What Oil Does My Motorcycle Take?

Engine oil is essential for your motorcycle to run properly. From keeping important parts lubricated to ensuring your engine stays cool, having the right engine oil will protect your motorcycle and help it perform optimally. 

As an integral factor of your motorcycle's functioning, you'll need to choose the best oil for your bike. However, knowing what oil works best for your motorcycle can be confusing. Whether you're a new motorcycle owner or have questions about the best kind of oil for your particular bike and riding habits, understanding the basics of motorcycle engine oil can be helpful. 

In this article, we'll go over viscosity ratings and the different types of motor oil available, exploring the pros and cons of each. We'll also explain how to choose the right oil for your motorcycle, so your bike continues to work great for a long time to come.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Oil

The importance of choosing the right motorcycle engine oil is high, as it directly impacts the overall performance, efficiency, and longevity of your bike's engine. The engine oil serves an essential role for the internal components, providing essential lubrication that reduces friction and wear between its moving parts. A high-quality oil creates a protective barrier, preventing metal-to-metal contact and minimizing heat buildup. This is particularly crucial in high-performance motorcycles where engines operate under extreme conditions. 

The right engine oil also plays a key role in maintaining optimal fuel efficiency, as less friction translates to less energy loss within the engine. Moreover, the correct oil helps in dissipating heat effectively, preventing overheating and ensuring consistent performance, especially during long rides or in challenging environments. 

Additionally, because of its lubricating and cooling properties, engine oil is critical to the overall health of your motorcycle. It contributes to the cleanliness of internal components by preventing the buildup of sludge, carbon deposits, and varnish. Engine cleanliness, in turn, enhances the efficiency of various components, such as the pistons and valves, promoting smoother operation. The right oil also aids in protecting against corrosion and rust, preserving the engine's integrity over time. To sum up: the engine oil serves as a vital maintenance tool, and selecting the appropriate type should align with the specific needs of your motorcycle, ensuring optimal functioning and extending the life of your engine. 

Understanding the Different Types of Motor Oil Available

There are a few different types of motor oil available–mineral oil, synthetic oil, and semi-synthetic oil. Understanding these different types of motor oil available is essential for any motorcycle owner seeking to optimize engine performance and longevity. 

Mineral Oils

Mineral oil, also known as conventional or traditional oil, is derived from crude oil through a refining process. It's all-natural and undergoes minimal processing, so it doesn't have the additives found in synthetic oils. 

While mineral oil lacks the advanced additives found in synthetics, it remains a choice for some motorcycles, especially those with older engines and lower performance requirements. Mineral oil is also a lot cheaper than synthetic options. However, mineral oil is generally much less effective than synthetic or semi-synthetic oils in terms of performance.

Semi-Synthetic Oils

A semi-synthetic oil is a step up from mineral oils, as it has some additives in its formula. However, since it's only a blend, this type of oil doesn't have all of the benefits and capabilities of a fully synthetic oil. 

Synthetic Oils

Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is engineered through a complex process that includes carefully chosen additives to ensure optimal performance. This results in a more refined and consistent product compared to mineral oil. Synthetic oils offer numerous benefits, including improved thermal stability, enhanced resistance to oxidation, and better lubricating properties, especially at high temperatures.

New motorcycles, those who operate their motorcycles under extreme conditions, or those with large engines should definitely use synthetic oils to ensure the bike runs properly and is protected. Some of the key advantages of synthetic oil include:

  • Protection against corrosion
  • Reduced wear
  • Improved engine longevity
  • Enhanced cooling properties
  • Superior engine cleanliness
  • Improved performance and efficiency

Overall, synthetic oils for motorcycles typically provide the best protection for your engine and allow for greater performance under a range of conditions.

Key Differences Between Synthetic and Mineral Oils

There are several key differences between synthetic oil and mineral oil. Overall, synthetic oils offer significant advantages over mineral oils in both performance and protection. However, to start with, synthetic oil excels in extreme temperatures, providing reliable lubrication and protection even in high heat or freezing cold. They're able to maintain their viscosity more consistently across a wide temperature range, ensuring optimal lubrication in various operating conditions. This contributes to a cleaner and more efficient engine over time compared to mineral oils. In comparison, mineral oils may experience more significant viscosity changes under extreme temperatures, potentially impacting performance. This makes it an ideal choice for riders who frequently encounter diverse weather conditions or partake in high-performance riding.

Synthetic oils are also known for their superior resistance to oxidation meaning they have a higher capacity to prevent the buildup of sludge and deposits in the engine. This contributes to a cleaner and more efficient engine over time compared to mineral oils. 

Viscosity Ratings

Another aspect of motorcycle oil that should be considered is the viscosity rating. Viscosity ratings play a pivotal role in selecting the right oil for your motorcycle, representing the fluid's resistance to flow at different temperatures. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has developed a viscosity rating system using a numerical code, such as 10W-40, where the first number denotes the oil's viscosity at low temperatures, and the second number indicates its viscosity at high temperatures. 

A lower first number, such as 0W or 5W, signifies better flow characteristics in colder climates, ensuring smooth engine startup and lubrication during frigid conditions. On the other hand, a higher second number, such as 50 or 60, reflects the oil's ability to maintain viscosity at elevated temperatures, essential for optimal lubrication in high-performance engines or hot weather conditions. 

For winter or extreme weather riding, it's best to choose an oil with a low viscosity rating. For example, our Scorpion Blud Polar 0W40 MOTO-UTV multigrade oil is able to handle fluctuations in significant temperature changes, making it an ideal choice for more extreme temperatures, such as those experienced in the winter. 

Choosing the right viscosity rating is important as it directly influences the oil's effectiveness in various operating conditions. Motorcycles with different engines, climates, and performance requirements may demand oils with distinct viscosity characteristics. By aligning the viscosity rating with the specific needs of your motorcycle and riding habits, you ensure that the oil provides adequate lubrication, minimizes friction, and contributes to the overall health and efficiency of your engine. However, always refer to your motorcycle manufacturer's recommendations to identify the most suitable viscosity rating for your particular make and model.

Understanding 4-Stroke Vs. 2-Stroke Engine Oils

Understanding the differences between 4-stroke and 2-stroke engine oil is crucial for motorcycle owners, as each type of engine requires a specific lubrication approach. A 4-stroke engine, commonly found in most motorcycles, produces power every 4th stroke of the piston. This combustion process needs to go through four stages–intake, compression, power, and exhaust. 

4-stroke engine oil is formulated to accommodate these distinct stages, providing lubrication, heat dissipation, and protection for the engine's various components, such as the piston, crankshaft, and valves. The viscosity and additives in 4-stroke oil are tailored to meet the demands of this cycle, ensuring efficient lubrication and engine performance over extended periods.

In contrast, 2-stroke engines, often found in smaller, lighter motorcycles and off-road bikes, operate on a simpler, two-step combustion cycle—compression and ignition/exhaust. 2-stroke engine oil differs significantly from its 4-stroke counterpart, as it needs to not only lubricate the engine but also mix with the fuel to provide essential lubrication during the combustion process. The oil's formula is designed to burn cleanly in the engine, leaving minimal residue. Riders of 2-stroke motorcycles must mix the oil with the fuel in specific ratios.

When choosing a motor oil for your bike, you'll need to understand whether your bike runs on a 4-stroke or 2-stroke engine. These oils are not interchangeable, so using the wrong oil type can lead to insufficient lubrication, increased engine wear, and potential damage. Motorcycle owners should consult their manufacturer's guidelines to determine the appropriate oil for their specific engine type. Understanding the distinctions between these two oil types is essential for optimizing engine performance, ensuring longevity, and preserving the overall health of your motorcycle. 

Tips for Selecting the Right Oil Product for Your Motorcycle

Choosing the right oil ultimately depends on various factors, including your motorcycle's make and model, your riding habits, and your budget. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Consider your motorcycle's type and age. For example, modern high-performance bikes may benefit more from the advanced protection offered by synthetic oil. 
  • Evaluate your riding conditions. If you frequently ride in extreme temperatures or engage in high-performance activities such as track racing, you'll need to choose a synthetic oil with the appropriate viscosity rating.
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. You should always consult your motorcycle's manufacturer's recommendations regarding the type and viscosity of motor oil. Using the recommended oil ensures optimal performance and engine longevity.

Our Range of 100% Synthetic Motorcycle Oils

If you're looking for the best performance and protection benefits from your motorcycle oil, you'll want to opt for high-quality 100% synthetic options. Our range of motorcycle oil products is fully synthetic with carefully chosen additives to ensure optimal performance across a wide range of temperatures and operating conditions. 

Whether you're looking for an oil that will protect your engine from the high heat posed by racing conditions or you want to be able to start your engine quickly in cold temperatures, we offer a range of options. For example, our 4-stroke Scorpion Blud 15w50 MOTO-UTV oil is able to handle the stress of racing while still protecting your engine from wear. It's perfect for racers who go hard on the clutch. Our Scorpion Blud 10W40 MOTO-UTV also offers premium advantages, as it's able to resist oxidation over four times longer than competitors. This results in less wear and tear on your engine, prolonging its lifespan.

Choosing Oil for Your Motorcycle

While the many different choices of motorcycle oil available provide a spectrum of choices for you to select from, figuring out the right one for your needs may be challenging. Choosing the right oil for your motorcycle is a critical decision that requires careful consideration. 

Ultimately, the choice boils down to your motorcycle's specific requirements, your riding conditions, and your riding habits and goals. The overall best option is fully synthetic oils, as the special additives ensure optimal performance and protection, even in extreme conditions. 

You'll also need to factor in considerations such as viscosity rating and your riding habits. Whether it's navigating the cold starts of winter or enduring the intense heat of racing, selecting an oil with an appropriate viscosity rating is essential to ensuring optimal lubrication under diverse conditions. Furthermore, 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines have oils designed specifically for their respective engine types, making it important to choose the right one for your motorcycle. 

Investing in high-quality oil that meets your specific needs is an investment in the longevity, efficiency, and performance of your motorcycle. Check out our full selection of motorcycle oil products to find the one that's right for you.