How does engine oil work in a bike?

engine oil work in a bike

If bikes are compared to human bodies, then the engine would be the heart. The engine determines how the bike works, its power and its torque. Similarly, the health of the engine is what affects the health of the bike and decides how long the bike will last. If the engine is the heart, then the engine oil can also be compared to the lifeblood of the bike. Engine oil is essentially an oily substance that is circulated throughout the bike engine, with the use of an oil pump. This engine oil is extremely essential since it completes a number of functions that are absolutely necessary for the health of the bike and the engine. 

Functions of engine oil in a bike


The basic purpose of the engine oil is lubrication. Inside an engine, there are various moving parts that are constantly in motion against each other. This constant motion creates friction, which can lead to the parts wearing out or getting damaged. The engine oil covers all these parts in a slick film and creates a barrier between them. This in turn reduces friction and allows the engine to last longer and work smoothly, without any grinding happening. 


Most bikes in India are oil cooled. This means that the engine oil is also responsible for maintaining a stable temperature in the engine. Excessive heating of the engine can be detrimental to the health of the engine and can cause severe damage over time. Engine oil absorbs the heat from the engine and carries it away, while getting cooled by the air circulation. The oil then returns to the engine, newly cooled and thus brings down the temperature there as well. 


Engine oil also keeps the engine clean through the effect of its additives. Base oil is added with lots of extra additives, which then help in protection and cleaning of the engine. Thus, as the engine oil is circulated throughout the engine, it cleans up all the debris it comes in contact with. Not only that, but it also prevents rust or any corrosion from happening, thus keeping the engine spotless. The additives prevent carbon formation or sludge from depositing and keeps the engine healthy for longer.

Importance of oil change

It has now been established that engine oil completes a number of important functions in a bike. It is an important component of the engine and protects it from damage. However, engine oil does not last forever. As engine oil circulates in the what of the engine, it breaks down and evaporates over time. Similarly, while keeping the engine clean, it accumulates dirt and grime as well. While there is an oil filter in the engine that cleans out the dirt in the engine oil, it is effective only to some extent. After a certain number of kilometres or a set amount of distance, engine oil in bikes needs to be changed. 

An oil change is a very simple procedure during which all the oil in the engine is drained out, the oil filter is replaced and fresh, clean oil is refilled into the engine. Regularly changing oil in your bike keeps the engine running smoothly and prevents any possible damage. The oil change interval changes from bike to bike, depending on the design of the engine, the usage of the bike, the riding habits of the owner, the type and quality of engine oil used, the maintenance of the bike, etc. Before changing the oil in a bike, it is also important to ascertain the grade and type of oil needed as well as the volume of oil that needs to be refilled to maintain sufficient oil levels. 


The engine is perhaps the most important part of the bike as it determines the overall health and longevity of the bike. Engine oil is an essential part of maintaining the engine. It completes a number of functions such as providing lubrication and protection, cooling the system as well as keeping it clean. However, over time engine oil gets dirty and may even break down due to the heat. This is why it needs to be changed from time to time, depending on the design of the bike as well as the type of oil used. It is important to read the owner’s manual and understand your bike’s engine oil needs before changing the oil on your own.

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