Home / Two-wheeler Insurance / Articles / How to Choose the Right Bike Engine Oil
Team AckoFeb 1, 2023
Owning a motorcycle is a luxury for some, while it is a necessity for others. No matter your purpose for owning a bike, you must maintain it properly.
Lack of proper maintenance may cause not only bike malfunctions but also endanger your life.
This article discusses the most delicate component of your bike, the engine, and the thing it needs to survive: engine oil. Read on to discover why engine oil is needed to ensure the optimal performance of your bike and how to choose the right bike engine oil.
The engine is the most important mechanical part of any bike. The engine is composed of multiple parts. These parts work in unison to convert the fuel into a mechanical force that drives the vehicle.
However, to work efficiently, the engine parts need to create friction, which is created when the different engine parts come in contact.
Engine oil ensures that the friction produced by the motor parts does not damage the parts. The primary purpose of engine oil is to provide enough lubrication so that friction and wear are kept to a minimum.
Moreover, the right engine oil reduces the heat produced by the engine and increases the fuel efficiency of a bike. The best engine oil keeps the engine clean.
So, changing the engine oil periodically is important since it revitalises your bike’s engine and improves the mileage.
Now that you know why the right engine oil is important let’s find out how to choose the right bike engine oil.
When choosing the right engine oil, taking a systematic approach is important. Besides finding out which type of engine oil suits your bike, you need to analyse the oil’s specification, grade, additives, viscosity, etc.
Here are some tips for choosing the best oil for your bike’s engine.
Even before comparing engine oil brands to choose the best one, you need to scan your bike and analyse your usage patterns.
Some factors you need to analyse include your bike’s make and model, operating conditions, and riding style.
For instance, figure out whether you ride primarily in heavy traffic or cruise along the highway. Also, do you use your bike for commuting or touring?
The answers you get in this stage will help you choose the right engine oil.
The many different types of engine oils available with dealers may initially confuse you. However, know that engine oils are of three types - mineral oil, semi-synthetic oil, and fully synthetic oil. Let’s understand each engine oil type briefly.
Mineral Oil - Mineral oils are the most commonly available and used oils for new bikes or bikes with small engine sizes/ capacities, such as 80cc, 100cc, 110cc, and 125cc. Although the lifespan of these oils is not substantial, and you need to change them more often than synthetic oils, mineral oils offer optimal protection and lubrication to engines that operate at low mechanical outputs. If you choose mineral oil for your engine, avoid harsh riding, as it would increase the depreciation or wear of your engine parts.
Semi-Synthetic Oil - Semi-synthetic oil mixes natural crude oil with chemically complex synthetic oil. These oils are usually more versatile than mineral oils and fit on most motorcycles in India. The best part of these oils is that they support even minor spells of sporty biking. Generally, motorcycles larger than 125cc, such as 150cc, 180cc, etc., use semi-synthetic oils.
Fully Synthetic Oil - Fully synthetic oils’ low viscosity index makes them perfect for all motorcycles above 180cc. These oils are produced entirely in labs. However, synthetic oils may use mineral oil as additives. Because of their high lubrication ability and temperature resistance, these oils function perfectly in extreme conditions. Although fully synthetic oils are more expensive than mineral and semi-synthetic oils, they last longer and provide better protection for motorcycle engines.
Besides the engine oil type, you also need to know the grade of the oil you need to choose for your bike’s engine. The grade is usually indicated in numbers and characters, such as 10W, 5W, etc.
The ‘W’ in the combination means ‘Winter.’ And the number before ‘W’ indicates the viscosity index. So, the lower the number, the better the oil is for engines that need cold starts or are used primarily in low-temperature areas.
Viscosity refers to the thickness and stickiness of the engine oil. The lower the viscosity, the faster it flows inside the engine.
Besides the number and character combination stated above, you will also find another number beside it, like ‘10W30.’
The number after ‘W’ indicates how well the oil can withstand or hold its properties. The higher the number after ‘W,’ the better the ability of the oil to stay consistent at high temperatures.
Nowadays, engine oil manufacturers put additives in their oils. The primary function of additives is to clean debris, neutralise acidity, wipe out deposits, and prevent corrosion.
Additives may also clean carbon formations and keep the engine cool. Hence, although it is not necessary, check whether the engine oil you choose has additives since they may enhance the lifespan and operational efficiency of your bike’s engine.
The final factor you should consider when choosing the right engine oil for your bike is your riding style.
For instance, mineral oil might be the best fit if you use your bike for a daily commute. However, if you need a little higher drain interval, consider choosing semi-synthetic oils.
But, if you prefer long rides or frequently ride in extreme conditions, choosing synthetic oils might be the best decision to make.
Fully synthetic oils have low viscosity and offer peak performance in tough terrain.
Knowing how to choose the right bike engine oil is a must if you are a DIY person who does not like to go by the rulebook published by the bike manufacturer. Remember to check the engine oil type, grade, viscosity, and additives to pick the best engine oil.
While the engine oil is definitely important to keep your bike engine in top condition, purchase an insurance policy to increase your safety level while riding. Visit ACKO to check and compare the best bike insurance policies, and we will help you choose the one that suits your budget and needs!
Generally, fully synthetic oils are considered the best. Because of their high lubrication ability and temperature resistance, these oils function perfectly in extreme conditions.
To choose the best bike engine oil, you must find out your vehicle's make and model, operating conditions, and riding style. Also, learn about the oil’s specification, grade, additives, viscosity, etc., to identify the best engine oil.
The three types of engine oil are mineral oil, semi-synthetic oil, and fully-synthetic oil. Generally, bikes with 80cc to 125cc engines need mineral oils, while bikes with 150cc to 180cc need semi-synthetic oil. And bikes with above 200cc engines need fully-synthetic oil.
Additives are extra chemicals added to engine oils to clean debris, neutralise acidity, wipe out deposits, and prevent corrosion. Additives may also clean carbon formations and keep the engine cool.
Hence, although not necessary, check whether the engine oil you choose has additives or not since additives may enhance the lifespan and operational efficiency of your bike’s engine.
Generally, fully synthetic oils have the highest drain interval. You can change these oils every 3,000 to 5,000 km. However, check the owner's manual to find out what your bike manufacturer suggests.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.
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