Best Oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycles 2023 – Reviews With Buyers Guide

The oil in your engine is a vital factor that keeps the parts of your engine lubricated and working smoothly together.

 We asked our panel of expert mechanics, bike renovation enthusiasts, and Harley owners for topics they thought we should cover.

Best Oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycles

The best oil for Harley Davidson was one topic that everyone thought we should cover. The mechanics and engine experts told us that the oil used in these bikes could increase the life of the engine, increase engine performance, and increase the horsepower and speed of the bike.

The following products were the ones the experts recommended the most.

Best Oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycles

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

This is a 6 pack of 20w-50 synthetic oil designed for use in 4 cycle motorcycle engines. It is a versatile product that can also be used in the primary chain-case on the bike and in the transmission.

Recommended Uses: This 20W-50 motor oil is recommended for four cycle motorcycle engines that are specifically designed for using 20W-50 oils. It has a viscosity of 20 in winter climates and 50 at normal running temperatures.

Benefits: This oil will allow your engine to run at a cooler temperature and that will increase the life expectancy of your engine. 

  1. It reduces engine noises and causes the engine to run smoother. 
  2. It does not discolor as quickly as conventional oil.
  3. You can drive further before you need to change your oil again.
  4. Can be used in the transmission of bikes that have an shared or common engine and transmission lubrication system.

2. Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50 Synthetic Oil 

If you are looking for increased acceleration and shear stability that reduces breakdown then this is the perfect oil for your needs.

Recommended Uses: This oil is recommended for use in four cycle motorcycle engines that the manufacturer recommends the use of 20W-50 oil. This oil can be used in any climate and in any season.

Benefits: This oil does not need to be changes as often because it is fully synthetic.

  1. It is great for use when the engine will be running at high temperatures because it does not break down as quickly. It maintains its thickness and ability to properly lubricate.
  2. It can be used in the engine, or the clutch, or the gearbox.
  3. It exceeds the requirements established by API Sl and by JASO MA-2.
  4. This oil quietens engine noises while it reduces the engine running temperature.

3. RedLine 90226 Bundle 

This is not just engine oil. This is a complete kit designed to be used on any motorcycle that HAS Evolution with twin-cam engines.

Benefits: This is a complete kit designed to help you maintain and upkeep your bike. It allows you to change the oil and fluids so your bike engine is lubricated and able to function at cooler temperatures with less resistance.

What is Included in the Kit?

You will get one quart of chain case oil, one bottle of fuel injection cleaner designed specifically for use in motorcycles, an embroidered cap, a funnel to help you install the oil, five quarts of 20W-50 Redline motor oil, a quart of V-Twin transmission oil that does contain shockproof, and a sticker set.

You will increase the performance and the life expectancy of your bike by regularly using a kit like this one to make the necessary oil changes.

4. Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil 

This is a 5W-40 heavy duty diesel engine oil that can be used in motorcycle engines because they do not contain friction modifiers like you find in oils designed for light trucks and passenger cars.

Recommendations: This oil should only be used in engines that the manufacture has stated are best served by 5W-40 oils. This oil is not designed for most passenger cars or 2 cycle engines.

Benefits: This oil will enhance your fuel economy so you will get more miles out of each gallon. The enhancement usually equals at least 1.5%.

The oil is capable of helping protect your engine from things like soot, dirt, road dust, or any other contaminant.

This oil is capable of improving your engines ability to resist damages from high heat. The oil does not break down as easily and maintains its superior thickness and qualities.

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

This is racing oil. Racing oils are designed to provide the best performance to vehicles that are driven long distances, at fast rates of speed, and expected to have the highest horsepower and performance possible.

Benefits: This oil will help to increase the horsepower your engine has because it will maintain the ultimate amount of lubrication so that every component of the engine can move smoothly and do their job.

Increases engine performance and responsiveness. Use of this product insures less engine noise because it allows each component of the engine to operate smoothly so there is less resistance, less vibration, and less smoke.

2 Stroke Engine: This oil is designed for use in 2 stroke engines. Not recommended for use in 4 cycle engines.

Other Considerations: This is racing oil which is designed to be used under extreme conditions for the engine. For this reason racing oil needs to be changed more frequently than conventional oils or synthetic oils.

Buying Guide Of Oil For Harley Davidson

There are a lot of factors to consider when you are buying oil. Consider the following things about the oil you are buying and then you can read the labels on your oil choices and determine which one will provide you with the best service.


The weight of the oil is determined by the viscosity of the oil at specific temperatures and under specific conditions. For instance: 30 weight oil has a viscosity of 9.3 to 12.4 at a temperature of 2120F. 40 weight oil has a viscosity of 12.5 to 16.2 at the same temperature. 50 weight oil has a viscosity of 16.3 to 21.8 at the same temperature.

The weight of the oil indicates the thickness of the oil. Viscosity or thickness of oil is affected by the heat. When you first crank your engine the oil is thicker than it will be after your engine heats up after use.

Manufacturers will always recommend that you use a particular weight of oil in your engine. Follow those recommendations.

Synthetic or Not

Synthetic oils cost more than conventional oils. Synthetic oil resists viscosity breakdown so it lasts longer and does not need to be changed as often. Synthetic oil can withstand higher temperatures and it flows better in cold temperatures than conventional oil.

Choose synthetic oils:

  • If you make short trips only in your vehicle. Short trips do not allow your oil to heat enough to burn the moisture and impurities that can accumulate in it.
  • Synthetic oils do not accumulate moisture and impurities like this.
  • If you live in an area that has really high summer temperatures.
  • If you live in an area that has really cold winter temperatures.
  • If your engine is older and is prone to having sludge build up in it.
  • If your manufacturer recommends it.

Racing Oil or Street Oil

Racing oils are specifically designed and formulated to protect a racing engine under the stresses those engines are placed.

The racing oils are not always the best oil option for a vehicle engine that is not put under the extreme stress of racing. Your street oil has different additives that are formulated to extend oil life, and maximize fuel economy. Racing oils may not be the best choice in the long run because they lack these additives.

2 Stroke Oils 

These oils are designed to be used in 2 stroke engines only. They are often called 2 cycle oils. This type of oil is mixed with the gasoline so that it is distributed throughout the engine.

Final Note

If you want an engine oil designed for a four stroke motorcycle engine that will be usable in the engine, the clutch and the gearbox we recommend Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50 Synthetic Oil. This oil provides maximum acceleration with phenomenal stability so you get less viscosity breakdown.

Alston Seymour

A Harley-Davidson Motor Company certified Master Technician and avid biker, I love to write about everything and anything related to biking.

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