Which Engine Oil Should You Use? Bike Engine Oil Types & Grades Explained
Bike Engine Oil Types & Grades Explained – Engine is the most important component of your motorcycle. Even if every other component is used from a top notch manufacturer, a not so well maintained engine will ruin your quality riding.
Engine is basically a set of parts bound together in such a way that they convert the energy from fuel into mechanical force. That further helps you rev your motorcycle to the limits described by the manufacturer.
Engine parts are made from metal and their action brings loss to each other through friction. This is the point where engine oil comes into action and saves the engine.
Bike Engine Oil Types
Here are the three types of engine oils available for every motorcycle.
# Mineral Bike Engine Oil
As the name explains, mineral oil has a basic profile and does not include additions in the form of complex chemical compounds. They have lesser efficient molecular bonding and using them for extreme conditions could lead to engine’s loss.
Mineral oil is preferred for commuter motorcycles as they have ideal running conditions and lower operating speeds. Also, companies use mineral oil for the run-in period as it helps brushing the parts properly before the use of other grade of oil.
# Semi-Synthetic Bike Engine Oil
This type of oil uses a right blend of natural as well as chemical products for its making. It is used in motorcycles that run more than usual everyday. The high operating time enables the rider to keep the engine secure with higher heat resistance of the semi-synthetic oil.
For those who use their vehicle for just few kilometers everyday, it is hard to distinguish between both of them and sometimes, better oil turns evil by restricting performance due to better viscosity. No more than 30 percent of synthetic oil is blended into the mineral oil for making a semi-synthetic oil.
# Synthetic Bike Engine Oil
High performance motorcycles use synthetic engine oil for its superb lubrication property and high temperature resistance. It is the most expensive type of engine oil and could only be used in two cases. First person who should consider synthetic oil is the rider who burns a full fuel tank everyday on the highway.
Second is the one who lives in areas with extreme temperatures. Both cases require extra engine care and synthetic oil does that for the rider. A regular rider with 30 kilometers of daily riding will not need this oil as they will reach their destination before the actual benefit of the oil starts.
These three oils differ a lot in price and their usability decreases as the price goes up. As majority of buyers in the Indian automotive market go for commuters, consumption of mineral oil is much higher than the synthetic oil.
Still, high end bikes need synthetic oil as standard as using mineral oil will maximize the damage due to their higher temperature operations. Manufacturer claimed engine oil is good for an everyday rider as it is the same oil at which they have tested their bike before its launch for a long distance (say 1,00,000 kms).
Bike Engine Oil Grades
Now comes the grade of oil on use. You must have came across different grade of oils like 5W20, 10W40 and many more. Let’s understand what these numbers mean.
The value that comes before the W symbolizes the viscosity of oil when the engine is cold. The numbers have no direct relation to any unit such as temperature. It would be false to consider 10W30 good for cold start at 10 degrees.
It is actually a relative number, which shows that 5 at the front will bring better cold start than 20. W stands for winter. Larger the number after W, the more is the oil capable of holding its actual position at higher temperature.
This means it won’t breakdown easier if it is a big number. Still, manufacturers know what conditions arise and they decide a multi-grade oil by keeping all of that in mind. Experts believe that buyers should keep the same oil as directed by the brand for almost first 15,000 kms.
This includes almost 6 services that average rider will complete in almost 12-15 months. Getting an engine flush after that and using an oil that best suits your need is the best plan that one could make after the given period.
This gives enough time to the engine to get as smooth as butter flowing on a hot pan. What comes next is for the purist. If you plan your first trip from North to South right after your run-in period, do remember to take your own pack of synthetic oil when visiting the dealership.
Bike Engine Oil Duration & Quantity
Engine oil quantity varies with engine size and design of the motorcycle. The cost multiplies with every liter and seasoned riders keep a spare pack with them when going on longer expeditions. Topping up is a necessary part for slightly older engines and also for those bikes which have surprisingly long service intervals.
To keep warranty under check, do consider getting your engine oil changed at prescribed intervals. Along with engine oil, gear-less machines have a different grade of oil that is commonly known as gear oil. It has completely different properties and difference in drain intervals.
Changing of the engine oil cannot just single handedly help you attain a perfect service as replacing oil filter, cleaning the air filter and getting you injector cleaned at given intervals will help you enjoy the best ever riding experience.