Lubricating your motorcycle seems like a straightforward task, but everyone has their preferred method. You may use conventional solutions, while another rider uses synthetics.
Bike lubrication is not one-size-fits all. There’s a range of oils are available, but riders have to be careful about solutions that may negatively affect the bike’s overall performance.
Start with the Basics
For modern-day bikes, oil has many essential functions, including:
- Reducing friction and wear between moving parts
- Working as a coolant
- Gathering debris to deposit into the oil filter
- Identifying and neutralizing acids and moisture created through combustion
- Protecting against oxidation
Oil has evolved with bike design. Earlier models did not circulate oil; it passed through the engine and was eventually discharged onto the ground. Today, engines recirculate the oil and need filtration systems to catch and remove any dirt and buildup.
In this setup, the detergents essentially suspend the foreign particles until they’re captured by the filter. Unless you’re riding a vintage model, your bike has a filter and will need a detergent oil.
With these points in mind, run synthetic oil through your bike that has additive in the final formulation to improve corrosion resistance. This solution:
- Offers better oxidative stability, or resistance to chemical breakdown
- Resists heat better
- Keeps its viscosity without thinning out, yet offers a dependable pour point
If you are unsure, it’s always a good idea to use the oil recommended in the owner’s manual. More advanced riders should look out for consistency between API, ILSAC and JASCO classification and viscosity.