Informational Guide

How Often Should You Change Your Motorcycle Oil

Basic motorcycle maintenance is imperative. Here we look at how often to change motorcycle oil, so you know when to service your bike.

Basic motorcycle maintenance is imperative if you want to keep your bike's engine running as it should. One critical part of these regular tasks is changing the oil.

We look at how often to change motorcycle oil, so you know when to service your bike.

Motorcycle oil is quite different from car engine oil but still has the same purposes. The bike engine oil lubricates the internal parts of the engine, plus it is responsible for keeping the system cool. While some engine oils can also clean the sludge and buildup in the engine, it must be a special formula.

Over time, the motorcycle oil starts to breakdown, causing these functions to fail. Plus, oil can become contaminated as it gets dirty, which puts more stress on your bike's engine.

How Often To Change Motorcycle Oil

How to Know If Your Motorcycle Oil Needs Changing

Black and gritty oil

As the oil starts to breakdown, it changes from its light brown color to a black and gritty substance instead. This happens as the oil gets contaminated and is used for too long.

Engine running louder than usual

The motorcycle oil is meant to lubricate the working parts of the engine. As the oil breaks down, it causes more wear on these components, which could lead to increased motor noise. However, the problem could also be just a lack of oil.

Warning light on dashboard

Modern bikes have warning systems to let you know when something is wrong. If the engine oil is wearing out or if the levels have gotten too low, you might see a light come on the dashboard. You should never ignore these valuable warning signs and should check your motorcycle oil level.

Oil Level is below the minimum mark

Your engine needs a specified amount of oil to run correctly. If the system gets low, it is sometimes better just to do a complete oil and motorcycle filter change instead of topping it off. You can check the engine oil with the dipstick or sight glass.

It's been a long time since the last oil change

Depending on what motor oil you run, you might need to change it as often as every 2,000 miles. Thankfully, it isn't difficult to learn how to change your motorcycle motor oil, especially if you have the right oil drain pan and oil filter wrench on hand.

How Often Should You Change Your Motorcycle Oil?

  • Mineral Engine Oil - At Least Every 2000 Miles 
    Do you know how often to change engine oil motorcycle if it's considered the conventional type? Most manufacturers recommend changing this type of oil at least every 2,000 miles. As a natural product, there's a lot more wear that occurs with the composition, and this type of oil simply can't last as long as others.If you are trying to figure out – what's the longest you can go without an oil change, this isn't the type of oil you want to use.
  • Semi-Synthetic - 5,000 To 6,000 Miles 
    Now, if you have semi-synthetic motorcycle oil, you should be able to go between 5,000 and 6,000 miles without an oil change. But, do you know how often to change oil filters on a motorcycle? It's recommended that you change the oil filter every time you do an oil change. After all, you don't want to contaminate the new oil with all the debris stuck in the filter.
  • Fully Synthetic - 7,000 To 10,000 Miles 
    Full synthetic oil is created in a lab, so it is fine-tuned to provide your engine with everything it needs. This oil can go far longer without breaking down, meaning you have fewer oil changes to perform. So, do you know how often to change synthetic oil in motorcycle? For the most part, you should be able to go at least 7,000 miles. But, how many months to change oil motorcycle? If you aren't riding your bike, you will want to change the motor oil more frequently than 7,000 miles.

What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Motorcycle Oil?

Now that you know how often to do an oil change on a motorcycle, it's important that you keep up with it. Otherwise, you could run into issues, such as:

  • The lubricant properties will break down and cause the engine to wear sooner.
  • Your bike engine could overheat as the cooling properties are reduced.
  • The engine will get louder as it continues to endure stress.
  • The life of the engine will decrease dramatically.
Motorcycle Oil

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How often do you need to change the oil of a Harley Davidson?

Determining how often to change motorcycle engine oil doesn't necessarily rely on the brand of bike but the type of motor oil you use. If you are using conventional oil, you should change it every 2,000 miles, but if you run synthetic, you could go up to 10,000 miles.

How often do you need to change the motorcycle's air filter?

The motorcycle air filter is responsible for trapping dirt and contaminants from getting to the engine. It should be replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

How often do you need to change the motorcycle's gear oil?

Most people don't need to know how often to change gear oil in a motorcycle because their bike doesn't use this oil, but rather the engine oil. However, if you need to change the gear oil, it's likely going to require replacement every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

What does a full motorcycle service include?

Your motorcycle service schedule dictates what needs to be done at each appointment. Sometimes it is just an oil change, when other times, the tires might need to be replaced, or the chain needs to be lubed.


Now that you know how many miles to change the oil on a motorcycle, it's time to take care of your bike. Feed your engine the best oil and change it often to enjoy rides well into the future.