5w30 vs 10w30 – Which is Best for Your Motorbike?

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There are different types of engine oil out there, but finding the right one for your two-wheeler is not easy. But with the right information about different types of oils at your fingertips, you will find this task less daunting.

The selection of the best motorbike oil will determine the performance of its engine. That’s the main reason you should know all types of oils that fit different motorbikes including yours.

Also Read: 5w40 vs 10w40 – What is the Difference?

Knowledge of the right type of motorcycle oil can be critical, especially if it is your first time. And this is where 5w30 vs 10w30 comparison comes in to help you make a sound decision on the engine oil you are looking for.

So, between 5w30 and 10w30, which is better? Let’s find out.

Importance of Engine Oil Viscosity

Engine oil plays a crucial role in the lifeline of your motorbike engine. Unfortunately, many people take it for granted without knowing how important it is to the performance of their motorcycles. This comes about on the assumption that the oil is only suitable for lubricating rather than enhancing their vehicles’ performance.

If you truly understand the role of engine oil in your motorbike, then you can use it to maximize the lifespan of your two-wheeler.

This type of oil comes in two thickness or viscosity. The viscosity of motor oil is essential for its flow through the engine. The more the viscosity, the higher is the first number.

According to the Society of Automotive-Engineers (SAE), there are different statistical codes in place for different engine oils. These codes are used to determine the viscosity of each type of oil which in turn enhances the performances of the engine in different places.

For instance, thin liquids with water-like consistency are given a lower viscosity value. The thick liquid/oil with honey-like consistency is assigned a slightly higher value than the thin one. In this regard, you should know which of the two types of viscous oils is perfect for you.

If you live in an area where temperatures are low, then you can choose the thin grade engine oil (such as 5w30). This is due to the fact that the thin grade oil takes less time to heat up before it flows through. Thicker engine oils such as 10w30 would take more time to warm up so they are ideal for warmer places.

If in doubt about the type of viscosity your motorbike needs, you can just check it out on the crankcase.

5w30 vs 10w30 – What is the Difference?

It is always wise to know the underlying differences between different types of viscosities when shopping for engine oil. In this case, the first numerical (5or 10) indicates the ease with which the oil can flow through an engine at a lower temperature.  The lower the numerical value, the thinner the motorbike engine oil.

Therefore, 5 flows more smoothly and faster than 10 and so on. The lower numerical shows that the liquid has a lower viscosity. This means that the engine oil will provide faster protection to your motorbike engine internal components.

When it comes to the second numerical, the situation is different. In this case, the second number is 30 and it indicates the thickness of the oil at very high operating temperature. Engine oils with thicker or high viscosity will work best on mechanical components when subjected to high pressure and stress.

Such oils play a significant role in resisting higher temperatures within the engine. In simpler terms, they offer more protection to the internal parts of an engine even if they are subjected to higher temperatures.

So, how can you differentiate between the two types of engine oils in terms of viscosity? When drawing a line between the two oils, it is important to consider their cold flowability. This is the ability of the engine oil to flow easily.

For example, a 10w30 oil will move more slowly compared to 5w30 during cold start-ups. But at high temperatures, both types of oils will experience the same level of viscosity. In this case, the viscosity is 30 and will flow throughout the engine while protecting its components.

If you are living in areas that experience winter periods, you must consider using 5w30 oil in your motorbike engine. This is the case if you are going to leave the motor oil in the engine throughout the cold season. But if you let it remain in the engine during summertime (warmer months), you should go for 10w30.

Below are important points to note when choosing between 2w30 and 10w30 engine oils:

5w30 Motor Oil

  • It is designed to work at ambient temperature starting from -22 degrees Farhenheit. This makes it a perfect choice for your motorbike if you live in colder regions.
  • You may use it in warm places as well but ensure that the temperature in such areas does not exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Generally, 5w30 is a multigrade engine oil that you can use in many different locations, both warm and cold.

10w30 Motor Oil

  • It’s viscosity or ability to flow changes between hot and cold temperatures. This is due to the presence of special viscosity modifying elements in its formulation.
  • Performs well at temperatures beyond 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a colder environment, 10w30 engine oil flows slower than 5w30. This strange phenomenon has both advantages and disadvantages. If the oil is more viscous (like the 10w30), it will seal better than when it has a low viscosity. Thicker engine oil is also helpful in offering better lubrication of different engine parts.

Unfortunately, thicker oils cause more drag on engine parts than low viscosity oils. As a result, it affects the engine performance negatively. This excess resistance can increase fuel consumption, thus minimizing fuel efficiency in the process.

The Verdict

If you are getting started with motorbiking, you should know the differences between 5w30 and 10w30. As such, it is recommended that you try out the 5w30 because it is multigrade engine oil and will serve you best in both low and high temperatures.

However, you may turn to 10w30 if you have an older motorbike or are searching for a perfect sealing capability in motorbike engine oil. This type of motor oil will help your older engine to achieve more widened clearances for enhanced protection.

Josh Berry - MotoShark Editor
Josh Berry
I'm a off-road enthusiast, extreme sport fan and the editor of MotoShark. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please leave a comment or contact me.

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