12 Best Motorcycle Oils in 2018
If you are a motorcycle owner, you know how important it is to your bike’s longevity that you take great care of the engine. This means a lot of things, but first and foremost it means finding the best motorcycle oil for your bike.
With all the gimmicky additives and exaggerated promises made by engine oil companies, it can be hard to select the right motor oil for your ride. Because of this, we’ve put together a buying guide to make the process of finding the right oil a breeze. We’ll tell you how to distinguish between the different types of motorcycle oil as well as how to know which one is right for you.
Top 12 Motorcycle Oils Ultimate Table
|Design||Name||Oil Type||Synthetic?||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Motul 7100 Synthetic Ester Motor Oil||10W-40||Yes||5.0|
|2. Valvoline SAE 10W-40 4-Stroke Motorcycle Oil||10W-40||No||4.8|
|3. Lucas Oil 10702-PK6 High Performance Synthetic||20W-50||Yes||4.8|
|4. Royal Purple 01315 Max Cycle 10W-40 High Performance Synthetic Motorcycle Oil||10W-40||Yes||4.8|
|5. Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil||20W-50||Yes||4.8|
|6. Castrol 06112 Power1 10W-40 Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil||10W-40||Yes||4.8|
|7. Yamalube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil||10W-40||No||4.7|
|8. Motorex Power Synthetic 4T Oil||10W-50||Yes||4.7|
|9. Red Line 42404 10W40 Motorcycle Oil||10W-40||Yes||4.7|
|10. HONDA 08C35-A141L01 Honda Pro GN4 Motor Oil||10W-40||No||4.7|
|11. Castrol 06130 Actevo 10W-40 Part Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil||10W-40||Yes||4.6|
|12. Kawasaki 4-Stroke Motorcycle Engine Oil||10W-40||No||4.5|
Buy Your Motorcycle Oil Like a Pro
We’ve shown you some of our favorite motor oils available online today, but when it comes to finding the best motorcycle oil for your ride, only you can make the right choice because you know your bike like no one else could. That being said, here are some things we recommend you look into before your next oil change.
What Type of Oil Does Your Motorcycle Need? – Almost all motorcycles use one of two types of oil: 20w50 or 10w40. The best way to find out what’s best for your bike is to simply check the manual for its recommendation. Here’re the main differences between the two:
- 20w50 – This oil is thicker and better equipped for motorcycles in warm climates. The thickness of the oil allows for consistent lubrication despite the heat.
- 10w40 – 10w40 motorcycle oil is thinner and therefore best for colder climates. The thinness of the oil stops it from “thickening” in cold temperatures giving your bike better lubrication.
Do You Want Regular or Synthetic Motorcycle Oil? – Generally speaking, synthetic motor oil is purer and lasts longer than regular oil but tends to more expensive. However, that’s not to say there are no high-quality regular motorcycle oils out there.
Motor oil’s only purpose, after all, is cooling and lubricating moving parts and both synthetic and regular motorcycle oil can do the job. As always the decision is yours, so here is the breakdown:
- Synthetic Oil – Synthetic oils and oil blends are purified to the oil’s simplest molecular structure; this removes many impurities that are left behind in regular oil. This type of oil was designed for high-performance vehicles and climatic extremes. These extra purification steps in manufacturing are what drive synthetic oil prices up.
- Regular Oil – Regular oil gets a bad reputation nowadays, but for those of us who live in mild climates or people driving newer bikes with clean engines, regular oil will lubricate the engine just fine. For a lot of people, this is more than enough reason to go with the cheaper option: regular.
What Do Your Rider Friends Recommend? – Normally we would not use other people’s opinions as a part of our buying guide, but when it comes to motorcycle engines, experience is often the best teacher. Finding the best motorcycle oil for your bike will most likely take some experimentation, so why not eliminate some of that work by drawing on the knowledge of your pals?
Now You’re Ready for Your next (or First) Oil Change for Your Motorcycle!
Let us leave you with this: finding the right oil for your bike’s motor can be a long process. Through experimentation and experience, eventually you will find the perfect fit! In the meantime, if you read your bike’s manual and do your due diligence when it comes to research, you really can’t go wrong!
With all of these things in mind, let’s take a deeper look at some of the motor oils from our list and see if we can’t find one that works for you.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Oil Reviews
Our top recommendation is the 7100 Ester oil by Motul. The manufacturer suggests this as being compatible with all 4-stroke engines with catalytic converters. If that’s you, read on to find out why we like Motul 7100.
- High-performance standards – This motorcycle oil meets the high-performance standards of API (American Petroleum Institute) and JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization) that allows for optimized clutch performance and acceleration.
- 100% Synthetic Ester Oil – As we’ve mentioned if you need oil for harsh climates or high performance, synthetic is the way to go! Ester oils are very stable under high temperature, which adds to the capabilities of a synthetic.
- Catalytic Converter Compatible – This oil has low sulfur and phosphorus content to keep the catalytic converter running smoothly.
For those of you driving high-performance bikes or cruisers in extreme conditions, check out Motul’s 7100 Ester Motorcycle Oil.
This is the only regular oil in our top five motorcycle oils, and that’s because Valvoline’s process adds chemicals to improve the oil’s performance. Built for 4-stroke motorcycle engines, let’s see what else this bike oil by Valvoline has to offer.
- Cleaning Agents – The cleaning dispersants in this oil stop built-up deposits from forming which keeps your engine clean and your bike running well.
- Silicone – The silicone additives in the Valvoline motorcycle oil helps prevent foaming and keeps the lubricating film from breaking down. Maintaining the film is paramount in the lubrication process in combustion engines.
- Anti-Corrosion – Other special additives protect your engine from combustion by-products protecting your engine from corrosion. Great motor oil should not only lubricate your engine but also protect it.
If you want an oil that takes great care of your engine without breaking your wallet, we definitely recommend Valvoline’s 4-stroke Motorcycle Oil.
Marketed by Lucas Oil as a “true racing oil,” their high-performance motorcycle oil exceeds motorcycle manufacturer specs as far as quality. This motor oil will help keep your engine running longer and routinely outlasts its competition. Here’s what makes this high-performance oil by Lucas Oil so great:
- Detergents – Formulated with additives like detergents and dispersants, Lucas’ high-performance motorcycle oil will protect your bike’s engine from sludge build-up and corrosion.
- Reduces Engine Temperature – This oil is formulated so that its temperature stays low, it lasts longer and allows a longer life for your engine’s components. Your engine is in good hands with this added protection.
- Long Drain Intervals – Extended drain levels mean you can stay on the road longer without having to stop and change your oil.
Because of its high-performance additive package and extended drain interval, we highly recommend you give Lucas Oil’s High-Performance Motorcycle Oil a try.
Royal Purple uses their synthetic base oils and combines them with proprietary technology to create this motorcycle oil specifically designed for bike engines under a lot of Let’s take a look at how Max Cycle oil could benefit your motorcycle:
- Proprietary Additives – Royal Purple’s Synerlec™ Technology increases film tension strength for maximum lubrication and reduces the oxidation effects of combustion.
- Meets or Exceeds API Standards – Max-Cycle motorcycle oil not only meets API Standards, it also has the highest wet clutch compatibility rating from the JASO Clutch Friction Test. (Note: a wet clutch is a clutch that is literally bathed in oil, versus a dry clutch that is not).
- Reduces Engine Heat – Another result of the Synerlec™ technology is reduced heat in the engine. This oil has been shown to reduce temperatures 25° F-44° F (from Royal Purple’s website), which can free up a lot of horsepower in your ride.
Royal Purple’s Synerlec™ Technology is the major takeaway from this oil. Give it a shot and try out all it has to offer.
Mobil 1 is one of the best-known manufacturers of motorcycle oil on the market because they produce some of the top performing oils money can buy. Their V-Twin motorcycle oil is no exception. Formulated for air-cooled engines (which run pretty hot), this motorcycle oil has a lot to offer:
- Shear Stability – Shear stability is the measurement of durability in the oil film. Mobil 1’s V-Twin oil helps resist shear down in hot, high-performance engines.
- Thermal Resistance – This motor oil offers excellent protection from the heat and oxidation that cause corrosion in your engine.
- Low-Temperature Flow – Mobil 1’s technology gives this motor oil a high rate of low-temperature flow; this means a better performance from your oil during start-up before the engine has a chance to heat.
If you’re looking for an oil that will help your bike give its all, Mobil 1’s V-Twin Motorcycle Oil is a great place to start!