Can I use regular 10W40 in my motorcycle?
Every engine, whether it is a motorcycle engine or a car engine requires lubricants. Automotive lubricants are necessary to reduce heat, enable smoother movement, and protect the engine. A recent survey showed that more than half of motorcycle owners do not use special engine oil for their bikes. Instead, they use regular car engine oil.
Before you ask “Can I put any oil in my motorcycle?” or “Can I use car oil in a motorcycle” you should wonder if they are the same. Are car engine oil and motorcycle engine oil the same? Are they made the same way with similar components? The answer is definitely no.
Both car engine oil and motorcycle engine oil are designed for different engine types with distinct materials. Using car engine oil in your motor will cause the engine to break down faster.
So now, getting back to the main question. Can I put any oil on my motorcycle? No, you can’t. You need to use the engine oil that is designed specifically for your engine. Unless you do not mind having your engine broken down.
What is the difference between motorcycle oil and car engine oil
Now, we all can agree that not every engine oil is equal, especially when it comes to comparing car engine oil and motorcycle engine oil. in recent years, motorcycle manufacturers have been making bikes in a way that has the same lubricant used for lubricating the engine, the clutches, and the transmission gears.
Engine oil composes of base oil and additives in different percentages. Motorcycles engine oil contains certain additives to provide:
- Improved engine performance at high speeds
- Enhanced protection of the moving parts in the transmission system
- Enhanced clutch response to prevent clutch slipping
The additives in the car engine oil include friction modifiers to adjust the friction between the surfaces of the engine to a lower level. Lubricating the clutches with an oil that can reduce the friction dramatically, can cause the clutch to slip. Clutch slippage can be dangerous and may cause severe damage if happens while driving your motorcycle.
Types of motorcycle engine oil
Engine oils compose of two main components, base oil, and additives. Base oil is the basis of the lubrication and cooling process and the additives are included to adjust the properties. We have three main types of motorcycle engine oil based on the type of base oil:
- Mineral engine oil
- Semi-synthetic engine oil
- Fully-synthetic engine oil
Mineral engine oil
Mineral engine oil is widely known as regular or conventional engine oil. Mineral base oil is one of the products of crude oil refinement. Mineral oil is cheap and commonly used in automotive engine oils. Mineral engine oil is a good option for motorcycles with small-capacity engines. These engines do not enforce huge mechanical pressure thus, they do not require premium engine fluids.
Mineral motorcycle engine oil offers good performance but for a shorter period of time. Since it is cheaper, many bikers prefer to use mineral engine oil and then change the oil more frequently.
Fully-synthetic engine oil
As the name suggests, fully synthetic oil is made in the laboratory. Making the oil in the labs reduces the presence of impurities. Fully synthetic oil is the most expensive type of engine oil for motorcycles. It provides excellent performance for longer periods.
Semi-synthetic engine oil
Semi-synthetic oil is a blend of synthetic oils and mineral oil. it stands in the middle in terms of quality and performance. To make semi-synthetic oil mineral and synthetic oil are blended in different ratios. Depending on the ratio, the price and the quality are determined.
Motorcycles require proper care and maintenance to keep them working smoothly on the road. Motorcycles are safer on the road when the engine is properly maintained. Make sure you choose the best motorcycle oil for your engine.