What is the function of motorcycle engine oil?

Yamaha motorcycle engine oil

Oil is the blood for the motorcycles engines and serves many purposes. So in this post, we will take a deep look at the use of motorcycle engine oil. And explore the vast area of engine oil functions.

What is the function of motorcycle engine oil? The main function of engine oil is to lubricate the components of the motorcycle engine like gearbox, clutch, camshafts, pistons. It helps to maintain the temperature and keep away heat from the engine. Engine oil also minimizes the friction among the working parts of the engine.

Here are the five main functions of the oil for motorcycle engines:-


The engine’s main function is to make the motorcycle run by changing the fuel energy into mechanical energy. In doing so, it comes in contact with many other parts which creates friction among them. That’s where the work of engine oil comes in lubrication. Lubrication provides a fluid barrier among moving parts to prevent friction and wear.

The engine oil minimized the wear of the engine components because of the constant flow of oil to the other smaller parts.

The lubrication helps to reduce the friction between metal to metal sliding contact in the engine and making the ride smooth because of lubrication.

Apart from this, if all the motorcycle engine parts are lubricated it results in lesser friction among components. So, this will help the engine to reduce the operation noise.

I have included a Youtube video that shows the oil flow and lubrication in modern motorcycle engines.


You may have seen engine oil dirty if you have replaced the oil by yourself. This is because engine oil cleans the components. It cleans the engine components from carbon formation. The engine oil is made out of two basic ingredients: base oil and additives. The base oil helps in the lubrication of the engine components while the additives help in cleaning the engine parts. 

The oil routinely picks up dirt and debris while circulating between the engine components like clutch, gears, piston. And it gets deposited in the oil filter.

The proper cleaning of the engine can aid in the operation and helps to prolong the life of the engine’s critical or important components.


The motorcycle requires an oil that can absorb and carry away the heat generated by the engine.

So, with lubrication, the oil goes in every engine component which helps to keep away the heat. And finally, the oil gets returned to the oil pan once to maintain its own temperature.

The temperature of the oil should not reach the flashpoint because it can result in fire (if there is some faulty condition in the engine).

Cooling the engine is the key function to prevent the motorcycle engine from overheating. Excessive heating in motorcycle engines could become problematic for multiple components. The oil helps the engine to not exceed its temperature than the 


Engine oil creates a seal between piston rings and cylinder walls to help reduce wear, provide better compression, and keep contaminants out while providing better fuel efficiency.

Protection from Rust

The engine oil helps in preventing the motorcycle engine parts from getting rust or corrosion. The constant flow of oil between the critical engine parts helps to prevent rust in any given temperature or weather.

Better fuel efficiency

The oil helps to lubricate all working metal parts in the engine which results in less friction. Therefore, if the motorcycle is running smoothly with reduced friction then you get better fuel efficiency.

The fuel efficiency of the motorcycle depends on the engine if it is working smoothly and the oil is lubricating properly the whole engine. Then, the lesser fuel energy gets wasted generating more power to move the motorcycle. And you will not only get better fuel efficiency but also less smoke produced.

Prolong the Engine life 

As we know that the engine components are made of metals that come in contact with each other while riding a motorcycle. So, if there is old oil in the engine then the metal parts can result in wear, tear by coming in regular contact.

The engine oil forms the slick film between the engine components which results in less friction and saving them from wear, tear.

Apart from this the engine oil also takes away the engine heat by flowing through the components. Thus, if you maintain the engine oil and change it at regular intervals as prescribed by the manufacturer then the life of the motorcycle engine will be prolonged.


One thing you should keep in mind is if you see an oil dirty then it’s fine. Because it shows that the oil was doing its job properly. It has treated your engine effectively. So, there is no need to worry but you should change the oil.

In this post, I have covered most of the required tips for this article. If you think, there is something left to discuss. You can tell us through a comment or contact us page.


Does changing engine oil improve performance?

Changing engine oil in motorcycles definitely improves performance. The old oil loses its effectiveness and properties as time goes because of the constant work in the engine. That’s why changing the engine oil at the right interval helps in improving motorcycle performance.

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