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Your 2-stroke dirt bike needs high-quality motor oil to function correctly. The oil needs regular changes to keep your gas mileage up and help the engine run smoothly.
Engine oil picks up debris and other elements as it flows through the motor. Your engine will, therefore, remain clean, provided you change the oil now and then.
The kind of 2-stroke oil you get will depend on your preferences. Castor-based oils have excellent lubrication properties and will enhance the performance of your bike.
These oils, however, require a lot of maintenance since they leave significant quantities of carbon deposits. Castor oils also separate from gasoline in cold weather.
Semi-synthetic oils provide a blend of castor and synthetic oils to get the best of both worlds. You get a clean burn off and proper lubrication.
An 80:20 ratio of synthetic to castor oil seems to do the trick.
Fully-synthetic oils are premium among dirt bike riders as they blend the best with gas. They are, therefore, consistent in all kinds of weather and conditions.
On the flip side, these oils lack the heat protection and lubricating attributes of castor oils. You also need to clean the chalky residue that the oils leave in the exhaust port.
Some of the best 2-stroke engine oils to consider include:
1. Red Line 2-Stroke Engine Oil
Not only does this oil discourage carbon deposits, but it is also impressively stable at high temperatures.
The oil can be used up to a ratio of 100:1, and its versatility makes it usable in a variety of 2-stroke motors like snowmobiles and yard tools. It is recommended for everyday use and racing.
The oil produces more power over long runs thanks to its dyno-proven gains of 3-5%, and it will continue to offer optimal performance even in harsh conditions.
It will ensure that there are no deposits in the exhaust ports, combustion chambers, and piston crown. You can also expect smoother shifting and incredible film strength.
The only downside to the Red Line 2-stroke race oil is that it costs more than comparable two-stroke oils. Fully-synthetic oils, overall, tend to be a bit pricier than other oils in the market.
2. Lucas Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
Dirt bike riders have trusted the Lucas brand since the 1980s. Its 10115 2-cycle oil boasts a “smokeless formula” made from a blend of mineral oil, synthetic oil, and a low ash additive package. It is environmentally-friendly since it burns clean and it is also suitable for your bike’s health.
It will even suit air-cooled motors, and its low-ash content is perfect for people who desire a greener lifestyle.
The oil is quite versatile, and it will work just as smoothly with liquid-cooled 2-stroke engines. It particularly works well with oil injection systems since there is no need for oil premixing.
The Lucas 10115 oil prevents carbon deposits to the crown, piston rings, skirts, and under crown regions. You can be sure that your exhaust port will not get blocked.
The oil is diluted with a solvent that makes it able to blend with gasoline at a range of temperatures.
This oil has plenty of pros, but you cannot use it with yard tools that need a mixing ratio of 32:1 as it tends to dry out.
3. Maxima Castor927 2-Stroke Engine Oil
The oil contains highly-refined castor oil, which makes it biodegradable. You can ride your dirt bike without worrying about polluting the environment.
The blended additives reduce carbon and gum additives and ensure that the power valves are clean and working correctly.
The oil also offers durable lubrication that will keep your cylinder walls and bearing journals functioning correctly. It resists vaporization and carbonization to continue working where other oils would have stopped.
The Castor 927 oil is not suited for dirt bikes with oil injection systems, but it can be utilized as a premix oil with both leaded and unleaded gas. You cannot also use it for woods riding as it has a high flashpoint.
4. Valvoline 2-Cycle TC-W3 Motor Oil
If you want better design performance, you should consider the Valvoline 2-stroke motor oil. It is specially formulated to minimize corrosion and wear, and it will also provide rust-protection during storage.
You will enjoy clean and blockage-free exhaust ports and spark plugs. The oil also protects against scuffing and piston deposits for optimal motor performance.
This Valvoline oil is incredibly versatile. It will work with premix or injection engines, water- or air-cooled motors, and engines that need a gas-to-oil mixture.
In addition to dirt bikes, the oil works with lawnmowers, snowblowers, jet skis, and chain saws.
5. Pennzoil Marine XLF 2-Cycle Engine Oil
The oil will discourage carbon deposits from accumulating in the piston tops, under crowns, or in the combustion chamber, and the exhaust ports will also remain clean.
The oil will work with motors with oil injection systems or even for premix. It also meets the engine requirements for many brands, including common ones like Suzuki, Yamaha, Nissan, and Mariner.
You can, therefore, be confident that it will work well with your bike’s motor.
Why do You Need to Change the Engine Oil on Dirt Bikes?
Dirt bike engines need more oil changes than those on other motorcycles mainly because of the nature of the dirt biking sport.
An engine’s oil supply is vulnerable to both external and internal contaminants. Dirt, debris, and other pollutants find their way into the engine through the air filter.
During the combustion process, small amounts of carbon bypass the piston rings and find their way into the oil supply. This process causes the oil to get darker with time.
Aluminum particles make up the bulk of internal contaminants. These particles commonly wear off the clutch, and they will blend with the oil if they are not filtered.
If the oil accumulates too many pollutants, its lubrication ability will be significantly reduced, and parts like the piston, cylinder, and valve will begin to wear.
How Often You Need to Change Engine Oil on Dirt Bike?
The regularity with which you need to change the engine oil will depend on which type it is. Mineral-based motor oil, for example, needs to be replaced after 2,000 miles.
Change semi-synthetic oil after 5,000 to 6,000 miles and 7,000 to 10,000 miles for fully-synthetic oil. Synthetic and semi-synthetic oils tend to last longer, which is why you do not need to change them as regularly as mineral-based ones.
You will, however, need to change the oil more frequently if you travel for long distances or if you ride your bike regularly regardless of the type of oil you are using.
You will need to visually determine the state of your oil to determine if it is up for a change or not. Use an oil level dipstick and scrutinize the oil.
The standard color of engine oil is brownish to slightly black, but a blackish color indicates dirty oil. Change the oil if it appears watery as well.
You can also remove the oil level plug to examine the state of the oil. The plug is a threated hole situated close to the crankcase that is easily removable with the use of a wrench.
You can also use the oil sight window on the side of the crankcase to check the condition of the oil.
How Much Oil Does Your Dirt Bike Need?
The premix ratio that you use will depend on the kind of performance that you expect from your dirt bike. Most brands recommend a ratio of 32:1 for two-stroke engines, but some modern bikes work best with a ratio of 60:1. Other riders prefer a 50:1 ratio, although you will need additional spark plugs for this one.
Can You Use 4-Stroke Engine Oil in a 2-Stroke engine?
Oils rated for 2-strokes and 4-strokes are inherently different, and you cannot substitute one for the other.
Most two-stroke motors on dirt bikes use a premix that is a blend of gasoline and oil. The engine will burn this mix in the combustion chamber and lubricate the rings and piston.
Two-strokes can also use injector-safe oils. The manufacturer will recommend the best oil to gas ratio for your dirt bike engine.
Four-stroke oils are not mixed with gas, and they come weighted in rates like 20w-50 and 10w-40. Do not use four-stroke oil on a 2-stroke engine as it needs specialized oil.
The importance of high-quality 2-stroke oil for the 2-stroke engine on your dirt bike cannot be stressed enough. Brands like Red Line, Lucas, and maxima offer reputable 2-stroke oils designed for optimal performance.
Mineral-based oils will need to be changed more regularly than synthetic and semi-synthetic oils, but you should change your oil frequently if you an active rider.