5 Best Engine Oils For Harley Davidson

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The constant lubrication of your engines, ensure your Harley Davidson stays roadworthy for the years to follow. Being the best pick for touring and cruising, Harley’s engines require transmission oil to make sure that the vital and essential components of the structure can retain their integrity.

With the Harley-Davidson being air-cooled, its temperature rises faster and it gets heated up quicker than a water-cooled motorcycle. To avoid heating the engine, employing the best transmission oil is in high demand as they ensure the engine delivers optimal performance at the best temperatures.

With a vast range of synthetic oils tailored specifically to meet your criteria at the best, choosing one amongst the many best is a sweat breaking work. However, to save you from the hassle and make a well-informed decision, we have brought out a review guide of the top 5 motorcycle oils best suited for your Harley, to meet you halfway through the decision making and to help you navigate through the endless options.

Not a big fan of reading? Here is a quick comparative yet conclusive table we drew out for you for an overview required to make a prime choice!

Best Choice
YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon
Premium Choice
Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil - 1 Quart (Pack of 6)
Best Value For Money
Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil
YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon
Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil
Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil
Best Choice
YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon
YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon
Premium Choice
Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil - 1 Quart (Pack of 6)
Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil
Best Value For Money
Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil
Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil

With every engine built based on a specific oil type, either mineral or semi-synthetic or fully synthetic oils. While the mineral oils being the least expensive, they are the refined crude oil for engine use best suited for the old classic engines. 

Whereas semi-synthetic oils are a blend of refined oil and synthetic chemicals. The semi-synthetic oils employ middle ground oils combined with the best of both compounds into one equation. At a price similar to mineral oils, the semi-synthetic oils deliver a prime unrivaled performance. 

However, the full synthetic oils are formulated from chemical compounds blended to create a specific performance grade. Thus, such synthetic oils can be formulated to meet rather specific criteria besides being targeted at a variety of applications.

1. Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil

Pros

  • Lubricates, cools, and cleans the engine
  • Exceeds API requirements 
  • For wet/clutch transmission and/or engines
  • High film strength at a wide range of temperatures 
  • The gear oil reduces thinning or viscosity loss at high temperatures.
  • Optimal film strength provides an enhanced protection level against loss of viscosity, shock loads, wear and tear.

Cons

  • Not easily available on local auto shops

With 1 Quart weighing 32 ounces and a 20w-50 viscosity ratio, the Mobil V-Twin Synthetic Oil is best suited for both four-cycle motorcycles that are either designed with a common transmission/engine system or ones designed with a separate engine and transmission system.

While the Mobil V-Twin Synthetic Oil is designed to provide frictional features necessary for the wet-clutch transmission/engine systems, it also beats the demands of API Service Categories SH, SG/CF, CD besides being tested in laboratory dynamometers as well as in the field, to offer optimum acceleration and horsepower while keeping the engine clean. 

The Mobil V-Twin Synthetic Oil surpasses conventional motor oils even in morbid situations by employing proven synthetic oil technology used in Mobil 1 automotive products besides being upgraded to meet the motorcycle engine’s unique requirements or transmission.

2. Motul 104092 Synthetic Engine Oil

Pros

  • Enhances engine reliability 
  • An ideal option for 4-stroke bikes with catalytic convertors
  • Contains low percentages of sulfur and phosphorus
  • Acts as a friction modifier 
  • Reliable and consistent performance between oil switching
  • Silent gear management with maximum horsepower delivery

Cons

  • It is not suitable for Suzuki Bandit engine models.
  • Gear shifting requires some effort

The Motul Synthetic oil is a 100% synthetic ester-based motorcycle lubricant with anti-wear additives for optimal performance, sport. Off-road and trial bikes consist of 4-stroke engines, non-integrated or integrated gearbox, and dry or wet clutch. 

The Motul Synthetic oil employs similar lubrication based on technical partnerships from both on and off-road racing teams. Consequently, providing optimal shear resistance that ensures increased gear protection besides engine reliability.

The Motul Synthetic oil further features a friction modifier to ensure maximum power output by decreasing operating temperature. It is compatible with modern emission regulation technology. It is engineered to withstand the exceedingly high levels of heat emanated from the engines, and pressure protects the gearbox in any situation.

3. YamaLube All Purpose 4 Four Stroke Oil 10w-40 1 Gallon

Pros

  • Four-stroke all-purpose oil
  • It is the mineral-based gear oil.
  • Delivers a stable proper wet-clutch performance
  • Includes ultra-clean additives 
  • Ensures smooth shifting under RPMs (Rotations per minute) and peak loads
  • Compatible with ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and scooters
  • Has extreme pressure chemistry to protect the gears from shock loading

Cons

  • It isn’t compatible with Suzuki DRZ400SM engines.
  • Doesn’t have a distinct color to allow leak detection ease
  • It isn’t easily available in the local auto shops

The YamaLube is a mineral oil compatible with all-terrain vehicles as well as off-road motorcycles and scooters. It beats the JASO MA criteria and provides a stable proper wet clutch performance besides protecting the engine from wear and tear of any sort.

Furthermore, it features ultra-clean additives in its formula that impart optimal anti-friction characteristics to the YamaLube to ensure engine reliability and longevity. 

4. Rotella Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic 5W-40 Diesel Engine Oil

Pros

  • Combines advanced dispersant additives
  • Improves fuel economy by 1.5% 
  • Offers shear stability and equipment protection
  • Ensures engine reliability and longevity
  • Reduces whining and knocking sound in the 5th gear

Cons

  • It might be overpriced for its worth
  • Gear shifting requires some effort.
  • Offers a not so quieter gear management 

Engineered to beat the API CK-4 criteria, the Shell Rotella T6 is synthetic heavy-duty engine oil that improves fuel economy by a staggering 1.5% compared to the SAE 15W-40 oils. 

The Shell Rotella T6 is an exceptional dynamometer qualified oil, engineered with additive technology to offer triple protection against the adverse effects of dirt, soot, and other contaminant accumulation that threatens to relegate your engine’s performance. It offers shear stability to protect against viscosity loss and maintain high-end engine oil pressure. 

Armored with fully synthetic oils in its formula, the Shell Rotella T6 further includes innovative additives that ensure engine longevity and optimal equipment protection. It is suitable for heavy-duty diesel pickups beside other diesel-powered vehicles ranging from tractors to modern cars that permit an SAE 5W-40.

5. Castrol 55938 2240 7176 1L Power 1 Racing 2T

Pros

  • Delivers good wet-clutch performance
  • Full synthetic oil suitable for both separate and mixed lubrication
  • Meets the API TC, JASO FD, and ISO EGD specifications
  • Beats the warranty claims
  • Is ideal for long-mile drivers as it operates even in heavy load and high temperatures
  • It is suitable for the 4,5, and 6-speed high-performance gearboxes.

Cons

  • It isn’t easily available at the local auto shops.
  • Is not budget-friendly
  • The gear shifting isn’t very quiet and smooth.

Offering performance that outmatches Shell, the Castrol POWER1 comes forth with rapid combustion and enhanced protection formula that brings out optimal engine performance without making it prone to wear and tear.

The Castrol POWER1 delivers exceptional oil flow targeting a wide variety of temperature ranges besides being fully tested in laboratory dynamometers and in the field to deliver proper wet-clutch performance. The Castrol POWER1 ensures a high-end performance with near to no viscosity issues at high temperatures and offers maximum protection from thermal breakdown.

Conclusion

Using the regular automobile oil to save money would not cut for you since the needs for motorcycles and automobiles are a complete 180 degree different. The automobile oil employs higher percentages of friction modifiers, which, although ensure high gas mileage, would cause a clutch slip, which in return would damage your Harley and relegate its overall performance. Therefore for classic road gliders like Harley-Davidson, a motorcycle-specific synthetic oil is a must-buy item. 

After doing thorough knee-deep research, we narrowed down our findings to the above mentioned 5 motorcycle oils that are budget-friendly and don’t cut back on efficient performance. So we suggest that once you find one who beats or meets your criteria, don’t check it off if it doesn’t come in your budget range. 

Spending a wad to cry out loud, in the end, wouldn’t be ideal. Therefore, instead of going for cheaper alternatives, we suggest that you save up and then make the purchase. We are sure you won’t be disappointed, you can take us up on our word!

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