Changing motorbike oil

Tips for knowing when it’s time to change motorbike engine oil

Signs that engine oil needs to be replaced immediately

As the main source of lubrication in a motorbike engine, oil is often prone to heat and scaling that, over time, affects its durability and performance. Hence, regular oil change needs to be carried out at the right time to ensure proper functioning of your motorbike engine. When it comes to oil change, some questions that may arise in the minds of motorcycle owners could include those such as “After how many kilometres should oil change be done?” and “What is the main factor? Number of kilometres or length of time?”. This article aims to set your mind at ease about replacing your motorcycle engine oil by helping you identify what you need to know.

The oil is thin and dark or black in colour

Oil, when new, is typically blue or brown in colour and of a thick consistency. However, repeated exposure to engine combustion causes it to turn black. If your engine oil is of this colour, it is recommended that you replace it as soon as possible as it will lead to rapid engine wear.

Oil is thin and dark

Decrease in volume of engine oil

A 150cc motorcycle engine usually contains less than a litre of engine oil. However, the volume of oil tends to decrease due to prolonged and intense engine use. Should you observe a fall in oil level, check for oil leaks and replace the oil immediately.

Decrease in volume of engine oil

High engine temperature

Deteriorating oil condition also leads to reduced thermal conductivity causing uneven distribution of heat within the engine. If you feel hot air on your feet while riding, it is a sure sign that your oil needs to be changed.

High engine temperature

Harsh engine sound

A well-oiled engine sounds pleasing to the ear. On the other hand, poor oil quality results in inadequate gear lubrication, which affects the transmission. This causes you to hear a harsh sound when you change gears or rev the engine – a telling indicator of the need for oil change.

Harsh engine sound

A rule of thumb for replacing engine oil

As a general rule, engine oil must be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 kilometres. At this stage, engine performance will still appear to be normal but not replacing the oil, could result in engine problems later. Daily kilometre readings can be used to determine the right time for changing the oil. For distances of 20 to 50 kilometres a day, oil change should be done every one and a half months while the frequency of change should be monthly if the daily distance is above 50 kilometres. However, service life of the motorcycle engine is also used as a gauge for oil change. This is particularly true in high-traffic areas where the bike may not be moving yet there is continuous running of the engine and lubricant circulation.

Rule of thumb

These are just some tips on knowing when it’s the right time to change engine oil. To learn where you can get the best Mobil™ products for your bike engine, click the button below.