Can You Mix Different Brands Of Oil In A Motorcycle?

I. Introduction

Oil plays a vital role in the working of the motorcycle engine and experienced riders and mechanics advise new riders to stick to the recommended motorcycle oil and oil change schedules. And doing this can enhance the health and lifespan of the motorcycle engine.

But, what if you are in an emergency where you have no alternative but to mix different brands of oil and use it on your motorcycle? Can you do it?

Well, you can do it and it will not harm your motorcycle engine immediately. However, this can be resorted to only in an emergency and you should replace the mixed oil with the recommended oil at the earliest opportunity.

The reason is quite simple. Each brand of oil has its formulations. One brand of motorcycle oil is equivalent to another brand of motorcycle oil in terms of viscosity, and you can use either of them for your motorcycle. However, when you mix them, the additives in one brand of oil may not be compatible with the additives of another brand of oil.

The result of this can be low performance, reduced oil life, etc. Hence, mixing different brands of oil in a motorcycle is not advised and if you have done it due to an emergency, the same should be replaced with the recommended oil at the earliest.

We will discuss this in detail during the article.

II. Can You Mix Different Brands of Oil in a Motorcycle?

You can mix different brands of oil in a motorcycle in exigencies, and it will not harm your motorcycle immediately. However, this should not be done routinely, and the mixed oil in the motorcycle should be replaced with the recommended oil at the earliest.

Even though the grade of the recommended motorcycle oil of different brands appears to be the same, but they are not. These brands of motorcycle oil have identical properties like viscosity, but each has its own formulation and blend of additives to achieve the expected results of the oil, and the details of the formulation are not declared explicitly by the manufacturer.

Since the additives of one brand of motorcycle oil may not be compatible with another brand of motorcycle oil, the result can be reduced performance of the oil and reduced life. Since we (motorcycle riders) do not have the expertise to understand these formulations and their effect on the performance of the motorcycle, it is best not to attempt mixing oils.

The cost of the oil is cheaper than the cost of major service to your motorcycle. So, why take an unnecessary risk?

The oil used in your motorcycle has to perform multiple functions viz. lubricating the motorcycle parts to minimize friction and reduce wear, keeping the parts of the engine cool and clean, protecting the internal parts from corrosion, etc.

The motorcycle oil can do all these things efficiently when you stick to the recommended grade and do not mix different brands of oil. The performance of a mix of different brands of oil will be inferior and this can affect the parts of the motorcycle in the long run.

The advice of experienced motorcycle riders is to use the recommended grade of motorcycle oil and not to change the brand of oil at every topping up and refilling, or at least during topping up. When you drain the old oil from your motorcycle engine (for refilling), only 90 to 95% of the oil gets drained and 5 to 10% of oil is retained inside.

So if you change the brand of the oil at every refilling, the oil will become a mix of two or more brands. Since the mixing level is limited to 5 to 10%, it may not affect the functioning of the motorcycle engine seriously, but, not changing the oil brand contribute to the best performance of the motorcycle.

III. Frequently asked questions

1 Can I mix mineral oil and synthetic oil for my motorcycle?
Synthetic oil contains distilled crude oil, chemical compounds, and additives, and all of these are suitable to take care of modern motorcycles that have high rpm engines and resulting high temperatures. On the other hand, mineral oils are simple petroleum oils that can deal with low rpm and low-powered motorcycle engines.

You can mix synthetic and mineral motorcycle oil in emergencies, and it will not damage the motorcycle engine immediately. However, the mixed oil will be of low performance and lose its life faster, and hence it should be replaced with the recommended motorcycle oil at the earliest opportunity.

2 Can I use a mix of car engine oil and motorcycle engine oil for my motorcycle?
The additives used in the car engine oil are different than the additives used in motorcycle engine oil and they are not compatible. Hence, a mix of car engine oil and motorcycle engine oil is not suitable for a motorcycle engine. If you have used it for your motorcycle, drain out the oil at the earliest opportunity and replace it with the recommended motorcycle oil.
3 I have used the car engine oil for my motorcycle, what to do?
The additives in the car engine oil aim to reduce the friction between the moving parts to a minimum level to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. On the other hand, motorcycle oil is designed with a friction coefficient that suits the wet clutches of high-performance motorcycles. Hence, it is not advisable to use car engine oil for the motorcycle. Also, some of the additives in car engine oil may be harmful to a motorcycle engine.

Hence, drain out the car engine oil immediately and replace it with the recommended motorcycle oil.

IV. Conclusion

The motorcycle oil plays an important role in the functioning of the motorcycle and contributes to the safe working and enhancement of the engine life. Hope the information in this article equips you to take better care of your motorcycle engine.

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