How Long Can Oil Sit in a Motorcycle? – Mechanic Thoughts

Compare Motorcycle Insurance!
Motorcycle Insurance - Compare and Save up to 40%
It's fast and easy to compare motorcycle insurance quotes! Get My Quotes! Motorcycle Image

Engine oil deteriorates its viscosity and lubrication properties over time. That’s why motor oil comes with an expiry date. The shelf life of engine oil is 2 to 3 years if it’s stored properly.

If you’ve filled in your motorcycle engine, it will attract dust and moisture, react with metal, and lose its lubrication properties over time.

I have explained the oil change frequency and its shelf life in this guide in various conditions. Read on to know more…!

Motorcycle Oil Filling

How Long Can Oil Sit in a Motorcycle Engine?

In my previous guide, I told that regular mineral-based oil should be changed after 2,000 to 3,000 miles, semi-synthetic oil should be changed after 5,000 to 6,000 miles, and fully-synthetic oil should be changed after 8,000 to 10,000 miles.

But, if you fill the oil into the engine and store your motorcycle for too long, it will go bad after six months. Moreover, if you start your motorcycle every week, then it will last over a year.

Also Read: How often to change the oil on Honda Grom

Does Oil in Motorcycles Go Bad?

Yes, the engine oil will go bad faster if you don’t ride your motorcycle. If you ride your motorcycle every week, engine oil can last over a year, but if your motorcycle is sitting, then oil will last only six months.

It happens because sitting oil reacts with metal and attracts dust and moisture. So, don’t fill fresh oil if you’re storing your motorcycle for over six months.

Related Guide: How Often To Change Oil Filter On Motorcycles

Do You Need To Change Motorcycle Oil Every Year?

Changing motorcycle oil every 12 months or after riding your bike for 8000 to 10000 miles (whichever comes first) is necessary. However, it also depends upon the type of oil used in your motorcycle.

Here are recommended oil change intervals on motorcycles-

  • Regular mineral-based oil: 2000 to 3000 miles or every 12 months.
  • Semi-synthetic oil: 3000 to 5000 miles or every 12 months.
  • Synthetic oil: 8000 to 10000 miles or every 12 months.

Why Do We Need To Change Motorcycle Engine Oil?

Engine oil plays various roles on a motorcycle. It lubricates moving parts, reduces friction, minimizes component wear, and prevents the engine from overheating.

Over time, engine oil loses its viscosity and frictional properties due to high engine temperature and dust contamination.

That’s it’s mandatory to change engine oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendation or every year.

Similar Guide: Can You Use Car Engine Oil In Motorcycles?

What Happens When You Don’t Change Motorcycle’s Engine Oil?

In the above paragraphs, I have explained the function of engine oil on a motorcycle. Engine oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts like the piston, cylinder, connecting rod, and crankshaft, reducing wear rate.

It also helps in heat dissipation and prevents the engine from overheating. Not changing the oil at recommended intervals reduces your motorcycle’s performance, fuel economy, and overall lifespan.

Similar Guide: What Happens If You Put Too Much Oil in Motorcycle

Engine Oil Change Intervals For Various Motorcycles

Here are estimated oil change intervals for various motorcycle manufacturers to get high performance and engine longevity. If you’ve filled regular mineral-based oil, then it should be changed every 2000 to 3000 miles.

MotorcycleOil Change Interval (Miles)Time
Harley Davidson7000 to 10,000Every 12 months
Kawasaki5000 to 7000Every 12 months
Honda7500 to 10,000Every 12 months
Indian4500 to 5000Every 12 months
Triumph4500 to 5000Every 12 months
Suzuki3500 to 4500Every 12 months
Ducati7500 to 9000Every 12 months
BMW5500 to 6000Every 12 months
Yamaha6000 to 7000Every 12 months
Royal Enfield4500 to 6000Every 12 months


The engine oil sitting in a motorcycle will last only six months (if the motorcycle is stored) and 12 months (if you ride). However, the shelf life of motorcycle oil is 2 to 3 years if stored in an air-tight container in a dark and cool place.

Moreover, synthetic oil in motorcycles lasts 8000 to 10000 miles, but manufacturers recommend replacing it more frequently to ensure engine longevity.

I hope all your questions are answered in this article. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions regarding motor oil (use the comment box below).

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *