It’s no surprise you’d want the very best performance from your motorcycle. We’ve put together a definitive buyer’s guide on the best oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
All motor engines require oil to lubricate their moving components for performance and to retain structural integrity. Oil is also a major contributor to exhaust pollutants so the oil you choose for your Harley Davidson motorcycle must be optimized for that specific application.
You might think that an engine is an engine and what the hell, but you are wrong, every engine is designed for different oil type, in fact some engines are very particular to the engine oil you use, the older engines will not work as well on synthetic oils as they do on mineral, and the same applies to modern engines that must not touch mineral oils, and only use specific synthetics designed for them.
There are three types of oil to choose from, and changing oil frequently is a mandatory exercise to retain engine integrity and overall ride performance.
Here are the three oil types:
Mineral oils are the original crude oil refined for engine use. They are the least expensive of the oils and are mainly used in vintage bikes.
Semi-synthetic oils are a mixture of synthetic chemicals with refined crude oil. These are the middle ground oils that combined the best of both compounds into one formula. They deliver the premium performance of synthetic oil at a price similar to mineral oil.
Full synthetic oils are made from chemical compounds mixed to produce a specific performance grade. As such, synthetic oils can be made to meet very specific requirements as well as be produced for a focused range of applications. They are, as such, the most expensive oils on the market.
Synthetic oils perform the best since they are tailored to meet specific requirements, there is a vast range of synthetics to choose from, and in this article, I present to you the five best engine oils for Harley Davidson motorcycle applications.
List of Top-Rated Oils for Harley Davidson Motorcycles Comparison Table:
|Product Image||Product Name||Type||Qty.||More Information|
|Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil - 1 Quart (Pack of 6)||20W50||6 x 1 qt.||More Information|
|Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil||20W50||4 Liters||More Information|
|YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon||10W40||1 Gallon||More Information|
|Shell Rotella 550045347 Synthetic Motor Oil (5W-40 CJ-4), 128. Fluid_Ounces||5W40 CJ-4||128. Fl.Oz.||More Information|
|Castrol 55938 2240 7176 1L Power 1 Racing 2T||20W50||1 Liter||More Information|
The Oils for Harley Davidson Motorcycles Reviews & Buyer’s Guide:
1. Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil – 1 Quart (Pack of 6)
Mobile 1 V-Twin synthetic motorcycle oil is tailored to offer optimal performance to your Harley Davidson. This premium quality oil ensures reduced noise while still offering smooth transmission performance. It is ideal for hot engines thanks to its resistivity to thermal breakdown. Again, this oil is scientifically formulated to maximize horsepower and acceleration while keeping your engine clean.
- Fully synthetic oil
- V-Twin 20W-50 engine oil
- Used to lubricate, cool and clean engine
- exceeds the requirements of API
- SAE viscosity rating of 20 in cold temperatures and 50 at normal operating temperature.
- For wet-clutch engine/transmission systems
Mobil 1 V-Twin oil is suitable for four-cycle motorcycles that use the 20W-50 engine oil
2. Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil
If you are looking to improve the performance and longevity of your Harley Davidson, the Motul synthetic oil is the product to use. The oil is scientifically engineered to withstand extreme heat emanated by high-revving engines during the toughest riding conditions. Featuring Ester technology for improved engine response and proprietary extreme pressure formula for gearbox protection, this oil is ideal for your motorcycle. What more, it comes with anti-wear additives for improved shear resistance, thus increasing gear protection and consequently engine reliability.
- 100% Synthetic Ester material oil
- Resistant to high temperatures
- Low volatility
- Friction modifier for maximum output
- High shear stability
- Reduces wear and tear
- Low sulfur and phosphorus oil
- Meets API SL/SH/SG and JASO MA standards
This oil is ideal for 4-stroke motorcycles with catalytic converters.
3. YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon
This high-quality motorcycle oil features a blend of ingredients to enhances engine performance while still protecting it. The performance-blended mineral oil is versatile enough for application on ATVs, side by side, motorcycles, and scooters. Its formulation ensures reduced wear and tear, protection of the engine, and stable clutch performance. Additionally, it features ultra-clean additives that provide enhanced antifriction properties for engine longevity and performance.
- 4 stroke all-purpose mineral oil
- With antifriction properties
- Strengths and protects the engine
- Ensures proper wet-clutch performance
- Exceeds the JASO MA requirements
The Yamalube is mineral oil suitable for motorcycles, side-by-side, ATVs, and scooters
4. Shell Rotella 550045347 Synthetic Motor Oil (5W-40 CJ-4), 128. Fluid_Ounces
Shell ROTELLA® T6 5W-40 is a Synthetic Heavy-Duty Engine Oil with Triple Protection Plus™ technology. This is Shell’s way of stating that the synthetic formulation is designed to exceed API CK-4 performance standards.
As such, the Shell Rotella® T6 5W-40 provides Better Fuel Economy, and enhances the economy of fuel consumption by 1.5% when compared to 15W-40 oils.
There is also an Improvement in Wear Performance as well as an improvement in Deposit Control. The current Shell Rotella® T6 5W-40 formula combines several advanced multi-functional dispersant additives that combine with the synthetic oils to produce sever protective characteristics against contaminant accumulation.
This brand comes with an Improved Heat Resistance formulation and this helps with an Advanced low-ash characteristic that allows the oil to work in a wider range of temperatures while reducing pollution.
The final outstanding performance factor is the oils shear stability that Outstanding Shear Stability resists viscosity loss maintaining optimal pressure throughout the engines performance.
- Compatibility with exhaust emissions control systems
- Protection in extreme operating temperatures
- Improved Wear Performance, Deposit Control, Heat Resistance and Oxidation Performance
- Emissions System Compatibility
- Outstanding Shear Stability
- Fuel economy performance
It’s Shell, what more needs to be added. This is an exceptional dyno proven synthetic oil that outperforms many of its competitors, and this is based on Shells’ constant scientific research into improving engine performance oils.
5. Castrol 55938 2240 7176 1L Power 1 Racing 2T
The Castrol® POWER1® 4T 20W-50 synthetic is another classic brand name of oil. It’s a Castrol, so it’s a leader like Shell and delivers similar prophesies and characteristics of the performance.
The Castrol POWER1 V-Twin 4T comes with their proprietary TriZone Technology™. This technology is the culmination of matching a full synthetic 4-stroke motorcycle oil to a modern V-Twin engine, transmissions, and primary chaincases. To be even more specific, this is a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle bespoke oil.
When you get such a focused oil, you cannot get any better performance out of the engine upon application.
Therefore, the Castrol POWER1 V-Twin 4T 20W-50 will deliver excellent oil flow over a wide temperature ranges, and it is tested to deliver excellent protection against thermal breakdown, and viscosity issues while performing at higher temperatures.
- Bespoke Synthetic Oil for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
- Delivers proven wet clutch performance
- Exceeds engine manufacturer’s warranty requirements
It’s a toss-up between Shell and Castrol, I like them both, and use both of them. This particular brand is specifically formulated for Harley Davidson motorcycles, so I do use this one more than most others. I also recommend it for all V-Twin engine applications.
Many oils perform excellent with Harley Davidson motorcycles, including the Harley Davidson oils themselves. However, when it came ta o choice, I had to break down the cost versus efficacy of the oils and the above list is what I came up with.
Each oil was dyno tested and delivered specific results when compared with the price offered, proved to be the most cost-effective oils for all Harley Davidson applications. That is why there is mineral oil in the list since it has been proven to be the best for all the old Harley models that will work better with an old mineral base than the more modern and technologically advanced synthetics.