With so many options, it can be quite daunting to try and find the right motorcycle oil for your Harley Davidson.
To save you the hassle, we tested over 20 oils and filtered out the Top 3. We considered a number of different factors, including performance of the individual oils, manufacturer instructions, and real world testing to make our selections.
Having ridden and worked on Harleys for more than a decade, we know our way around the bike and which oils to use for it.
Motul’s ‘7100 Synthetic’ is a fully synthetic oil, and our pick for the #1 best engine oil for your Harley Davidson.
Other options also work well for different cases so read on to find out more.
|Motul 7100 Synthetic Engine Oil||Check Price|
|Mobil 1 V-Twin Engine Oil||Check Price|
|Motorex Power Synt 4T Motorcycle Engine Oil||Check Price|
Motul formulated the 7100 Synthetic to be used specifically for 4 stroke bikes with catalytic converters, like the Harley Davidson. This fully synthetic oil did well in our testing, offering less consumption, reducing wear of engine internals, and making our test bike ride more smoothly.
The 7100 focuses on improving performance as well as increasing the life of your engine. Formulated to withstand extremely high temperatures during longer rides, it is perfect for your Harley, especially if the bike gets used for touring often. In such cases, the engine internals are under a lot of load and require an oil that can keep up with your riding.
Motul’s oils feature Ester technology that is proven to make the engine perform better. Our test bike’s throttle response was noticeably better with this oil. Motul’s in house high pressure formula is made with your engine’s gearbox in mind. Not only does this oil protect the gearbox components, it actually maked shifting up and down on our bike smoother than before.
Being a fully synthetic oil, the 7100 works better with additives that target specific problems. Here, you get high quality anti-wear additives that prevent excessive shearing of internals, safeguarding engine performance and longevity.
Furthermore, this oil meets all API SL/SH/SG and JASO MA standards, ensuring the rider that the oil they are using has undergone proper research and certification to be used in their particular bike
- Fully synthetic engine oil
- Suitable for high temperature use
- Ester material is used
- Volatility is low
- Prevents excessive shearing of components
- Protects gearbox
- Makes shifting smoother
- Improved throttle response
- May not be suitable for older model Harleys
Mobil 1’s V-Twin engine oil and Harley’s engines are a match made in heaven. This oil improves the V-Twin’s performance, while also protecting the internal components from excessive wear. It is a great option for Harleys and addresses some key issues.
One of the most dramatic changes we noticed on our Harley after using this oil was the noise, or lack thereof. Before, our old Fat Boy had developed a slight engine sound that plagued every cold start and subsided when ridden. With the Mobil 1 oil however, the sound was significantly lower, and almost completely unnoticeable once we got going.
Improved transmission performance is another benefit of this oil. Shifting into gear while stationary was less ‘clunky’ feeling and even smoother at speed. The compounds in this oil add a lot of shear resistance and mitigate wear and tear.
A salient feature of this oil is its resistance to thermal breakdown, making it the perfect choice for bikes like Harleys. These bikes tend to run hot and are often at risk of overheating, especially on longer trips where extended use can result in higher engine temperatures than normal. Touring bike owners will definitely appreciate this oil’s performance on longer trips.
Finally, we must touch on the legitimate performance benefits this oil brings to your bike. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the Fat Boy on a dyno to really get a good idea of the performance figures before and after oil change, but just riding the bike, it felt more responsive, slightly faster to accelerate and generally more confidence inspiring on the highway.
- Specifically made to be used with V-Twins
- Cleans engine
- Protects against wear
- Transmission performance improved
- Engine performance sees slight improvement
- Compatible with wet clutch setups
- Can be a bit expensive to run fully synthetic oil on long routes
Originally formulated for use with high performing sportbikes, the Power Synt 4T from Motorex works great with Harleys as well. We saw a reasonable improvement in engine smoothness, but the real benefit here is the high quality abrasion resistance this oil brings to the engine.
Another fully synthetic oil, the Power Synt is excellent for improving engine performance. It allows the Harley to output its full power, while also protecting the engine components from excessive wear and tear. It is designed to protect the engine during the ignition process, a critical juncture where the most strain is put on engine parts. Motorex enables a quicker, less abrasive startup and idle.
The engine oil works to simultaneously clean and protect the engine, coating vital engine internals to reduce the shearing effect when these components interact. It also does a great job of collecting contaminant particles and filtering them out of the engine, thus making the whole machine work more efficiently.
In fact, we saw a slight improvement in mileage after changing to this engine oil. Moreover, the bike felt much more pleasurable to ride for longer thanks to the reduced heat coming off the engine and the better ride.
- Reduces wear and tear of engine components
- Cleans engine of impurities
- Makes ride smoother
- Improved fuel mileage
- Slight improvement in engine response
- Fully synthetic oil may leak from older model Harley engines