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In this article, we’ll be looking at the top-rated motorcycle oils of 2022, their standout features, and how to choose the right one for your ride. Looking to buy a motorcycle oil that won’t disappoint? Since this oil is needed for internal combustion, you need to make sure that it has the right properties so you won’t be left in the lurch and disappointed in the long run. Motorcycles need oil to keep their engines clean and lubricated, and it also prevents them from seizing, overheating, or corroding. Motorcycle engines have a high rev range and are prone to quicker wear, and this is why special oils are designed for wet-clutch lubrication, transmission, and many other tasks. In short, oil to a motorcycle is what oxygen is to your bloodstream.
Even if you’ve done a cursory search, you’ve probably been met with tons of options from different brands, each with its own unique features. To save you from confusion, we’ve designed this buying guide and reviewed the top motorcycle oils of 2022 below.
Here are the top motorcycle oils of 2022
With 10W-50 viscosity, this motorcycle oil from Castrol tops our list of recommendations. This oil is formulated with tri-zone technology that lubricates and protects the three most critical zones of the bike (the clutch, the gearbox, and the engine) for optimal performance, and it uses race-derived technology and fast-flowing formula for maximum engine acceleration. This motorcycle oil can offer you excellent shear stability that saves your ride from viscosity breakdowns. This synthetic, premium quality motorcycle oil comes with additives that make sure that all components of your ride’s hard-working engine are firing on all cylinders, and it also promises excellent water-cooled engine performance.
- Offers maximum engine, clutch, and gear protection
- Offers superior acceleration
- Fast-flowing for better throttle performance
This Valvoline motorcycle oil is a fully synthetic SAE 10W-40 motor oil that will not only maximize your bike’s power but also provides maximum protection to all its engine components. It’s been formulated with care to offer high acceleration and excellent lubrication for smooth shifting and operation. This motorcycle oil will let you enjoy outstanding wet-clutch protection that’s necessary for maximum power transfer and easy shifting. It also offers additional protection against potentially harmful deposits that can otherwise affect the engine’s performance and shorten its lifespan. This oil is designed to keep the engine ready for high-performance, high temperatures, wet clutch systems, and high RPMs, letting you get your bike out of the garage and back on the road in no time at all.
- Enhances acceleration and power
- Wear and corrosion protection
- Suitable for high-performance functions
- Not suitable for very high cc motorcycles
This Kawasaki 4-stroke engine oil is perfect for all-terrain vehicles, street sport motorcycles, utility vehicles, scooters, and a whole lot more. Along with its high compatibility, this SAE 10W-40 motorcycle oil is recommended for applications that require specific types of engine oils, including API SL, JASO MA2, and JASO MA engine oil. This highly lubricating motorcycle engine oil prevents the engine from overheating and offers unmatched bearing and engine protection. It keeps the engine clean (which in turn prolongs its life) and this oil can also improve the transmission/clutch performance and function for quicker, easier shifting when you’re out on the road, riding off into the sunset.
- Reduced oil volatility
- Outstanding engine performance and power
- Dependable and offers smooth shifting
- Not a synthetic motorcycle oil
Known for increasing motorcycle performance, this Motul motor oil is a highly reliable lubricant. It’s designed for use by all 4-stroke engines for more power and better acceleration, and it features new Ester technology that’s responsible for improving your engine’s response. This motorcycle oil’s formula is treated for extreme pressure that translates into outstanding gearbox protection. It has a low phosphorus and sulfur formula for motorcycles fitted with catalytic converters, and it meets API SL/SG/SH and JASO MA standards. This synthetic-blend motorcycle oil is a solid choice that can offer you solid results when you’re out on the road.
- Better engine-response timing
- Protects gearbox and engine
- Enhances shifting and starting
- Oil can be slightly volatile
This Maxima race-inspired motorcycle engine formula was created with world-class riders in mind. The oil features an advanced additive technology that makes for a long-lasting, stable multi-grade oil, and it’s motorcycle-specific. Made with an exclusive blend of petroleum base stocks and anti-shear, anti-wear additives, this motorcycle oil can offer you unparalleled results for your ride. This motorcycle oil offers excellent viscosity stability for all water- and air-cooled engines (4-cycle) with integrated transmissions. Any heavy loads and high temperatures that can occur in high-performance engines are tackled with anti-scuff additives, and this oil is highly lubricating and can keep all your engine’s core performance components running cleanly and smoothly. It also has an all-weather formula that makes it great for wet clutches, so you won’t have to worry about the elements stopping you from enjoying your ride.
- Reduces engine friction and temperature
- Reduces engine wear
- The all-weather formula makes for easy starts
- Difficulty telling how much oil is left
Buyer’s guide for finding a motorcycle oil
A motorcycle engine runs thanks to several parts, like axles, carbon brushes, and more, all working in harmony. To lubricate, cool them down, and keep the friction between these moving parts in check throughout the process we have motorcycle oils. But these oils only offer top results when they’re carefully chosen to match the activity of the engine it’s put into. Choosing a motorcycle oil can be difficult, so to help you through it we’ve put together a guide with all the necessary information, tips, and tricks you should know before making a motorcycle oil purchase in 2022.
Types of motorcycle oil
There are three kinds of motorcycle oil:
Synthetic oil for motorcycles is a modified oil with essential additives and pure crude oil. This oil has seen many variations and improvements over the years with advancements in technology, and it’s received some much-deserved attention thanks to its low viscosity that lubricates well and allows for smoother movements of engine parts. It also reduces internal friction between engine components, and this results in longer, healthier engine life and better performance. The biggest potential downside of synthetic oils is that they can be more expensive.
Semi-synthetic oil is formulated from a mixture of synthetic and conventional oil, hence the name. Conventional oils (also known as mineral oils) are great at keeping your motorcycle’s engine clean and running smoothly for longer periods. While synthetic oils are suited for high-performance motorcycles, semi-synthetic oils are perfect for medium-sized, 125 to 180cc engines.
Conventional, or mineral oil, is made from refined crude oil that contains many other additives like detergents to neutralize acidity. Some brands also use friction modifiers in their formula to enhance lubrication and fuel economy overall. This type of oil is often the cheapest and is mostly used for old motorcycles, and it’s not suited for newer models or high-performance riding because natural oils come with some contaminants.
Key features of a high-quality motorcycle oil
Here are a few factors you’ll have to look for when shopping for motorcycle oil:
Motorcycle engine oils have additives to eliminate dirt and debris and neutralize acidity. They also work to maintain the engine’s temperature, keep it cool and lubricate it sufficiently. Getting an oil with the wrong additives can shorten engine lifespan and cause friction.
Viscosity refers to the speed or smoothness with which the oil flows in the engine. Low-viscosity motorcycle oils will flow freely and quickly through the running engine, while a high-viscosity oil flows at a much slower pace. You can check the viscosity level based on the ratings mentioned on the oil can or bottle — you’ll see something like 10W-30, where 10W shows the SAE viscosity of the oil when the engine is cold and 30 is the viscosity when it’s hot. Picking the right viscosity is crucial because the wrong choice will cause metal-on-metal grinding and eventually lead to your engine dying.
The oil grade your motorcycle uses is very important to consider. This grade will tell you the oil’s temperature range and the right viscosity needed for effective performance and lubrication. If you see a grade of 5W-40 on a bottle of motorcycle oil, the first number is the winter rating at low temperature — the W stands for winter, and the second number tells you the viscosity grade in high temperatures. If you live in a cold region, the right motorcycle oil for you would be one with a low “W” level.
All high-quality motorcycle oils come with a standard mark given by the manufacturer — you’ll find either an SAE, API, or JASO mark on the bottle or can. These standards indicate the premium quality of these oils.
Another thing to keep in mind when trying to find the ideal oil for your bike is your riding style — you’ll need different motorcycle oils for different results. Consider getting a synthetic oil if you’re a performance enthusiast, as hard riding means higher temperatures — synthetic oil is designed to keep the engine cool and resist breakdown at high working temperatures. If you instead just like to cruise around, consider going for a mineral oil instead.
Efficiency and price ratio
When buying motorcycle oil, you should steer clear of the myth that cheaper products will always offer less efficient results than expensive ones. Before you look at the price tag, make sure you check the oil’s ingredients, viscosity grade, and compatibility to make an informed decision.
Why you should invest in high-quality motorcycle oil
The right motorcycle oil is packed with ingredients that are crucial for your engine’s health, performance, and lifespan. Let’s take a look at some benefits of choosing the right motorcycle oil:
- Motorcycle oil is designed with the primary purpose of lubrication. It covers all parts of the engine in a thick film of slick oil to eliminate friction and the wear it causes. This results in better, smoother performance and a continuous flow
- Additives and base oil are the two main ingredients of motorcycle oil. Base oil is responsible for lubrication, while additives offer extra protection by keeping the engine components clean. A high-quality motorcycle oil effectively cleans up these parts, specifically targeting carbon formations
- Motorcycle oils are also designed to keep heat away. It’s crucial to maintain oil temperature below flashpoint, and using the right oil will help it stay cool
- Regularly using the right kind of motorcycle oil results in better performance, which has the added effect of prolonging the engine’s lifespan — it essentially keeps the internal parts of the engine clean by lowering the risk of sludge buildup
- With well-lubricated parts and a clean engine, you’ll notice better fuel efficiency and maximum mechanical output from your bike
- Buying a premium motorcycle oil will save you the cost of frequent oil replacements and having to deal with increased fuel consumption
A well-performing engine is more important than the small dent you’re worried about in your bike’s exterior. Engines tend to go through a process of unavoidable wear and tear over time, which can only be reduced and managed by proper oiling. Motorcycle oils are designed with qualities that can keep the engine cool, thoroughly lubricated, and free from any contamination that could otherwise cause friction.
Choosing an oil that’s compatible with your bike’s engine and how you ride your bike is important, as the wrong choice can have unfavorable results. We’ve discussed all you need to know to choose the right oil for your engine and suggested some of the finest motorcycle oils in 2022 for you to pick from.
Motorcycle Oil FAQs
Q: What happens if you mix synthetic and semi-synthetic oil?
Usually, no major damage will occur if you happen to mix synthetic oil with semi-synthetic or mineral oil. If it’s an emergency, some people mix two oils.
Q: How long can I expect synthetic oil to last in my motorcycle?
Synthetic oil can last anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 miles before needing a change.
Q: Can I use car oil if I run out of motorcycle oil?
No, you should never use car oil for motorcycles. The oil used in a motorcycle engine is designed for specific use with different wavelengths, and using car oil can cause irreparable damage to your bike’s engine.
Q: What’s better, a semi-synthetic or synthetic oil?
Semi-synthetic oils are cheaper than fully synthetic oils. They degrade faster than synthetic oils and offer few performance enhancements, which is synthetic lubricants are probably the better choice, given the superior results they can offer.
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