Motorcycle Oil


Motorcycle Oil

This is the wBW Motorcycle oil page, with information about motorcycle oil, motorcycle oil filters, fork oil, gear oil, spline lubes, chain lubes and more!

wBW Motorcycle Chain Lube Comparison Reviews

All wBW Motorcycle Chain Lube Reviews

▪ Motorcycle Oil

wBW Reviews

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Chain Lube Reviews

Complete List of wBW Chain Lube Reviews

More Automatic Chain Oilers

  • The Lubetronic chain oiler is also an automatic oiler for motorcycle chains and it has its proponents. Anyone know if they have a website?
  • The CLS Chain Oiler is made in Germany, it’s controlled by a microprocessor to turn on and off automatically and it has a temperature sensor.
  • The Loobman chain oiler is a manual gravity-fed system that has no moving parts
  • Build your own gravity-fed chain lubrication system
  • Pro-Oiler has an “electronically controlled precision electromagnetic pump, insensitive to temperature and oil viscosity” and it’s adjustable while riding.

Motorcycle Lubrication and Oils

Motorcycle Oil and Lubrication Resources

  • Montgomeryville Cycle Center in Hatfield, Pennsylvania has a huge variety of motorcycle oils, lubes, chain lubes and chemicals from several different manufacturers; their shipping rates are reasonable.
  • Elite Etc is an oil distribution company and they sell the vaunted Mobil 1 V-Twin in 20W50 and Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W40 weights at relatively reasonable prices and sometimes with free shipping.

Motorcycle Lubrication News

  • NanoLub nanotechnology-based oil additive claims 5% improvement in fuel economy.

Motorcycle Oil Technical Articles

Our advice – don’t get obsessed with oil: the best advice you can find is in the owner’s manual.  Don’t try to second-guess the factory!

  • Mobil 1 Motorcycle Oil FAQ – Mobil claims that Mobil 1 motorcycle oil has “Additive packages balanced differently for motorcycle engine and transmission operation” than for automobiles because cars “require low phosphorus systems and the use of friction modifiers” due to emissions regulations and other reasons.
  • See also the Mobil 1 Motorcycle Oil home page with information and links to various motorcycle lubrication products; many motorcyclists claim that Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50 is the best motorcycle oil.
  • Very good and detailed “All About Oil” FAQ by Mark Lawrence.
  • Motorcycle Oil Filters Exposed! Check out this site with photos and text on disassembled oil filters.
  • Lots of chain lube info on the F650 owners site.
  • Article covering various motorcycle oil options (slightly dated); it “seeks to answer questions concerning use of the latest grade of motor oils in motorcycles”.
  • Bob Is the Oil Guy has a huge amount of information on motor oil, including comparisons, tests and more.

Motorcycle Oil Filters

  • Very interesting engine oil filter report with photos and comparisons of many different oil filters.
  • Motorcycle oil filter cross reference page lists commercially available substitutes for OEM motorcycle oil filters; that page also has links to other articles on motorcycle oil.
  • Perf-form Filters makes “premium quality” replacement oil filters for BMW, Ducati, H-D, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, Yamaha and Suzuki; made in the USA.
  • Oil Filters Exposed site by Toby Creek; Toby ripped apart many oil filters to see what’s inside.
  • Scotts Performance has stainless steel lifetime oil filters that filter out particles down to 35 microns; available for many brands and models (but I don’t see them listed on their website).

Oil Filter Wrenches

Classic and Vintage Motorcycle Oil

  • Morris Lubricants (UK) makes a wide range of motor oil for vintage and classic bikes, including motorcycle engine storage oil, running-in oil, grease and more

Gear Oil

  • Power Mist gear oils and lubricants.
  • T.S. Moly Lubricants makes TS-90, a molybdenum additive for gear oils.
  • Dow Corning makes M Gear Oil Additive (aka Dow Gear Guard) here’s a link to a .pdf file with more information.

Fork and Shock Oil

  • MotoRace fork oil, racing fork oil and gear oil available for purchase online.
  • Maxima makes fork and shock oil for motorcycles.
  • Race Tech (the suspension folks) make suspension fluid (fork oil) and grease.

Motorcycle Spline Lubes

Note: Older BMW’s and other motorcycles need regular cleaning and greasing of their splines; many other bikes that are shaft driven need regular spline lubes also (e.g., Moto Guzzi).

There has been much debate regarding the best grease to use for this – but everyone’s pretty much in agreement that the BMW recommended red grease #10 doesn’t cut it; and whatever you use, it should be tacky (sticky) and have Molybdenum disulfide in it.

  • Guard Dog Moly Lubricants makes moly spline lube grease (specifically designed for motorcycle splines), moly hypoid gear oil and moly-based chain lube.
  • Check out the spline lube information for BMW K75’s,  K100’s, Moto Guzzi’s and more on the wBW Technical Articles page.
  • Here is some grease selection criteria from Lubrizol.
  • Try Honda Moly 60 paste – many BMW owners swear by it; available via the Hondaline Online Catalog – Moly 60 Paste – and any Honda dealer should either have it or be able to get it; around $8.00 per tube, and a tube lasts about 10 lifetimes.
  • Spline Lubers are starting to use sticky Lubriplate 3000; however, it can be hard to buy just one tube; you can get a single tube for about $4.00 at SuperKleen
  • TS Moly Gear concentrate  can also be used as an additive for spline lubes; the TS-90 product is a molybdenum additive for gear oils; unclear how you can obtain this stuff.
  • DuPont Krytox, a family of greases for certain applications; very hard to get a small amount, and unclear as to exactly which type is best.
  •  Dow Corning makes M Gear Oil Additive (aka Dow Gear Guard) but try to find info about it on their site! Here’s a link to a .pdf file with more info.

Additives and Chemicals

Motorcycle Cable Lubrication

  • Protectall makes Cable Life motorcycle cable lubrication kits.
  • Motion Pro makes motorcycle cable lube tools

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Owner Comments and Feedback

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From “R.D.” (3/09):  “In over 40 years of riding I have never bought MC specific motor oil for (either) dry clutch (Moto Guzzis) or wet clutch (Suzuki, Yamaha) motors.

But I will say my motors hardly ever get up to 7K rpm or higher too.  If they do it’s not for long.

But I have owned since new a `91 Suzuki VX 800 with 80K miles on it now and never have I had a motor/clutch problem with it using car 10W-40 oil the whole time.

But I do change the oil every 2K miles the filter every 6K miles.

I also have used 10W-40 or 20W-50 auto oil in my `81 Guzzi with 110K miles on the motor for over 20 years.  On this bike I change the auto oil every 2K mi. and the filter every 10K mi.

The Guzzi spends most it’s time in the 3,500 to 4,500 rpm range and has a dry automotive type clutch.

In total I have 6 – 2 or 3 wheel rigs and all of them run with auto oils.  I have never regretted it.”


From “B.M.”:   Referring to the issue of motorcycle specific oil vs. automotive oil used in motorcycles)

“…There is the comment (from an old Motorcycle Consumer News article on motorcycle oil) “The viscosity of petroleum-based oils, whether designed for auto or motorcycle application, drop at approximately the same rate when used in a motorcycle.” and “There is no evidence that motorcycle-specific oils out-perform their automotive counterparts in viscosity retention when used in a motorcycle.”

I do not doubt these statements but they ignore two pertinent issues.

One, viscosity retention is not the only measure of an oil’s ability to protect an engine.  Many motorcycles have flat tappet cam & rocker arm interfaces, which create high shear stresses.

Newer automotive oils have removed the additives most beneficial in resisting these stresses (zinc? I’m not sure). This is a characteristic of the “Energy Conserving” oils recommended for modern automotive engines.

I don’t have any evidence of failures due to this in motorcycle engines, but I have seen evidence of failures in older automotive engines.

Two, clutch operation is NOT equal between moto & auto oils.  I recently “just tried” an oil change with Valvoline 4-Stroke Motorcycle oil.  I had been using Havoline 10w-40 (non-energy conserving), and difference was astounding.

With the auto oil, I thought I was about due for a new clutch.  I had to work at getting a smooth engagement without excessive slippage.  With the moto oil, the clutch bite was much better and still smooth.

I know that many moto oils are quite expensive, but the Valvoline is only slightly more expensive than auto oils, so cost is no longer an issue.  For me, it’s a no-brainer. I’m sold on moto oils now.”

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