the engine runs more efficiently, carbon emissions are reduced, and you’re able to get the most out of your motorcycle engine. This makes the E3 Powersports Spark Plug our top recommendation as the best motorcycle spark plug for most riders.
NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug
The NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug is another great choice when it comes to finding the right spark plug for your motorcycle. This is an option that’s likely recommended in your owner’s manual or service manual.
Since this plug was designed specifically for better performance, the NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug offers improved ignitability, superior anti-fouling, and better throttle response. With the laser welded fine iridium tip, riders will enjoy better durability and a consistently stable spark for better performance and effortless startup.
Thanks to the long insulator nose, this prevents fouling and helps to extend the lifespan of the plug. There’s even corrugated ribs on the insulator and a triple gasket seal, which helps to prevent flashover and eliminates combustion gas leakage.
To help with anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties there is a trivalent metal plating on the plug. Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with the NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug if you’re looking to replace the current ones on your motorcycle.
NGK 4929 Spark Plugs (Best Cheap Motorcycle Spark Plugs)
The NGK 4929 Spark Plugs are a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap motorcycle spark plugs for your bike. Most riders will find these ideas for changing the plugs with their similarity to the stock ones.
These have been designed to operate over a much wider heat range compared to ordinary plugs. Thanks to their design, they’re able to efficiently resist carbon buildup and pre ignition issues.
With the high alumina ceramics there is better heat transfer and electrical insulation, which translates to better performance for your motorcycle engine. There’s also a solid copper core and nickel tipped electrode, greatly increasing the longevity of these plugs.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a triple gasket sealing process, which eliminates the possibility of combustion gas leakage. Overall, the NGK 4929 Spark Plugs are a great choice if you’re looking for affordable and basic plugs to use on your bike.
Best Motorcycle Spark Plug Buying Guide
Why You Need a New Motorcycle Spark Plug
Improve Starting Power
The spark plug is a key component that your engine uses for starting the bike. Without healthy plugs, the bike won’t have full power for starting or might not start at all.
This would be due to the spark plug gap not providing enough electricity to ignite the combustion system on your motorcycle. It’s important that the spark plug is properly working so that your engine can fire up every time.
Better Engine Performance
It’s the spark from the plug needed to burn the air-fuel mixture in the engine combustion system. A new plug that has been properly gapped will prevent early ignitions or skipped firing.
This helps to promote the overall health of the engine. Regularly changing the motorcycle spark plugs is one way to keep your engine healthy for a longer period of time.
Replace a Burnt Spark Plug
Over time, or due to certain conditions, a spark plug can burn out. This can be determined by problems with starting or seeing a slight discoloration at the negative probe.
Measuring the gap between the center electrode and the ground electrode could reveal a wider gap than standard. If you don’t replace the plug, the probe could burn away and the engine will start to misfire.
Keeps the Engine Cool
Spark plugs transfer excess heat from the cylinder ignition chamber to the engine’s cooling system. This helps to keep the engine cool and running at better performance.
With a healthy one your engine wouldn’t be as of much risk of overheating. As long as you have fresh motorcycle engine oil, everything will be kept running smoothly.
Improve Fuel Economy
Having a healthy spark plug lets your bike maintain its sufficient starting power. This saves the amount of fuel the engine is burning.
They also help to burn off extra contaminants and other fuel deposit additives. This results in less emissions from the motorcycle.
Types of Motorcycle Spark Plugs
The most common and standard form of spark plug are copper tipped spark plugs. Copper is one of the best conductors of electricity so copper plugs don’t overheat easily.
This design helps to extend the life of the spark plug and you can expect up to 40,000 miles of use before it starts to naturally erode. However, it’s a good idea to replace them as recommended in your motorcycles maintenance schedule.
Single Platinum plugs aren’t as conductive as copper, though they’re more expensive. The metal doesn’t erode or wear out as easily as copper so they last a little longer.
With platinum tipped spark plugs you can expect to get up to 100,000 miles of use. Some people have complained about overheating issues so it’s a good idea to change them as recommended in the maintenance schedule.
With double platinum spark plugs there are double plates of platinum on the tip of the plug. This design means they will last longer and offer better performance compared to these single platinum versions.
It also means they’re more expensive than the other two more common types. Just like the single platinum ones, these will also experience overheating issues if you’re not careful.
Iridium spark plugs are the most expensive and tend to be marketed as the best option. Although iridium isn’t a great conductor of electricity, this doesn’t compromise its performance as a spark plug.
With a quality set of iridium plugs you can expect a service life of up to 60,000 miles. However, it’s not always worth it given the price of these plugs compared to the standard copper ones.
How Much Do Motorcycle Spark Plugs Cost?
$1 – $20
Most of the best motorcycle spark plugs can be found in this price range. This amount of money you’ll find either copper or nickel-tipped spark plugs.
Despite the lower price, you’ll be able to find high-quality spark plugs from well-known brands. Most of them will come pre-gapped with good corrosion resistance and pre-ignition resistance.
$20 and Up
It’s in this price range you’ll find the platinum, iridium, and heavy duty copper spark plugs. They will typically come pre gapped and designed to resist electrode burnouts caused by excess heat combustion.
With these better quality spark plugs you’re less likely to experience engine misfires or other plug related issues. However, it’s a good idea to go with the recommendations listed in your owner’s manual or the service manual for your motorcycle.
Most spark plugs come pre-gapped and these are what we would recommend for most riders. Otherwise, you’ll have to learn how to correctly gap a spark plug so that it works properly for your bike.
The gap is the space between the center electrode (the tip) and the ground electrode (the curve). It’s important that they are properly gapped for better fuel efficiency and to prevent engine misfires.
Ground Electrode Type
Spark plugs typically come with two or more ground electrodes that surround the central electrode. The ground electrode is the probe-like structure that comes out of the threads and looks like a hook.
Most commonly available are the single and double electrode types. Having more electrodes will extend the life of the spark plug since there will be a second electrode if one happens to burn out.
The main drawback is that they compromised the fuel efficiency of your motorcycle. In this case, we would recommend going with a single electrode plug, or whatever is recommended in your owner’s manual.
The number of threads found on the plug will determine its level of reach into the combustion chamber of the motorcycle engine. With too few threads you run the risk of poor combustion, since the plug won’t be able to project into the chamber.
On the other hand, if the spark plug is too long, it could get damaged by the pistons or ignite fuel sooner than expected. Always refer to the owner’s manual or maintenance manual for finding the right size of spark plug for your motorcycle.
The heat range is the speed of a spark plug can transfer heat into the cooling system from the firing tip. This is a measurement used to tell the amount of time a spark plug can withstand heat from the combustion before getting damaged.
The range is typically displayed in your owner’s manual. Most plugs will have a heat range of between 900 and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Compatibility and Functionality
Before buying any plug, it’s important to check that the spark plug is compatible with the make, model, and engine type of your motorcycle. You also need to consider the compatibility with the fuel you’re using.
There’s also the features that the spark plug has and how it can be used to improve the engine performance. This would relate to ignition time, power efficiency, and overall fuel economy.
- When you’re replacing the spark plug, start by measuring the gap of the current plug to determine the size you need. These aren’t a one-size-fits-all component and there are specific measurements needed to find the proper choice for your bike.
- Next, determine how many spark plugs do you need for replacing them in your engine. Most of them come available in a pack of two. You could always buy in bulk if you’re trying to save money, especially when you find a brand that you like.
- Write down or think back to the last time you changed the spark plugs on your bike. This will give you a reasonably accurate estimate of how long you can expect the spark plugs to last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Change Motorcycle Spark Plugs Yourself?
Yes, depending on the bike, this is one of the easier parts of basic motorcycle maintenance. Changing them on your own will save you money and keep your motorcycle running at its best performance levels.
Only basic tools are required along with the right spark plugs for your bike. If you’re having trouble, you can refer to your maintenance manual or YouTube for help on changing the plugs on your bike.
How Often Should You Change Motorcycle Spark Plugs?
There are a number of different factors that determine how often the spark plugs on your motorcycle need to be changed. This would depend on the distance to riding, the age of your motorcycle, and how often you ride.
Rather than guessing, always refer to your owner’s manual for a timeline or mileage on when to change the plugs. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect them as well to make sure they are in proper working order.
Does the Spark Plug Material Matter?
Generally, the materials don’t really matter. As long as the spark plug is able to ignite sparks and will work properly once installed it doesn’t matter what it’s made from.
Always refer to your owner’s manual to see what specific type of plug to use for your bike. This makes it easier than having to decide between the different materials.