Motul All About Lubes : Choosing The Right Engine Oil For Royal Enfield (Bullet) Motorcycles

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Added in: Features

In the previous installments of this informative series about lubes, we have covered a whole variety of topics, including the viscosity grades, synthetic engine oils and their advantages, engine oils for scooters, commuter bikes and many more.

In this edition of Motul All About Lubes, we will talk about the requirements of a very important segment of the Indian biker community – one that comprises ‘Bulleteers’. Royal Enfield, the oldest surviving motorcycle brand in the world, is every Indian’s pride and the owners of the brand wear their passion for their motorcycles on their sleeves.

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Royal Enfield is an old brand, though, and despite the times having changed, this specific motorcycle brand still employs a relatively older design of engines in its motorcycles. The construction and character of the engines employed on RE motorcycles is different from most other motorcycles in the market as of today. As goes without saying, the care required for these engines is also different from your regulation motorcycle.

Let’s start with the viscosity grades. Since the engines on Royal Enfield motorcycles are more prone to oil leakage owing to their old design and construction than their more modern counterparts, typically an oil grade that represents thicker oil works better for these engines.

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Typically hi-precision products like high-end, performance oriented Japanese or German motorcycles have something known as lower ‘tolerances’. On the other hand, engines with an old design have higher tolerances. Low tolerance, and high precision means that there is lesser scope for an erroneous variation in a standard specification. Higher tolerances, in engineering terms, allow for a relatively wider variation in the specification of a product.

RE motorcycles have relatively higher tolerances, which mean that the moving parts are allowed a wider margin for error. This, in turn, means that there is a higher possibility for the engine oil or other fluids to find their way through the seals, especially at higher temperatures when the viscosity of the engine is relatively low. Let’s be honest, we have all heard the adage – Bullets mark their territories by leaking oil.

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Thus, the viscosity, or the resistance of a fluid for flowing, should be relatively higher for engine oils used for the RE Bullet. The thicker the oil the lesser the chance of it leaking – especially in the case of the Bullet. Having said that, the molecular structure of the oil should still be uniform and it should perform well across a wide range of temperatures.

It is, thus, important that the users stick to the specified viscosity for the engine oil they are using.

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Talking specifically about Royal Enfield motorcycles, the brand used to recommend a very thick 20W50 grade for its earlier cast iron engines. For its newer UCE / Twin Spark engines on its model range, the company recommends 15W50 grade. It’s notable that smaller commuter motorcycles in the 100-150cc segment use a thinner 10W30 grade owing to their lower performance and relatively more precise construction.

Since RE Motorcycles aren’t as well precision engineered as some of their Japanese counterparts, they are more prone to damages to engine and related parts if the user is careless about his choice of engine oil brand, or about the oil change intervals.

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In a nutshells, here are the engine grades recommended for various RE motorcycles

  • For the old Bullet 350 & 500 engines: SAE 20W50
  • For the UICE / Twinspart EFI engines: SAE 15W50

Over and above these grades, Royal Enfield also recommends that the engine oil used for their motorcycles comply with the JASO MA specification.

Ensure that the engine oil brand you use for your Royal Enfield is a reputed one and excels on lubrication parameters over a wide range of temperatures.

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RE owners may user mineral, semi-synthetic or synthetic engine oils for their bikes as long as they comply with the specified grade, are from a well reputed brand and are replaced within the specified interval.

Motul, the series sponsor for this informative initiative is actually one of the most renowned brands among Royal Enfield motorcycle owners. The reviews and experiences posted by Royal Enfield users on independent platforms such as Quora, Amazon and almost all the leading motorcycles related forums is testimony to Motul lubes’ impeccable performance for RE motorcycles.

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Motul has 3 products for Royal Enfield motorcycles, suiting the needs and budgets of all customers

  • 300 V 15w50 – is a 100% synthetic, premium product. It’s the best oil money can buy for the specification
  • 5100 15w50 – Technosynthese is a semi-synthetic oil, offering the best of both mineral and synthetic varieties at an affordable price
  • 3000 4T Plus 15w50 – Mineral is a high quality mineral oil which far exceeds the performance requirement for RE motorcycles

For old Bullets (non twinspark engines) 20w50 is the recommended viscosity

  • 7100 20w50 – 100% synthetic
  • 3100 Gold 20w50 – Technosynthese
  • 2000 Multipower 20w50 – Mineral

We would encourage all our readers who own a Royal Enfield motorcycle to share their experiences, suggestions and tips about engine oils for the their respective RE models here.

In case you have any queries about your Royal Enfield Motorcycle’s engine oil, shoot away, and we will have your question answered by the lube experts at Motul.

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  • Mahesh Dewan says:

    I own a RE Classic 500, right now it uses mineral oil, its due for servicing, in the past i have got it serviced, oil change between 2500km – 3000km. This time i have not used my bike at all, and so is it mandatory to change oil? Does the oil have a limited life whether i use the bike or not i still need to change the oil, lets say every 3 months?? Is it true is if i don’t it may damage the engine??

  • Narendra Bhola says:

    Hi
    Ive been using the MOTUL 5100 15w50 – Technosynthese semi-synthetic oil in my RETB 500 for over last two years and am absolutely floored by its performance. I live in Dehradun and have experienced temperatures from minus 7 to 43C – all this while the oil has performed at optimum levels. Kudos to MOTUL.