Oils ain't oils and you get what you pay for! These terms are pretty much spot on when it comes to oils for your bike. So what's the difference? Basically there is mineral base, semi synthetic and fully synthetic oil. While everyone will have varying opinions of what's best, this is just a simple guide to help you understand why some oils are recommended higher than others.
Fully synthetic is a term that can be used loosely, as some oils can be no more than 30% synthetic and still claim to be full synthetic. The best full synthetic will be ester based and will be labelled stating this. If you're riding any of the latest 4 stroke mxers which run very little oil capacity, then we recommend this type of oil as the high heat and RPM's are brutal on oil.
Most of the earlier model 4 strokes will run fine on semi synthetics but regular oil changes are vital to the maintenance and longevity of the engine. Mineral oil is okay for early 4 strokes, although it will lose viscosity much faster than synthetic so change it often.
The main advantage of running synthetic is that it will cling to the engine components, thus creating a protective film when the engine is not in use. This prevents alot of unnecessary engine wear from cold start-ups. Also, it won't lose viscosity quickly like mineral. For example, if your oil is a 10w50 this means when cold the oil starts off as a 10 weight or less, then with heat build up it becomes a 50 weight. Over a period of time this will break down to 10w40 then 10w30 etc... becoming less effective, that's why you need to change your oil regularly!
Put simply, full synthetics mean longer time between oil changes and better protection in between.
As for 2 strokes, the ester synthetics are regarded as the best due to their low smoke and carbon build-up and added protection. If you are riding any 2 stroke powervalved bike then this type of oil is ideal. Most of the premium brands like Motul, Motorex, Silkolene etc... can be premixed up to a 50:1 ratio and will cause less carbon build-up to powervalves and expansion chambers.
When buying oil for your bike, it's a good idea to look for certain labels like 'MA' or 'JASO' approved. These are highly recommended and tested for motorcycles.
Remember, oil is cheap compared to a rebuild so choose carefully and regularly. If you require any more info we suggest jumping on the internet and googling 'motorcylce oil information' there is plenty of related sites full of tech info. Otherwise send us an email with any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.