Last Updated: August 15th, 2023

Difference Between Motorcycle & ATV Oil

Difference Between Motorcycle & Atv Oil

When you ride ATVs on rent or get your friend’s one, most of the time, the fuel tank will have enough to get you the adventure ride.

But do you know what oil you should fill in an ATV to keep the ATV healthy and perfectly running? It’s alright if you don’t, as many people are unaware of what oil goes into the tank of an All-Terrain Vehicle.

The majority of four-stroke ATVs do run on gasoline. The gasoline should be of minimum grade 87 or higher. If you are unaware of the variant of ATV, then putting an 89-graded gasoline is the ideal option.

It will also work if you find the same 87 grade with ethanol-free characteristics.

The factor dominating the oil used in ATVs is the model being a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke model.

The four-stroke model doesn’t make a fuss and happily runs in 87-grade gasoline, but the oil issue isn’t that simple for the two-stroke model.

In two-stroke, you must mix the specific oil made for two-stroke with gasoline to keep the ATV functioning properly. Experts also explain that the Oil compartment and use are much different for ATVs than other vehicles.

ATVs are made to run at higher RPM, and the vehicle controls a much hotter environment in the oil compartments. Due to the low oil volume, the clutch, transmission, and engine might use the same sump.

This suggests that ATV oil has more complicated tasks to accomplish. For better analysis, you need to know the difference between ATV Oil and Motorcycle Oil.

The High-Grade Non-Ethanol Fuel

In the ATV owners’ world, there remains a debate on whether the common 87-graded gasoline is the only fuel that should be considered for all ATVs.

The owner’s belief in the 87 would raise the fact that as the fuel doesn’t go too warm, it will have minimal risk of combusting through the piston of the vehicle. The other obvious argument basis is the price of other high-grade specialized oils.

But the ATV people who don’t mind the few extra bucks prefer nothing over non-ethanol gasoline with a grade of around 91.

But they have reasons for choosing the high-graded one, the common belief that the costly one would be better for the ATV’s performance and strength.

They both are not wrong for their respective ATVs, and this is because the owners have experienced what works fine and smoothly for their vehicles.

If your ATV is running great with the 87-grade gasoline, then it’s all fireworks for you—no need to try something else.

But if you have been buying the non-ethanol one since day one, it’s no harm in putting in the 87-grade gasoline once or twice.

If your ATV is uncomfortable with the oil, it will tell through small signs, which you must understand.

The vehicle might throw some knocks. Now here are some symptoms to help you understand if the present fuel you are using is not the best for your ATV:

  • The petcock shows leaks from the carburetor even if the petcock is fixed properly.
  • Failure to rev and vehicles acting like fuel are often absent even if full.
  • If an extension of the ignition choke is the only way to start your quad bike.
  • The engine might often stumble and die out when no throttle is inputted.
  • If the vehicle thrust and performance seem to be in loss of power.

Types Of Oil For ATV

In the case of ATVs, you may have a few oil options, but in several other vehicles, there are no options.

But with options, it often leads to confusion due to incorrect knowledge or lack of it. It has been proven that some kinds of oils work best for a specific kind of ATV engine.

But it will help you better understand and realize the oiling mechanism when you know about the variants of oil as follows:

Synthetic motor oil

As the name suggests, humans make synthetic oil through several chemical compounds. The motor oil is made to function in various critical conditions. They are easier to obtain from other orthodox oils and would be less costly.

Semi-synthetic oil

This type of oil is not fully synthetic and is more of a mixture of naturally obtained oils with synthetic oil.

The semi-synthetic oil has natural oil for the majority of the percentage. Around 70% is a natural oil, and the remaining 30% is synthetic.

Natural oil

The most common kind of oil being used for decades now for driving vehicles around is naturally obtained Oils. So many variants of natural oil are used for different fueling purposes.

Natural oils remain unbeatable and dominant even after so many human discoveries for other renewable fuel resources.

Experts suggest that in ATV vehicles, the body has a lot of high-grade plastic parts; therefore, choosing an oil that will complement the high temperature of the engine.

While experimenting, if you fill your ATV tank with the incorrect oil, then the functionality of the vehicle will be greatly affected. Troubling issues include a failure in bearings, stuck piston rings, overheating, wet clutch use, and poor throttle response.

For vehicles like 4-stroke ATVs, the premium oil that will make your ATV run smoothly and perfectly is the 10w40 oil.

But for the two-stroke ones, there is not much space for experimentation; you should use the recommended grade gasoline only.

If the ATV you ride has features like a wet clutch, then your ATV has a specific kind of oil that you can only use, and you shouldn’t use other oils for the ATV’s proper functioning.

Motor Oil Differences

Vehicles are suitable for one kind of oil based on its purpose. The ideal fuel is the oil that keeps the vehicle’s dedicated function intact. In the case of motorcycles, there are ideal oil types that suit them best.

If you are raising the question of- the difference between ATV Oil vs. Motorcycle Oil, then you are on the right path in getting to know the truth of oil distinctions.

The answer to your query can be that both oils are similar in various characteristics, yet it is unwise to use the same for both without knowing the criteria behind it.

Regarding oil engineering, the type of Oil best suited for ATVs comes under JASO MA.

But the motorcycle oil suitability is best found in technical oil termed JASO MA2 or MB. In a special case, you can use the MB in ATV.

You should use the JASO MA category oils for most other ATVs. In comparison, there aren’t a lot of differences between the two categories of oil, but there remain some small distinctions which are given below:


This type of oil is dedicatedly used for motorcycles only. Especially for the motorcycles which have a catalytic converter present in them.

A catalytic converter is used to diminish the toxic gases and other particles of pollutants released from the engine’s exhaust structure. The JOSA MA2 category of oil is specific to this type of motorcycle because of the presence of phosphorous and zinc.


The most interesting property of this category of oils is the ability to provide more friction. This oil type is purposefully used in vehicles having a wet clutch feature.

A lubricant is present between the friction plates in wet clutches, which is absent in dry clutch vehicles. Due to this property it resists the wet clutch from slipping and provides more stability to the vehicle.

The JOSA MB oil

The ideal vehicles in which this oil category should be used are those with an automatic transmission. The JOSA MB oil helps in the transition of gears and lets the gears operate smoothly.

They also are reputed to be economical and save fuel. Several ATVs lack the feature of automatic transmission, and thus you need to be extra careful before using your ATV.

You might already get the answer to the -Difference between ATV Oil vs. Motorcycle Oil. Buying and using oils that declare to be specifically made for your ATV is a great option always to choose from.

This type of oil from common brands will be easier to find whenever you need to refill the ATV tank.

The most common and popular dedicated ATV fuels are mentioned below:

  • YamaLube OEM 4 stroke.
  • Valvoline for ATV and UTV.
  • Lucas 10720 oil.
  • Honda GN4 motor oil.


It is very much needed by your vehicle that you only put the type of oil in the tank which is best suited. The vehicles like ATVs being built for off-road performance must be in their best shape most of the time.

Thus, using unsuitable oil can severely affect your ATV’s performance and even cause troublesome issues in the vehicle that would cost you more money.

Buying the oil depending on the vehicle model and from the brand which sells dedicated products in the market specifying all details is necessary.

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