How To Check Motorcycle Oil? [Video] How Often to Check?

Regular maintenance is essential for every motorcycle owner, but knowing how to check your own engine is crucial to keep it running smoothly.

Before starting a ride, it’s critical to ensure your motorcycle is well maintained. After all, not only does your bike affect your safety, but it also affects your wallet. It is essential to regularly change and keep your motorcycle’s oil and filters. If you don’t, you run the risk of damaging your engine, which can be expensive and time-consuming to repair.

How frequently should motorbike oil be checked?

Checking motorcycle oil is vital for keeping your engine in good working order. Oil protects your engine from heat, friction, and other factors that could cause wear or damage. Even though your bike may not seem to use much oil, a few hot days and challenging rides can burn off more than you might expect.

How to check your motorcycle oil

1. Place the motorcycle on a level surface.

Before working on your motorcycle, make sure the bike is standing on a flat surface. Rough terrain or a steep hill will not give you accurate results.

2. Allow 10 minutes for the motorcycle to idle.

Warming up your engine’s oil helps us gauge its quality better and understand its current condition. This is done by allowing oil to flow freely around the engine’s components, thereby removing any air pockets and providing a more stable working environment.

Tip: There is a great deal of variation in how a motorcycle engine oil performs. This is especially true for the type of oil utilized. The best way to learn about your own oil is to drive around for a few minutes and observe. Look at the oil levels, how the oil changes, and how it looks.

3. Allow 15 minutes for the engine to cool down.

You’re going to have to let the bike sit for a while before you actually start riding it. When you turn on the ignition, don’t start revving up until the engine and oil are both ready. Cool it down for 15-20 minutes, then you can fire up your ride!

The oil needs to be brought to room temperature before we begin the maintenance process. If you heat the oil up, it will change its viscosity and increase the possibility of sludge. A time interval of 15 to 20 minutes is the best amount of time to leave a bike idle without causing damage. This depends on the cycle, ambient conditions, and engine temperature.

4. Open the oil gauge to check the oil level.

The best way to gauge oil level is to measure the amount of oil using the dipstick. The oil level should be anywhere between full and low. The ideal oil level is in the middle, so the oil level should ideally be between the top and bottom marks.

5. Checking the Oil – COLOR

The dipstick will indicate whether it is necessary to top it off or replace it. The color of motor oil can also be used to identify its quality.

The engine oil is good if the color is brown or lighter. If the fat is dark brown or black in color, the engine oil is of poor quality. If you see the oil is darker than it should be, you need to change it now.

If your motorcycle has a liquid cooling system, you must have a leak that has allowed coolant to mix up with engine oil. You should not operate your bike until the problem is fixed.

6. Checking the Oil – SMELL

Rep the step of re-dipping and re-taking the oil gauge. Apply the gathered oil on the gauge to your finger, paper, or tissue. Now, smell the motor oil on your finger or a piece of tissue paper, depending on where you put the oil.

There is a straightforward test to check the condition of your engine’s oil. The oil will give off a particular smell, either burnt or burnt rubber, if it is too old or if the oil is contaminated.

If there is no burning smell from the engine oil, then it’s all good. Nonetheless, depending on when you last changed your engine oil, it may be wise to do it now.

7. Checking the Oil – STICKINESS

Again, dip the oil gauge back into the oil and move it around for the next step. Do this a few times.

Use two fingers to touch the oil in the tank to check for slipperiness. Try to pull your fingers apart so that they are farther away from each other. Suppose you notice a thin line of oil between your fingers. In that case, you know that the oil has lost its desired viscosity and lubricating properties.

Notes on Checking Motor Oils:

If the viscosity in the oil is not right, it won’t lubricate the engine components properly.

Oil is what powers your engine and keeps it working smoothly. Unfortunately, that same oil can also clog things up and lead to other problems, such as oil overheating. This is a common issue and one that you should check if your motorcycle is acting strangely.

Check to see if the oil isn’t too sticky and is still in the right condition before starting.

Suppose your motorcycle doesn’t have enough oil. In that case, you might see a low oil light on your dashboard (this feature depends on the motorcycle model). Your best bet is to check the oil level. If the oil is at full capacity or near full, then it’s time to get your motorcycle serviced.

In either of these last two scenarios, you should seek the advice of a mechanic as soon as possible to discover whether your engine has a severe problem. Before replacing the dipstick, spread a tiny quantity of oil into the seal and avoid cross-threading the screw when replacing it.

Viewing oil levels through a window

A quick and dirty way to check for engine oil is to look at the bottom of the engine, where the oil meets the ground, to see if it’s complete. If the oil is running low, it will pool there. The oil will look yellowish and not transparent.

Topping off motorcycle engine oil

A motorcycle has a limited number of components, many of which can fail at any given time. Keep the right amount of oil in each part, and it’s not as simple as adding more oil when your dipstick says there’s enough. A better approach is to start with a good oil supply and top off whenever your service light is on or near a filling station.

Changing motorcycle engine oil

Regularly changing your bike’s oil is the best thing you can do to keep it running smoothly. Changing the oil is easy if you use the right gear oil in the first place and follow a few simple rules, but be warned: it can be tricky and will take some patience.

Motor oil recycling

It’s crucial to safely dispose of used oil properly. The safest way is to recycle it and keep your oil out of landfills. Some companies have an oil recycling program to help customers collect and dispose of waste oil. Learn more.


If the engine oil has good color, smell, and stickiness, it’s safe to assume it is in good working condition. Of course, it’s essential to check the oil level too before testing the quality.

Motorcycle maintenance is the most essential activity of every rider. One of the major problems encountered by the motorcycle owners is the oil changing of the engine. Changing the oil after driving the motorcycle on a particular route and oil level is recommended. So, you must be careful with this process because it can affect the engine performance if you do not know how to change it.