Can you use motorcycle oil in an ATV?

It’s always inconvenient to find your ATV oil levels need topping up when using the ATV. What do you do if you don’t have the specialist oil required?

If you use a decent motorcycle engine oil, the friction properties will be very similar, and you won’t damage the engine. This does not apply to ATVs with wet clutch systems.

Keep your ATV running smoothly by using the manufacturer’s recommended oil.

Can I use 10W40 motorcycle oil in my ATV?

Your ATV manufacturer will probably be recommending using a 5-50 or 5-40 oil, something like Shell Rotella for winter use and Polo for summer use.

ATV oils are pretty light compared to some engine oils, and it seems as if it depends on the ambient temperature you will be using your ATV in.

It seems as if 10W40 could be a wrong move, so try and stick to the recommended oils for the ATV.

What kind of oil can I put in my ATV?

Using the wrong oil in any engine can be an expensive mistake but, with an ATV, they are high revving and can run hot, so it’s essential to have the correct oil.

A lot of the decision on oil comes down to ambient temperature. The W on oil represents the thickness of the oil when cold, and the other number represents the thickness when running at average operating temperature.

The problem arises because manufacturers of ATV recommend a wide variance of oil thickness to suit their engines.

For example, Polaris requires quality light oil to keep the engine running smoothly. Polaris is synonymous with cold-weather ATV and Snow Machines, so the oil has to lubricate quickly before damage can occur.

On the other hand, if you look at a Honda ATV, they recommend a thicker oil 10W40 for their ATV.

Often we find a mix of synthetic oils and mineral oils being used in ATVs. For my money, the correct synthetic oil will perform better than mineral oil when riding your ATV.

If you are out of oil and have no other choice, then a quality motorcycle oil is going to get you out of trouble until you can do an oil change and replace the oil with the recommended viscosity.

Can you use automotive oil in an ATV?

No. You will be asking for a lot of trouble. An ATV engine is different from a car engine, so never be tempted to use car oil in your ATV.

Oils have additives to deal with the demands of individual engines. Car engines do not run as hot and take as much beating as an ATV engine.

In all cases, use the correct oil for your ATV to ensure your engine performance is at an optimum level.

Decent off-road motorcycle oil will help you out if you have no choice.