What are Motor Oils made of?

Motor oil has two primary ingredients - base oil and additives. The base oil allows the motor oil to perform its vital function – lubricating the engine's moving parts to protect them against wear and tear caused by friction. The additives provide additional engine protection by helping to prevent the motor oil from deteriorating under the engine's extreme temperature conditions.

Motor oil needs to perform a variety of functions under a wide range of engine operating conditions. Therefore, several additives are incorporated into the formulation:

Additive Function
Detergent/dispersant additives Keeps the engine clean by minimizing sludge build-up
Rust and corrosion inhibitors & alkaline additives Protect the engine from water and acids formed as combustion by-products
Anti-oxidants Inhibit the oxidation process, which can result in motor oil thickening and sludge formation
Anti-wear additives Reduce metal to metal contact
Viscosity index improver Improve the flow of characteristics of motor oil and make it work effectively over a wide range of temperatures

What are the factors that affect motor oil?

The motor oil in bike can be affected by several factors: oxidation, burn-off, deposit build-up, and water-infiltration. Oxidation can occur at all temperatures, as oxygen works to break down the chemicals that comprise most motor oils. Oxidation is promoted even further as temperatures rise, evaporating the smaller molecules and leaving behind the heavier particles. These particles leave behind heavy deposits on the engine components and mix with the remaining motor oil, creating engine sludge, which causes the oil to lose its ability to flow and cool the motor.

What are the conditions that require frequent motor oil Changes?

Riding conditions that require frequent motor oil changes:

  • Longer rides at high revs.
  • Dusty or humid conditions.
  • Stop-start riding, especially in high traffic density areas; in fact, this puts a lot more strain on the motor oil than motorway journeys.
  • Using poor quality fuel; this can lead to motor oil contamination and sludge.

What is the lubrication system in a two-wheeler?

If a two-wheeler has a two-stroke engine, it may either have a pre-mix system or a separate motor oil injection system. In the former, it is required to mix lubricating motor oil while filling petrol in a particular proportion. Whereas in case of a separate motor oil injection system, we have to simply fill the lube tank and there is an inbuilt unit in the vehicle which controls the flow of motor oil in petrol.

How are motor oils for 2-wheelers different from 4-wheelers?

Generally, for a 2-wheeler, a single lubricant is used for clutch transmission, engine & other components in the crankcase.  In the case of 4-wheelers, however, different motor oils are used for these applications. The different vehicles types, therefore, require different motor oils.

In the case of 2-wheelers with a 2-stroke engine, the lubricant is mixed with petrol and hence the lubricant needs to be soluble. Truck and car motor oils do not contain a solvent.

Motorcycle engines run hotter and faster and have reduced oil sump capacities to handle engine lubricity and cooling.  These factors favor the use of specifically tailored oils.

Friction modifiers are used in Passenger Car Motor Oils to enhance automotive fuel economy and can lead to clutch slippage in those motorcycles that use the same oil for engine and transmission lubrication while lower viscosity grades can lead to increased gear pitting.

What is the oil dosage for 2-wheelers?

In case of a separate oil tank in a 2-wheeler, one has to just fill the tank. In case of a pre-mix system, the dosage varies from 20 ml to 30 ml. It is advised, in all cases, to follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual.

Which Motor oil is recommended for my Motorcycle?

It is advised that you refer to the bike owner’s manual issued by the vehicle manufacturer. You may also refer to our Oil Recommendation Tool (link) for this information.

Do I need a special motor oil for my 4-stroke 2-wheeler?

Yes, specially formulated 4T oil.

What is JASO FC oil?

JASO stands for Japanese Automobile Standard Organization and JASO FC is a specification issued by them for two-stroke two-wheeler oils.

How is low smoke motor oil effective in controlling pollution?

Low smoke motor oil is clean burning oil, usually made from semi-synthetic components which help in controlling pollution.