Welcome to our 3-minute buyer’s guide to the best dirt bike oils, fluids and cleaners for 2020.
In this guide, we’ll cover every type of oil for your dirt bike or pit bike, including:
- 4-Stroke Engine Oil
- 2-Stroke Premix
- Gearbox Oil
- Chain Lube
- Air Filter Oil
- Fork Oil
- Engine Coolant
- Brake Fluid
- Bike Cleaner
I’ve been riding dirt bikes for nearly two decades, so in each section, I’ll add my personal recommendation.
The Best Dirt Bike Oil Brands
Depending on who you ask, the “top oil” for motocross bikes is going to differ; every rider has their own preference.
However, I think we’ll all agree on one thing; only use oil from the top brands.
Oil is your bike’s defense against the abuse we give it when we ride.
Using low quality oil is going to mean everything from fork seals, to piston rings, wear out a lot sooner than we expect.
So, if you take one thing from this buyer’s guide, let it be this; only buy from the top brands.
Check online reviews compared to lesser brands, and you’ll soon start to see the difference!
- Engine Ice
- Lucas Oil
The Best 4-Stroke Dirt Bike Oil
Since jumping on the 4-stroke bandwagon, I’ve used a few oils.
As I’ve mainly used Silkolene with 2-stroke MX bikes, I started with Silkolene Pro 4.
But, my buddies swore by Maxima (originally, this wasn’t readily available in the UK, but it is now), so I gave that a go.
I ran it in my pit bikes and 250Fs and have to say, the bikes ran better.
I know many bike manufacturers have their own brand (i.e. Yamalube), but I always avoid them like the plague.
Maybe that’s another bandwagon I’ve jumped on. But, since getting into the sport nearly 2 decades ago, I don’t know a committed rider that uses that own brand goop.
When I’m topping up my 4-stroke with oil, I’m using Maxima Premium 4.
The Best 2-Stroke Premix Dirt Bike Oil
It’s been a while since I’ve owned a 2-stroke. But, the last few 2-stroke motocross bikes I’ve had, I’ve ran on Silkolene Pro 2.
Before that, I ran Putoline MX5, but found the bike seemed to run a little rich. Maybe it’s the different consistency of the oil.
The Silkolene Pro 2 MX oil is 100% ester synthetic. And, it’s the one up from their “Offroad” oil.
After using it for a while after the MX5, I stripped down the carb, replaced the exhaust packing and checked the plug.
Minimal carbon build-up.
The Best Gearbox Oil For Dirt Bikes
If you’re looking for the best gearbox oil, I can vouch for the Silkolene Comp range.
As I mentioned, I started on 2-strokes, and always used Silkolene.
I’ve never had a gearbox issue (except for wearing out the gear lever spline on my YZ250, which isn’t oil related), so that’s pretty much all I can say.
Nearly 20 years of riding, and not a single gearbox failure.
Is that just lucky, or is that down to Silkolene Comp gear oil? You be the judge.
I’d buy it all day long again, but since using Maxima Premium 4 in my 4-stroke MX bikes, I’d definitely be tempted to try out their Maxima Premium gear oil range.
The Best Dirt Bike Chain Lube
Back onto the Maxima train…
I actually prefer dirt bike chain wax, over oil. And, Maxima do a great one.
- Use a degreaser, chain cleaner, or WD40 to loosen up dirt.
- Get a chain grunge brush to clean off any dirt.
- Apply Maxima chain wax.
I’ve already covered the best motorcycle chain lube in detail, and a bit on chain maintenance for dirt bikes here.
The Best Dirt Bike Air Filter Oil
I remember back in the day when No-Toil first released their bio air filter cleaner.
They advertised it as “machine washable”, due to the fact there’s nothing harmful in it.
I wouldn’t advise using a washing machine. The cleaner might be degradable, but oil can get stuck in all sorts of places.
A lot of other cleaners are alcohol based. That breaks down the glued seals on the air filter, and can leave your carb/engine exposed to dirt and dust.
But, No-Toil isn’t, so your filters last longer.
And, when they are cleaned and oiled up, you apply rim grease around the edge to stop dust getting through where it connects to the air box.
The Best Fork Oil For Dirt Bikes
You don’t just replace fork oil when you replace your seals, or when you think it’s “been a while”.
Different weight fork oil, will literally change the way your suspension feels.
Lighter riders need lighter weight fork oil, so that the suspension actually absorbs the bumps.
And, heavier riders need heavier weight fork oil, so suspension doesn’t bottom out early.
Maxima do fork oils for dirt bikes, and pit bikes from 5-15wt and that pretty-much covers every rider.
Assuming you’re on a full size bike:
- 5wt – lower than average body weight
- 10wt – average body weight
- 15wt – higher than average body weight
The Best Dirt Bike Engine Coolant
Back when I was 16, I bought a 2003 EXC 300 for woods racing; probably the best bike I’ve ever owned.
The problem? In muggy conditions, it would constantly overheat. And, I had no idea why 🙁
So, instead of worrying about racing, I’d be worrying about my bike blowing up.
After a tonne of research, I found Engine Ice.
At the time, it wasn’t really known at all in the UK (I’m sure you guys & gals in the US had it years before us).
I swapped out my standard Silkolene coolant for Engine Ice, and it was problem solved.
Of course, my bike would overheat again, but this time, I wouldn’t be the only one!
The Best Dirt Bike Brake Fluid
Maxima, Silkolene, Or Putoline!
If I’m 100% honest, I never really had a preference when it came to brake fluid.
I’ve tried Maxima, Silkolene and Putoline. I can’t say I noticed any difference in performance, or had to bleed the brakes any less often.
So, pick a decent brand, and you’re good to go.
Remember, check your manual to see which DOT fluid you need.
The Best Cleaner For Dirt Bikes
Let’s face it, we all love Muc-Off.
At first, Muc-Off looks fairly expensive.
But, if you buy in bulk (I buy the 5L packs) you make a huge saving and it’s not so bad.
Plus, it’s a price I’m willing to pay to keep my bike looking fresh!
What You’ll Need When Replacing Oils
Lisle Measuring Jug & Funnel
The best dirt bike oils will have an expandable cap, and a measurement on the outside of the bottle.
But, that’s no good if you’re trying to get into hard to reach places.
I tend to use a small funnel and measuring jug.
But, there’s a combined unit on offer from Lisle – it looks a lot more suitable than trying to hold a funnel!
Unless you like getting covered in oil (especially when removing a chain for cleaning, and oiling your filter), you’re going to want some gloves.
Time to Latex up!
Thanks for reading my 3-minute guide to the best dirt bike oils, fluids and cleaners.
Hopefully that covers everything you need for your MX and pit bikes.
As you can tell, I’m a motocross nut. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far; jump on our email list.
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