What Is An Oil-Cooled Motorcycle Engine?

An oil-cooled motorcycle engine is an engine that diverts the normal flow of oil from the engine to an air-oil heat-exchanger, which allows the oil to give up some of its collected heat to the air.

Typically, a motorcycle’s engine oil is housed 100% within the engine. With oil cooling, the oil can exit the engine casing into a heat-exchanger, where passing air over the heat-exchanger cools the oil before it returns to the engine.

What Is The Advantage Of An Oil-cooled Motorcycle Engine?

Two things, more engine cooling and simplicity.

With a regular air-cooled motorcycle engine, the air moving over the engine cools it. With this air-cooled engine, heat must transfer out of the engine into the air through the engine walls. 

This movement of heat through solid objects is called thermal conduction.  

With heat movement, the driving force is a temperature difference. The inside engine temperature has to be higher than the outside temperature. The heat from the engine is trying to heat the metal in the engine to a single temperature.

But because the outside of the engine has air fins that create a larger area for heat transfer to air, the outside temperature remains cooler than the inside, and heat continues to travel through the engine wall.

This conduction process and temperature difference are the driving forces for removing heat from the motorcycle engine.

Did you see something special? The heat has to escape the engine through a natural process, and there is a delay in the movement of heat.

Now, with the oil-cooled motorcycle engine, the design allows the heat to escape the engine through oil flow.  

This heated oil can exit the engine and enter a heat-exchanger, often called a radiator. This heat-exchanger has thinner walls than the engine casing, allowing the heat to travel faster. With the addition of cooling fins to increase the cooling surface area, heat travels faster into the passing air.

The oil is allowed to return to the engine cooled off and ready to lubricate and cool the parts.

My TaoTao TBR7 Dual-sport motorcycle oil cooler, upgraded to oil-cooled engine now.

What Are the Pros and Cons Of An Oil-cooled Motorcycle Engine?

Engine Oil Cooler Pro’s:

* Allows the engine to cool more, over just air-cooling your engine directly.

* Extended oil life, keeping the engine oil cool, avoiding premature breakdown, and can extend the life of the engine oil.

* Oil coolers and their lines can add capacity since oil is needed to fill them. 

* Low maintenance vs water cooling. Oil coolers do not need antifreeze or ‘topping’ off as water slowly evaporates.

Engine Oil Cooler Con’s:

* Not as effective as water cooling since water cooling can run separately from engine revolutions(RPMs are the driving force for oil flow via the oil pump), maximizing engine cooling.

* Possible oil leaks. Adding additional pathways for oil flow allows for other areas where oil can leak.  

Upgrading my motorcycle to Oil-Cooled Motorcycle Engine.

Is An Oil-cooled Motorcycle Engine Any Good?

I believe so. I added an oil cooler to my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport motorcycle, and it stabilized the bike’s behavior. 

As the bike got hot, the clutch felt like it engaged less. Also, with the additional cooling action, the bike behaves less like it’s overheating( Air-Cooled Engine Overheating Symptoms ).

My Motorcycle Oil Cooled Engine Experience.

As I stated, I added an after-market motorcycle engine oil cooler to my TaoTao TBR7 dirt bike. The experience has been very positive since then. Consistent shifting and peace of mind: TBR7 Motorcycle Oil Cooler Upgrade.

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

I plan to add an oil cooler to my Boom Vader motorcycle; it’s on one of my mental Boom Vader 125cc Upgrades To-Do List. I will keep you guys informed and might film the full installation as well.

Click To See My Recommended

Boom Vader Gen 2 Upgrades

If you have any feedback on oil-cooled motorcycle engines, please comment below. Thank you!

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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