Motorcycle maintenance is vital to ensure that your bike will not only perform at a consistently high level but that the life of your engine is extended. One of the most integral areas of this is understanding what engine oil you use and when you should change it. These may seem like simple enough questions, but the issue of changing your engine oil is a little more complex than it first may see. In this article we will hopefully shed some light on these areas, highlighting different types of oils and how often you should change your oil.
What Function Does Engine Oil Perform?
Firstly, it’s extremely important to have a basic understanding of the essential part engine oil plays. Motorcycle engines contain numerous moving parts that constantly have metal in contact with other pieces of metal. Over time, this friction can cause the metal to wear down, reducing performance and causing small bits of metal to contaminate the engine. Oil creates a film that lubricates these parts, preventing much of this damage. It also captures small bits of metal, making it easier to remove.
Oil is an extremely durable liquid and incredibly resistant to damage. But it will gradually degrade over time as the hydrocarbons it’s made of break down into other chemicals. One of the main causes of oil degradation is heat and prolonged riding sessions can cause oil to vaporise and break down. Another factor to consider is oil contamination, which can be caused due to a number of reasons. Outside factors, such as particulates entering the engine through the filter, can lead to contamination. Metal filings from the engine and chemical causes can lead to contaminated oil as well. Oil suffering from degradation won’t perform as well as clean oil with contaminants causing deposits in the engine and damaging components. An oil change can relieve these problems.
What Is The Difference Between Automotive Engine Oil and Motorcycle Engine Oil?
Motorcycle engine oils and automotive oils are very similar, with the exception of a number of key areas that are related to how the motorcycle engine operates. The first common area of concern is the use of engine oil, to lubricate and cool the transmission. As you may know, automotive transmissions are lubricated by an ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) fluid, which has frictional properties that are required for the transmission to operate. In a motorcycle, the engine oil may lubricate the transmission, therefore an oil that does not have the same level of friction modification (for fuel economy) of a typical automotive engine oil. These will provide better transmission performance in terms of transmission lock-up and slippage. Therefore motorcycle engine oil won’t have the friction modifiers that passenger car engine oils contain.
The second area of concern for motorcycle engine oils is that the viscosity tends to break down quicker than a typical passenger car.
The most important area to look at is your manufacturer’s service manual. This will tell you how often you should check your engine’s oil level, what type of oil you should use and how frequently you need to change it. Sticking to the information laid out by the equipment manufacturer will ensure that your engine performs efficiently and
For most vehicles, including motorcycles, the general rule is to keep oil in the engine for approximately 4,800 km. This number is typically a lower estimate as most modern oils last longer while maintaining their protective properties. In addition, modern engines are better e to handle oil for lengthy periods of time.
Another factor to consider is the type of oil that you use in the engine. The 5,000 km change frequency is focused on traditional engine oil, but synthetic oils have a number of unique advantages. Whilst there is an extra cost, synthetic oils are better able to handle engine heat and other factors that lead to oil degradation, which leads to improved longevity. In most circumstances, they would also handle contaminants better than traditional oil. Many manufacturers recommend leaving in synthetic oil for 5,000 km or even longer. If you have any questions why not ask one of our expert team members who can help you with all your needs. To learn more about synthetic oils, you can read our previous guide that will highlight all the key information that you need.
When to change oil filter?
In regards to the oil filter, it does not need to be replaced every time the oil is changed. For standard use, it can be replaced every two oil changes. You should still, however, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations laid out in the owner’s manual.
Finol Oils provide a number of market-leading motorcycle engine oils such as Moto 4 Road 10W 40 and Moto 2 Tech. To learn more about these innovative products contact one of our technical experts at 01-4555484 or click here for more information.