Have you recently owned a Harley Twin Cam, and don’t know much about engine oils? Or, are you too confused about choosing the best lubricant among so many options?
No matter what it is, we can help you get the right product that maintains the manufacturer’s guideline. Alongside the recommended standards, we have also considered the performance of the oil in different weather conditions.
So, buckle up, and read our reviews of Harley Davidson Twin Cam oil. After this 4-min read, you won’t have confusion about choosing the right product for your precious bike.
Here are our top recommended best oil for Harley Davidson Twin Cam:
- Best Overall: AMSOIL FULL SYNTHETIC Motorcycle Oil 20W-50
- Runner-Up: Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motocycle Motor Oil
- Best Budget: Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50
- Other Consideration: Motul 7100 4T Synthetic Ester Motor Oil – 20W50
- Other Consideration: Harley-Davidson SYN3 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
What Kind Of Oil Should I Use In My Harley Davidson?
The best lubricant for your precious Harley Davidson Twin Cam engine is synthetic oil. There are other options, too, such as mineral and semi-synthetic. But you should choose synthetic oil for the best results.
But the question is, why is it wiser to go for this specific type?
The first reason is the purity of synthetic oil that you can’t find in other types of engine oil. It is a tailored lubricant originated in the labs so that it can keep the engine cool and ensure smooth performance in different weather conditions.
Too thick layers or too thin layers on engine parts can cause problems. And that is why scientists have made synthetic engine oils in a way to overcome the lack of other oil types. Synthetic oil has a higher viscosity index, lower friction and a lower Noack value. Apart from the high-cost of this lubricant, you won’t be able to find a con.
What Oil Does Harley Davidson Recommend?
We know which type of oil is the best oil Harley Davidson Twin Cam, but you need to know what are the specifications recommended by the manufacturer. Harley Davidson suggests that you should always use 20W-50 full-synthetic oil for the Twin Cam engine.
If you dig deep, you will see different values such as 5W-40, 10W-40, 15W-50, 20W-50, etc. labeled by the lubricant manufacturers.
What do those numbers mean?
20W-50 or 15W-40 indicates the viscosity of the oil set by the Society of American Engineers (SAE). Different engines require different viscosity to perform without any harm, and that is why you need to follow the guidelines.
According to Harley Davidson, you can use 20W-50 synthetic oil in almost all weather conditions. The best practice is to use it in the regions where the ambient temperature fluctuates between 60 and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a colder region, you can discuss the matter with your mechanic and find a suitable engine oil. However, the cost of keeping your bike running will only increase.
Best Oil For Harley Davidson Twin Cam: The Review
1. Best Overall: AMSOIL FULL SYNTHETIC Motorcycle Oil 20W-50
- Withstands Extreme Heat
- Delivers Superior Rust Protection
- Provides Excellent Wet-Clutch Performance
- Extreme-Pressure Protection for Gears and Chains
- High-Performance Lubricant for Motorcycle Engines, Transmissions and Primary Chaincases
People argue and recommend different brands when it comes to the best oil for Harley Davidson Twin cam. All of them perform so well that we can’t blame H-D owners. So, we relied on the wear-scar test of different engine oils.
In the test result, we saw that Amsoil performs the best that makes only 0.39mm wear on the metal surface. Of course, it is not the only reason we have chosen Amsoil 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil as our top pick.
So, what are the features that make Amsoil the best bet?
The oil includes highly capable anti-wear additives, and you have already seen the proof. No matter what the operating condition is, the synthetic oil keeps the engine thermally stable with oxidation inhibitor additives.
In summer, being stuck in a traffic jam with the engines running can increase the temperature greatly. But Amsoil synthetic oil can decrease the overall temperature and keep the engine cool.
Alongside the heat-control feature, the oil has friction modifiers that ensure smooth shifting and increase wet-clutch performance. Moreover, it plays a big role in preventing rust as it is a common occurrence in humid condition.
We know that sourcing components from different listings can be problematic for a lot of people. So, check out this complete AMSOIL VTWIN Oil Change KIT and save some money also.
- Extreme heat resistance
- Ultimate wear protection
- Great for clutch smoothness
- Rust protection
- Not good for regions with an ambient temperature of 40-degree Fahrenheit or less
Summary: Rust, wear, friction, and overheating are the main enemies of all engines. Amsoil can prevent all of them and keep the powerful engine of your Harley Davidson Twin Cam as good as new for many years.
2. Runner-Up: Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil
- For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Mobil has all the features, and performance ratings to get one’s top recommendation except the wear-scar test results. Both Amsoil and Mobil have the lubricant formula for the benefit of the engine. But Amsoil synthetic oil is slightly more friendly to the powerful V-Twin engines than Mobil.
Can I consider it for my Twin Cam?
Yes, of course, you can because it has the base stocks technology with perfectly balanced additives. All of those help engines run quietly and efficiently, saving a lot of money on the fuels.
Also, your investment stays protected from rust and debris throughout its life. So, increased longevity is only a logical conclusion for those who trust in this lubricant. It seems that another brand is also popular among the Harley Davidson bike-lovers, which is Red Line.
Check out Red Line 42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil and buy any of the synthetic oil that your muscle-bike engine loves. Finally, if you don’t mind 0.44mm wear scar test result of Mobil 1, you must get it now for the best available price.
- Increases engine life
- Keeps the engine clean
- Prevents rust
- Increases energy conversion
- Cold start is not satisfactory
Summary: Improving overall engine performance, keeping it clean, preventing overheating, and protecting from rust are the properties of Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil. Check out the user reviews, and you won’t find anything against this product.
3. Best Budget: Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50
- For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Formulated with Trizone technology to protect all 3 critical zones: engine, clutch and gearbox
- Race derived technology for maximum engine acceleration
- Extreme high temperature air-cooled performance
- Excellent shear stability to prevent viscosity breakdown
Honestly, we couldn’t find a less expensive product in this category. What Castrol is offering is not very budget-friendly but slightly less costly than the other products. However, make no mistake as this also has almost the same features and performance as the other good-quality lubricants.
The 0.55mm wear scar is still better than the Harley Davidson synthetic oil Syn3. Castrol 20W-50 Synthetic oil has a perfectly balanced formula to protect all 3 critical zones, namely engine, gearbox, and clutch. Also, it can give you the ultimate protection from overheating the engine, rust, and friction.
Will it be wise to go for this budget one?
As we have already told you that this is not like other budget items, you can put your trust in Castrol. For its race-derived technology, we also love it like the best oils for Harley Davidson Twin Cam.
- Specially designed for V-Twin engines
- Keeps the engine cool in traffic jams
- Smooth wet-clutch performance
- Not recommended for colder regions
Summary: Without compromising the quality and performance, you can get Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50 synthetic oil for a reasonable price. It has a balanced additive mixture that can ensure the engine’s optimum performance for years.
4. Other Considerations: Motul 7100 4T Synthetic Ester Motor Oil – 20W50
- Meets the following standards: API SL/SH/SG and JASO MA
- Recommended for all 4-stroke motorcycles with catalytic converters
- Ester technology improves engine response
- Proprietary extreme pressure formula to protect the gearbox
- Low sulfur and phosphorus formula for bikes fitted with catalytic converters
Motul is another big name in the engine oil category for Harley Davidson bikes, and it deserves a better position than here. But Mobil 1 has got a better synthetic blend that makes it slightly better performing than Motul 7100.
However, you can consider this one as the 2nd runner-up lubricant. Lots of experts and reviewers like Motul 7100 4T Synthetic Ester Motor Oil so much that it is their top recommendation.
Keeping aside the wear scar test results, we have seen some praise-worthy features of this lubricant. It has a proprietary high-pressure formula that can keep the gearbox safe. Also, its low sulfur and phosphorus formula helps keep the environment healthy.
5. Other Considerations: Harley-Davidson SYN3 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
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Finally, we have the official engine oil for Harley Davidson Twin Cam as well as other models. But unfortunately, we don’t like it as much as the other ones. Despite its great features and performance claims, we don’t recommend it.
It is because you can get far better products for the same price or less. From the wear scar test, we saw that it makes 0.63 mm scar which is not acceptable in this competitive industry. So, if you can’t trust other manufacturers regarding compatibility, you can buy the SYN3.
What Factors Were Considered To Choose The Best Oil For Harley Davidson Twin Cam?
Those who already have expertise on the bike components and the know-how about maintenance, this section will give them an insight into our selection process.
But if you are new in this club, it will help you know the important factors of engine oil. Also, you will understand how vulnerable your H-D Twin Cam engine can be without the right product.
Here, we will talk about two parts where one is about the common features of the lubricants, and another is on the wear scar test.
There are mainly two parts of an engine oil where the major portion is the base stock, and another minor part is the additives. All of our selected products for your Twin Cam comes with the balanced formula for the best results.
These full synthetic oils are capable of preventing the engine from overheating and ensure optimum performance. According to the manufacturer recommendation, we chose SAE 20W-50 lubricants for warmer regions.
They have the perfect blend of additives that can prevent rust, and ensure smooth performance of the gearbox as well as wet-clutch. We looked at the oils’ viscosity indexes and made sure that they have protection against viscosity breakdown.
Wear Scar Test
As all of the oil manufacturers are claiming to have the necessary features and components in their lubricants, we had to rely on the wear scar test for the final decision.
The test is done in a controlled lab environment maintaining some standards. Here, the test is done on four balls with a specific lubricant on.
For example, maintaining 40kgf (kilogram-force), 1800 RPM, and 150F for 1 hour, Amsoil 20W-50 synthetic oil left only 0.39mm scar on the balls. On the other hand, SYN3 from Harley Davidson didn’t do well leaving 0.63mm scar.
That is how we have selected only the best performing lubricants in the market right now.
What Are The Harley Davidson Oil Change Instructions For Twin Cam?
As different models and versions of Twin Cam don’t have the same design, and we are describing a general oil changing guide for your Harley Davidson. Also, we won’t be discussing how to change the transmission fluid.
- Firstly, lose the oil cap a little so that there is no vacuum created while draining, and the oil can flow freely.
- After that, check underneath the floorboard where you can see two plugs side by side. The left one is for the crankcase, and you don’t want to remove that.
- It would help if you used a quarter-inch ball and an Allen wrench to remove the plug on the right side. The reason to use a ball and Allen wrench is to have flexibility while unscrewing.
- The next thing is to clean the plug and replace the rubber o-ring, which is inexpensive. Here, check the oil plug’s magnetic end to see whether there is debris or not and take actions accordingly.
- Now, take out the oil filter and let the oil drain slowly. When it is finished, you should smear the rubber o-ring of the filter and hand tighten it so that it comes off easily for the next schedule.
- Finally, you can put back the oil plug and change the transmission fluid as well as primary oil.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Amsoil better than Harley oil?
Ans: Yes, in every aspect, Amsoil synthetic oil is better than Harley Davidson synthetic oil for cooling and ensuring the smooth performance of the engine. If you see the wear scar amount of both lubricants, the difference will be clear to you.
What are the Harley Davidson oil specs?
Ans: For all weather conditions, Harley Davidson recommends SAE 20W50 synthetic oils the Twin Cam engine. But if you live in a region where it gets below 40F, you should get something that maintains SAE 10W40 standards. Similarly, SAE 60 H-D is suggested for higher temperatures above 80 degrees.
You have heard a lot of benefits for using the best oil for Harley Davidson Twin Cam. But all can turn out to be false for your mistake. Taking advice from your friend or some pretended expert, saving a few dollars on the engine oil, is it really worth it?
It surely is not, and please select the lubricant that your favorite bike’s engine deserves. If you have a personal preference, we won’t force you into our recommendation-ring. Otherwise, among Amsoil or Mobil, which one are you going to pick?