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Why use Bel-Ray Motorcycle Oil?

This article explains the mechanism of the oil’s journey and the benefit of using quality products from the Bel-Ray EX and Bel-Ray Thumper range of 4-Stroke motorcycle oils.

4-Stroke (4T) engines use a recirculation oil system.  An engine driven pump forces the oil into a filter and then into passages in the engine castings to the main areas of stress within the engine. Oil is fed to the big end and main bearing. A second feed takes oil to the top of the engine, where it lubricates the valve-train components before draining back down to the crankcase. In some engines, a drilling in the connecting rod or a special jet sprays oil on the piston and cylinder walls to lubricate and cool the parts. Otherwise, they rely on the oil vapor in the crankcase to protect the moving parts. In the majority of motorcycles, the motorcycle oil also lubricates the gearbox and wet clutch.

Before the oil enters the oil pump, it is drawn through a filter. This filter picks up any large particles of swarf, carbon, sealant or gasket before it reaches the pump. The motorcycle oil is provided at high pressure to the main and big end bearings of the crank shaft. Here anti-wear additives form a protective layer on the surface to provide protection. The anti-wear additives also help to protect the gears and bearings of the gearbox. The circulating oil does an extremely valuable job in transferring heat away from localized, high temperature areas of the engine, such as the pistons and cylinder wall. To prevent the oil from overheating, the engine must be cooled by either air or a water cooling system, using a quality cooling additive, such as Bel-Ray Moto Chill Racing Coolant. Some engines incorporate an oil cooler to assist in the transfer of heat through the water system before the oil returns to these pistons and cylinder walls.

The internal moving parts of an engine are machined to a smooth finish to minimize wear. In order to minimize heat and friction build-up, it is necessary to use high quality motorcycle oil. Using a low quality oil will fail to protect the engine in a number of ways:

  1. Heat — As many motorcycle engines are high revving, it is important to prevent the engine from overheating. Hot oil, combined with oxygen, oxidizes and forms carbon and varnish. This increases consumption. Compared to car engine oil, motorcycle oil must have better stability to heat and be able to cope with greater fuel dilution.

  2. Wear — If there is high pressure, temperature or load between the two surfaces, low quality oil can rupture or break down, causing seizure.

  3. Cleanliness — Poor quality motorcycle oil lacks the necessary detergent to prevent piston ring sticking which causes power loss and piston seizure. Deposit accumulation on moving parts restricts the breathing of the engine, which also increases consumption and affects performance.

In motorcycles with wet clutches, using running in oil or unsuitable car oils with friction modifiers can lead to clutch slip or can affect the ease of gear change.

Bel-Ray prides itself in the formulation of the finest, most protective lubricants for extremely demanding conditions.  Our products are tested and used both on and off the track to produce the maximum protection needed for all applications.  Make sure to check our Lubricant Advisor to find the best Bel-Ray motorcycle oil for your bike, ATV, Scooter or Kart.