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Understanding The Basics Of Two-Stroke And Four-Stroke Engine Oil

Chaparral Motorsports
November 10, 2015
Last Updated: October 5, 2020

Each dirt bike requires its own unique type of engine oil. Understanding which blend of oil to use for your dirt bike does not have to be hard. Instead, you just simply have to think about the variations of your bike and what type of engine you're using.

Two-Stroke Oil vs. Four-Stroke Oil

For example, two-stroke engine oil is slightly different from four-stroke engine oil because it does not have weight indications. Even though most two-stroke dirt bikes use pre-mix oil, which is combined with gas, two-stroke engines can also use injector safe oil.

However, four-stroke oil is much more like the oil you would put in a car. While it might be different than the two-stroke oil, both versions are made to keep the engine lubricated so moving parts are not damaged. Four-stroke engines can use oil in a variety of weights such as 10w-40 and 20w-50. These types of oil are not mixed with gasoline.

Which Oil Is Best For My Bike?

The easiest way to figure out which oil is best for your bike is by simply reading the owner's manual. Each manufacturer will tell you which oil type is best for your specific bike. If you lack an owner's manual, a quick search on the Web will do the trick.

At the same time, it's critical to not deviate from what the manufacturer recommends. For example, if the manual says to use 10w-30 oil, do not use 20w-50. Different weighted oils work specifically for certain types of engines. On the other hand, the most common dirt bike oil is 10w-40.

Measuring Gas And Oil Ratios On Two-Stroke Engines

For two-stroke engines, you have to combine oil and gas to get the proper liquid for your unique engine. It's smart to check your owner's manual to get the correct oil-to-gas ratio and use a measuring cup to create the proper combination. There are numerous oil-to-gas ratio measuring cups on the market that are made specifically for the purpose of measuring oil-to-gas ratios.

Again, it's always the best idea to follow what your owner manual recommends. Your bike is unique in the world of motorcycles and simply ignoring which oil or oil weight to use could cause problems immediately and in the long-term. Oil is critical to any engine, which is why you constantly need to check and replace your oil to have a smooth-running engine.

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