What Kind of Oil Should I Use in My V Star?

by Justin Wash

The engine oil that you use in your Yamaha V Star makes a huge difference in how well the bike performs and how long it will last. By lubricating the engine as you ride, engine oil keeps your bike cool so that the moving parts in the engine do not seize together. The size of your engine and your riding conditions largely determine which oil is right for your V Star.


The owner's manual for your V Star will give you a good indication of what type of oil you should use in your bike. The benefits of synthetic versus conventional oil, weight and viscosity should all be covered in the booklet that came with your bike. If you don't have your owner's manual, you can search for an online version or contact Yamaha for a replacement.

Environmental Factors

Depending on where you live, you may prefer to use an oil of a heavier or lighter weight, or higher or lower viscosity. For example, if you live in a climate that is very cold most of the year, lighter oil will suffice to keep the bike lubricated without hindering performance. If you live in a hot climate where the temperature is above 70 degrees F most of the year, heavier oil will lubricate better and last longer.

Engine Size and Configuration

The larger your motorcycle engine, the heavier and more viscous the oil should be. For example, the 250cc V Star 250 owner's manual calls for 10W-40 engine oil, a low-weight, low viscosity oil. On the other hand, the 1100cc V Star 1100 calls for 20W-50 engine oil, which is heavier and more viscous.

Synthetic Versus Conventional

Conventional oil is made from minerals. Synthetic oil is made in a lab. The main difference between these two types of oil is the range of environments in which they work well. A bike running conventional oil may need to use 15W-30 oil in cold weather and 10W-40 in hot weather, whereas a bike running synthetic oil should be just fine running 10W-40 year around. Be careful not to use synthetic oil that contains "friction modifiers," as these will damage your motorcycle engine.

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