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All You Need to Know About Bike Engine Oil

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Last Updated On :
  • 10/08/2023

Proper maintenance and care are necessary to ensure that your two-wheeler keeps running smoothly, and this goes beyond just washing and cleaning your motorcycle. You need to check your bike’s tire pressure, battery, spark plugs, air filter, and, most importantly, engine oil regularly. This is a part of periodic maintenance, which will keep your bike’s internals in up and running condition.

However, it should be noted that, despite proper maintenance, your two-wheeler may face occasional breakdowns or may even get caught in an accident. In such a scenario, having bike insurance can save you a lot of money.

If your bike gets damaged in an accident, you can always claim bike insurance cover. Comprehensive insurance for bikes covers damages to your vehicle, while third-party bike insurance only compensates for others who were caught in the accident. If you own a bike and do not have valid insurance for your bike plan, you can purchase bike insurance online from Tata AIG.

The Importance of Bike Engine Oil

Engine oil acts as a lubricant between the moving parts in a bike’s engine and hence, ensures that it functions smoothly and efficiently. However, with the bike engine oil, the metallic parts inside its engine would not be able to move freely, and a lot of friction will be created, which in turn will create a lot of heat and impact the efficiency of the motorcycle.

Then, there are seals and cracks inside the bike’s engine, which can dry up in the absence of a lubricant. This may cause the accumulation of foreign particles in the engine, and as a result, the entire combustion process may come to a halt, rendering your bike dead. The engine oil also takes the heat away from the moving parts and keeps them clean in the process.

Why Do We Need to Change the Engine Oil at Frequent Intervals?

Although highly refined, liquid petroleum carries a lot of roughness that can damage your engine if not for the engine oil. Also, the moving parts of a bike’s engine create a lot of friction which is minimised by the engine oil. The dust and dirt keep on seeping into the engine through the seals as you ride your bike.

These foreign particles mix with the engine oil, causing it to get muddier and reduce its efficiency. In addition, carbon formations inside the engine also accumulate with the engine oil to impact its performance. Therefore, to ensure that your bike’s engine remains smooth and efficient, it’s recommended to change your bike engine oil at frequent intervals that can be every two to three months.

Draining the old oil from the engine and refilling the fresh oil will keep all its parts well lubricated and clean, thereby ensuring a top-notch performance by your bike.

Types of Bike Engine Oil

There are different types of two-wheeler engine oils, and they differ from each other in terms of quality, pricing, and composition. Typically, there are three types of engine oil for bikes:

  • Mineral oils

As the name suggests, Mineral Oils or MO are naturally available by-products of crude oil. They are the most basic types of engine oil for bikes that are mainly used in bikes with smaller engine capacities that do not require high mechanical pressure for operating. Usually, mineral oils are recommended for bikes with engine capacities ranging between 80 to 125 cc.

Mineral oils are the most affordable form of two-wheeler engine oil. However, their downside is that they aren’t too refined, and hence, they do not last very long. Therefore, you need to change these oils at frequent intervals to ensure the smooth functioning of your motorcycle.

  • Semi-synthetic oils

Semi-synthetic oils are essentially the mixtures of mineral oils and full synthetic oils. They are not as refined as synthetic oils but not as rough as mineral oils. Semi-synthetic oils are typically designed to provide a high level of protection to bikes with medium-level engine capacities, i.e., between 150 to 250 cc. There’s no harm in using semi-synthetic oils for engines with smaller capacities as well, but you can incur high costs.

  • Fully synthetic oils

Fully synthetic oil for bikes is artificial factory-made. This type of two-wheeler engine oil is derived from polymers. These oils are excessively smooth and are considered the best bike engine oil grade. Fully synthetic oils are usually recommended for bikes with very high engine capacities of 250 cc or more. Superbikes and racing bikes run only on fully synthetic oils.

In terms of quality and refining, fully synthetic oil for bikes stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is because they are constructed to have a very long life. Unlike mineral oils or semi-synthetic oils, these oils don’t break down under extreme pressure. However, full synthetic oils are also the most expensive among all types of engine oil for bikes.

Bike Engine Oil for the Bike Grade

After learning about the types of engine oils for bikes, let’s understand the bike engine oil grade meaning and the grading system for the same. Three major standards are followed for labelling bike engine oil grade – API, SAE, and JASO.

  • **API **

The API is the abbreviation for the American Petroleum Institute. This was the first institute that started the grading of bike engine oils based on the gravity of the weight of the oil.

  • SAE

The SAE stands for the Society of Automotive Engineers. It was started by a group of professionals to carry out the gradations of the bike engine oils based on their quality and functioning. The SAE grading system is used very commonly for grading oils these days. It consists of alphanumeric codes with digits, W, and digits. For example, 5W40, 15W50, 10W40, etc.

The letter “W” represents the Winter, and the numbers before and after it are the lowest and highest temperatures at which it can work.

  • JASO

The JASO, or the Japanese Automotive Standards Organisation, is the Japanese grading system for engine oils. It is similar to the American SAE bike engine oil grade.

Thus, now you understand the engine oil grade meaning.


Now that you know the basics of the bike engine oil, you can check out the options available in the market and choose the best engine oil for your bike based on its type and grade. You should check if it satisfies all the standards, is of the right type as per your motorcycle, and is of the recommended grade.

To protect your precious motorcycles against unforeseen damages or breakdowns, you can get a comprehensive bike insurance policy. With Tata AIG, you can compare two-wheeler insurance plans and choose the best one for your bike.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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