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Ducati Engine Oil Selector

ducati recommended motorcycle engine oil - Ducati Engine Oil Selector

While Ducati recommends Shell as it’s preferred oil, you don’t HAVE to use Shell to keep your Ducati running sweetly.

Shell’s Technical Partnership with Ducati Corse started in 1999 when they first worked together in World Superbike (the glorious Foggy era!).

Shell claims that what they learn from their extreme testing environment on the racetrack is used to provide bikers all over the world with high performing products such as Shell V-Power road fuel and Shell Advance oil.

No doubt Shell makes quality oil but it can be hard to find in your local motorcycle dealers and you don’t have to use it. Just like you don’t have to use V-Power petrol.

Our chart below lists the recommended engine oil for a huge range of Ducati motorbikes, going all the way back to the 80s. We’ve listed the oil type and linked to some recommended options.

While we have researched the right oil to the best of our ability, it goes without saying: always consult your owner’s manual where you will find the manufacturer’s recommended engine oil.

Table of Contents

Ducati Engine Oil Finder

MakeModelEngine oilOil Capacity
DUCATI250 DIANA MARK3  
DUCATI250 MARK 3  
DUCATI350 F3 DESMO  
DUCATI350 GTL  
DUCATI350 GTV  
DUCATI350 INDIANA  
DUCATI350 MARK 3  
DUCATI350 SD (SPORT DESMO)  
DUCATI350 XL PANTAH  
DUCATI400 SS JUNIOR10W402.5 L API SJ+
DUCATI450 MARK 3  
DUCATI500 GTL  
DUCATI500 GTV  
DUCATI500 SD (SPORT DESMO)  
DUCATI500 SL PANTAH  
DUCATI500 SL PANTAH  
DUCATI600 SL PANTAH  
DUCATI600 SS10W40 FS2.7 L API SG+
DUCATI600 TL PANTAH  
DUCATI650 INDIANA  
DUCATI650 SL PANTAH  
DUCATI748 BIPOSTO/SP10W40 FS3.2 L API SG+
DUCATI748 R10W40 FS3.5 L API SG+
DUCATI749 R10W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATI749/S10W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATI750 F1  
DUCATI750 GT20W504.5 L
DUCATI750 INDIANA  
DUCATI750 PASO 3.5 L
DUCATI750 S  
DUCATI750 SPORT10W403.4 L API SG+
DUCATI750 SS10W403.2 – 3.5 L
DUCATI750 SS IE NUDA10W40 FS3.0 L API SG+
DUCATI750 SUPER SPORT  
DUCATI750 SUPER SPORT  
DUCATI800 SS10W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATI84810W403.4 L API SM+
DUCATI848 EVO15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI848 EVO (DARK / STEALTH / CORSE)15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI848 EVO CORSE SPECIAL EDITION15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI851 STRADA10W403.3 L
DUCATI851 SUPERBIKE10W403.3 L
DUCATI860 GT20W505.0 L
DUCATI888 SP10W40 
DUCATI888 STRADA10W602.8 – 3.0 L
DUCATI900 S2  
DUCATI900 SD DARMAH  
DUCATI900 SS (DUO)  
DUCATI900 SS HAILWOOD REPLICA  
DUCATI900 SS I.E. CARENATA10W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATI900 SS/SUPERLIGHT10W403.5 L
DUCATI900 SSD DARMAH  
DUCATI900 SUPER SPORT10W403.5 L
DUCATI900 SUPER SPORT20W50 
DUCATI906 PASO  
DUCATI907 I.E10W403.25 – 3.5 L
DUCATI916 S10W403.4 L
DUCATI996 BIPOSTO10W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATI996 BIPOSTO10W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATI996 R10W40FS3.5 L
DUCATI99810W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATI99910W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATI99910W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATI1000 S2  
DUCATI1098 / S / BIPOSTO15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI1098 R15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI1198/S/R15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATI999 R10W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATI999 S10W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATI999 S BIPOSTO10W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATIDIAVEL15W50 FS3.7 L API SM+
DUCATIDIAVEL / CARBON (EURO 3)15W50 FSAPI SM
DUCATIDIAVEL 126015W50 MA24.2 L API SN
DUCATIDIAVEL 1260 S15W50 MA24.2 L API SN
DUCATIDIAVEL/CARBON/DIESEL (EURO 4)15W504.0 L API SM
DUCATIGT 100010W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 1100 / S15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 1100 EVO/SP15W50 FS3.5 L API SM+
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 79615W50 FS3.1 L API SM+
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 82115W50 FS3.1 L API SM
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 821 SP15W50 FS3.1 L API SM+
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 939/SP (EURO 4)15W50 FS3.0L API SM
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 95015W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 950 SP15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIHYPERSTRADA15W50 FS3.1 L API SM+
DUCATIHYPERSTRADA 93915W50 FS3.0L API SM
DUCATIMH 900 EVOLUZIONE10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIMILLE REPLICA / HAILWOOD REP10W40 
DUCATIMONSTER 1000/S I.E.10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIMONSTER 1100 EVO15W50 FS3.5 L API SM+
DUCATIMONSTER 1100/S15W50 FS3.2 L API SM+
DUCATIMONSTER 120015W50 FS3.4 L
DUCATIMONSTER 1200 (EURO 4)15W50 FS3.9 L API SM
DUCATIMONSTER 1200 R (EURO 4)15W50 FS3.7 L API SM
DUCATIMONSTER 1200 S15W50 FS3.4 L
DUCATIMONSTER 1200 S (EURO 4)15W50 FS3.9 L API SM
DUCATIMONSTER 60010W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATIMONSTER 600 /DARK/ CITY20W503.1 L MIN API SG
DUCATIMONSTER 620 I.E10W40 FS2.8 L
DUCATIMONSTER 69510W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATIMONSTER 69615W50 or 10W40 
DUCATIMONSTER 750 /DARK/METALLIC10W40 FS3.0 L
DUCATIMONSTER 79615W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATIMONSTER 797 / 797+ (EURO 4)15W50 FS3.4 L API SM
DUCATIMONSTER 800 I.E. DARK10W40 FS3.0 L
DUCATIMONSTER 82115W503.2 L API SN
DUCATIMONSTER 821 /STRIPE (EURO 4)15W50 API SM3.2 L
DUCATIMONSTER 821 /STRIPE /DARK15W50 API SM3.2 L
DUCATIMONSTER 90010W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATIMONSTER 900 IE10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIMONSTER S2R10W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATIMONSTER S2R 100010W40 FS3.0 L
DUCATIMONSTER S410W40 FS3.5 L
DUCATIMONSTER S4R10W40 FS3.1 L
DUCATIMONSTER S4R TESTASTRETTA10W40 FS3.1 L API SM+
DUCATIMONSTER S4RS10W40 FS3.1 L API SM+
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1000 DS10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1000 DS S10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1100 / S15W50 FS3.6 L API SM+
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1200 / S15W50 FS3.8 L MIN API SG
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1200 / S15W50 FS4.1 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1200 ENDURO (EURO 4)15W50 FS4.1 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1200 PIKES PEAK15W50 FS4.1 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1200/S15W50 FS3.8 L API SM+
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 126015W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1260 D-AIR15W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1260 ENDURO15W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1260 PIKES PEAK15W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1260 S15W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 1260 S GT (EURO 4)15W504.2 L API SN
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 62010W40 FS2.8 L
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 95015W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 950 (EURO 4)15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 950 S15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIMULTISTRADA 950 S SW15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATIPANIGALE 1100 V415W503.8 L API SN
DUCATIPANIGALE 1100 V4 S15W503.8 L API SN
DUCATIPANIGALE 119915W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATIPANIGALE 1199 R/SUPERLEGGERA15W50 FS2.4 L API SM+
DUCATIPANIGALE 1199 S/TRICOLORE15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATIPANIGALE 1299 (EURO 3)15W503.7 L
DUCATIPANIGALE 1299 S (EURO 3)15W-403.7 L
DUCATIPANIGALE 89915W503.6 L FS.
DUCATIPANIGALE 959 (EURO 4)15W50 FSAPI SM MA2
DUCATIPANIGALE 959 CORSE15W50 FS3.8 L API SN
DUCATIPANIGALE R (EURO 3)  
DUCATIPANIGALE V215W503.8 L
DUCATIPANIGALE V415W50API SN
DUCATIPANIGALE V4 S15W50API SN
DUCATIS 750 I.E. NUDA/CARENATA10W40 FS3.0 L
DUCATISCRAMBLER 110015W503.4 L API SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER 1100 SPECIAL15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER 1100 SPORT15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER CAFE RACER (EURO 4)15W50 FSAPI SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER CLASSIC/FULL THROTTLE15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER DESERT SLED (EURO 4)15W50 FSAPI SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER ICON/CLASSIC15W503.4 L API SM
DUCATISCRAMBLER SIXTY2  
DUCATISPORT 1000/S10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIST210W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATIST310W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIST3S ABS10W40 FS3.6 L
DUCATIST410W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATIST4S10W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATIST4S / ABS10W40 FS3.4 L
DUCATISTREETFIGHTER 110015W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATISTREETFIGHTER 1100 S15W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATISTREETFIGHTER 84815W50 FS3.4 L API SM+
DUCATISTREETFIGHTER V4  
DUCATISTREETFIGHTER V4 S  
DUCATISUPERSPORT15W50 FS3.35 L MIN API SM
DUCATISUPERSPORT S15W50 FS3.35 L MIN API SM
DUCATIXDIAVEL/S15W50 API SM4.2 L
DUCATIXDIAVEL/S (EURO 4)15W50 API SM4.2 L

What You Need To Know

If you better understand the differences between different engine oils, you’ll always pick the best one for your needs and budget.

What’s the difference between different engine oils?

Mineral oils are refined from petroleum, but even mineral oils contain some synthetic compounds or additives to improve them. Semi-synthetic oils are a blend of mineral and synthetic oils. They have definite improvements over pure mineral oils. Semi-synthetics can contain “hydrocracked” bases.

Hydrocracked oils are mineral oils that have been subjected to intense pressure and temperature to change the structure of the molecules, making the resultant oil more stable and resistant to evaporation at higher temperatures. Semi-synthetic oils don’t cost much more than mineral oils do, but offer advantages over the latter.

Full-synthetic oils, however, are far more expensive than mineral or semi-synthetic oils.  Full-synthetics are man-made oils that have been tailored to give them certain advantages like the fact that they perform better in extreme temperatures, are less likely to evaporate or thin excessively in heat, etc. Full-synthetics contain poly-alpha-olefins (PAO) and esters. PAOs don’t gel at low temperatures, making them necessary for any true 0W oil.

Esters are similar to PAOs but also help protect metal surfaces and offer good lubrication. Full-synthetic oils are expensive and, unless you are racing, not necessarily recommended for motorcycles. For the everyday rider, a semi-synthetic shear-stable 10W-40 oil with some ester content would be a great choice.

What’s the best type of oil to use for road riding?

Your ideal choice of oil would be an ester semi-synthetic 10W-40 or a 10W-30 that is also shear-stable. The fact that the oil is shear-stable is more important than the fact that it is semi-synthetic.

You are still better off choosing shear-stable mineral-based oil than a low-quality semi-synthetic one that isn’t shear-stable. Only for frequent long-distance riders would the cost of a full-synthetic oil be worth it, as it can help save on oil changes and fuel costs. 

Does a high-performance oil produce more power?

There will always be loss of engine output due to things like thermodynamics, which can’t be changed that much. However, some of that loss, about 6%, is due to oil drag. By using quality but low viscosity oil, this loss can be minimised and engine power increased. For a typical 100bhp motorcycle, a lighter engine oil might show a 2bhp peak improvement.

Choosing the right oil filter

If you’re changing your engine oil, it makes sense to change the oil filter too. An oil filter removes tiny particles from the oil, helping to keep the oil fresher and work to its best ability for longer. A new filter costs a few quid and it only takes a couple of minutes to change. 

We’ve put together this Ducati oil filter chart to help you pick the best oil filter for your motorcycle.

How To Change Your Motorcycle’s Oil

how to change motorcycle engine oil - Ducati Engine Oil Selector

If you’ve never changed your motorcycle’s oil before, you might be apprehensive but you needn’t be. With the right tools, anyone can change their engine oil in under an hour. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you through your first motorcycle oil change.

What does Engine Oil Do?

A good engine oil lubricates, protects, cleans, and cools the engine to keep it running smoothly.

Engine oil provides lubrication between the individual engine components, reducing friction. It does so by providing a slippery film between the moving parts in the running engine. This ensures that the engine can run efficiently, at optimal performance and with increased power. Lubrication is also vitally important at start-up. Here, the cold oil in the oil sump needs to be quickly pumped back into the engine so that it can provide lubrication. This allows for an ideal cranking speed to turn over the engine. In order to ensure that that oil can flow quickly at start-up, but also provide enough of a film to protect the engine when running, an engine needs an oil with different viscosity ranges.

Engine oil creates a film on moving parts in the engine, which acts as a protective layer. By preventing and minimising metal-to-metal contact, wear of these components is reduced. Engine oil has another way it protects the engine. Combustion by-products, oxidation and contamination from condensation all form acids. If left unchecked, these acids can cause corrosion in the engine, which can lead to components failing. Engine oil ensures that this does not happen and so protects the engine.

For an engine to run optimally, it needs to be clean. Deposits in the engine can gum it up and reduce its performance. Further, unnecessary wear and damage in an engine can be caused by microscopic contaminants.  For perspective, a single hair is 100 microns thick. Contaminants as small as 5 to 20 microns could easily cause damage to an engine. Engine oil keeps the engine clean by holding these contaminants in suspension until they can be removed via the oil filter. Engine oil also prevents damaging deposits from forming.

Finally, engine oil also helps to keep the engine cool. Heat is caused by the friction between the moving parts as well as by combustion. The radiator is responsible for cooling the top part of the engine. Cooling the rest of the engine, like the pistons, rod bearings, timing gears, crankshaft, camshaft etc., is up to engine oil. As oil passes over these heated surfaces, it absorbs the heat. This hot oil then travels to the oil sump, where it is cooled by the air surrounding it.

 

What is Multigrade Oil?

different motorcycle engine oils guide 488x305 - Ducati Engine Oil Selector

Oil is thick and viscous when it is cold and then thins as it warms up.  Cold thick oil struggles to circulate as the engine is started, but using a thinner oil here would mean that, once heated, the oil would be too thin to adequately protect the engine.

The answer is using a multigrade oil. This oil, due to the addition of polymer, has two different viscosity grades.  By adding a polymer to a thin oil base, it is possible to have an oil that performs well in both hot and cold conditions. The polymer ensures that as the oil is heated, the rate of thinning is slowed down. It also ensures that, as the oil cools, the rate of thickening is slowed too.

Multigrade oil is identifiable by its two numbers, say 10W-40. The first number 10W (W stands for Winter) refers to the viscosity of the oil at a low temperature. A lower number would mean a thinner oil, so a 5W would be thinner than a 10W. A 0W oil would be the thinnest at cold temperature.

The second number, 40, refers to the viscosity of the oil at a high temperature, which will always be measured at 100 °C. Again, a lower number means a thinner oil, so, at 100 °C, a 30 oil would be thinner than the 40 oil. It is, of course, important to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer in choosing the correct multigrade oil for your motorcycle.

Synthetic Engine Oils Common Questions

We’ve answered some of the most common questions when it comes to synthetic motorcycle engine oil.

Will my engine consume more synthetic oil?

Not likely.  In modern engines, most oil consumption happens due to evaporation at high temperatures. Synthetic oils, however, tend to be far more resistant to evaporation, especially if they contain ester and PAO, so oil consumption should be lower with a synthetic. Irrelevant of oil type, oil consumption will go up in engines with defective seals, and worn valve guides and piston rings. Here, one might as well use a cheaper oil instead of a synthetic one.

Is synthetic oil compatible with other engine oil?

Synthetic oil is fully compatible with any other engine oil. Provided the oil is for a 4- stroke engine, one can safely mix any type of oil irrelevant of what its base is or what it contains, be it mineral, semi-synthetic, hydrocracked synthetic, PAO, ester, etc. The exception here would be Castor-oil-based racing oils.

Will a synthetic oil void my warranty?

As long as you follow the instructions in your handbook in regards to the viscosity ranges and API of an oil, you can use whichever oil you choose, including synthetics, without affecting your warranty. The choice of brand is also up to you as OEMs, by law, cannot prescribe this.

Are synthetic oils worth the extra cost?

This depends. For a great bike in a great condition, the right synthetic oil will help keep maintenance costs down, lower fuel costs, and keep it running like new.  For an oil-guzzling older model, synthetic oils may just not be worth the price.

Motorcycle Engine Oil FAQ

Can I use car engine oil in my motorcycle?
This can be risky. Even though you can and will find car oil with the same viscosity ratings (i.e. 10w40) as for motorcycle engines, the additives in the oil will be different. Most cars use a separate gearbox oil and most cars have a dry clutch. So a car oil could make your clutch slip or knacker your gearbox. If you're buying a bike that's been run on car oil, beware!

Does engine oil have an expiry date?
Engine oils have an expiry date which means the performance levels can no longer be guaranteed. However if your oil hasn't been opened, it'll take years and years for it to degrade. If your oil has been opened and is a couple of years out of date, it'll most likely be absolutely fine. However, if you've already opened it and it's 5 years out of date you'll be better off buying fresh oil as the additives in the oil may have oxidised and lost their qualities.

What are the most critical areas where the oil flows?
For a motorcycle engine, the critical engine areas are the piston assembly, bearings and valve train. The engine oill also lubricates the clutch (but not if your motorcycle has a dry clutch) and your motorcycle's gearbox.

What does my oil filter do and do I need to replace it?
The oil filter traps foreign particles and debris that are introduced into the oil by normal riding. These particles can be anything from carbon deposits to small metal particles from your motorcycle's engine. These particles can lead to engine damage, while a blocked filter may lead to oil starvation and ultimately engine failure. An oil filter costs just a few pounds, so it makes sense to change this every time you do an oil change.

What is the difference between a mineral, semi-synthetic, and full-synthetic engine oil?
Mineral oils are refined from petroleum, but even mineral oils contain some synthetic compounds or additives to improve them. Semi-synthetic oils are a blend of mineral and synthetic oils. They have definite improvements over pure mineral oils. Semi-synthetics can contain “hydrocracked” bases. Hydrocracked oils are mineral oils that have been subjected to intense pressure and temperature to change the structure of the molecules, making the resultant oil more stable and resistant to evaporation at higher temperatures. Semi-synthetic oils don’t cost much more than mineral oils do, but offer advantages over the latter.

Why does a 2-stroke oil have to be mixed with fuel?
A 2-stroke engine is built and runs differently to a 4-stroke one. A 4-stroke engine keeps most of its oil in its crankcase and oil sump and recirculates this oil to lubricate the engine. With a 2-stroke engine, the process is somewhat different. Here, there is no oil sump as the crankcase deals with the compression and induction of the fuel/air mix. The only way, therefore, to provide oil to the engine for lubrication is by adding it to the fuel. As this oil is burnt with the fuel, it can’t be recirculated. A specific 2-stroke oil is needed as 4-stroke oil would leave damaging deposits behind when it burns.

Is any engine oil better than no engine oil?
Yes, but when it comes to motorcycles, the 'right' engine oil is better than 'any' engine oil!

Why do some engines burn oil?
Unfortunately, some types of engines just use more oil than others due to their design. Here, the burnt oil can leave damaging deposits behind, meaning these engines often need more top overhauls. However, if a touring engine uses more oil than is necessary, changing to a lighter grade of oil often solves the problem.

Can I top up my engine with a different type of oil?
As long as you don’t mix a 2-stroke oil with a 4-stroke oil, you can safely top your engine up with a different type of oil. You probably wouldn’t want to mix different grades, say, a 5W-30 synthetic with a 20W-50 mineral oil, but if you do, it likely wouldn’t do any harm.

Do I need to warm up my engine before riding?
The oil needs to be warm, but, even better, hot, especially when riding at speed. When cold oil is pumped into an engine, cavitation (bubbles of vacuum within the oil) is likely to occur. This, in essence, means that the engine does not receive enough oil for it to run optimally at speed. Warmer, and so thinner, oil ensures that the engine not only receives enough oil, but that all moving parts within it can work optimally. Ideally, use a 5W-40 or 10W-40 oil and ensure the engine warms up properly for a few km before speeding up.

Do I need to regularly change my oil?
If you tend to drive short distances with a low annual mileage, regular oil changes are vital, irrelevant of whether the minimum mileage for an oil change was reached or not. Water vapour and fuel tend to make their way into the oil, and, unless you drive long distances, they never have the chance to evaporate. This can cause damages like corrosion, gear tooth pitting, and ring and bore wear. Long-distance riders with a high annual mileage who use a high-quality oil can afford to be a little more relaxed on the oil changes.

What's the best type of oil to use in a road bike?
Your ideal choice of oil would be an ester semi-synthetic 10W-40 or a 10W-30 that is also shear-stable. The fact that the oil is shear-stable is more important than the fact that it is semi-synthetic. You are still better off choosing shear-stable mineral-based oil than a low-quality semi-synthetic one that isn’t shear-stable. Only for frequent long-distance riders would the cost of a full-synthetic oil be worth it, as it can help save on oil changes and fuel costs.

How does oil 'cling' onto the engine's internals?
Where there is high-speed rotation in the engine, e.g. with a plain bearing, the high speed draws a thick layer of oil between the two surfaces, like a wedge. Here, this oil supports and carries the load of these surfaces. As soon as the spinning stops, however, either due to the slowing down or stopping of the engine, this wedged oil gives way. Where no rotation occurs in an engine, oil cannot form this thick wedged layer to protect metal surfaces. Here, oil provides a thin protective film and often relies on anti-wear agents, detergents, and anti-oxidant chemicals to help protect from metal-to-metal contact.

Engine Oil Glossary

When it comes to motorcycle engine oil, there are a lot of terms that get thrown around. We’ve created this quick glossary to help you understand what everything means.

Anti-Wear Agent
In boundary lubrication conditions, this additive reduces the amount of wear caused by metal-to-metal contact by chemically reacting with the metal surfaces and forming a film between them.

Corrosion Inhibitor
This engine oil additive helps to protect metal surfaces by inhibiting corrosion caused by contaminants. It usually does so through a chemical reaction that forms a protective film over the metal surfaces.

Detergent
This engine oil additive chemically reacts with acidic, sludge-forming contaminants in the oil to neutralise them. It then holds these, now harmless, impurities in suspension.

Hydrocracking
Using hydrogen, the hydrocarbons in mineral oil are put under high temperature and pressure to crack their molecules. The result is a synthetic-like base stock of high quality. When blended with further additives, hydrocracked oil is not only extremely stable but also comparable in performance to synthetic oils.

Oxidation inhibitor
This additive prolongs the storage life of engine oil. It does so by helping to counteract the negative effects of oxidation.

Synthetic lubricant
The base oils for synthetic lubricants are artificially made from chemical compounds or polymerisation of hydrocarbons, instead of by refining petroleum. Synthetic oils offer several advantages over mineral oils.

Viscosity
Viscosity refers to a fluid’s resistance to flow. Temperature directly impacts the viscosity of the oil. Cold oil is thicker and hot oil is thinner.  An engine oil, however, needs to be able to adequately protect and lubricate an engine both at start-up, when it is cold and while running, when it is hot. The solution here is an oil with two different viscosity grades, i.e. a multigrade oil.

Questions? Tips, Errors?

We work hard to keep our motorcycle oil chooser up to date but if you spot any errors or you can help us fill out any missing info, we’d love to hear from you. Likewise, if you have a question, just enter it in the comments box below and we’ll get back to you straight away. Thank you!

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