Is ATV and Motorcycle Oil the Same? How to Choose the Right One?

If you’ve ever stepped into an automotive shop, you may know the familiar overwhelming feeling of staring at the wall filled with different types of oil. With an ATV rather than a car, the experience isn’t much different. There are so many choices, and it’s hard to even know if ATV and motorcycle oil are the same or completely different. Does it matter what oil you use in your ATV? If so, what’s the best ATV oil to use in your rig?

All oil works to combat the detrimental effects of the extreme heat produced by all of the combustion and moving parts inside of your car, ATV, motorcycle, or even your lawn mower. So, it’s hard to tell the differences unless you know what you’re looking at.

This is meant to help you figure out how to choose oil for your ATV so you don’t need to spend a lifetime looking at the wide variety of options in front of you. If you know what you want, you’ll walk right in and snatch up what you want every time an oil change comes around.

engine oil atv and moto.jpg
Image from www.amsoil.com

Different demands from an ATV

In short, the oil you use in an ATV or UTV will be incredibly different from the oil you can put in your motorcycle, your car, or your dirt bike. This all comes down to the differences in the engine and how they all work. Some of this comes from size, some from design, and some from the conditions that you ride in.

First off, ATV oil is designed to combat and prevent rust from building up inside of the engine. It’s much more likely that these machines are sitting still for a longer period of time, which builds up condensation, and therefore, rust. The additives in the oil help to prevent this rust from becoming a problem.

ATVs also require a higher film strength in the oil due to repeated use in lower gears while heavily loaded. This type of operation will put heavier stress on certain points of the engine, so the oil film needs to be strong enough to stand up against this.

Choosing the right oil for an ATV

Always start by looking at what the manufacturer recommends for you to put into your UTV. This is what the engine has been designed to run on, so you can cause a lot of issues by going against the grain in this area.

Always choose an oil that has been specifically designed for ATV use. This will have the necessary additives in it that will help to provide the proper protection for your engine throughout its life. An oil designed for a motorcycle won’t have most of the additives that you need to run your ATV in the extreme conditions that it takes you to.


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