This is a question to which there is no easy answer, apart from using the information provided in your machine manual which recommends the best motorcycle oil to be used. However, whilst it may be considered the correct and proper action to adopt, in general, your motorcycle manual will provide only specifications related to oil viscosity, weight and service classifications. Omitted usually is the origin of the motorcycle oil and its manufacturer!
Starting with the oil basics, those oils known as “synthetic” are laboratory generated with a determined consistency and without any contaminants. Then you have mineral oils with their earth origin and although refined, may contain various contaminants. At this stage, one aspect to determine relates to “cheap motorcycle oil.” You can search for top quality oil at the best price, but buying any oil because of its cheap price, is to coin a phrase, “dodgy.”
However, to answer the question as to whether you should only use synthetic oils; no, because at the end of the day, you know your bike and you have your particular preferences as to what it needs for the best performance and component protection! The refining process of mineral motorcycle engine oil is thorough, with any remaining contaminants being minimal and not likely to cause damage. In any event, various synthetic oils include mineral oil in their formulas.
A primary advantage of mineral oils is seen as them being in certain instances, less costly than the synthetic types, with various new motorcycles containing them on delivery! For your bike, however, this does not necessarily mean a cost-saving advantage. Mineral oil does assist the rings and pistons to bed-in correctly in the all-important running-in stage of ownership.
Due to mineral oil being heavier, thicker and leak resistant they are recognised as being more suited for older motorcycles. However, keep in mind that specifications on older bikes determine the type of oil available at the time of manufacture and they may not be available anymore. In addition, current generation lubricants such as the best synthetic motorcycle oil are significantly more developed than those originally specified for older machines!
Should you still be undecided then the option of a compromise is open to you in the form of semi-synthetic motorcycle oil, but it’s probably advisable to first speak to your mechanic about the oil that is best for your particular motorcycling needs!More...
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