Motorcycle Burning Oil: (How To Stop It | Early Signs)

Motorcycle Burning Oil How To Stop It & Early Signs

Motorcycle burning oil is one of the most common issues faced by people all over the world. And as you know engine oil is needed to keep the moving parts of the engine like the Camshaft, Piston Valves, Pistons, connecting rod, etc well lubricated. 

Motorcycle burning oil is normal and happens over time because of the high engine temperatures but if the oil inside the engine burns at a faster pace due to worn valves seals, damaged piston rings, low-quality oil, or wrong grade oil then it can damage or seize the motorcycle’s engine.

An adequate amount of oil is needed to keep the motorcycle running smoothly and effectively and to do that some amount of oil is naturally burned. 

But if the motorcycle burning oil is on the faster side, then it can cause the engine oil level to drop by a significant amount. This can cause friction between the moving parts inside the engine and eventually can cause some serious damage to the motorcycle’s engine.

So in this article, we will discuss why a motorcycle is burning oil at a faster rate and what are the causes behind it, and some early symptoms you should look out for. 

And finally how to stop and prevent motorcycle oil from burning at a higher rate and keep your motorcycle engine oil level at a recommended amount to keep your motorcycle running smoothly and efficiently.

What Causes Motorcycle To Burn Oil?

To keep the mechanical components inside the engine in a proper working condition without any friction between them a recommended amount of engine oil is needed inside the engine. 

This oil circulates inside and around the moving parts of the engine to keep them well lubricated. And during this process, a small amount of oil is burned due to varying engine temperatures over time, which is totally normal.

Generally, as a common and safe rule motorcycle oil is changed every 2,000 Miles/3,000 Kilometers or (Once a year)

If you want to know more about when to change engine oil for each type of engine oils in detail (after how many miles/kilometers), then please check out the article.

The bigger problem occurs when you have to frequently (weekly or monthly) refill the engine oil because the motorcycle is burning oil at a faster rate.

And there are causes behind why your motorcycle burning oil at a rapid pace and we will look into each one of them in detail.

1. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Worn Valves Seals

1. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Worn Valves Seals

The Inlet valve inside the engine let the air-fuel mixture get inside the combustion chamber and let out the exhaust gas from the exhaust valve. 

And both of these valves are assembled with Valve Seals which do not let the oil circulating inside the engine get inside the combustion chamber while the valves are operating.

Your motorcycle burning oil in excess if there is a crack or severe damage to these valve seals. The engine oil gets past the seals and enters the combustion chamber where it will get burned and discharged as an exhaust gas.

This crack or damaged vales seal will cause the engine oil level of your motorcycle to drop significantly at a faster rate.

2. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Damaged Piston Rings 

2. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Damaged Piston Rings 

Pistons rings are made up of cast iron or steel and are on the outer diameter of the pistons to prevent combustion gases from entering into the engine oil and also regulate the oil consumption by lubricating the cylinder walls and not letting the excessive amount of oil getting passed into the combustion chamber to be burned.

If there is any kind of damage to the piston rings such as a crack or breakage will compromise the enclosure seal between the combustion chamber and engine oil in the crankcase of the motorcycle.

So Due to the damage to the pistons rings the oil from the crankcase will make its way past the pistons and the cylinder bore into the combustion chamber where the oil will get burned in an excess amount.

This will cause the engine oil level to drop significantly and will need frequent refilling of engine oil into the motorcycle.

3. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Low Quality Oil

3. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Low Quality Oil

Motorcycle engine oil is made up of concentrated oils, multiple additives, and chemical several compounds to dissipate the heat and provide all around efficient lubrication to all the moving parts inside the engine.

Low quality oils with a limited lab test and R&D (Research & Development) will have weak chemical bonds causing them to oxidize fast and also have low heat, load & stress tolerance and does not do an optimal job at preventing friction.

So these low-quality oils do not sustain for a long time under high engine temperatures and due to their weak chemical bonds they oxidize and the chemical bonds break under high engine stress causing the motorcycle to burn oil faster.

4. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Wrong Grade Oil

4. Motorcycle Burning Oil Due To Wrong Grade Oil

The best engine oil for your motorcycle is recommended in your motorcycle owner’s manual which will protect and effectively lubricate the engine under normal, cold, and hot engine operating temperatures.

Using a wrong grade oil might not be compatible with your motorcycle’s engine and its working causing the flow of the oil or the viscosity of it to either get too thick or thin.  

Improper lubrication will cause the engine to create an ineffective film of oil barrier between the moving parts of the engine to avoid friction between them.

This will cause the motorcycle engine to heat up a lot very often, causing the motorcycle to burn oil at a faster rate.

Motorcycle Burning Oil Symptoms?

There are some symptoms and early signs that will indicate to you that your motorcycle is burning oil in excess which will give you an indication and will let you know something is wrong with your motorcycle.

1. Engine Oil Levels Drop At a Faster Rate

If you are noticing suddenly your motorcycle is demanding a lot of engine refills on a frequent basis (e.g. Monthly (2-3) or Weekly (in worst cases), then there might be a chance at your motorcycle has an internal leak inside the engine where the engine oil is making its way into the combustion chamber and getting burned.

It can be because of broken piston rings or worn or cracked valve seals, so please check these parts and replace them as soon as possible.

If the motorcycle engine is old, then it is obvious because of the wear & tear over time and possibly due to improper maintenance.

2. Smoke From The Motorcycle Exhaust

If you notice any kind of smoke from the exhaust whether it be black, blue, or white in color then it means that the engine oil is mixing with the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber and the motorcycle burning oil in an excessive amount.

Cold start during the early morning will blow off some smoke from the exhaust for a few seconds but it’s only the moisture collected overnight in the exhaust pipe getting evaporated.

But if you are noticing constant smoke coming out of the exhaust, then you should have a quick look into your engine components such as piston rings, valve seals, and head gasket to check if there is a crack or severe wear (damage) to any of these parts.

Ignoring these symptoms will cause some serious carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber and eventually harm the motorcycle and the engine itself.

3. Motorcycle Burning Smell Of Oil

So if there is a leak into a gasket or seal that will let the oil gets mixed up with the air-fuel mixture, which during the combustion process gets ejected out from the motorcycle causing the motorcycle oil burning smell.

The exhaust gas has semi-burned oil with it, which lets you know that the engine oil is getting burned along with the air-fuel mixture.

4. Motocycle Oil Color Changes

The oil which is in good condition and hasn’t been oxidized will have a light yellowish color to it.

When the motorcycle is burning oil in excess, this simply means the exhaust gases from the combustion chamber are mixing with the engine oil due to wear and tear to the piston rings, gasket, and valve seals.

So exhaust gases once they get mixed with the engine oil oxidize at a faster rate, changing the oil color to dark brown or brownish in color.

Look out for these symptoms of motorcycle burning oil and fix them as soon as possible to avoid severe engine damage.

How To Stop Motorcycle Burning Oil Problem?

Now you know a motorcycle will burn oil when oil gets into the combustion chamber and it will get burned.

To stop the motorcycle from burning oil, you will have to replace the worn-out parts such as piston rings, valve seals, and head gasket to not the engine oil get into the combustion chamber where the air-fuel mixture is getting burned.

These parts act as seals and will not let oil, water, or coolant get inside the combustion chamber.

How To Prevent A Motorcycle From Burning Oil?

For preventive measures do a routine maintenance check and use a high-quality recommended engine oil for your motorcycle.

Avoid using engine flush cause it’s not recommended to use on a frequent basis.

A good quality engine oil with a recommended grade for your motorcycle is enough cause most of the oil comes with additives that are there to protect your engine.

Change engine oil routinely and follow a good maintenance routine.


Motorcycles will only burn oil in excess if there is a crack or damage to the gasket or seals like piston rings and valve seals. So fix them as soon as possible to avoid severe engine damage.

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