5 Tips for Choosing the Right Motorcycle Oil
Lubrication is an essential element of every engine; motorcycles are no different. The engine oil we use in our motorcycle engines not only lubricates the engine but also cleans up emissions as well as helps maintain fuel efficiency.
Manufacturers will often recommend a specific grade that works for your motorcycle engine, but if you are a DIY kind of person or would like to use better quality engine lubricants for your motorcycle, here are 5 tips to help you choose the best motorcycle oil.
Tip #1 Read the Owner’s Manual
The owner’s manual will mention the grade of oil used by the manufacturer. If you want to be on the safer end and take the easy route, we suggest sticking to the grade given in the manual. You can’t go wrong with this and it will ensure your motorcycle engine life.
Tip #2 Understand your motorcycle’s Oil requirement
Understanding the type of oil needed for your motorcycle is important. It is essential to understand the different oils and their purposes. Brake oil, gear oil, and engine oil are all very different in nature and in their purpose.
Tip #3 Motorcycle oil is different from Automotive Oils
Other Automotive oil which is formulated for either gas-powered cars, trucks, agri vehicles are different from motorcycle oils. Because your engine runs hotter than a car’s and you ride in intense stop-and-go traffic, your bike demands motorcycle-specific oil engineered to protect from extreme pressure and heat.
Oils for Car / Trucks / Agri Vehicles, equipments etc are designed for use in that specific vehicle based on the severity and its application and so do motorcycle oils. Motorcycle engines have different operating requirements from other Automotive Vehicles—everything from their design to the pistons that help generate power and torque.
Motorcycle-specific oils provide superior protection against the wear and tear of riding in extreme temperatures and environments—from high heat and friction to dirt, dust, mud, water, and more.
Tip #4 Check the Oil Grade
The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) scale measures viscosity, and the higher the number, the thicker the oil. Conventional oil falls into two different grades: Single-grade oils, like SAE 30 or SAE 50, and multi-grade oils, like SAE 10W-40. The numbers before the ‘W’ in multi-grade oils signify how well the oil flows when cold. The exact grade of oil is mentioned in the owner’s manual. It is best not to deviate from it.
Tip #5 Synthetic vs Mineral
Mineral oils aren’t necessarily better than synthetic oils. Synthetic oil has been developed to improve upon the shortcomings of mineral oil — so it lasts longer and provides better overall engine protection.
The main difference between mineral and synthetic oils is how they are made. Mineral oil is essentially crude oil with all the heavier, longer-chained hydrocarbons removed (because those don’t burn well), whereas synthetic oil is a chemically engineered product made from chemicals other than crude oil and usually manufactured to specific standards.
Newer motorcycle engines often are recommended to use fully synthetic oils. That said, mineral oils are equally good and serve similar purposes but may have different properties and might lack some additives. If you are confused about which one to opt for, one can always choose a good blend of both synthetic and mineral oil called semi-synthetic oil.
There is a wide range of products, manufacturers, and grades of oil to choose from. But when it comes to picking the right one for your motorcycle we suggest sticking to the recommended grade in the owner’s manual. It is the Holy Bible for your engine’s long life and smooth running. Using higher quality engine oil can also result in elongating your motorcycle’s engine life by reducing corrosion, oxidation and internal parts wear and tear. If you are still in doubt about the right engine oil choice for your motorcycle, check with your service centre.