More people are riding motorcycles. With added bikes on the road comes more questions from owners about upkeep. This includes questions about choosing the right type of motor oil. As bikes have become more sophisticated, so have your choices on what type and brand to choose. With a few suggestions, the process can be simple.
A Quick Note About Older Bikes
If you have an older bike that has never had anything used in it besides traditional fossil-based oils, do not change unless directed by your mechanic. Otherwise, decide on using a synthetic oil or a fossil-based oil.
Detergent or Non-Detergent
In the past, detergents were added to oils to help clean engine parts. Most oils now are marked “non-detergent” on the label.
Synthetic or Fossil-Based
Many manufacturers provide guidelines on what types of oil to use. Most will offer a fossil-based choice as well as a synthetic one. Synthetic oils are branded as perfect for today’s higher-tech engines. These oils are designed to withstand modern engines from sport bikes to cruisers.
Auto or Motorcycle Oil and Matching Your Bike’s RPM
Use oil that is designed for motorcycles unless it’s for a vintage bike with specific needs.
Different motorcycle oils are designed for different types of bikes. A cruiser circulates oil at a slower rate than a high-tech sport bike. Thus, two different types of oil means different weights, among other differences. All bottles should be clearly marked.
Private Label & Other Brands
Many people prefer the high-end brands sold at upscale cycle shops which have a higher price. Many larger oil companies now offer motorcycle oils that are bike-type specific. Often the difference is the price and the private label logo.
Avoid Low-Cost Bargain Oils
Always avoid low-cost bargain motorcycle oils. Bargain, no-name or generic brand oils can have more impurities and may not match the needs of your engine.