Who Makes Harley-Davidson Oil? How Good Are They?

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Editorial Team

When it comes to motor oil for your beloved Harley-Davidson motorcycle, it’s essential to understand the manufacturing process and the quality of the oil you’re using. Contrary to popular belief, Harley-Davidson does not produce its own motor oil.

The production of Harley-Davidson oil is outsourced to reputable companies with extensive experience in oil manufacturing. One of the main manufacturers of Harley-Davidson oil is Sunoco, a renowned American oil company based in Dallas, Texas. Sunoco meticulously crafts the oil through a precise and controlled process, ensuring the highest quality and performance for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Other companies, such as Citgo, also contribute to the production of Harley-Davidson oil.

Key Takeaways:

  • Harley-Davidson does not manufacture its own motor oil.
  • Harley-Davidson oil is produced by reputable companies, such as Sunoco and Citgo.
  • The manufacturing process undergoes precise and controlled procedures to ensure high quality.
  • Outsourcing the manufacturing process allows Harley-Davidson to focus on their core expertise.
  • Harley-Davidson oil is known for its performance and compatibility with Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

The Manufacturing Process of Harley-Davidson Oil

Harley-Davidson, a renowned manufacturer of motorcycles, also offers a range of high-quality motor oils specifically designed for their motorcycles. The manufacturing process of Harley-Davidson oil is an intricate and precise procedure that ensures superior performance and engine protection.

Harley Davidson motor oil is meticulously crafted using premium synthetic or mineral oils, carefully selected for their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and combat the challenges faced by V-twin engines. The oil is formulated to provide optimal lubrication and minimize engine wear, ensuring the longevity of the motorcycle.

Sunoco, an American company based in Dallas, Texas, takes center stage as the primary manufacturer of Harley-Davidson motor oil. With their commitment to stringent quality control processes and adherence to high standards, Sunoco ensures that every batch of oil meets the specific requirements set by Harley-Davidson.

The production process begins with the sourcing of high-quality base oils, which are then blended with a proprietary additive package. Skilled artisans meticulously select and blend these ingredients to create a tailored formula that enhances the performance of Harley Davidson engines.

Each batch of Harley-Davidson oil undergoes rigorous testing to meet strict standards for performance and durability. This testing ensures that the oil provides high viscosity, excellent heat resistance, and prevents the buildup of sludge and deposits that could hinder engine performance.

The oil production process at Harley-Davidson reflects their commitment to quality, attention to detail, and dedication to excellence in providing optimal lubrication for their motorcycles. The artisans behind Harley Davidson oil infuse their expertise and passion into each batch, ensuring a unique human touch in the manufacturing process.

By choosing Harley-Davidson oil, motorcycle owners can trust that their engines are protected and well-taken care of, allowing them to enjoy smooth rides and the thrill of the open road.

Production Locations for Harley-Davidson Motor Oil

Harley-Davidson takes pride in producing its high-quality motor oil in strategically located manufacturing facilities across the United States. These state-of-the-art production locations ensure efficient and accessible oil supply for riders nationwide. Let’s explore some of the key production facilities where Harley-Davidson motor oil is manufactured.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

One of the primary production locations for Harley-Davidson motor oil is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the birthplace of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it is fitting that this facility plays a crucial role in the production of the brand’s proprietary oil blend. Known for its rich history in motorcycle manufacturing, Milwaukee is a testament to Harley-Davidson’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

York, Pennsylvania

Another significant production location for Harley-Davidson motor oil is in York, Pennsylvania. This facility is well-known for its dedication to excellence in manufacturing and quality control. With advanced technology and stringent processes in place, the York facility ensures that every bottle of Harley-Davidson oil upholds the brand’s reputation for superior performance.

Kansas City, Missouri

The production facility in Kansas City, Missouri, is another important location where Harley-Davidson motor oil is manufactured. Known for its strong emphasis on innovation and efficiency, this facility contributes to the consistent supply of high-quality oil that meets the specific requirements of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Riders can have confidence in the oil produced here, knowing that it goes through rigorous testing and quality assurance processes.

By strategically establishing manufacturing facilities in regions like Milwaukee, Wisconsin; York, Pennsylvania; and Kansas City, Missouri, Harley-Davidson ensures that their motor oil production remains efficient and accessible. These facilities not only embody the essence of the brand but also reflect the commitment to providing riders with the best possible oil for their motorcycles. With advanced technology, stringent quality control measures, and a focus on excellence, Harley-Davidson motor oil manufacturing locations are paramount in maintaining the brand’s exceptional standards.

Types of Harley-Davidson Oil Available

When it comes to choosing the right oil for your beloved Harley-Davidson motorcycle, there are three main types to consider: mineral, synthetic, and semi-synthetic. Each type offers unique benefits and is designed to meet different performance requirements. Let’s take a closer look at these options:

Mineral Oil for Harley-Davidson

Mineral oil, also known as conventional oil, is a traditional choice that provides reliable lubrication for your Harley’s engine. It is formulated with refined crude oil and contains additives to improve its performance. While mineral oil may be a more affordable option, it may not offer the same level of protection and performance as synthetic oil.

Synthetic Oil for Harley-Davidson

Synthetic oil is engineered to deliver superior performance and protection for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It is created using a complex process that results in a highly refined oil with tailored properties. Synthetic oil offers excellent lubrication, even under extreme temperatures, reducing friction and wear on your engine components. It provides enhanced engine cleanliness, oxidation resistance, and extended drain intervals.

Semi-Synthetic Oil for Harley-Davidson

Semi-synthetic oil, also known as a blend or hybrid oil, combines the benefits of mineral and synthetic oil. It offers a balance between affordability and superior performance. Semi-synthetic oil provides improved protection and performance compared to mineral oil, making it a popular choice among Harley-Davidson riders who want a middle ground between the two extremes. It offers excellent lubrication, engine cleanliness, and thermal stability.

When choosing the right oil for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, consider factors such as your riding habits, climate conditions, and the specific requirements of your bike model. It’s important to consult your owner’s manual or speak with a knowledgeable professional to ensure you select the most suitable oil for optimal performance and longevity.

Detailed Comparison of Harley-Davidson Oil Types

Oil Type Advantages
Mineral Oil Reliable lubrication
Affordable option
Readily available
Synthetic Oil Superior performance
Excellent lubrication
Enhanced engine cleanliness
Extended drain intervals
Semi-Synthetic Oil Balance between affordability and performance
Improved protection and performance
Enhanced engine cleanliness

As shown in the table above, each type of oil has its own advantages and is suitable for different preferences. The choice ultimately depends on factors such as budget, desired performance, and the specific needs of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult with professionals to make an informed decision.

Quality and Performance of Harley-Davidson Oil

When it comes to the quality and performance of Harley-Davidson oil, you can rest assured that it is held to the highest standards. As the primary manufacturer of Harley-Davidson oil in Dallas, Texas, Sunoco takes great pride in ensuring that each batch of oil meets rigorous quality control measures. With their state-of-the-art facilities and decades of expertise, Sunoco guarantees that every bottle of Harley-Davidson oil delivers exceptional performance and reliability.

Harley-Davidson offers a range of oil options to meet the varied needs of motorcycle enthusiasts. Whether you prefer mineral, synthetic, or semi-synthetic oils, Harley-Davidson has got you covered. Mineral oils are a cost-effective choice that may require more frequent changes compared to synthetic oils. Synthetic oils, on the other hand, provide high-temperature stability and a longer oil life, making them ideal for demanding conditions. If you’re looking for a balance between mineral and synthetic options, Harley-Davidson’s semi-synthetic oils offer the best of both worlds.

In order to meet the demand for their products, Harley-Davidson carefully sources oils from various countries, including Canada. By selecting the finest ingredients, they ensure that their oils provide excellent lubrication and protection for your motorcycle’s engine.

While Harley-Davidson oil is known for its quality, there are other exceptional options available in the market as well. Motul oils, for example, offer exceptional thermal stability and engine protection. Redline oils provide anti-wear protection, making them a popular choice for high-performance motorcycles. Amsoil synthetic oils offer long-lasting wear protection and improved engine cleaning, while Mobile1 synthetic oils resist thermal breakdown and oil sludge, promoting engine longevity.

When selecting the best oil for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, consider important factors such as viscosity, synthetic vs. conventional oil, wear protection, heat resistance, smooth clutch performance, and rust prevention. Take into account the manufacturer’s recommendations and change the oil in your Harley Davidson V-Twin Cam engine every 5,000 miles or at least once a year. This regular maintenance helps to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Top Pick AMSOIL Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil 20W-50
Runner-Up Mobil 1 96936 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic Motorcycle Motor Oil
Best Budget-Friendly Option Castrol 06116 POWER1 V-TWIN 4T 20W-50
Additional Considerations Motul 7100 4T Synthetic Ester Motor Oil – 20W50
Harley-Davidson SYN3 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
Red Line 42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
Lucas Oil 10702-PK6 High-Performance Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
Bel-Ray V-Twin Synthetic Engine Oil 20W-50
Maxima PRO PLUS+ Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Engine Oil
Royal Purple Max-Cycle 20W-50 High-Performance Synthetic Motorcycle Engine Oil

Each of these oils offers its own unique benefits and characteristics, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your riding style and preferences. Whether you opt for the top pick, the runner-up, or any of the additional options listed, rest assured that these oils have been carefully selected for their quality and performance.

Alternatives to Harley-Davidson Motor Oil

While Harley-Davidson oil is known for its quality and performance, there are alternative options available from reputable manufacturers. These alternative motorcycle oils have been proven to provide excellent protection and performance for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants

Vyscocity, a distributor of AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, offers high-quality alternatives for motorcycle engines. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are designed to meet or exceed industry standards, providing superior protection, engine performance, and prolonged engine life. The synthetic formulations of AMSOIL offer superior viscosity, temperature stability, and wear protection, which are essential for motorcycles facing demanding conditions. AMSOIL also offers a range of lubrication products tailored for fleet maintenance, focusing on enhancing efficiency, reducing friction, and extending equipment life. These lubricants can be seamlessly integrated into existing maintenance practices, promising improved protection and performance without disruption. Stay updated with specials and promotional codes in the automotive lubricants sector by subscribing to the AMSOIL newsletter.

Mobil 1 Synthetic Oils

Mobil 1 15W-50 has been shown in several independent tests to be virtually similar to Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50 oil, indicating a high degree of similarity between the two products. Users have reported switching to Mobil 1 15W-50 in their Harley-Davidson motorcycles after their dealer check-ups, demonstrating user acceptance of this oil. Users with high mileage on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles have not experienced issues with the clutch, primary chain, or transmission after switching to Mobil 1 15W-50, highlighting the reliability of this oil. Additionally, modern synthetic oils of almost any weight provide excellent protection for Harley engines in general. Therefore, Mobil 1 synthetic oils are a reputable and reliable alternative for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Shell Rotella

Another versatile oil option recommended in the community is Shell Rotella. This oil is suitable for a range of vehicles, including cars, diesel trucks, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Shell Rotella provides excellent protection and performance, making it a reliable choice for Harley-Davidson owners seeking an alternative oil brand.

Other Alternative Oil Brands

Aside from AMSOIL and Mobil 1, there are several other reputable alternative oil brands recommended in the community. Some of these brands include RedLine and Spectro. These options offer a variety of synthetic oils that meet the necessary weight and properties for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Brand Key Benefits
AMSOIL Superior protection, performance, and extended engine life
Mobil 1 Similarity to Harley-Davidson V-Twin oil, user acceptance, and reliability
Shell Rotella Versatility and excellent protection for a range of vehicles
RedLine Reputable alternative with synthetic oil options
Spectro Reliable alternative with synthetic oil options

The Importance of Choosing the Right Oil for Your Harley-Davidson

When it comes to keeping your Harley-Davidson running smoothly and efficiently, choosing the right oil is crucial. Your motorcycle’s engine, transmission, and clutch require oil that can handle the demands of a V-twin engine and provide optimal lubrication and protection. By selecting the appropriate oil, you can ensure longevity, performance, and warranty compliance for your Harley-Davidson.

Meeting JASO Specifications

Harley-Davidson motorcycles have wet clutches that require specific oil formulations to prevent slippage. It is vital to choose oil that meets the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) specifications. These specifications ensure that the oil provides the necessary friction characteristics for the clutch while maintaining consistent performance.

Viscosity Grades

The most common viscosity grades used in Harley engines are 20W50 and 10W40. For many bike models, it is recommended to use 20W50 viscosity grade engine oil. This grade of oil provides optimal protection for the engine, especially in warmer climates or under heavy loads.

Synthetic Oil for Enhanced Performance

Synthetic oil offers several advantages over conventional oil. It has superior resistance to heat and cold temperatures, making it ideal for Harley-Davidson motorcycles that may operate in various weather conditions. Synthetic oil also lasts longer, providing better engine protection, reduced wear, and longer engine life.

API Standards and High Zinc Additives

Harley-Davidson engines require oil that meets the standards set by the American Petroleum Institute (API), such as API SG or SH. These standards ensure that the oil meets specific performance criteria and provides the necessary protection for your engine.

Additionally, engine oils designed for Harley motorcycles often contain high zinc additives. These additives are crucial for protecting the engine components and reducing wear, ensuring that your Harley-Davidson remains in optimal condition.

Recommended Oil Brands

When selecting oil for your Harley-Davidson, consider reputable brands such as Drag Specialties DS3 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil, Motul Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil, and Schaeffer’s V-Twin Extreme 20W50. These brands are known for their quality and performance, offering the necessary lubrication and protection for your motorcycle.

Choosing the right oil for your Harley-Davidson is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Whether you opt for synthetic oil or choose a brand recommended by Harley-Davidson, ensure that it meets the necessary standards and provides the required protection for your engine. By selecting the right oil, you can ride with confidence, knowing that your Harley-Davidson is well-maintained and ready for the open road.

Testimonials and Reviews of Harley-Davidson Oil

When it comes to finding the right oil for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, hearing from fellow riders can be incredibly helpful. Testimonials and reviews from Harley-Davidson owners provide valuable insights into the performance and quality of Harley-Davidson oil products. Let’s take a look at what riders have to say about their experiences.

Positive Experiences with Harley-Davidson Oil

Many riders have praised Harley-Davidson oil for its exceptional protection and lubrication properties. They have found that the oil delivers optimal performance, resulting in smooth engine operation and extended engine life. These positive experiences highlight the trust and satisfaction that riders have in the brand’s oil products.

One Harley-Davidson rider, who has over 40,000 miles on their 2018 Road Glide motorcycle, shared their experience after using Harley-Davidson oil. They were particularly impressed with how the oil contributed to precise gear shifts, improved engine sound, better ring seal, and cooler engine operation. These benefits, combined with the oil’s reliability, made their riding experience even more enjoyable.

It’s worth noting that different riders may have different preferences when it comes to oil brands. Some riders prefer conventional oils, while others opt for synthetic options like Harley-Davidson’s Screamin’ Eagle SYN3 oil. These preferences can be based on factors such as noise reduction and smoother shifting, which are important considerations for a satisfying ride.

Rider Experiences with Other Oil Brands

While Harley-Davidson oil receives positive reviews from many riders, it’s essential to explore alternative oil options as well. One rider shared their experience after switching to Motul oil for their transmission and primary. They noticed significant improvements in their gear shifts, further enhancing their riding experience.

Another user logged an impressive 43,300 miles on their 2018 Road Glide after switching to Motul oil. Notably, during a 2235-mile-long trip, they experienced no oil consumption. This showcases the reliability of Motul oil in providing excellent engine protection.

Additionally, some riders have found success with other brands such as HD 360, Amsoil, and Mobil 1. Individual experiences and preferences can vary significantly, highlighting the importance of finding an oil that performs well and provides a good riding experience.

Saving Money with Alternative Oil Options

Aside from performance and quality, cost-effectiveness is another aspect that riders consider when choosing their motorcycle oil. According to a podcast, purchasing Mobil 1 V-Twin 20w-50 full synthetic 4 cycle motorcycle oil can save consumers money compared to buying Harley-Davidson oil. The podcast further mentions that performing oil changes yourself using alternative oil options can save up to $300.

Oil Comparison

Oil Brand Price Recommended Oil Change Interval Warranty Guarantee
Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Synthetic Oil $12.95 per quart Every 5,000 miles No
Mobil 1 V-Twin 20w-50 Full Synthetic 4 Cycle Motorcycle Oil $62.78 for a case of 6 quarts on Amazon Varies, but can extend up to every 10,000 miles with Amsoil Amsoil offers a warranty guarantee in case of engine failures

As seen in the comparison table above, choosing alternative oil options like Mobil 1 V-Twin can not only save money but also extend the recommended oil change interval. Additionally, Amsoil offers a warranty guarantee for their synthetic oil, providing added reassurance in case of engine failures.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider both user experiences and numerical data like UOA results when selecting the right oil for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. By exploring testimonials and reviews, riders can make an informed decision that provides optimal performance, protection, and cost-effectiveness.

Regular Maintenance and Oil Changes for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, regular maintenance and oil changes are essential. Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and conducting regular oil changes will help keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. Proper lubrication is crucial for the longevity of the engine, and regular oil changes ensure that the oil is clean and provides optimal protection. Consult your owner’s manual or a Harley-Davidson service professional for the recommended maintenance and oil change intervals for your specific model.

Maintenance Tips

Here are some maintenance tips to keep your Harley-Davidson motorcycle in top condition:

  • Follow the recommended service intervals for oil changes and other maintenance tasks. For most Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an initial oil change is needed at 1,000 miles, followed by oil changes approximately every 5,000 miles thereafter.
  • Use the recommended oil type for your motorcycle. Harley-Davidson provides specific recommendations for mineral-based and synthetic oil.
  • Change the oil filter each time you change the engine oil to ensure proper filtration and maximize engine protection.
  • Inspect and maintain the brake system regularly. This includes checking brake pad wear, inspecting the fluid reservoir, and checking for any signs of brake disc and oil line issues.
  • Regularly inspect your tires for proper inflation, tread wear, and any signs of damage. It is recommended to check tire pressure before every ride or every few rides.
  • Perform air filter replacement, primary chain inspection, transmission lubricant replacement, clutch and throttle lubrication, rear-drive belt adjustment, jiffy stand lubrication, fuel injection system inspection, spark plug replacement, and fastener tightening as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Consider professional inspections for wheel spoke tightness (if applicable), overall tire condition assessment, and exhaust system leak checks.

By following these maintenance tips and regularly changing your Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s oil, you can ensure optimal performance and extend the life of your bike. Consult with a Harley-Davidson service professional for any specific maintenance requirements for your model.

Recommended Service Intervals Engine Oil Change Frequency Other Maintenance Tasks
1,000 miles initially, then approximately every 5,000 miles thereafter Every 2,000 miles or twice a year (for mineral-based oil)
Every 5,000 miles (for synthetic oil)
Oil filter change with each oil change
Brake maintenance, including pad wear assessment, fluid reservoir check, disc, and oil line inspection
Tire inspections, including pressure check, tread wear assessment, and sidewall inspection
Air filter replacement, primary chain inspection, transmission lubricant replacement, clutch and throttle lubrication, rear-drive belt adjustment, jiffy stand lubrication, fuel injection system inspection, spark plug replacement, fastener tightening, exhaust system leak checks


In conclusion, Harley-Davidson oil sets a high standard for quality and performance, even though it is not manufactured by the company itself. By partnering with reputable companies like Sunoco, Harley-Davidson ensures that its motor oil meets the stringent requirements of its motorcycles. With a careful manufacturing process that involves selection, refining, and testing, Harley-Davidson oil offers superior lubrication, engine protection, and optimal performance.

Harley-Davidson offers a range of oil types to cater to different motorcycle models and rider preferences. Additionally, alternative options from trusted manufacturers like Citgo provide Harley-Davidson riders with choices for their oil needs. It is crucial to choose the right oil and adhere to regular maintenance and oil change schedules to keep your Harley-Davidson motorcycle running smoothly and efficiently.

Trust in the expertise behind Harley-Davidson oil and experience the thrill of a well-maintained, high-performing engine. With the right oil and consistent care, you can enjoy the open road and the freedom that comes with riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.


Who manufactures Harley-Davidson oil?

Harley-Davidson does not manufacture its own motor oil. The production is outsourced to companies like Sunoco and Citgo.

What is the manufacturing process of Harley-Davidson oil?

Harley-Davidson oil is carefully crafted using a precise and controlled process. Premium synthetic or mineral oils are selected, refined, and packed by manufacturers like Sunoco to ensure high quality.

Where are the production locations for Harley-Davidson motor oil?

Harley-Davidson has state-of-the-art production facilities located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; York, Pennsylvania; and Kansas City, Missouri, among others.

What types of Harley-Davidson oil are available?

Harley-Davidson offers mineral, synthetic, and semi-synthetic oil options to suit different motorcycle models and rider preferences.

How is the quality and performance of Harley-Davidson oil?

Harley-Davidson oil is known for its high quality and performance. It undergoes rigorous testing and adheres to strict quality control measures, providing superior lubrication, heat resistance, and engine protection.

Are there alternatives to Harley-Davidson motor oil?

Yes, reputable manufacturers like Citgo, Motul, Redline, and Amsoil offer alternative oils that provide comparable benefits and performance for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

How important is it to choose the right oil for a Harley-Davidson?

Choosing the right oil is crucial for optimal engine performance and longevity. It’s important to select oil that meets JASO specifications and is specifically formulated for Harley-Davidson engines, clutches, and transmissions.

What do testimonials and reviews say about Harley-Davidson oil?

Riders often praise Harley-Davidson oil for its excellent protection, lubrication, and engine performance. Reading reviews from other Harley-Davidson owners can provide valuable insights into the benefits and performance of the oil.

How important are regular maintenance and oil changes for Harley-Davidson motorcycles?

Regular maintenance and oil changes are essential for optimal performance and longevity of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Following the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and conducting regular oil changes help keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently.

Is there a conclusion about Harley-Davidson oil?

There is no specific conclusion provided in the list of FAQs.