This Year’s Top Synthetic Motor Oils for Motorcycles and Motorbikers Reviewed
Keeping your motorcycle’s engine in top shape implies that you get the best synthetic motor oil available on the market. The problem is finding one that suits your specific motorcycle and seasonal needs. With so many products advertised, it’s hard to keep track and choose the right one. The good news is that we’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. We’ve looked at some of the most popular synthetic motor oils available by looking at specifications and customer reviews. After comparing these, we’ve decided to recommend the HONDA GN4 08C35-A141L01 as a top choice. This oil is specially made for motorcycle engines, it has a viscosity grade of 10W40, and it contains all the additives needed to keep it thick enough for a proper lubrication every time. In the unfortunate event that this product is no longer available, you might also want to consider getting the Castrol POWER 1 06112.
Our Team Recommends
Are you looking for a reliable and effective oil for your motorbike but simply have no time to study all those synthetic motor oil reviews found online? Then you’ve landed in the right place. Check out our top products list below and select from some of the most popular products on the market.
HONDA GN4 08C35-A141L01
This model benefits from added polymers which are resistant to shear, which means that they will not lose their viscosity as fast as normal oils and ensure a proper lubrication of the internal parts of the engine. This would translate into less friction for an improved fuel economy as well as less wear and tear on the engine.
The special formula of this 10W40 oil ensures a slow degradation which should allow you to change it less often, helping you save money and contribute to less pollution over time. This product comes in a 1-gallon recipient.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($26)
Castrol POWER 1 06112
Designed for 4-stroke bikes, this product has been tested to provide better acceleration as well as to minimize friction between parts and prolong the life of the engine. You get one US quart of quality oil that you can use in any season, including winter, thanks to its 10W-40 viscosity grade.
The shear-resistant polymers ensure that oxidation and degradation due to high operating temperatures are decreased, which means that the oil itself, as well as the engine parts, will last for a much longer period of time. You won’t need to change the oil every 3000 miles or so, especially if you make sure to clean or replace the oil filter every now and then.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($51.9)
Mobil 1 Racing 98JA11
Thanks to its ingenious formula, this oil is perfect for cold starts during winter so you won’t have to worry about engine damage or wasted time. The 10W-40 grade ensures that you can use this throughout the year so you can save some money by not having to get multiple products. It is also optimized for high-temperature stability and durability for a longer service life.
With this lubricant, you also get remarkable protection for the clutch, transmission, as well as other components so you can enjoy your rides for years to come.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($70)
Royal Purple Max Cycle
You can ensure that engine parts are kept well-oiled and working smoothly. A good lubrication won’t just reduce wear, but also help with the transfer of heat which will prolong the service life of the components, especially if you also facilitate heat evacuation with some sturdy motorcycle exhaust wraps.
This product also contains chemical agents which help with oil sludge problems, effectively cleaning components and collecting soot, metal particles, and other impurities which are then retained by the oil filter. The Max Cycle will also protect the engine from corrosion by preventing acids from forming. You get 1 quart or 32 ounces of premium 10W40 oil for your motorcycle.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.75)
Lucas Oil 10702-PK6
All compounds of this oil have been tested so they work great at various temperatures. You also get to enjoy fewer leaks and less noise while traveling, whether you’re commuting to and from work or crossing the country on thousand-miles trips. In case you’re doing the latter, you could also take some oil in your spacious motorcycle tank bag for extra safety.
This item meets or even exceeds API SL/SJ/SH/SG, meaning that you’ll get an amazing performance from your engine. A package contains six 1-quart bottles so you get a great value for the price.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($65.29)
Motorex Power Synthetic 405-400
The Motorex Power Synthetic is a fully-synthetic oil that’s designed for 4-stroke motorcycles. You get a high-performance product that will keep your engine humming for years on end. This oil ensures that the engine gets all the protection it needs by creating a thin film between components, minimizing friction and wear and providing countless benefits.
The synthetic oil contains additives that ensure maximum shear resistance, which means the polymers which keep the oil at optimal viscosity indexes at various temperature values will last longer. That, in turn, will help protect the engine against wear and tear even at extreme temperatures.
With a viscosity grade of 10W50, this multigrade oil is just what your bike needs to start easily in cold weather as well as ride perfectly in the rest of the year. This lubricant also works well even at higher temperatures so you don’t have to worry about problems even when covering hundreds of miles per day under a scorching sun.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($53.99)
Valvoline 4 Stroke 798151-6PK
The formula also includes some dispersants and cleaning agents which prevent impurities from depositing on the internal surface of the components. The oil collects soot, metallic particles, and other debris which are then passed through the oil filter.
Not only will your engine stay clean, but the high-grade additives will prevent the formation and accumulation of by-products from combustion such as soot or acids which might affect the engine parts. There are also silicone additives which prevent foaming while also helping the oil maintain a proper viscosity in all conditions.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($40.54)
Red Line RED42504
You won’t just be able to use this on your cruiser bikes, but on sports bikes, off-road enduros, as well as other vehicles such as ATVs. Thanks to the use of new additives, this oil will not become thin even at higher operating temperatures, which means you’ll get optimal performance every time. Cold starts won’t pose problems either, as this 20W50 oil will ensure smooth functionality.
With this product, you also get to benefit from an extended drain interval which will keep more money in your pocket to invest in other cool things such as one of the high-definition motorcycle radios available online.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)
Maxima Pro Plus+ 30-199128
This oil is a fully synthetic variant which works wonders in 4-stroke motorcycles. Thanks to its 10w50 viscosity grade, you get optimal consistencies at both low and high temperatures so that your engine will run well and purr like a cat every time.
The additive system offers a balanced formula which minimizes wear as well as prevents the depositing of various impurities. The oil also has anti-corrosive properties which will protect critical components from damage. The all-weather formula also meets API SL/SJ/SH/SG as well as JASO MA standards.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.74)
This Year’s Buying Guide
If you’re trying to find the best motorcycle oil but haven’t got the slightest idea which one to choose, then you should be glad you’ve reached this place. We know that finding the right lubricant for your motorcycle can be quite tough, with so many products to choose from and so much information to absorb in a short amount of time.
This is why we have created this guide so that you get all the info to understand the types of oils and their characteristics and be able to choose one that is suited to your motorcycle, riding style, and budget.
Synthetic vs normal oils
Before choosing one of the synthetic oils for sale, you should know why these might be a better option than regular oils. While there are no definitive studies to say that one particular engine oil is better than another, synthetic options have shown promising results across the board.
If normal oils are made from base oils extracted from petroleum, their synthetic counterparts are made of artificial chemicals which can be modified in the lab to have specific properties. This enables them to be customized for various uses, which can only be a good thing, considering that you are getting one for your motorcycle – and not your average vehicle.
Synthetic oils may have better shear and thermal stability, and they can also provide lubrication to internal engine parts at wider temperature extremes. While they may cost more than normal oils, they could provide easier maintenance and superior performance in various conditions.
The viscosity grades
When looking at the best motor oil for motorcycles, you should consider their viscosity grades. These are the numbers you see on the label, which can be 5W40, 10W40, 20W50, etc. Each grade is a measure that indicates the degree to which the viscosity of the oil changes at various temperatures. It is not to be confused with the viscosity index.
The first number you see usually has a ‘W’ near it. This is the grade for winter, meaning that the viscosity has been measured at cold temperatures. A low number means a low viscosity, which is what you actually want from an oil that you’ll use during the winter.
A low viscosity means that the oil is thin and that it will be able to flow properly and not give you a hard time starting the engine. We all know that temperature affects viscosity so it would be bad trying to start a motorcycle, or any other vehicle for that matter, with thick oil (this is actually one of the main causes of engine wear).
So you want a lower W number for cold starts. Now, the next number represents the viscosity of the oil at a higher temperature, which is usually around 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. This is considered the optimal temperature for a properly functioning engine.
A 5W30 oil means that it will have a low viscosity at cold temperatures and a higher viscosity at normal engine temperatures, which is also good because normally, the oil would become thinner the higher the temperatures are.
This is prevented by the use of special additives with long molecules which keep the oil from thinning (a thin oil would not being able to properly lubricate the engine).
So which one to choose?
If all these sound confusing, then you should probably follow the simple and common-sense rule of checking the manufacturer specifications and recommended oils – information you should be able to find in your motorcycle’s manual.
However, what’s important to remember is that you want an oil that has a low first number for winter use so that you won’t have problems with cold starts, especially since there’s nothing worse than a problematic start in the middle of winter, besides needing a quality motorcycle jump starter due to a dead battery.
A 5W30 or 10W40 model should be ok in this case and ensure that you avoid unnecessary damage to the engine while getting a good performance out of it. You should pick a lubricant with a higher viscosity for warmer climates, such as a 20W50, which would also ensure that the oils are kept thick enough even at higher engine temperatures.
One thing to note is that additives enable these oils to maintain a higher viscosity at high temperatures, and these long molecules degrade over time, losing their ability to keep the oil thick. This is one reason why you should check your engine oil from time to time and change it in case you suspect that is has degraded enough to cause problems in the near future.
Other properties to consider
Viscosity grades and indexes are not the only important things you should consider when looking at reviews of synthetic motor oil products. Lubrication is just one property of motor oils, the others being heat transfer (cooling), cleaning, and anti-corrosive.
A good oil will be able to absorb heat from the moving parts of the engine and transfer it towards the exterior, helping these stay cooler. However, you should know that there are also specialized heat transfer oils that you can choose for increased efficiency.
All modern oils contain all sorts of detergents and dispersants which prevent the accumulation of metal particles created from friction, soot, and other components on the internal parts. These effectively help clean moving parts and ensure that sludge doesn’t build up and affect the performance of the engine.
Motor lubricants also neutralize acids and other compounds that may form during combustion, protecting the engine from corrosion.
How much should you spend?
There’s no way to tell how much you should spend on a motor lubricant. Even a cheap synthetic motor oil should do the trick as long as you pay attention to its specifications and ensure you get the right one for your motorcycle and season.
Unless you’re racing, you shouldn’t spend more than you need for the motor oil. What’s more important than picking the most expensive item on the market is to make sure that you change the oil in time. So if you have ridden your bike for many thousands of miles, it’s time to put it on your solid motorcycle chocks and change the engine oil.
Best motorcycle oil brands
Honda is a company that needs no introduction. This Japanese manufacturer is known for its high-class automobiles as well as powerful motorcycles. What few people know is that it also designs some of the highest quality accessories such as lubricants which can prolong the life of engine components.
The company was founded in 1948 by Soichiro Honda in Hamamatsu, Japan. He started out as a mechanic in the Art Shokai garage. What happened next became the subject of legends. Suffice to say that the brand became one of the most popular in the world, especially in the field of motorsports.
Mobil 1 is one of the world leaders in terms of synthetic motor oils as well as other categories of automotive lubricants. The company released its first engine oil in 1974, a multi-grade variant with a viscosity grade of 5W20. This high-quality synthetic motor oil quickly caught the attention of vehicle owners.
Since then, the brand has produced countless engine lubricants as well as oil filters, transmission fluids, chassis grease, and many more. This company is currently the sponsor of many top drivers in the racing world. The brand is presently marketed and sold around the world by ExxonMobil.
Lucas Oil is an American company that manufactures automotive oils, lubricants, and various additives. The company was started in 1989 by a trucker called Forrest Lucas and his wife, Charlotte. While beginning as a small family-run business, it expanded greatly in the following years, meeting commercial success at the turn of the century.
The company is known for producing premium oils as well as gear lubes, greases, and lots of polymers and other additives that solve various problems of engines, from corrosion to deposits to long-term maintenance. One of its oils, the High Performance 10702-PK6, is popular among riders due to its versatility and low price.
Castrol has been at the forefront of automotive lubricant technologies for decades. This British company was founded by Charles Cheers Wakefield back in 1899. The name comes from the fact that in the beginning, the manufacturing process involved adding castor oil to the special lubricant formulas.
The company has been creating all kinds of engine oils for cars, motorbikes, as well as other vehicles, with products ranging from common use to high-end racing lubricants. Its technologies bring countless innovations year by year, with new additives and special formulas improving the performance and durability of vehicles worldwide.
Motul is perhaps one of the oldest manufacturers of engine oils and other lubricants that still has a significant presence on the world market. This company was founded in 1853 in New York under the name Swan & Finch. Slowly but steadily getting a foothold in the market for high-quality lubricants, it turned its attention to international customers in 1920.
In 1953, after 100 years of successful activity, it launched Motul Century, which was the first company to manufacture multigrade engine oils in Europe. In present times, this highly respected brand produces 100 percent synthetic oils which are used by some of the top car and motorcycle manufacturers and owners in the world.