The Top 10 Best Motorcycle Oil Options – 2022

Motorcycle oil is one of the more confusing and mysterious aspects of bike maintenance. Everyone has their opinion and brand, which makes choosing the right one much, much harder.

Fret not. We’ve compiled some of the best motorcycle oils we think you should consider. Plus, we’ve included a buying guide, so you’ll have a better understanding of what it is you’re buying.

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Oil

  1. Castrol Power1 V-Twin

Castrol Power1 is a fully synthetic oil designed for high-performance V2 engines typical of motorcycles such as the Harley Davidson.

The Power1 Motorcycle Oil is one of the best motorcycle oil for 4-stroke V2 engine motorcycles that you are continually revving at top speeds. Its Trizone Technology ensures that all the significant parts of your bike are protected (engine, gearbox, and clutch), even when operating at extreme capacity.

The oil’s unique formulation also means that your bike can achieve fast acceleration while lessening damage due to metal-on-metal grind. In the one year that we’ve been using it, our bike’s engine temperatures and gear shifting engagement didn’t change at all.

The best part is that the price isn’t too bad. It’s cheaper than going to your motorcycle dealer for an oil change.

What We Liked

  • Fantastic value for the price
  • Complete protection of critical parts of your motorbike
  • Designed to protect even at high speeds for long periods

What We Didn’t Like

  • May introduce noisy gear shifting in certain models
  • Slightly more expensive than other brands
  1. AmazonBasics High Mileage Motor Oil

If you’re looking for the best motorbike oil on a budget, the AmazonBasics is a good alternative. It’s up to 40% less expensive than a brand-name oil, with roughly the same performance.

Even though Amazon isn’t known in the motorcycle industry, its motor oil is surprisingly top-notch. That’s because it passes all certifications just like any other brand, meaning it works just as well. 

This motorcycle oil is perfect for that motorcycle you use on your daily commute. It’s reliable and lasts for a long time before needing to be replaced, further giving you value for money.

What We Liked

  • Very affordable motorcycle oil with roughly the same quality as other more expensive brands
  • Fully synthetic
  • Passes all certifications

What We Didn’t Like

  • There’s no way of knowing how much you’ve poured in. Yes, there are volume markings on the bottle but no clear way to measure the actual contents inside.
  1. Shell Rotella T6

The Shell Rotella T6 is a fully synthetic diesel oil for heavy-duty use. It can withstand extreme temperatures without breaking down, making it great for use in any season.

This motorcycle oil also offers a better fuel economy than most oils, promising a 1.5% improvement on your gas consumption. 1.5% might be small, but it makes a difference over time.

Lastly, Rotella is one of the best motorbike oils in terms of stability. It will not easily lose viscosity due to shearing, so it can maintain proper pressure inside your motorcycle engine.

Overall, if you take your motorbike out a lot throughout the year in shifting weather, the Rotella T6 will give your engine the best protection.

What We Liked

  • Capable of handling extreme temperatures, especially high heat
  • Helps improve your fuel consumption
  • Surprisingly affordable for a heavy-duty oil

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some complaints about leaks in the packaging
  1. Polaris OEM VES

The Polaris OEM VES is one of the best motorcycle oil to get if you’re living in a colder part of the world. It’s the oil of choice for snowmobiles and other engines that are run during freezing conditions.

This oil is specially formulated for Category 4 low temperatures, and you’ll notice significantly faster startup times during winter. It also offers excellent protection from rust and engine damage at high RPMs.

What We Liked

  • Best at freezing temperatures
  • Rust proofs your engine
  • Smokeless and odorless

What We Didn’t Like

  • More expensive
  1. Maxima Premium 4

The Maxima Premium 4 is a high-performance motorcycle oil with a specific mix of additives. These additives give added benefits, such as making the Maxima Premium 4 anti-shear and anti-wear. The viscosity is also maintained pretty well, regardless of what engine uses it.

But where the Maxima Premium 4 shines is in its ability to perform exceptionally well in wet clutches. It makes the oil fantastic for all weather conditions, including heavy rain. The oil also has a decent ability to handle extreme cold and heat.

The Premium 4 is a motorcycle oil made with racers in mind, so you should expect reliability and quality right off the bat. If you’re into racing motocross, this is one of the best motorcycle oil to get.

What We Liked

  • Generous volume (1 gallon!) at an affordable price range
  • Lots of benefits like anti-shear and anti-wear
  • Great for wet clutching

What We Didn’t Like

  • No indicator on the bottle, so you wouldn’t know how much oil you have left
  1. Royal Purple Max Cycle

Royal Purple Max Cycle is a motor oil specially formulated for motorcycles, unlike others in this list that cater to a wide variety of automotive engines. The viscosity, for one, is perfect for the smaller engine of motorcycles. It can maintain its thickness through any season as well.

This motor oil is a real workhorse. We noticed our motorcycle’s engine was quieter, and shifting was smoother. Despite having very high mileage, it made our motorbike feel like it was brand new.

The Royal Purple Max Cycle also gives rust and corrosion resistance to your engine. Overall, it’s a fantastic oil to improve the performance of even the most worn-out, aged motorbike.

What We Liked

  • Affordable price range
  • Efficiently cleans your engine
  • Rust and corrosion protection

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t improve fuel efficiency
  1. Honda Pro GN4

Honda made waves in the automotive industry when they introduced the GN4 way back in 1975. This legacy continues with this Honda Pro GN4 oil, explicitly made for motorcycles and ATVs.

Honda is known for matching their motorcycle oil to the exact specifications of their machines, and this GN4 is no exception.

This motorcycle oil is hands down the best for any Honda motorcycle user. Not only does it work perfectly, but it also won’t void your warranty. Overall, you’ll feel as if you’re driving your bike again for the first time after each oil change.

There might be cheaper alternatives, but the performance and peace of mind you get out of this as a Honda motorcycle owner more than justifies the price

What We Liked

  • The best performing oil possible for any Honda motorbike
  • The generous 1-gallon volume should last you quite some time
  • Reliable conventional motor oil

What We Didn’t Like

  • There are cheaper alternatives
  1. Mobil 1 Racing 4T

If you’re into motorcycle racing, then the Mobil 1 Racing 4T is the best motorbike oil for you. That’s because it’s designed for high-performance engines with maximum power output.

This motorcycle oil is 100% full synthetic, making it last extremely long. It gives complete lubrication and oxidation protection for your engine, allowing you to safely rev at high speeds without wearing it out.

The result of using the Mobil 1 Racing 4T is greater acceleration and an overall smoother ride. Brakes engage better, and the engine is quieter, too.

For racers, this is one of the most reliable high-performance motorcycle oils you can get.

What We Liked

  • Fully synthetic oil
  • Gives total engine protection even when pushed to the extreme
  • Better clutch and brake engagement

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some complaints about leaks in the packaging
  1. Red Line 20W-50 Fully Synthetic

This is the motorcycle oil to get if you have a particularly powerful motorcycle engine, like the Twin Cam and Evolution from Harley Davidson.

The Red Line is specially formulated for the high temperature, high-rev environment of powerful 4-stroke V2 engines. The motor oil stays at the right viscosity even at extreme heat, so the performance doesn’t get compromised even with high RPMs.

This motor oil also has added anti-wear compounds to make for smoother engine operation, and friction modifiers to help engage the wet clutch better.

If you’re looking to keep your Harley or motocross bike at tip-top shape, we highly recommend the Red Line.

What We Liked

  • Made for powerful motor engines
  • Optimized for extreme heat
  • Great for wet clutch engagement
  • Protects engine and parts from wear and tear

What We Didn’t Like

  • More expensive
  1. Liqui Moly 4T Synth 5W-40

The Germans are known for the fantastic quality of their automobiles. It extends to their motor oils as well. 

The Liqui Moly 4T Synth 5W-40 is the motorcycle oil of choice for powerful engines. It’s the official oil for the MotoGP World Championship, which says quite a lot about its quality.

The motorcycle oil is a perfect fit for four-stroke engines commonly found in heavy-duty racing and dirt bikes. It can take a beating and still be able to protect and lubricate your motorbike. It has excellent wear-and-tear protection and engine cleaning capabilities.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable motorcycle oil from an equally reliable European automobile additive brand, the 4T Synth 5W-40 is the way to go. 

What We Liked

  • Made by a respected and consistent German brand
  • Excellent motorcycle oil performance across the board, from lubrication to engine protection
  • Usable with and without a wet clutch
  • Generally well-received based on reviews

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide

What is Motorcycle Oil For?

Gas might be what makes a motorcycle run, but oil is what allows it to perform at peak levels. Oil is as vital to a motorcycle as blood is to a human.

But what does a motorcycle oil do to your engine?

Lubricate Moving Parts

The moving parts of your motorcycle are always in danger of grinding into each other, such as the engine and transmission. This friction can damage them over time. 

The motor oil acts as lubrication that coats the insides of your motorcycle, lessening the friction between moving parts. The result is less wear and tear, hence a longer lifespan for your bike.

Helps Remove Heat

The inside of a motorcycle engine is scorching, mostly from the internal combustion of the engine. However, friction between moving parts creates a lot of heat as well.

Motor oil helps lessen the overall heat caused by friction. It does this by carrying heat and dispersing it throughout the system. This helps prevent overheating, ensuring your engine lasts longer and performs at optimal temperatures.

Prevents Rust and Corrosion

The combustion of the motorcycle engine requires a lot of oxygen to burn. However, this negatively affects the metallic parts of your engine by promoting rust.

The motor oil acts as a protective shield, creating a layer that prevents rust or any corrosion from forming.

Protects Against Unwanted Bits and Pieces

As your motorcycle engine runs, it creates a lot of by-products such as soot and dirt. These aren’t always safe for your motorcycle’s internal parts, however, and can cause internal damage if left alone.

Motor oil helps traps and carry these foreign contaminants away from the critical parts of your engine. It is then collected into the air filter, where they can be safely disposed of later on.

What to Look for In A Motorcycle Oil

Make sure it’s specifically for motorcycles

Most motorcycle owners use a motor oil made explicitly for cars for their bikes. They do this because motorcycle oil is significantly more expensive per quart than a car motor oil.

While it will work initially, using car oil for a motorcycle is very inefficient and will cause damage in the long run. It’s because the insides of a motorcycle and a car are vastly different.

Motorcycles are air-cooled, which can degrade motor oil faster. The parts of a motorcycle engine also move faster, and therefore produce more fiction that needed added lubrication. Lastly, some motorcycle engines produce a lot of shear, which can reduce motor oil viscosity and, thus, performance.

That’s why motorcycle oils have additives to account for these differences. And yes, that’s why they’re also more expensive. However, car motor oils need replacement much more often, which might cost more in the long run.

In short, the additives in motorcycle oil can help improve the performance and lifespan of your motorcycle in the long run.

Type of Oil

Motorcycle oil comes in three flavors: mineral, semi-synthetic, and fully synthetic. What you choose will significantly depend on your usage and budget.

Generally, mineral oils are the most affordable option. However, they also degrade much faster and have, therefore, a terrible lifespan. That’s why they’re rarely used, except in smaller engines or by new bike owners. At most, they upgrade to a better oil type after riding for a couple of kilometers.

Fully synthetic oils are made from an artificial source. They don’t degrade as easily as mineral oils. Hence, they have much better performance, longevity, and temperature resistance overall. Fully synthetic oils are the oil of choice for high-performance motorbikes used in racing or heavy-duty riding. They are also much more expensive.

Semi-synthetic offers a compromise between mineral and fully synthetic. It has a longer lifespan than the former, but it is cheaper than the latter. This type of oil is best for moderate users, such as those that ride the motorcycle for their daily commute.

Additives

Additives add other potential benefits to your motorcycle oil beyond lubrication. What you choose will, of course, depend on what your needs are and what type of motorcycle you own.

Most additives are anti-wear, which is a welcome addition to help prolong the life of your motorcycle’s internal components. Some additives help clean your engine, which can be a daunting task if done manually.

Viscosity

A motorcycle oil’s viscosity generally describes how “thick” or “thin” it is. The more viscous the oil, the harder it is to flow, and the more it can cling to surfaces. Thinner viscosity means it might not coat your engine’s parts properly, causing friction.

Your motorcycle will have a specific viscosity level your motor oil needs to have. You’ll usually see this described using two numbers in the format “nWn.” An example is 20W50, which represents the viscosity at 0 degrees F and 212 degrees F, respectively. The higher the number, the more viscous it is.

Shelf Life and Price

I’ve lumped shelf life and price together because they are closely related. You want to look for a motorcycle oil that doesn’t degrade as quickly even with repeated use.

If it has an incredible shelf life but is priced higher, that’s much better than buying a cheaper motorcycle oil that might only last you a few months.

Generally, I don’t mind buying an expensive motorcycle oil if it means getting better lubrication, protection, and shelf life. The money you’ll save from unnecessary repairs is more than enough to justify the price differenc