Best Oil For Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Home » Top 7 Best Oil For Harley Davidson Motorcycles (2020 Review)

Top 7 Best Oil For Harley Davidson Motorcycles (2020 Review)

Oil For Harley Davidson MotorcyclesHarley Davidson remains one of the best motorcycles any motorcycle lover can aim to get. Its dynamism is particularly appealing, offering different unique features through different models. Its design also makes for a good aesthetic gadget. Including all of these is its top-notch performance, provided it is handled properly. Handling your Harley Davidson properly is the reason this piece was made.

While Harley Davidson bikes might be great bikes generally, a fact remains that they are still bikes. Hence, beyond the great things the bike offers you, it comes to the necessary things you are to offer the bike. In this regard, it is therefore important to put into consideration the maintenance of the bike. Therefore, your Harley Davidson, just like every other bike will need to be maintained for it to effectively function. Harley Davidson bikes do have great performances, but these performances can easily be disturbed with terrible maintenance.

There are different aspects regarding the maintenance of your Harley Davidson. This can range from the outward parts of the bike to the inner part. However, regardless of the area, you choose to focus your maintenance on, the engine is to take priority. Hence, your Harley Davidson engine must be given the proper care that it ought to be given. Essentially, where the engine is not in top performance, it will affect every other area and performance of the bike. One way of maintaining your Harley Davidson engine is by giving it oil most suitable.

The roles engine oil plays in aiding the performance of your Harley Davidson should not be underestimated. From preventing friction to preventing your engine from blowing up, your bike’s engine deserves the best of oils. Essentially, this post will go on to discuss the best oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

#1 Oil For Harley Davidson

Red Line 42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil

Red Line 42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil

While this article will largely discuss the best oil for Harley Davidson, we would first like to present our Overall #1 Rated Pick. It will be however important to point out that overall #1 rated pick does not mean that the other oils to be discussed are not great. You might go through the other reviews and find an oil you prefer, or one that is specific to your bike. But largely, in terms of oil functions and effectiveness, our #1 pick fits the best standards.

The Red Line 42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil takes our overall rated spot. You may think why? Here are some things you need to know about the oil:
Top Features:

  • 20W50 motor oil
  • Anti-wear chemistry

Red Line is undoubtedly one of the most trusted manufacturers of effective and efficient motorcycle oils. Their great product also extends to Harley Davidson bikes, and they try to keep their quality standards. The quality standards of the Red Line are also reflected in this product.

This 20W50 motor oil is created for the primary purpose of ensuring the optimum performance of bike engines. It is produced with anti-wear chemistry – which includes things like zinc and phosphorus. This is to ensure your bike’s engine does not suffer excessive wear and tear. This is further supported by the fact that it has special friction modifiers. This operates to help your bike’s engine parts from having aggressive contact with one another. This results in a great bike operation.

It is also manufactured with elements that operate to reduce the thinning effect from high temperatures. This helps to keep your engine cool and stop possible combustion.

However, the oil is not advised for usage in California. It is important to further check the law in this regard.

Anti-wear chemistry
Special friction modifiers
Reduces thinning effect from high temperatures
Reduces the possibility of combustion

Discouraged in California

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The Best Oil for Harley Davidson Motorcycle

oil for harley davidson

Product Oil Type Viscosity and Thickness
Red Line (42504) Synthetic 20W-50
Mobil 1 (96936) Synthetic 20W-50
Maxima Oil (90-119014C) Synthetic 20W-50
Castrol Oil (06116) Synthetic 20W-50
Lucas Oil (10700PK-6) Non-synthetic 20W-50
Lucas Chaincase Oil Not a lubricant 20W-50
Castro (03095) Not fully synthetic 20W-50

A good oil for your Harley Davidson motorcycle might be difficult to get. We have tried to help in reducing that difficulty by offering you a buyer’s guide. Now you have some information as to how to get the best oil for your Harley Davidson – not just a good one.

Therefore, this heading is aimed at showing some of the best oils for Harley Davidson bikes generally.

Product Viscosity, Thickness Special Feature
Red Line (42504) 20W-50 Special friction modifiers and anti-wear chemistry
Mobil 1 (96936) 20W-50 Proper frictional characteristics
Maxima Oil (90-119014C) 20W-50 Surface-active ester technology
Castrol Oil (06116) 20W-50 Special Trizone technology
Lucas Oil (10700PK-6) 20W-50 Formulated for engine durability
Lucas Chaincase Oil 20W-50 Designed to give clutch smooth action
Castro (03095) 20W-50 Designed to clear engine pathway too

The top best product [hide]

Red Line (42504) 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil

Red Line (42504) 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
Manufactured by Red Line, a trusted lubricant manufacturer, this engine oil does not disappoint. It is suitable for most Harley Davidson engines, including the Twin Cam and Evolution engines. It is manufactured with special friction modifiers that operate to ensure that the engine works efficiently. This helps in reducing the friction that might occur in the engine naturally. It also has an anti-wear chemistry feature that protects the engine from accelerated wear and tears. This, combined with the special friction modifiers, help the engine work longer and efficiently.

Additionally, there is a feature that operates to reduce the thinning effect from high temperatures. It is understood that the constant working of the engine can make it heated and can lead to combustion. This considerably reduces the chances of combustion of the engine, keeping both you and your bike’s engine safer.

However, the oil is not advised in California and its constituents.
Technical Specifications:
20W-50 motorcycle oil
Suitable for Twin Cam and Evolution engines
Reduces thinning effect from high temperature
Special friction modifiers
Anti-wear chemistry
Not advised in California

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Mobil 1 (96936) V-Twin Synthetic Motor Oil

Mobil 1 (96936) V-Twin Synthetic Motor Oil
Mobil is another motorcycle oil manufacturer that is known for its credibility. Undoubtedly, its quality and credibility are also reflected in this product. This 20W-50 engine oil is aimed at ensuring that your bike’s engine runs at optimum capacity.

The oil also has proper frictional characteristics for several engines, but particularly the wet-clutch/transmission engine. It is fully synthetic and recommended for four-cycle motorcycles. The oil helps in calming the temperature of your bike’s engine. It is made for high-revving engines and for long-distance rides. Essentially, the oil operates to help longer undisturbed usage. Hence, you do not need to worry about your engine getting excessive heat from performance.

Also, it is made with a formulation blend that helps in reducing your engine's noise through letting more lubrication flow. This Mobil oil additionally operates to clear your engine of debris that may inhibit optimum performance.
Technical Specifications:
20W-50 engine oil
Manufactured for Wet-clutch engine/transmission
Fully synthetic
Regulates engine’s temperature
Proper frictional characteristics
It is unclear which of the Harley Davidson engines it is best for

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Maxima Racing Oils (90-119014C) Chrome Engine Oil

Maxima Racing Oils (90-119014C) Chrome Engine Oil
This fully synthetic oil is best compatible with Harley Davidson bikes since 1999 – present. It comes with a kit that includes all products necessary to complete an engine oil change. However, it is advised that all engine oil changes be done following the manufacturer’s manual. Alternatively, this can be done with the help of your bike technician.

The great features of the oil include the fact that it has surface-active ester technology. This technology operates to ensure that the temperature of your bike’s engine does not exceed safe limits. By doing so, particularly if your bike's engine is of high performance, it helps in the transmission of power to the whole of the bike, thereby increasing its performance output.

It also reduces the wear that your engine is likely to suffer while offering extended protection. Being a multi-compartment oil, it can be used for H-D V-Twin engines.
Technical Specifications:
Fully synthetic
Surface-active ester technology
Multi-compartment oil
Keeps the engine’s temperature within safe limits
Reduces engine’s wear and tear
Not compatible for Harley Davidson models before 1999

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Castrol (06116) Power 1 V-Twin 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil

Castrol (06116) Power 1 V-Twin 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
This Castrol motorcycle oil makes the cut for the category of the best oil for your motorcycle. This is largely a result of the good things it has to offer.

First, it is formulated with Trizone Technology which operates to protect all 3 critical zones of your bike. This refers to the engine, clutch, and gearbox. It also has the Race derived technology that operates to give your bike’s engine maximum acceleration.

Additionally, it is formulated with elements for high-temperature air-cooled performance. This helps in regulating your bike’s engine and keeping its temperature levels in check.

Furthermore, a good plus that this oil offers is its excellent shear stability that prevents viscosity breakdown. This, in turn, helps the overall performance of your bike’s engine and overall performance of your bike.
Technical Specifications:
Synthetic oil
Trizone technology
Protects the critical zones of your bike
Helps in regulating the engine’s temperature
Aids engine’s maximum acceleration
Compatibility with Harley Davidson models below 2005 is uncertain

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Lucas Oil (10700-PK6) High Performance 200057-50 Motorcycle Oil

Lucas Oil (10700-PK6) High Performance 200057-50 Motorcycle Oil
Made particularly for the race tracks, this Lucas oil is a good bet for bike engine’s optimum performance.

Typically, the oil aids your bike’s engine in acceleration, thanks to its formulation. Since it helps in acceleration, it is also formulated to prevent excessive heat from the engine. Essentially, it operates to keep the temperature of the engine at a reasonable level.

Furthermore, it helps in preventing quick wears and tears in the engine. Its special additives keep your engine clean and goes on to clear debris that can harm your engine. This keeps your engine clean and sharp, allowing for better synergy with the bike.

It helps for smoother gear changes, keeping the ride smooth.
Technical Specifications:
Aids engine’s durability
Aids engines optimum performance in terms of acceleration
It is not synthetic

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Lucas Oil Chain Case Oil 1 Quart

Lucas Oil Chain Case Oil 1 Quart
This is not a lubricant, although it is worthy of mention. Rather, it is a coolant. This oil is designed primarily as a coolant for the clutch. Hence, it helps you have a smooth clutch usage, a longer chain life and little issue with respect to spillage. Generally, it helps your clutch to be hitch-free.
Technical Specifications:
Coolant for clutch
Designed for heavy-duty high performance
Usage might require great supervision by a technician since it is more of a coolant

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Castrol (03095) GTX 20W-50 Motor Oil 5 Quart

Castrol (03095) GTX 20W-50 Motor Oil 5 Quart
This oil from Castrol is made particularly for the extension of your bike’s engine life and top performance. It operates to clean your engine’s vital pathways. Typically, it is designed for high-performance bikes. With the unique oil formulation and blend associated with Castrol products, this oil also boosts your bike's acceleration by keeping the throttle clean, lubricated, and clear. More commendable is the oil's efficiency in preventing viscosity breakdown, keeping the engine fluid even when under stress. It also helps your engine in reaching top performance generally.
Technical Specifications:
Aids engine’s optimum performance
Clears engine’s vital pathways
It is not synthetic

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Popular Brands of Oil for Harley Davidson

harley davidson
We have touched on some of the best oils for Harley Davidson. Another good information to touch on is the popular brands of Harley Davidson oils. Who makes Harley Davidson oil? Here are some of the popular brands you can watch out for:

Castrol Oil

Castrol Oil
Castrol oil is one of the oldest oil manufacturing companies, having been in existence since 1899. They have been producing engine oils and have tried and tested different formulations to ensure they make quality oils. It is, therefore, no doubt that they have been trusted by many. Their oil efficiency also extends to Harley Davidson engines. They have a reputation to protect, and they have been doing just that so far.

You can see more about them here.

Red Line

Red Line
Red Line is a majorly synthetic oil corporation. They major in the production of synthetic oil for the optimum performance of engines. They particularly understand that bike and vehicle engines can be dynamic in some ways and they focus on that. This way, they guarantee that your bike’s engine gets the best formulation to help it operate very well. In terms of bike engines, they also have products that are compatible with different models of Harley Davidson.

You can check their official website here.

Mobil Oil

Mobil Oil
Mobil oil is one particular brand that needs no introduction in the oil world. They have been in the oil business for a long time and strive to ensure their reputation grows. This is seen in their variety of oils for engines. They have different oils that are compatible with different bike engines and different bike models. These oils are also known to have helped engines deliver a good performance output. While they might not be the particularly best oil for your Harley Davison, Mobil’s formulations do have a lot to offer.

You can visit their website.

Maxima Oil

Maxima Oil
Maxima oil is a brand that deals with the formulation of oil primarily for racing vehicles and bikes. They are popularly known to be a racing oil brand. Hence, their formulations have the expected elements that give your engine optimum performance. Their formulations also have elements that can help in the protection of your engine due to intense usage. This depends, of course, on how well you use the oil.

In any case, they are one of the best and popular brands for satisfying your bike’s engine oil-wise. You can learn more about them.

Lucas Oil

Lucas Oil
Though a relatively new oil manufacturer, Lucas oil has quickly gained popularity for its oil efficiency. Its wide range formulation makes it appear in most oil markets. Ranging from agricultural vehicles to racing vehicles and motorcycles. Their formulation is ideal for your motorcycle and they generally make for a good oil manufacturer.

Their website has more information about them.

Suitable Oil for Harley Davidson Models

Here, we would be examining some Harley Davidson models and checking out the oil that best suits them.

Oil for Harley Davidson Street

Harley Davidson Street
A good oil for Harley Davidson Street Glide is the Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50. It is made for helping to regulate your engine’s heat temperature. It also helps to reduce the friction that occurs within the engine.

However, you should still ask a bike technician. In addition to their understanding of oil formulation, they also take the uniqueness of your bike’s engine into consideration.

Oil for Harley Davidson Cruiser

Harley Davidson Cruiser
In terms of the great oil for your Harley Davidson Cruiser, Mobil once again takes the cake. Formulated with elements that help maintain your Cruiser’s engine, as well as other bikes, the Mobil 1 (96936) 20W-50 V-Twin synthetic oil is a good bet. With its synthetic base oil technology coupled with its synergistic additive technology, the oil helps in keeping the temperature of your bike. While it is not a sole coolant, your engine’s temperature level is kept within safe limits. Also, it has a good lubrication formation for maximum performance while ensuring the engine stays clean. This helps with unhindered acceleration to a large extent. It also helps in keeping your ride enjoyable and great.

Oil for Harley Davidson Touring

Harley Davidson Touring
If you are searching for a good oil for the Harley Davidson Touring, a good bet is the Red Line (42904) V-Twin Primary Case oil. It has good anti-wear chemistry that ensures your bike’s engine does not suffer quick depreciation, largely. This way, your overall bike’s engine is maintained, as the bike is lubricated enough, thanks to its lubrication formulation. Also, its lubrication formulation makes the engine work smoothly, considerably eliminating possible friction. There is also little to no issue regarding temperature rise in the engine. The temperature of the engine is particularly regulated, as the oil is formulated for that purpose as well.

Oil for Harley Davidson Trike

Harley Davidson Trike
For the Harley Davidson Trike, a good oil is the Lucas High-Performance Synthetic motor oil. It helps in keeping the bike’s engine cleared from sludge. It also helps in ensuring it reaches good and satisfactory performance levels.
Generally speaking, all of the mentioned oils for each Harley Davidson models are good oils. Accordingly, they can be used for the models under which they are listed. But they can also be used for other models. The bottom line, however, is that the oils are not specific to the models that they come under. Rather, they are just largely compatible with these models. Compatibility is based on the formulation of the oil and its effects on engines – how it helps them. Compatibility is also based on the uniqueness of the engine and its needs to reach optimum performance. Additionally, compatibility is also based on users’ reported reviews. In any case, these three are just a part of some other factors that determine how well oil is to work for your Harley Davidson bike.

With that said, it is advised – and important – to sometimes either follow the bike’s manual or seek a technician’s assistance. Sometimes, you might not know all there is regarding your bike’s engine. Your technician will however know; unless they are not well-grounded. Therefore, technicians’ advice is always important and goes a long way. However, if you know your engine and can figure out what is best for it, you can get things rolling.

Oil for Harley Davidson — Buying Guide

harley davidson motorcycles
The importance of the maintenance of your bike engine is one thing, getting a good maintenance product is another thing entirely. It is now known that getting good oils are one way through which your bike’s engine can be maintained. However, getting a good engine oil for Harley Davidson can be tasking. This is due to several reasons.

In any case, it will be important to know some things that can help in getting the best engine oil. Sometimes, the oil you get is not compatible with your engine. This can be the result of your oil getting rendered powerless rather quickly. It is also possible that the oil you get does not have the necessary features for your engine. This can result in poor engine performance, even though it is being maintained.

Hence, it is important to find the best oil that suits your Harley Davidson. Getting a good motor oil for Harley Davidson comes with some considerations. Generally speaking, it is important to have some factors addressed when attempting to get a motor oil for your Harley Davidson. Some of these factors will be discussed here.

While these factors are not all there is, they serve as a guide for finding other factors. The other factors may be one peculiar to you. In any case, here are some of the said factors to always consider:

The Benefits of Motorcycle Oil

Motorcycle oils play important roles and have great benefits for the performance of your bike’s engine. It is therefore important to know the benefits of your preferred motorcycle oil before getting it. A motorcycle oil for Harley Davidson can have some special benefits, depending on the manufacturer, its features, and its formulation.

However, all motorcycle oils have general benefits, with their special benefits being an addition. Typically, most motorcycle oils help in ensuring that the bike’s engine does not suffer excessive friction. This way, the bike’s engine is lubricated for proper movement of parts. Typically, low lubrication and high friction in a bike’s engine causes it to make more noise than necessary. In other instances, it contributes to excessive smoke from the engine, through the exhaust.

Also, they play the role of ensuring the temperature of the engine does not exceed a particular level. Usually, high revving bikes can produce a lot of heat during usage — usually intensive usage. If this temperature from the heat is not kept in check, it can result in the engine’s combustion. Therefore, oils serve as a kind of cooling agent. This results in the bike’s engine not having to deal with excessive heat. Depending on the kind of type of oil, these benefits can last you for a ride between 2,500 and 5,000 miles. At a 5,000 mile maximum distance covered, you will need to change the oil. However, it is advised you do not wait that long.

There are other general benefits, but those are the major ones. Therefore, if you notice a motorcycle oil not performing any of those functions, it is not good oil. It should be dispensed with quickly. If it is not good, it has no chance of being the best.

Therefore, know the general benefits of motorcycle oils. Also, check whether your preferred one has any special benefits that can aid efficiency.

Types of Oil for Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is a bike brand that has different models of bikes that offer great performance. Due to the many models of Harley Davidson that exist, some of them have specific oils that best suit their engines. Essentially, this has resulted in different types of engine oil for Harley Davidson, although there’s a primary oil for Harley Davidson.

Therefore, in getting oil for your Harley Davidson, you should take note of the best type of oil. Listed below are the three types of oil:

Fully-Synthetic oil

Synthetic oil is the mixture of particular chemicals with crude oil as an extra addition in some cases. They are primarily made in grades, thereby catering for specific engine needs and sometimes satisfying particular or unique requirements. They can be modified to fit different grades and this has improved over time with technology. Because of their peculiarity with engines, they are usually more effective than other types of oil. They are efficient in terms of lubrication while also preventing viscosity and aiding optimum performance. This comes at a price though, as they’re usually more expensive too. But better to get quality.

Semi-synthetic oil for Harley Davidson

Semi-synthetic oil is a mixture of synthetic compounds and mineral or refined crude oil. They also cater to some specifications, although not as effective as the fully synthetic oil. A good advantage semi-synthetic oil offers is that it helps in keeping the engine clean, as a result of its refined crude oil elements. This considerably reduces sludge issues. They are also not as expensive as the fully synthetic oil, although they are better used for medium-sized engines.

Mineral oil for Harley Davidson

Mineral oil is purely gotten from refined crude oil. They are less expensive and best advised for engines with a small capacity. The oil is further mixed with additives in most cases. These additives help in the lubrication of the engine and neutralizing unnecessary acids in the oil, primarily. Mineral oil is not advised for most recent bikes and high-performance engines.

The type of oil for your bike is usually dependent on some factors too. One such factor is your engine’s capability and features. So, when getting engine oil for your Harley Davidson, you can check whether it suits your engine. A guide in this regard is finding out whether your engine is high performance or not, as well as its size.

Even if the oil is rumored to be great, it still needs to fit your bike’s engine specifications. Where it does not, the oil becomes not-so-good, if not worse. Therefore, it is important to take note of oil types.

Price Range oil for Harley Davidson

As there are different types of oil for Harley Davidson, so are there different prices. Ordinarily, this is expected. However, in getting a good oil for your Harley Davidson, it is important to have a price range in mind. The list of oils for Harley Davidson is almost endless. With a price range in mind, this list is streamlined. A budget has the power to help you in making a good oil decision. Motorcycle oil prices can range between $25 — $40. It could be more in some cases.

However, you should pay more attention to your bike’s engine needs and try to tailor your budget.

Key Features oil for Harley

This is related to the heading on the benefits of motorcycle engine oils. While there are general features expected of a motorcycle oil for Harley Davidson, it’s not all there is. Hence, some oils do have specific features that are peculiar to them. These features are usually included by the manufacturers.

An oil’s general and special features sum up its key features. It is important to have the key features of engine oil in mind. This will help to conclude whether it suits your bike’s engine or is worth the price.

What Oil is Suitable for the Engine Twin Cam Engine?

This is specifically for those whose bikes have the Twin Cam engine. There are other engines like the Evolution engine. However, some oils are best for each engine, and some oils are made specifically for the engine. Checking this box will help in getting a good oil for your Harley Davidson.

This is our buying guide for getting the best oil for your Harley Davidson. However, it is important to mention, again, that it is not all there is. There are other important factors such as the model of the bike. However, these are some of the major things to have in mind.

More information about oil for your Harley Davidson this video:

Oil for Harley Davidson - FAQs

Are all engine oils synthetic?

No, not all are. There are conventional oils and semi-synthetic oils as well.

Can an engine oil inhibit my bike’s performance?

Yes, it can, particularly when it is considered incompatible with your bike’s engine.

Are synthetic oils the best?

There is no clear cut answer to this. However, a good number of the top engine oils are synthetic.

How frequently am I to change my engine’s oil?

This is best answered by your bike technician. Generally, though, the period for changing your oil should not be calculated based on how long it’s been in the engine. Rather, it should be calculated based on how much distance covered. The distance range depends on your engine’s horsepower and other things. However, if you covered a lot – as in, a lot – of distance even in a single ride, you should look towards changing the oil.

What brand of oil is best?

There is also no clear cut answer to this. There are a lot of good brands such as Lucas, Mobil, Red Line, etc. You just need to find the one that best suits your bike.


The best oil for your Harley Davidson is somewhere on an oil shelf. However, getting it is not so easy. This article has tried to help in this regard. You now have some good knowledge to direct you in getting the best oil for your Harley Davidson. However, never forget to always seek advice from a bike technician or expert.

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