The Best Oil For Harley V Twin Motorcycles

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Today, we’ll be recommending our favorite engine oils specifically made for V-Twin Harleys.

After thoroughly testing most engine oils, we came up with the best performing ones that deserve your attention. Our testing was focused mainly on V-Twin Harley Davidsons so you can rest assured that these oils will suit your cruiser.

Red Line’s 20W50 motorcycle oil is our #1 pick, impressing us with its performance, features, and reliability balance. Other options deserve praise as well.

Having worked on motorcycles for almost a decade, we have ample knowledge of how V-Twins work and what they need to work well, so we feel confident recommending the following as the best engine oils for V-Twin Harleys.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Red Line 20W50 Motorcycle OilRed Line 20W50 Motorcycle Oil
  • Improved performance
  • smoother running engine 
  • Reduces engine noise
  • Cooler temperatures
  • Slightly faster acceleration
  • Reduces wear and tear
  • Cleans engine well
  • Increases longevity of engine
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Mobil 1 V-Twin Engine OilMobil 1 V-Twin Engine Oil
  • Improved performance
  • smoother running engine 
  • Reduces engine noise
  • Cooler temperatures
  • Slightly faster acceleration
  • Reduces wear and tear
  • Cleans engine well
  • Increases longevity of engine
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Liqui Moly HD Synth 20W50 Street Engine OilLiqui Moly HD Synth 20W50 Street Engine Oil
  • Smoother running engine
  • Lubrication protects engine components
  • Additives with anti wear properties
  • Shearing resistance
  • Manages heat better than other options
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Red Line 20W50 Motorcycle Oil

Overall best

Specifically designed for use with Harleys and V-twin engines, the Red Line 20W50 provides the best overall package, delivering improved engine performance, smoother operation, and a cleaner running engine.

Red Line’s engine oil uses unique additives that allow it to outperform the competition. These additives help to rid the engine of contaminants, thereby protecting engine function, improving longevity, and working in conjunction with the more dense base. They also lubricate the components, making them work together more efficiently. We noticed this from our Milwaukee-8 powered Harley being quite a lot smoother while riding and even at idle.

You will see a noticeable boost in engine power with this oil. It focuses on reducing wear and tear of components, working better, and generating more power. Our test bike had slightly better acceleration, improved engine response, and reduced engine noise.

This oil has shear stability which means it will not lose viscosity under even the most demanding conditions when you need it most. Thanks to this high-performing oil, which kept power up and engine temperatures manageable, we were able to go all out on our bike.

If comfort is a priority for you like us, this oil works to improve ride quality, combining cooler temperatures, smoother riding, and a quieter engine. Highway riding was a blast, and street use was also more fun with this oil. It gets our highest recommendation.

Pros
  • Improved performance
  • smoother running engine
  • Reduces engine noise
  • Cooler temperatures
  • Slightly faster acceleration
  • Reduces wear and tear
  • Cleans engine well
  • Increases longevity of engine
Cons
  • Can be expensive for bikes that get used a lot

Mobil 1 V-Twin Engine Oil

Best Budget

Mobil 1’s V-Twin engine oil is tailor made for Harley V-Twins. This oil works double duty, improving power and safeguarding engine components. It is a great, budget friendly option for Harleys and V-Twins in general.

One of the improvements this oil will bring to your bike is noise reduction. If you’re experiencing an undesirable sound coming from the engine on cold starts, Mobil 1’s offering could be the remedy. It worked for our old Fat Boy and just might do the trick for your bike too. And if it can’t completely eliminate the sound, it will definitely make it less noticeable.

Transmission performance also saw decent improvement. Shifting through the gears smoother than before and the clunky shift sound was replaced by a more satisfying one. This is thanks to the unique compounds in this oil which reduce shearing and add abrasion resistance.

Another plus point of using this oil is its superior resistance to thermal breakdown, making it ideal for Harleys in warmer temperatures. These bikes already run hot and outside temperatures just add to that. Mobil 1 seems to thrive in these conditions, offering great performance at even the harshest temperatures.

Finally, you can expect decent performance benefits with this oil. While we don’t have any horsepower figures for before and after using this oil, we can report that the Fat Boy was more responsive, accelerated faster, and more easily on the highway.

Pros
  • Specifically made for V-Twins
  • Cleans engine
  • Protects against wear and tear
  • Transmission performance improves
  • Engine performance sees slight improvement
  • Compatible with wet clutches
Cons
  • Fully synthetic oil is prone to leaking from older engines

Liqui Moly HD Synth 20W50 Street Engine Oil

Worthy Consideration

Liqui Moly’s HD Synth 20W50 Street engine oil is made with V-Twin problems in mind. It offers excellent lubrication, better engine cleanliness, and reduces damaging friction between components.

This fully synthetic engine oil works great with both air and water cooled engines. In our testing, it performed pretty well, cleaning the engine and making it more efficient. Unique formulation with high viscosity base oils and anti-wear additives allows this oil to offer superior lubrication and protection of engine components. It reduces shearing and unnecessary friction of metal on metal, thus improving engine longevity and performance.

Speaking of performance, this oil had a positive effect on our bike’s power output. The engine was noticeably more responsive to throttle input, and acceleration improved slightly, however not as dramatically as with other options on this list.

It seems making the engine smoother is this oil’s forte. Our test bike was a lot smoother, and the transmission was less ‘jerky.’ It made a significant difference for highway riding, but on the street is where you’ll notice it most. ‘Stop and go’ traffic can be a pain, but this oil made the engine purr along nicely without a hitch.

Pros
  • Smoother running engine
  • Lubrication protects engine components
  • Additives with anti wear properties
  • Shearing resistance
  • Manages heat better than other options
Cons
  • Not the biggest improvement in engine performance we’ve seen at this price point

Author
Cooper Higgins

Cooper Higgins is a motorcycle enthusiast who’s been riding for the last 10 years. He’s passionate about all things motorcycles and started Bikes Future to help other riders make the right motorcycle moves. He rides a pimped out white Kawasaki Ninja 400, and also enjoys adventure riding when out of the City.