What Kind of Oil Does a Honda ATV Use?

I’ve been riding ATVs for a while now, and I particularly like Honda ATVs. There’s a lot of different engine oils to choose from, and many people wonder what the best engine oil is for a Honda. So, I thought I’d explain what kind of oil to use on a Honda ATV.

Generally, Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil that has a viscosity of 10W-30 is recommended for Honda ATVs by Honda. The exact oil to use is written in the user manual for the ATV in question. Also, the same oil is recommended for both sport and recreational ATVs.

Many people wonder whether the oil you use in a Honda ATV needs to be Honda oil, as well as, what is the best oil to use.

So, below I will explain whether you can or not, as well as, other helpful info such as whether you need to use synthetic oil or whether you can use mineral oil or a synthetic and mineral oil mix.

Close up of pouring new oil into honda engine

Do You Have To Use Honda Oil in a Honda ATV?

Overall, engine oil is engine oil and you can use any brand you like. But, it’s important to use an oil designed for your specific engine. For example, you should not car oil in an ATV. Engine oils are made up of mostly oil. But, there are also additives in it, which differ based on what kind of engine it is.

Here’s a quote from someone who has worked in the industry:

“Personally I have been using oil that doesn’t carry the recommended certification letters on the bottle in my atv’s and every thing else I own for about 30 years now and have not had any failures from bad oil”.

In my opinion, though, your engine will last longer if you use the oil the manufacturer recommends.

What the different numbers on engine oil mean

Oil is described using two numbers. For example, you will see oil that is labeled 0W-40, or 10W-30. These numbers correspond to how runny the oil is.

The first number is how runny it is at room temperature. And the second is how runny it is at 212°F (100°C) – this is what is considered the temperature the engine will be when it’s fully warmed up.

Here’s a really helpful video that explains how these numbers are calculated:

For most Honda ATVs, Honda recommends 10W-30. Here’s a table that shows what oil is recommended in each user manual for Honda ATVs, based on the different models.

Utility/recreational Honda ATVs – recommended oil

Model Type of Oil Recommended in the Owner’s Manual
Honda Rincon ATV – 202010W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil
Honda Rancher ATV – 202010W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil
Honda Foreman ATV – 202010W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil

There are also what are called JASO standards that get updated periodically as better oils are invented. Currently, the best JASO standard is JASO T 903. For all of the oils in these tables, Honda recommends oil that is JASO T 903.

JASO standards are fairly universal, and it will be clearly stated on the packaging for the oil what JASO rating it has. For example, there is JASO MA/MA1/MA2.

Maintenance kit for Mercury, Suzuki or Honda outboard engine

Sport Honda ATVs – recommended oil

ModelType of Oil Recommended in the Owner’s Manual
Honda TRX90X – 202010W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil
Honda TRX250X – 202010W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil

A thicker oil takes longer to spread out around the engine. Whereas, a runny oil will spread throughout the engine sooner. And creates less wear and tear on the engine.

For that reason, it’s best to use the oil that’s recommended to make sure the engine doesn’t suffer unnecessary wear and tear.

What Is the Best Oil for a Honda Four Wheeler?

Since, there are both synthetic, mineral, and mixed oils for four wheelers, and they each have different viscosities, I wanted to know what oil is the best for a Honda four wheeler. Here’s what it is.

As a general rule, 10W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil is the best oil for a Honda four wheeler. The manual for your Honda ATV will state what oil is best to use for your ATV. Older ATVs may recommend a different kind of oil, so follow the recommendation in your owner’s manual.

The Honda website makes it very easy to find the owner’s manual for recent models. However, for any models that aren’t listed there, a Google search will generally bring up a PDF for it. 

Looking around online, there seems to be some consensus that Amsoil and Mobil 1 seem to work great and are suggested by owners of Honda ATVs. However, I haven’t tried either of them. In my opinion, it’s best to stick with the manufacturer’s recommendations. That way you have greater peace of mind.

ATV Rider in the action on Honda TRX700XX

Can I Put Full Synthetic Oil in a Honda ATV?

I’ve noticed there are both full synthetic, mixed, and mineral engine oil. So, I was curious whether full synthetic will work in a Honda ATV. I did a bit of research and here’s what I found.

Overall, you can put full synthetic oil in a Honda ATV. But, it is not the recommended type of oil to use. Honda says to use for most of their ATVs is 10W–30 – Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil or Honda 4-stroke oil, both of which are not synthetic oil.

But, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence to suggest that synthetic oil will not cause any issues in a Honda ATV. As well as, using a synthetic and mineral oil mix.

At the end of the day, if you decide to use full synthetic oil in your Honda ATV, it is at your own risk. And in my opinion, you’re better to err on the side of caution and stick with the manufacturer’s recommended oil, as a repair can be costly.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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