The 5 Best Motorcycle Engine Oils – [2021 Reviews]

Keep your engine running smoothly, we break down this year's top motorcycle engine oils

Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

Best Motorcycle Engine Oil

 Mobil 1 96936 20W-50RedLine 90226Castrol 06116 POWER1
editors choice
Motorcycle type:Best for four-cycle motorcycles
Best for four-cycle motorcyclesSports bikes, tested for performance with Harley Davidsons
Engine designed for:Air-cooled, hot-running enginesAir-cooled, hot-running enginesAir-cooled, V-twin engines
Other features:Protects engine at peak performance, exceeds requirements of API Service Categories SH, SG/CF, CDComplete oil kit, 1 Bottle of fuel injection cleaner, sticker kit and funnelExceeds requirements for API SL, JASO, MA-2, can be used in any American or Japanese 4-Stroke

Also see: Motorcycle Engine Oil Comparison Table and How to Pick the Best Motorcycle Motor Oils

Quick Answer: Top 5 Best-Rated Motorcycle Engine Oils – [2021]

  1. Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil
  2. RedLine 90226 Big Twin 20w 50 Power Pack Oil Package
  3. Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
  4. Lucas Oil 10702-PK6 High Performance Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
  5. YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40

Motorcycle Engine Oil Reviews

#1 Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil

best motorcycle engine oil reviews

Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 At A Glance:

  • Motorcycle type: Best for four-cycle motorcycles
  • Engine designed for: Air-cooled, hot-running engines
  • Other features: Protects engine at peak performance, exceeds requirements of API Service Categories SH, SG/CF, CD

This oil is also available for sports bikes: Mobil 1 98JA11 10W-40 Racing 4T Motorcycle Oil for Sport Bikes

The Mobil brand is one of the most popular brands on the market. They take our number one spot for a reason. Their full synthetic motorcycle oil for two cylinder bikes provides high protection at peak engine performance and excellent resistance to thermal breakdown.

  • Mobil 1 oils synthetic oils are designed to protect your bike in extreme situations.
  • This oil is laboratory tested, and tested on the road, to ensure peak performance, providing optimum horse power and quick acceleration.

When you’re on a long trip at high speeds or stuck in heavy traffic idling, this synthetic oil will keep your bike operating efficiently and conservatively. The synthetic oils are scientifically proven to withstand high temperatures produced by motorcycle engines.

#2 RedLine 90226 Big Twin 20w 50 Power Pack Oil Package

 RedLine 90226 At A Glance:

  • Motorcycle type: Best for four-cycle motorcycles
  • Engine designed for: Air-cooled, hot-running engines
  • Other features: Complete oil kit, 1 Bottle of fuel injection cleaner, sticker kit and funnel

The RedLine total tune up kit has everything you need to keep your engine running smoothly. If you want your bike to provide a smoother ride that shifts easier and doesn’t rattle as much this kit is what you need.

The package comes with everything you need to complete a fluid change, with the exception of a new filter.

Short of the tools, this package has everything you need to change the fluids in your bike on your own. Save money by avoiding the dealer maintenance fees and use a better product. Your bike will run quieter and smoother after using this kit.

#3 Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil

 Castrol 06116 POWER1 At A Glance:

  • Motorcycle type: Sports bikes, tested for performance with Harley Davidsons
  • Engine designed for: Air-cooled, V-twin engines
  • Other features: Exceeds requirements for API SL, JASO, MA-2, can be used in any American or Japanese 4-Stroke

This oil is also available for sports bikes and is also tested as some of the best oil for Harley: Castrol 06114 POWER 1 4T 10W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil.

Coming in at the number three spot on our list is the Castrol full synthetic for V-Twin. Although this oil is tested for Harley Davidsons, it’s not just a Harley oil, it can be used in any American or Japanese 4-stroke bike that recommends 20W-50 oil.

Castrol motorcycle oils are some of the most used for professional or personal riding, they offer a versatile selection of all oil types. The fully synthetic formula ensures the oil will flow efficiently throughout a wide range of hot or cool temperatures.

There is a reason this is considered some of the best Harley Davidson synthetic oil. It protects well against viscosity breakdown that is common at high temperatures in air-cooled V-twin engines. The market doesn’t have a better option for a formula tested specifically as a Harley synthetic oil.

If you’re in the market for some of the best oil for Harley Davidson motorcycles this is your go to.

#4 Lucas Oil 10702-PK6 High Performance Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil

 Lucas Oil 10702-PK6 At A Glance:

  • Motorcycle type: Best for four-cycle motorcycles
  • Engine designed for: Not specified
  • Other features: Ensures longer component life, lower oil temperature, fewer leaks

Lucas oils High performance synthetic oil comes in at number 4. Lucas Oil pride’s themselves on their formulas having been developed through knowledge gained blending motor and gear oils for the racing industry.

They are considered to be some of the best racing oils on the market.

This is a very popular and inexpensive 20w50 synthetic motorcycle oil. Choose this one for longer engine life, less noise, and longer oil life.

Lucas motorcycle oils have a huge dedicated following, they are considered some of the best formulas for high performance synthetic oils for motorcycles.

#5 YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40

 YamaLube All Purpose At A Glance:

  • Motorcycle type: Best for motorcycles, ATVs or scooters
  • Engine designed for: Not specified
  • Other features: Blended formula, exceeds API JASO, MA requirements

The Yamalube All Purpose oil for four strokes rounds out our list at number five. This performance blend is designed to be used in motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-side vehicles, and scooters.

The mineral oil in the blend makes for stable clutch performance and protects the engine from wear and tear. The blend consists of mineral oil base mixed with clean additives providing excellent lubrication for the components of your engine.

Yamaha has been a trusted manufacturer in the motor sports industry for decades. Its brand stands for performance and efficiency. This blended formula stays true to that decree.

Motorcycle Engine Oil Comparison Table

Motorcycle Engine Oil Motorcycle typeEngine designed forOther features
Mobil 1 96936 20W-50Best for four-cycle motorcycles
Air-cooled, hot-running enginesProtects engine at peak performance, exceeds requirements of API Service Categories SH, SG/CF, CD
RedLine 90226Best for four-cycle motorcyclesAir-cooled, hot-running enginesComplete oil kit, 1 Bottle of fuel injection cleaner, sticker kit and funnel
Castrol 06116 POWER1Sports bikes, tested for performance with Harley DavidsonsAir-cooled, V-twin engines
Exceeds requirements for API SL, JASO, MA-2, can be used in any American or Japanese 4-Stroke
Lucas Oil 10702-PK6Best for four-cycle motorcyclesNot specifiedEnsures longer component life, lower oil temperature, fewer leaks
YamaLube All PurposeBest for motorcycles, ATVs or scootersNot specifiedBlended formula, exceeds API JASO, MA requirements

How to Pick The Best Motorcycle Motor Oils

When you’re in need of new motorcycle oil the abundance of options and brands can be overwhelming. We know you want the best engine oil for your bike and we’re here to help you find the best motorcycle oil brand.

Keeping your motorcycle in peak condition ensures that your bike will run at optimal performance. Consistent maintenance is required to get the best out of your bike but not all tasks require a mechanic. Choosing a bike engine oil is relatively simple with a little guidance and research.

Motor oil is needed to reduce friction between the moving parts of the engine. This keeps the parts in shape, providing good fuel efficiency and keeping a good balance of friction and lubrication.

best motorcycle engine oil

The engine is the most important part of your bike and needs to be cared for with the most attention to detail.

There are many types of oil on the market. Mineral oil, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils all have their respective purposes and uses. Each of these oils also comes in grades that determine the viscosity and temperature levels that the oil can withstand without losing its position.

If you’re looking to learn more about the best motorcycle engine oil then follow this guide on How to Pick the Best Motorcycle Motor Oils and see the reviews of our top 5 list above!

There is much to consider when in the market for the best motorcycle oil. As simple as it may seem, choosing a suitable motorbike oil is a very important choice and there is much to consider before you buy.

The engine in your bike is composed of multiple moving components that need lubrication to ease the friction between them when they are working to convert the fuel into energy to create a mechanical force.

The metal components of your engine must have oil to reduce friction, without it the friction would cause damage and potentially ruin your engine. So we know what oil does, how about all the different types of oil?

As mentioned above, motorcycle engine oil can be categorized into three main types; mineral, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. Let’s analyze these different types to get a better understanding of the differences between these oils.

Mineral Oil

Using mineral oil for your bike is the original way to keep your bike running at optimum efficiency. As the name implies these oils are made from natural mineral oils and doesn’t include any super complex chemicals found in synthetic formulas.

While these oils are the standard in the industry, some people believe that the less complex molecules are less efficient. Potentially the molecules won’t bond together as well under extreme conditions. This could lead to greater stress on the engine, leading to worn out components.

Mineral oil is favored by cyclists that ride simply to commute. The lower speeds and more casual conditions of a commuter cyclists are fitting for mineral oils. When selling motorcycles companies may use mineral oil to ‘break-in’ the new engines before upgrading to a more technologically advanced oil.

Semi-synthetic Oil

This type of oil blends the best of both worlds, taking natural and chemical ingredients and blending them to a perfect recipe. Blending the oils together makes for a more versatile lubricant that can help keep multiple types of bikes’ engines running smoothly.

Motorcycles that are used for than short commutes and may be running for longer durations through the day prefer the best semi-synthetic motorcycle oil. If you’re running your bike for only a few miles each day a mineral oil may be preferred. Sometime chemical oils with higher viscosity can restrict performance of bikes that are only used casually.

Though these oils work together to make an efficient blend, on average only around thirty percent of synthetic oil is blended into the natural oils.

Synthetic Oils

Motorcycles that are expected to run perfectly under high performance conditions typically opt for a synthetic oil. These oils are completely synthetic and require no blending with mineral oils.

These complex oils are reserved predominantly for bikes that are pushed to their maximum potential on a regular basis. These synthetic motorcycle oils are super lubricating and have a very high temperature resistance.

Be sure you actually need these oils if you are considering using them. People who burn through a full tank of fuel every day on the highway will most certainly need synthetic oil. Someone who rides casually every once in a while will have no use for these oils.

They tend to be the most expensive and will not even help your engine if you’re not riding for long periods of time. Another reason to use these oils is if you live in an area that has intense temperatures, besides these two main reasons you will not need synthetic oil.

We see a distinct difference between these oils. Although synthetic oils are more complex and expensive they are the least versatile than a blended oil or pure mineral oil. But still for high performance bikes synthetic is a must.

Mineral oils cannot handle the high temperatures that high end bikes operate at. The majority of motorcycle owners are considered commuters, this means that mineral oil and semi-synthetic oils are purchased more so than synthetic oil.

Now with a little bit of knowledge about the different types of oils, let’s look at the types of motorcycle engine oil grades.

Bike Engine Oil Grades

I’m sure if you’re reading this you know a little about engine oil. We have all seen the numbers on the front of the bottles; 10×40 motorcycle oil, 5w40 oil and so on. But what exactly do the numbers mean?

There is a common misconception that these numbers are temperatures. While they do refer to temperature, they aren’t actual temperatures per se. Let’s pick apart these numbers to get a better understanding of what they mean and how they affect our choice of motorcycle motor oil.

First off, the W stands for winter. The number that comes before the W isn’t the temperature itself but just a number to symbolize the viscosity, no an actual unit of measuring temperature.

The lower the number before the W then the better this oil is for starting up the engine in the winter. So in turn we see that the lower the number, the lower the viscosity.

The number directly following the W is another relative number symbolizing whether or not the oil is better at holding its position at high temperatures. The larger the number, the better the oil is at staying consistent at high temperatures.

So the oil with the higher numbers after the W will not break down as easily as the lower numbered oils. These viscosity numbers are relative and hold no actual value, it is just an easy way to gauge the viscosity of the oil.

Many manufacturers offer a suggested grade of oil for their bike. Harley Davidson engine oil recommendations may be different than other similar bikes.

It is best to adhere to the recommended grade of oil that the manufacturer suggests, they are the experts and recommend certain grades for a reason.

On average many riders believe that you should stick with the recommended grade for at least six oil changes. Then flush the engine and use an oil that best suits your needs depending on how often, and how far you ride. This gives the engine time to get ‘broken-in’, thus running smoothly and efficiently for many years.

In conclusion we find that motorcycle oil isn’t all that complicated. We need to keep in mind that the effectiveness your engine oil has is also determined by the design and size of your bike. The more and more you use the more wear and tear your engine faces.

Some older bikes may need to be ‘topped off’ with oil when on long journeys. The older you bike gets the more help it’s going to need to keep running efficiently. Changing your oil, cleaning the air filter, and having the injector cleaned at suitable times will ensure your bike performs well for as long as it can.


Question: What is motor oil made out of?

Answer: Motor oil is made from refined crude oil and petroleum products. Mineral oil is the closest to a natural motor oil you will find. Semi synthetic oils are blended mineral oil with chemical additives. Fully synthetic oils are made form only synthetic chemicals.

Question: What types of oil for motorcycles are available?

Answer: Mineral or traditional oil, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils are the three main types of motor oil available on the market today.

Question: What is the best type of oil to buy?

Answer: The oil you choose to buy will depend on the design of you bike and age of your bike. Use manufacturer recommended grade oil at first. For commuter bikes use mineral or semi-synthetic oil. For high performance bikes use synthetic oil.

Question: Why is it so important to get the proper motorcycle oil?

Answer: Oil is the lubricant that keeps the moving components of your engine from grinding against each other. This friction can cause huge problems or even ruin your engine. The correct oil also needs to be chosen depending on how hot your bike runs. Mineral oils are not viscous enough to withstand very high temperatures.

Question: Why is it so important to get the proper oil grade?

Answer: The viscosity of the oil you use makes huge difference in the performance of your bike. You need viscosity to add a layer of lubrication but you also don’t want too much which could potentially add unnecessary friction. The most common grades include: 10W30, 10W40, 10W50, 20W50

The first number represents how well the oil works in cold temperatures, while the second number represents how well the oil will do in higher temperatures respectively.

Question: What is the best Harley Davidson oil?

Answer: The oil you choose will be determined by the design and age of your bike, as well as how often you ride. The brand may have a specific role in design, but there is no specific Harley motor oil.

Use the manufacturer recommended grade and determine the type of oil you need by determining if you’re a commuter cyclist or one who rides more than 60 miles a day.

Question: How often should I change my motorcycle oil?

Answer: Typically if you use mineral oil you should change your oil every 3,000 miles. Some synthetic oils can be changed every 5,000 miles.

Question: Where can I buy motorcycle oil?

Answer: You can purchase motor oil on Amazon for discounted prices, your hometown auto body shop, or department store will more than likely carry motor oil as well. Prices of motor oil will vary depending on type and location.

Question: How do I check my oil levels?

Answer: Be sure to read the manual that comes with your motorcycle. If you’re buying second hand, many manuals are available online from the manufacturers. For the most pat you can check your oil levels using a dipstick.

Wipe the stick clean, be sure to insert it properly, and then check the oil level and color on the stick. Manuals will have specific requirements for certain bikes to know when to change the oil.

Buyer’s Tips for Motor Oil

Your motorcycle’s engine is the most important component in your bike. When it comes to buying the perfect oil you don’t want to be misinformed or purchase the completely wrong oil. Investing some time, and a little money, into high quality oil will benefit you in the long run.

Keeping your engine in pristine condition and making sure it has proper lubrication will ensure years’ worth of smooth and trouble free riding.

Consider how you ride, are you really maxing out your bike’s potential by taking frequent, long trips? Or are you simply commuting a few miles each day? Do you live someplace with extremely high temperatures? These are important factors that play into your choosing of a suitable oil.

Find reviews from people who drive a similar bike as yours, see what they have to say about motor oils they have tried. Keep track of the dates of your previous oil changes, and note what type of oil you used the last time you had an oil change.

The choices you make for your motorcycle today are going to have lasting effects on your riding even years from now. You engine requires meticulous care and attention. Don’t scrimp and just buy whatever oil is on sale, see it as an investment in your bike as a whole.

You can find oil at big box stores, gas stations, and other convenience stores but don’t be too quick to buy the first oil you see.

Shop around to make sure you get a reasonable price on your oil, buying in bulk from Amazon will help you ensure that you’re using the same oil, they carry a wide selection, and they are never out of stock.

Having oil delivered to your door at the perfect intervals doesn’t sound too bad, right?

We hope this guide and recommendations has helped you find the motorcycle oil you’re looking for, we wish you luck on your search for the best motor oil and hope you reach your destination safely each and every time you’re out on the road!

Thanks for reading The 5 Best Motorcycle Engine Oils Reviewed.  We hope that this article gave you all the information you needed to select the brand and type of motorcycle engine oil that is right for you.

If you’re a motorcycling enthusiast here’s our some more of our product review articles:


How We Researched

To come up with the top motorcycle engine oils, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Motorcycle News, REI, EVO along with our own personal experience.

We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.

With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options were for the price. The staff authors have a wide and varied background in motorcycle touring and offroading as well as motorcycle mechanics. They are eager to share their knowledge with readers.

To help narrow down the selection we used personal experiences along with recommendations from fellow motorcycle-enthusiasts and industry experts.

After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.


Notice: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Richard Moore

Richard is a co-founder of and major contributor to Outside Pursuits. He has trekking and survival experience throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Richard contributes his extensive travel and outdoor experience to the editorial topics and content on Outside Pursuits including outdoor gear, motorcycle accessories, auto/4x4 accessories, and tools. In 1998, he survived in the wilderness for over a week without food or specialist equipment. He was stranded on the northern coast of Honduras following Category 5 Hurricane Mitch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button