Choosing the right oil: Should you use mineral, semi or fully synthetic motorcycle oil?

Quality wise, there are basically 4 different groups of modern motorcycle oils:

  • Mineral oils
  • Semi synthetic oils
  • Synthetic oils
  • Fully synthetic oils

This basic grading for oil types is used for both 2 stroke and 4 stroke oils. Mineral oils are the lowest quality and fully synthetic oils are the best quality.


Mineral motorcycle oils…..

Mineral oils are basic spec oils that are made from natural oils. They are generally suitable for commuting, touring bikes and some older bikes.
They are not normally suitable for some modern bikes that require a higher oil spec (especially high temperature, small oil sump bikes) or for most racing and competition use or where engine oil service/change periods might be exceeded (so if your not changing the oil every 4 to 6,000 miles you will be better off using a better quality oil).
Mineral oils are often used to blend most motorcycle workshop oils.

Mineral oils offer the lowest levels of protection but are suitable for many bikes if the oil is being changed regularly.
They can also be used as a ‘running in’ oil in some rebuilt engines (because you do get engine wear with mineral oils, this gives the engine parts a chance to ‘bed in’ together).

How to tell a mineral motorcycle oil from the bottle…

Rock Oil mineral oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Rock Oil mineral motorcycle oil
Rock Oil mineral oil - back
Rear view of a bottle of Rock Oil mineral oil
Silkolene mineral oil - front view
Front view of a bottle of Silkolene mineral oil
Silkolene mineral oil type - rear view
Back view of a bottle of Silkolene mineral bike oil


Semi-synthetic motorcycle oils…..

Semi synthetic motorbike oils are usually blended from Group 3 base oils (group 3 is a lower spec base oil which is made by using a process called ‘hydro-cracking’ to convert natural oil into suitable base oils). Some better quality semi synth oils can contain some Group 1 base oils (group 1 base oils are completely man made, synthetic base oils made from various blends of chemicals).

Semi synthetic oils offer medium levels of protection for the engine and are suitable for use in nearly all road going bike including tourers, commuters, some off road bikes and ‘weekend thrashers’.
Lower spec semi synthetic oils aren’t really suitable for use in racing and competition bikes. However, some higher spec semi synth oils can be used in racing bikes (for example, Rock Oil Guardian 10w40 has been successfully used for years by many winning race teams!).

How to tell a semi synthetic motorcycle oil from the bottle…

Rock Oil semi synth oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Rock Oil semi-synthetic oil
Rock Oil semi synth oil - rear
Back view of a bottle of Rock Oil semi-synthetic oil
Silkolene semi synthetic oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Silkolene semi-synth oil
Silkolene semi synthetic oil - back
Rear view of a bottle of Silkolene semi-synthetic oil

Synthetic motorcycle oils…..

Synthetic motorbike oils should usually be blended using mostly Group 1 base oils (the highest spec) mixed with some group 3 base oils (the lower spec). Synthetic oil falls between semi and fully synthetic oil, quality wise, and genrally offers good levels of all round engine protection, cleanliness and anti corrosion.

Synthetic oils are suitable for use in nearly all road going bike including tourers, commuters as well as off road bikes and some racing bikes.
Synthetic oils can be used in racing and competition bikes (although you are better off with a fully synth oil!).

How to tell a synthetic motorbike oil from the bottle…

Silkolene synthetic oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Silkolene synthetic oil
Silkolene synthetic oil - back
Rear view of a bottle of Silkolene synthetic oil

Fully synthetic motorcycle oils…..

Fully synthetic oils are blended using Group 1 base oils (which are man made, synthetic bases blended from various chemicals). Fully synthetic oils are blended with various different additive packs to obtain the required viscosity (e.g. 10w40) and characteristics.

A ‘proper’ fully synthetic oil gives the best levels of protection for the engine and there should be no noticeable wear in the engine if a full synth oil is used.

Fully synthetic oils are suitable for use in nearly all road going, track and off road motorcycles and scooters and can be used in many modern bikes that run at high operating temperatures whilst having small oil sumps.
Fully synth oils are also suitable for racing and competition use because of the low drag blend (meaning less friction in the engine) and that they offer the best levels of engine protection, cleanliness and anti corrosion.
Because fully synth oils are very good at dealing with heat, they are good for engine that run very hot and engines that don’t have very good cooling systems (like many scooter engines).

How to tell a fully synthetic motorbike oil from the bottle…

Rock Oil fully synth oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Rock Oil fully synthetic oil
Rock Oil full synth oil - rear
Back view of a bottle of Rock Oil fully synth oil
Silkolene fully synthetic oil - front
Front view of a bottle of Silkolene full synthetic oil
Silkolene full synthetic oil - back
Rear view of a bottle of Silkolene fully synthetic oil

Please remember…..

1) There are no exact formulas or required amounts for the quality and quantity of components used by manufacturers to blend the oils (so not all manufacturers blend using the same standards or quality of ingredients!)

2) The explanations above for motorcycle oil types are meant as a basic guide and have been massively simplified (in reality, oil blending is much more complicated and in depth!)

205 thoughts on “Choosing the right oil: Should you use mineral, semi or fully synthetic motorcycle oil?”

  1. Hi Dog,

    I’m thinking of running fully synthetic in my VFR750. I’m off to Spain and as the V4 runs quite hot anyway I thought this might aid cooling, aswell as better engine protection? Some friends have said I might have problems with clutch slip though! The advice I’m after is 1) Is it worth it? 2) Are my friends right or talking rubbish?

    Regards

    Steve

    1. A good fully synthetic oil won’t help the engine run cooler, but they are much better at coping with hotter temperatures without breaking down.
      The fully synthetic oil/clutch slip thing is a popular motorcycle myth, there’s nothing in a good fully synth oil that will make your clutch slip.
      Is it worth it? Sort of, if your planning to keep the bike for a while, you’ll never waste money on a better oil and some newer bikes can only be run on a fully synth. However, fully synth oils are expensive (you SHOULD be paying Β£40+ for 4 litres of good oil)!
      You could use a good quality semi synthetic like Guardian 10w40 (Rock Oil export alot of Guardian 10w40 to Spain and Portugal as it’s one of the few mid priced oils that can cope with the heat!).

      Please note though – Any oil recommendations are based on the brands of oil we supply ONLY (due to the fact many oil companies stretch the truth alot on the bottles!)!

      1. Hi I have I 07 yamaha ttr 125 4 stroke what oil is good for it? I just purchased a yamalube 20w40 mineral oil but it’s does not say is for motorcycle

        1. I wouldn’t really recommend running a TTR125 on a mineral engine oil as mineral oils give the lowest levels of engine protection, which isn’t particularly good for a bike that only holds 1 litre of oil (like the TTR).

          It does depend on which country your in, but 20w40 might be a bit thick for a TTR125 engine, I would personally use a good, fully synthetic 10w40 or 10w50 motorcycle oil from a reputable company like Mobil, Silkolene, ROck Oil (there’s loads to choose from) etc….

          The Yamalube range covers a wide range of engines including marine and some performance engines, if your not sure if it’s a specific motorcycle oil either check with the people you bought it from or get another oil.

  2. I have a 2007 CBR 1000 RR it has 23,000 miles on it can you tell me what is the best oil to put in to this engine thanks in advance

    1. Full synthetic 10-40 is the best oil you can put in it. Bike shops use the cheapest mineral oil available to them. Owners tend to go beyond the intervals also and this is why so many second hand bikes are smokey at low milage

      1. Your post is correct, but, there’s a few things to note:

        A GOOD QUALITY fully synthetic oil is the best for the engine (not all oil manufacturers have good quality standards or use proper, full synth base oil!) and 10w40 isn’t suitable for all modern bikes….

        Alot of bikes can be run on good mineral oil as long as it’s changed at the recommended service intervals. Bike (and car/van etc) shops often use workshop oil that is a mineral base (this is down to cost and what the customer is willing to pay).
        BUT, not ALL shops use the cheapest (I worked for a dealer that only used semi or fully synthetic oils) and with modern bikes they do often use the manufacturers recommended oil.

        Alot of owners do go over the intervals, but the bike manufacturers know this to the service recommendations in the owners handbooks are advised with this in mind…..

  3. I have a 1955 Adler 250cc twin 2 stroke motorbike.
    In 1955 there was nothing but mineral oil available.
    Recommended fuel / oil mix was 1:25.
    What would you recommended for this bike.
    Rock Oil Strawberry 2 stroke oil has been recommended.
    Modern mineral oils are of higher quality than 60 years ago.
    The engine has recently been restored so still wearing in.

    1. You could use a good quality fully synthetic 2 stroke oil as this would offer the best protection for your engine. Rock Oil Strawberry 2 stroke is a semi synthetic 2 stroke oil.

    1. If you were in the UK I would have said use a 10w40 motorcycle oil (at least semi synthetic). But this may be different if you live in a much hotter climate…

      What does your handbook say to use?

      1. Sir. I have Sniper 150 motorcyle Fuel injected. I live in the Philippines. what is the best Oil recommended for me?

  4. I have a CB Honda unicorn 2012 model (4 years) it has complete 22000 km. Still m using minerals and semi synthetic oil. But can you suggest me fully synthetic oil with specific viscosity? Is fully synthetic oil best for bike life or not? (Country India) Plz suggest me…thanks in advance

    1. Yes, a GOOD QUALITY fully synthetic oil is the best you can use as you should get almost no engine wear with a fully synthetic oil.

      You need to check you handbook to see which viscosity of oil to use (we don’t have any specs for the Honda Unicorn).

  5. Hi – Why are you not mentioning 5/40 and 10/50 wider spectrum oils. Is there a reason why these fail to meet the promise of better protection at the cold and hot ends of the temperature ranges? I also looked on this site for recommendations for a Honda V4 engine – more torq and lower refs than my previous KWAKA GTR1000 and this ran well on Halfords 5/40 motorcycle oil -quieter mechanically and much easier gear changes than with Rock semi synth. Would the engine work even better with Castrol or Mobil or Valvoline for instance? So, I don’t understand why all the differences in viscosity ratings that are available without specific recommendations for models/types of engine and use. Could it be that we are just being unnecessarily faced with confusion for the sake of profits?

    1. This post is about the different types of oil available (mineral, semi/fully synth etc).
      I do plan to write one about different oil viscosity, with info about suitable uses etc later this year.

      10w40 is the most commonly recommended and used oil viscosity at present and is suitable for use with most motorbike engine temperature operating ranges (including Honda V4 engines).
      5w40 oils have been recommended for use in some higher torque engines (like Honda Goldwings) and some people do prefer to use a 5/40, but it is a slightly thinner oil then a 10w40 and is mostly only available as a full synthetic motorbike oil, which is more expensive (as opposed to a semi synth 10w40, which would be cheaper).

      10w50 Oils are fairly new in the motorcycle world, although you can never rule out companies doing things for profit (capitalism at it’s best!), there are other factors which influence the grades that are available (e.g. smaller oil sumps in modern bikes, engines machined to much finer tolerances, longer service intervals and the drive to get more MPG out of engines etc).

      I used Silkolene and Rock Oil as examples in this article as these were the oils we were selling at the time (again, capitalism at it’s best!). But, in all honesty, I can’t comment on whether Castrol, Mobil or other oil brands are better as I have no experience with them and didn’t have any other brand bottles to hand to photo or get info from.

  6. Hi Guys,
    could use some help on oils for my suzuki drz 400. I just had it re-built. I’m just about to change the oil. Do I use a 10 w40 synthic or mineral??
    Some sites say synthic 15w50 others mineral??

  7. I have an old 1987 gpz 500s, It gas done 140,000 kms. What oil would you recommend for thus bike. Going to south island in winter in new zealand, and wondering what oil to use for extreme temps. It has been running penrite 15-50 semi synthetic. Cheers, Greg.

  8. Please suggest me, What kind of 4T oil should I use in my bajaj discover 135 motorcycle (fully synthetic, synthetic, semi -synthetic, mineral) in Bangladesh.

  9. Can i use 10w40w semi- synth in my Piaggio zip 4T 2007 or should i use a mineral based oil please advise thank you

  10. I don’t know what oil my Suzuki GSXR 750 currently has so I’m not sure whether I can safely top it up with semi-synthetic oil. Can I top it up with semi-synth to warm up the bike and drain the old oil before putting in a higher grade oil?

  11. I have a Honda CRM250AR what is the best 2stroke oil to use and the best gearbox oil thanks for your help

  12. I have a 2015 yamaha raider 113 cu vtwin. On my 2011 raider i used castrol full synthentic 20w 50. Im curious what brand and weight should i go with. I was thinking mobile 1 4t 10w 40

  13. What about Royal Purple Max Cycle 20w50 in a 2009 Yamaha Roadliner. Runs hot in summer 30c+ heat. I find this summer I burnt a liter of 20×50 Yamalube (Which I usually use) on a long hot day. Strange for the bike to use up oil. The other thing I noticed with Mineral oil is that at times I get lifter ticking until the oil gets up into the motor on 10c-15c morning on cold starts. Will synthetic stop that? I live in Canada so you may have a suggestion other than Royal.

    1. A good fully synthetic oil should be better at coping with the heat, so it should be better to use.
      Any 20w50 oil should be the same viscosity (unless the oil is old, black and has broken down to a different grade?). If your having trouble with a 20w50 oil circulating, you could maybe use a 15w50 or 10w50 oil instead?

      Burning a litre of oil in 1 day is not normal, this may indicate a problem with your engine?

  14. Hi I’m user of Sniper 150cc made by Yamaha . I just wanna ask what’s the best
    engine oil if I used my motor daily ? Thank you

    1. We’ve got absolutely no specs for the Yamaha Sniper 150, would hazard a guess at a semi synthetic 20w50 but without knowing the bike specs or which country your in it’s impossible to say?

    2. i also ride sniper mx 150. used to ride big bike back old day. so you can use semi and fully. i’m been using xrev 4t 10w40 semi , liqui moly 4t street 10w40 semi and castrol power 1 racing 10w40 fully so far no problem. manual book said drain interval at 3000km right but i change oil every below 2000km (ride daily with standard engine top speed 130km and twist throttle hard no problem).

  15. Helle from Casablanca, I have 2 bikes in Morocco; bought new (Canadian models)
    *A 2011 Suzuki DR200SE 48000km, and 2015 drz400s 5500km. I use rockoil gamma mineral 10w40 for both (oil change every 1500km, filter every 5000km). Can I use the fully syn rockoil (synthesis4)15w50 for both, or keeping the mineral oil. I already have 25 litres of each oil in my garage. I don’t have a 10w40 semi oil . Thanks very much!

  16. Hi how you doing im using suzuki gsrx 600 2007

    On manual says i should use 10w40 4stroke fully synthetic

    But my frienda says 10w50 4stroko fully synthetic is better for. Hot countries. So which one i should use more..where im living temperature is upper then 35 cΒ° so what u say about this

  17. I have Peugeot V-Clic 50. In maintenance book it’s saying that I should use the 5W40 semi synthetic oil. But when I was in local mechanic he change the oil for 10W40, and yesterday I was at the other mechanic in other town and he did put 5W40 fully synthetic oil.
    Now I’m not sure which one should I buy next time.

  18. My Bandit 1200 K6, 11000 miles. Only do 1500 miles/yr on dry days. I ride it hard and the engine gets very hot. What oil would you recommend. Cheers

  19. Hi!

    I have Yamaha YBR 125cc bike… currently using liqui moly 4t street 20w50 (mineral)… will liqui moly full synthetic 4t race 15w50 be a better choice?
    I live in pakistan and summers are really hot (avg 40-45C temp) here while avg 5-10C temp in winters

    Thanks

  20. Hi WhiteDogBikes,

    I have been reading and ask people about differences between the mineral, semi and fully synthetic and that’s how I got to your website.

    I have a few Honda CB750 from the 70s and I currently use Motul semi synthetic 15w50 which I am struggling to find again. So I am looking for alternatives.

    Considering that these bikes are air cooled and are subjected to great temperature variation. Do you think it’s best to run fully synthetic?

    And do you think the fully synthetic will make a real difference in reducing wear?

    Thanks
    Vini

    1. If your using a proper, good quality fully synthetic oil you should get almost no engine wear.

      It does depend on the quality of the oil brand (not all oils are blended to the same specs!), but a good semi synthetic oil would be fine in your bikes (obviously, fully synth oil would be the best but it is expensive!).

  21. hi im john i wanna ask if what kind of engine oil should i use on my 110 cc kymco royal visa r underbone motorbike thanks

  22. I have a Suzuki VL 1500 from 2000, and my girlfriend has a Kawasaki VN 750 from 1986.
    It is about time to change the oil for winter, so now I wonder witch oil is ‘Really’ the best oil for these bikes.
    At the time they are both running on 10w40, – but is that the best, or would 15w50 be better, or may be an other type of oil ?
    By the way, – we are from Denmark.

    All the from John Hippi.

      1. I live in bangladesh and using Bajaj Discover 125 , 2016.
        Whit kind of oil should i use?

        Company Recommend 20w50.

        Can i use mobil 5w50 instead of super 4t 20w50?

  23. Hi
    1…. A 10W40 or 10W50,which one will be best for all types of bikes in India ?
    2…….A 5W40 or 5W50, which one will be best for Cars ,Buses ,Trucks, Tractors ?
    Best Regards
    SANDEEP KUMAR JENA

    1. 1) 10w40 is the most commonly used bike oil in the UK, however, as temperatures in India are alot higher it may not be a suitable oil for use over there (also not to be used in 2 strokes, gearboxes etc and it isn’t suitable for use in ALL bikes).

      2) I have no idea and it’s highly unlikely there is 1 type of oil that is suitable for use in ALL vehicles (e.g. diesel engines use different oils to petrol engines etc).
      You might find information on the sites below (but this is UK data so you will need to double check if your in India):

      http://www.rockoil.co.uk/cm/lubricant-selector

      http://fuchs-eu.lubricantadvisor.com/default.aspx?Lang=eng

  24. Hi. I have a indian honda dio scv 110cc scooter. And I m using mobil 20w 50 engine oil. Is it good for this engine or not?

    1. You can use both oils, a fully synthetic oil will protect the engine better, but a good semi synthetic would be fine.

      If it was my own bike I’d use a good, semi synthetic 10w40 bike oil.

    1. We don’t have any specs for Indian bikes I’m afraid.

      From what I can see you would need a 10w40, you might be best using a fully synthetic motorcycle 10w40 oil due to the heat and the hard riding?

  25. Hello WDB

    I have a 2000 Suzuki DR 200 SE Djebel and my wife have a 2002 Suzuki DR 125 SE.Can we use mineral oil Ravenol 20W-40?We live in Transylvania,Romania.
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. A 20w40 oil might be a bit too thick when it’s cold for your DR’s, you would be better using a 10w40 motorcycle oil (personally, I would use a fully synthetic oil, or at the least a good semi synthetic).

  26. I receive as a gift 4 l of this.I will worm up the engine more than i do with 10w-40.
    We don’t ride when is cold as now iti is,only from april-may up.
    I think it’s ok then,would you?
    Thanks a lot for your answer!

    1. There’s no way of saying for certain the oil will get through all the pathways to oil the whole engine properly when cold.

      Also, most oil manufacturers recommend at least a semi synthetic oil for the DR125, mineral oils offer the least amount of protection for your engine, meaning increased engine wear and the oil will break down quicker and have to be changed sooner.

      Personally, I wouldn’t use it, I would stick to a 10w40 semi or fully synthetic oil.

  27. I have a suzuki dr 125. I have oil changed it because I have been having gearbox issues! As soon as I changed the oil it was slipping into gear lovely. It is now playing up again. I have been advised to change to a different oil. (Viscosity) ? I used motul 4t 10w40. Semi synthetic. Is this correct? It is a older bike. Year 2000 with 16000 on the clock . Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. A 10w40 is the correct oil for a DR125, you might want to try using a better, fully synthetic 10w40 oil (something like Rock Oil XRP 10w40) or it could possible be time to change the clutch plates?

      1. Hi. I have just purchased motul fully synthetic oil. 4T 7100 10w 40. Do you think this will be OK? I have put in my bike and seems to be OK. Thanks

  28. Have just picked up a 1995 Kawasaki GPZ305 and need to change the unknown oil (1.8ltr with filter). Understand this bike has a weak, plastic oil pump drive gear that thick / cold oil can break if engine is revved whilst engine/oil is cold and a camshaft that runs in the head without bearings , therefore need an oil that is thin when cold and can reach the camshaft quickly on starting. It will mainly used for daily commuting of 10 miles each way all year in London.
    I was thinking of using Rock Oil fully synthetic 5w/40w ?
    Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. Either a 5w40 or a 10w40 would be fine for a GPZ305.

      I did used to courier on one of these and used a 10w40 semi synthetic with no problems (doing mega miles as well!).

      Good bike, but pity there isn’t an oil that can stop the drive belt snapping!! πŸ˜€

    1. It’s not ideal as you should use a 10w40, but you could use it. You would need to make sure you warm the engine up properly before riding it though (20w50 is thicker the a 10w40 when cold, allowing to bike to warm up would give the thicker oil a chance to thin down and circulate round the engine properly).

  29. Hello there…
    Thanks a lot for your time, answering all the questions…
    Lately I got a new Chinese scooter, Haojue Hj125T-18A (Lindy 125Q).
    As I read and heard that they are using an engine similar to the one used in the Suzuki Address 125cc
    4-stocks, single cylinder Air-cooled, carburetor.
    I have changed the filter and engine oil at 175 Kms and then at 1000 Kms; using Motul 10W40 power plus Mineral, is it safe to continue with the same engine oil at 2000kms and 3000kms, then starting using fully synthetic 10w40 probably Motul 7100 4t 10W40, is it good to use it, or better to use something else?

    Thanks in advance for any help πŸ™‚

    1. I haven’t got any specs for your bike, you might want to use a mineral oil during the run in period (usually maximum of 1000 miles) then change to a fully synthetic 10w40?

      Alot of newer 125cc scooters use a 5w40 oil (normally because it’s a bit thinner when cold), what does your bikes handbook say to use?

  30. Hi, Ive bought a 1988 mz ts125 2 stroke which needs its oil mixing with petrol in the main tank, would i mix mineral oil or semi ? tia

  31. Hi there what would you recommend for my 1994 Yamaha xv750 virago air cooled vtwin the book says 10w30 or 20w40 i was thinking a semi 20w50 mabe? cant find 20w40 any were

  32. Hie..whitedogbikes

    im riding a GL1800 honda goldwing. I love touring with my bike. Any tips on the engine oil thats suits my bike perfectly?

  33. Hi,
    Best oil for a 2013 Yamaha XJR 1300, it has an air cooled 4 cyl motor.
    It will soon be winter in Australia & my area averages around 20c daytime ,under 10 night.
    Summer can be over 40c.
    Thank

  34. Hi there, please advise on oil for Honda Transalp 1998, is it ok to use semi synth or better fully? I usually ride on temperature above 7 degrees and can get up to 40 degrees in summer. Thanks!

  35. hi i have 3 bikes 1970s cb 500 cb125s c70
    i use 15w 50 semi synthetic base agip it is good and if i change the brand and go for motul it is better for engine and gear shifting my country is malta the temperatura is hot
    regards
    aurelio

    1. Possible a 10w40 fully synthetic motorcycle oil as a full synth oil is good at coping with heat. You’d need to check with a dealer in Pakistan though as we only have UK oil specs (and they may recommend a thicker oil in your country?).

  36. Hi WhiteDogBikes. I have bought 1986 Sportster. It used to be 883, but now modified to 1440. Can yoh let me know if I need to use 20w50 semi, fully or mineral oil for that engine? Thank you.

  37. Hi I have just rebuilt my Kawasaki KE175 B3 1978 trail bike its autolube and I have topped up the oil tank with Castrol Power 1 2T oil will this be ok for running the engine in and once this process has been completed?

    many thanks

    mark

      1. Great thanks WhiteDogBikes I have done as you have said it all appears to be running fine and 150 miles now on the clock,

        Cheers

        Mark

  38. Hi I have just got a KTM 400 EXCF 2008 model and can you recommend what grade oil as I have been told 10w/50 grade and seems difficult to get hold of. I live in the UK.
    Thanks,
    Graham.

  39. Hi i’m using Yamaha y15zr, 150 cc (latest version) And i stay in malaysia. Sorry to ask, i’m so confuse to use engine oil because my place is a hot tempature. Can u suggest One?

  40. Hi, I have a 1981 Yamaha virago xv750, which oil would you recommend , and should it me mineral or semi ? Book just says 20w40.
    Thank you.

  41. Hi I have a number of bikes stored and rarely used four honda vfrs 750, 800, 800vtec, 1200 and a Honda dn-01 (automatic with deauville/transalpine 700 engine). They are run infrequently and I generally use 10 40w semi sunthetic. Would I be better for engine protection and corrosion protection using fully synthetic. They are in a dry but in winter cold insulated shed in Northern Ireland.
    Thanks in advance JAK

    1. If your using a good semi synthetic oil it should be ok (I’ve used Rock Oil Guardian 10w40 and it’s always been good).

      Obviously, a good fully synthetic oil would be the best to use (just do some research, not all supposed ‘fully synthetic’ oils are good or actually fully synthetic!).

  42. I have yamaha ybr 125 2009. Now I’m using full synthetic 10w-40 bcoz I’m doing delivery job, is it good oil for this bike. Uk

  43. Hi. I have a 1992 Yamaha virago xv250. Any idea what oil to use in this? I’m in Australia so coming into the summer months now where it will be pretty warm.

  44. Currently running a 74′ CB350 four, recommendations of which 10w40 oil would be best to use. Clutch has been slipping and trying to rectify the problem.

    Cheers.

    1. Although clutch slip can be caused by some bike oils (generally not very good ones), are you sure the clutch doesn’t need replacing?

      Motorbike oils shouldn’t contain any additives that make the clutch slip (like some friction modifiers used in car oils, so any motorbike 10w40 oil should be ok for your bike and if it’s JASO MA or MA2 approved it shouldn’t cause clutch slip.

  45. I have a 1981 GS1000g iv been looking on these forums for months whilst carrying out a part restoration, rightly or possibly wrongly I decided to go for a old school mineral oil, the old girl was suffering from weeping rocker cover gasket and a couple more and also the clutch was slipping when cold, I’d hoped that if I changed the oil every 1500-2000 miles a mineral would do the trick. My second possible mistake was going for a 20/50 aimed at classic cars from the 70s and 80s.
    Iv done one 85 mile round trip and now think I may have developed a rumble or knock? Alarm bells are ringing now. Ok so what now? And what oil should I use , the manual says 10/40 and that would of been a mineral oil, So do I go mineral, semi synthetic or fully synthetic.

    1. You can use any grade 10w40 motorcycle oil in a GS1000G (mineral, semi or fully synthetic). Obviously, mineral is the most basic and offers the lowest levels of protection and fully synthetic would be the best offering the best engine protection.
      Personally, I’d go for a good motorcycle semi synthetic 10w40 from a recognised brand (Silkolene, Rock Oil, Castrol etc).

      It’s unlikely the 20w50 oil caused the engine to knock after only 85 miles. Basically a 20w50 is ok to use on older bikes instead of a 10w40, but you just need to warm the bike up properly before setting off (as a 20/50 is a bit thicker then a 10/40 when cold).

      You would be best getting the knocking checked out before using the bike again though as oil cannot ‘repair’ engine wear or a fault (unfortunately!), if that’s what’s causing the noise.

  46. I just bought a new YAMAHA 125cc SOHC engine type. which oil is the best for my motorcycle? I am planning to buy mobil 1 semi synthetic 10w-40 oil for this bike. previously using yamalube 10w-50 API SL.

  47. just a correction in my above post. YAMALUBE specs are 20w-50 API SL JASO MA. Shall i change this for my new SOHC 125cc bike engine running only 2500 km so far.

  48. gud day sir maam,

    does liqui moly oil 10w-40 is comapatible to mio soul i125 automatic transmission fuel injected..

  49. Hi. I live in South Africa. I am buying a SYM Fiddle 2 150cc scooter.
    What would be the recommended oil to use after the run in period?
    I suspect that the workshop probably uses 20w50 mineral oil due to the cost.
    Thank you.

    1. Unfortunately, we don’t have any specs for the Sym Fiddle. I would recommend a thinner oil then a 20w50 (like a 5w40 or 10w40) and you would be better using a good fully synthetic oil instead of a mineral oil as it is better at coping with the heat.

  50. hello and thank you in advance for the answer.
    I have a Yamaha Mt 09 Tracer 2017.
    I recently changed oil for the 1st time using Yamalube Fully Synthetic 10w 40.
    For the next service i m gonna use Silkolene. What type do you reccomend?
    It must be API SG or higher and JASO MA.

      1. I changed the oil again for Silkolene 10w 40 semi synthetic. I was suggested to use semi for the first kilometeres unti the engine is broken in.

  51. Hi. I’m using 2017 YZF-R25 in Singapore. Almost clocking 1k in odometer. Which brand & type of engine oil would you recommend? Also the oil filter ??

      1. HI, thanks for your reply. Based on dealer book it is recommended to use Yamalube. But i’m planning to use Motul or Silkolene 10w40 semi-synthetic. How do you think bout this?

  52. Hi dog,

    I live in the Philippines. I would like to hear a recommendation from you which oil should i choose? I have a 200cc china bike, replica of Gilera VC200. Here’s the specs.

    DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
    Overall length: 1,980 mm
    Overall width: 720 mm
    Height: 1,110 mm
    Wheelbase: 1,350 mm
    Ground clearance: 200 mm
    Weight in running order 125 kg

    ENGINE
    OHV type fourstroke, oil cooled.
    number of cylinders: one
    bore / stroke: 65.50 / 59 mm
    Displacement: 198.80 cc
    Compression ratio: 9.25: 1
    Maximum power: 11.2 kW at 7000 rpm + -5%
    Air Filter: polyurethane foam element
    starting system: electric and Primary pedal
    lubrication system: carter wet

    TRANSMISSION
    Clutch: multidisc in oil bath
    Transmission: 5speed constant mesh

    CHASSIS
    front suspension: hydraulic barrales
    rear suspension: adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers

    front brake: disc
    rear Brake: disc

    ELECTRICAL
    ignition Type : electronic CDI
    Generator: magneto
    Battery: 12V / 7AH
    Fuse: 15A

    CAPABILITIES
    fuel tank, including reserve: 12 liters.

    Thanks in advance.

  53. Hi. Need oil recommendations for Honda Wave 125 2004 model πŸ™‚ Currently using Repsol Sintetico 4t 10w 40. 5000km+ in my odo and counting and still its in brownish color. Might need an oil change soon. Is it ok to use Repsol Moto Rider 20w 50 mineral based? Currently living here in the Philippines. Thanks in advance.

    1. I would stick with a 10w40 oil as a 20w50 might be a bit too thick when cold for your bike. Also, if the temperatures where you are are hot, mineral oil might not be the best as it has the lowest properties for coping with heat (a semi or fully synthetic oil would be better).

  54. hello friend,

    I’m from Bangladesh. I’m using TVS Metro Plus 110CC (also called TVS Star City Plus in India). The bike made in India. Company recommend 10W30 grade.
    **But my question is 10W30 semi-synthetic or mineral ???
    **If semi-synthetic is better then which brand ??
    **One of my friend told me to use “MAK 4T NXT” semi-synthetic oil made by Bharat Petroleum but there is no grade written on the bottle of the oil. And in their company website they written MAK 4T NXT is suitable for engines 125 cc and above. So should I use this oil for my 110 cc 4stroke bike ?

    ENGINE SPECIFICATION:
    Displacement CC: 109.7 cc
    Maximum power: 8.4 PS @ 7000 rpm
    Maximum torque: 8.7 NM @ 5000 rpm
    Bore X Stroke: 53.5 mm x 48.8 mm
    Compression Ratio: 9.2 : 1
    Bore & Stroke: 53.5 mm & 48.8mm
    Transmission: 4 speed constant mesh
    Cooling: Air Cooled
    Clutch: Wet – multi plate type
    Oil Grade: 10W30

    1. All 10w30 oil’s we’ve come across are usually semi or fully synthetic.
      I wouldn’t recommend using an oil that doesn’t list the grade as if it’s a heavier oil it may not get through some of the smaller oil pathways when cold.
      If your not sure, I would recommend using a recognised brand of oil like Silkolene, Castrol, Rock Oil, Shell etc.

  55. I have yamaha rx 135 2 strokes motorcycle which oil is good. Because 20w40 yamalube 2 motorcycle gear oil, rarely found at my place. so plz you suggest me which engine oil i can use in motul, shell,which grade i can use

  56. Hi i have a Yamaha neo’s 50cc stroke aircooled scooter and i bought 5w40 can i use this oil in my scooter without damaging it?

  57. Hi,

    Can you advise best type of oil to use in my 1978 Kawasaki Z650 mineral oil is specified will using any other type cause the clutch to slip?

    Thanks

    1. You can use mineral, semi synthetic or a fully synthetic 10w40 oil in a Z650.
      Fully synthetic will offer the most protection for the engine (however, a good semi synthetic is a good balance between protection and cost).

      A proper motorcycle oil from a recognised brand (Castrol, Silkolene, Shell, Rock Oil etc) won’t contain additives that make the clutch slip.
      If you look at the back of the bottle, use an oil that has a ‘JASO MA’ or ‘JASO MA2’ rating as part of the testing for these standards to for clutch slip (more info…)

  58. Ive got a new apache rtr 160cc….the dealers r recommending mineral oil….should i stick to it??….if not which engine oil should i use??….and when can i shift from mineral oil to something else???…is there any rule that u gotta use mineral oil for a new bike for a specific time????

    1. If it’s new they may be recommending mineral oil to get the maximum engine wear to help the parts bed in (BMW and Triumph used to recommend using mineral oils during the running in period then changed to a fully synthetic after the engines run in)?

  59. Thank you lots of good information. My question is I have a 1700 cc vmax I would the best oil I can . What would you suggest or is yamalube full synthetic good enough ? Thx.

    1. Yep, Yamalube fully synthetic would be a good oil to use (you should get almost no engine wear with a good fully synthetic oil).

      If your not using Yamalube, you can use and recognised brand fully synthetic oil (Silkolene, Castrol, Shell etc).

  60. Hi there, I have a 1975 Honda CB200, the manuals say to use either 10w30 or 10w40, (I go with 10w40) my main question would be whether i should be using mineral oil, semi or full synthetic oil… everyone seems to recommend something different but a lot seem to lean more towards mineral… what would you suggest?

    Many thanks!

    1. Use a good semi synthetic from a recognised oil brand.
      Mineral oils offer the lowest levels of protection for your engine and fully synthetics, although giving maximum engine protection do tend to be expensive so a semi synthetic is a good balance between price and protection.

  61. Hello.. im using taiwan motorcycle.. sym sport rider 125 fi.. the companies recommend to use pj1 15-50 fully synthetic right??.. so my question is.. what is ur recommendation for long ride distance.. keep using 15-50?

  62. i have Honda africa twin XRV 750 2003 model.

    I am based in Kenya and i currently use Fully synthentic 10w40 from Shell products. Is this fine?

    Just to give my input, been using fully synthetic on my motorcycles and i have not had any slipping of clutch.

  63. Hi, bought recently a Honda transalp xlv 650 model 2003 with 65000 kilometres.I live in Athens Greece and the temperatures are getting high during summer period.The winter is mild (not less than +5 deg.Celcius).
    Its the first time i need to change oil and i was wondering if you have some suggestions for me.Some years back with Kawasaki versys twin 650 and Yamaha xt600 i was very happy with Golden Spectro semi synthetic 15w50.Should i use the same with transalp? Should i use a 10w40 for winter and a 15w50 for summer.
    please advise.
    Thanks in advance.

  64. Hi,
    I have a Zehyr 1100 with low mileage (10000) that I’ve always used semi synthetic oil in but recently changed to fully synthetic for extra protection, immediately after the oil change the bike ran way noisier than ever before (sounded like big ends) I ran it hoping it would improve which it did slightly as the engine got hotter but changed back to semi synthetic straight after the run out.

    Unfortunately even after the change back to semi the engine sounds like a lot of wear has occurred from briefly using fully synthetic, is this possible?

    Thanks.

    1. If it’s a proper fully synthetic motorcycle oil (from a recognised brand) it won’t cause the wear that occurred with your bike.
      You should get no engine wear with a good, fully synthetic oil.
      It is likely to just be coincidence (unfortunately!)

  65. Hi sir. Could you please explain which oil is better for hot climate (32-33Β°C) ? 10w40 or 10w50? And also whats the difference between these two oils? Thanks sir for your time.

  66. Is it right to switch motor oil weights, for example, from a 5W-20 to a 10W-30? Is it real that older and much used cars must only use conventional oil?

  67. Hello to all, I have a Honda ATC 250 ES Big Red 1985 and I use the Motul 5100 4T semi-synthetic 10W40 (wet clutch).I live in Cyprus and temperatures here are between 10-45 degrees C. Can I replace it with the Motul 7100 synthetic 10W40? It would be ok or I have to put a 10W50?
    Also I use a HiFlow oil filter AH112.Is that also ok or I have to set different brand name?
    Thank you for your help.

  68. Hi sir. Having Ninja 650 2017, in Malaysia (hot weathers), hitting 14k km total milage.

    Recommended to use 10w40 in manual. Is it ok to change to 10w50 or even 15w50? Currently using Motul 7100 fully 10w50, but quit hard to get this as not many stock available in market. Thinking of switching to 15w50 with doubts

  69. I have just changed my cylinder head gaskets (they were leaking oil) on my 1980 GS550 cafe racer. Haynes manual says 20w50 but the oil fill cap on the bike says 10w40. Which is better suited? I think it’s low mileage (28k if it’s genuine). I do push it quite hard on the road, so it does get hot. Defo not a commuter bike!

    1. You can use either oil in the GS550.
      I’d personally use a good, semi synth 10w40.

      The oil filler caps were used on many different models and I think they had a sort of generic ’10w40′ stamped on them (as this was what most bikes at that time used).

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