I’ve been learning about what oil to use in Kawasaki ATVs, and I thought I’d put together this article to explain what oil they use. I looked at the user manuals for all of the different Kawasaki ATV models, and here’s what I found.
All Kawasaki ATVs take SAE 10W – 40 oil. But, the API can vary based on whether it’s a full-sized Brute Force ATV or a youth ATV that is smaller. The API for the Brute Force models should be SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM. Whereas, on the youth models the API is SE, SF, or SG.
There are synthetic, semi-synthetic, and regular oils. And each of the Kawasaki ATVs can have a different oil capacity. The viscosity of the oil can also vary based on the climate where you ride it.
So, below I will explain exactly what oil you should use for each Kawasaki ATV, as well as, whether you need to use Kawasaki branded oil.
All Kawasaki Brute Force ATVs should use SAE10W-40, 4 stroke oil. Kawasaki recommends Kawasaki Performance oil. And this should be your first choice as it’s recommended by the manufacturer.
However, based on my research, and what people have reported online any 4 stroke engine oil will work provided it has the same specification. For a Kawasaki Brute Force – all models – the API should be SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM. The SAE 10W – 40 refers to the viscosity of the oil.
Engine oils will also have an API number. API stands for the American Petroleum Institute and is a set of standards for engine oil. Different API categories are better for certain types of ATVs. For example, for full-sized ATVs, certain APIs are recommended, whereas, for youth ATVs, other API classifications are used.
Here are some helpful tables I put together that show the recommended oil, the recommended JASO, as well as the API, and the engine oil capacity for each of the Kawasaki ATVs.
|Kawasaki ATV ModelRecommended OilAPIBrute Force 300SAE 10W – 40, 4 StrokeSG, SH, SJ, SL, or SMBrute Force 750SAE 10W – 40, 4 StrokeSG, SH, SJ, SL, or SMBrute Force 750iSAE 10W – 40, 4 StrokeSG, SH, SJ, SL, or SMKFX50SAE 10W – 40SE, SF, SGKFX90SAE 10W – 40SE, SF, SG|
|Kawasaki ATV Model||Oil JASO||Oil Capacity|
|Brute Force 300||MA, MA1, MA2||1.6 L (1.7 US qt)|
|Brute Force 750||MA, MA1, MA2||2.0 L (2.1 US qt)|
|Brute Force 750i||MA, MA1, MA2||2.0 L (2.1 US qt)|
|KFX50||Not stated||0.7 L (0.74 US qt)|
|KFX90||Not stated||0.7 L (0.74 US qt)|
The JASO number for an oil is a standard for oil put out by the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization. They are always testing and innovating new types of oil and set standards for oil that are common on most oils you buy. The JASO for all Kawasaki ATVs is recommended to be MA, MA1, MA2.
If you took chemistry or a related subject you may know that viscosity is a scientific term that means how thick a liquid is. The higher the viscosity the thicker it is, and the lower the viscosity the thinner it is. For that reason, the engine oil you use can vary based on where you ride it. 10W – 40 oil works across the widest range of temperatures.
Here’s a list that shows what temperature range different viscosity engine oils are best for:
- 20W – 50, from 20°F (-6.7°C) to 100°F (37.8°C)
- 10W – 30, from 0°F (-17.8°C) to 100°F (37.8°C)
- 10W – 40, from 0°F (-17.8°C) to 100°F (37.8°C)
- 5W – 30, from -20°F (-29°C) to 60°F (15.6°C)
- 5W – 20, from -20°F (-29°C) to 0°F (-17.8°C)
(source: Engineering Toolbox).
As you can see 10W – 30, and 10W – 40 have the same temperature range. The W in the number refers to winter. Which is how thick the oil is in cold temperatures. Whereas, the second number without the W is how thick it is at the engine operating temperature.
Therefore, 10W – 30 is slightly thinner at operating temperature. Which is better for certain types of engines.
If you almost always ride your ATV in snow, or below freezing conditions, a different viscosity oil can be better. It’s thinner and so will get into the parts of the engine faster than thicker oils. In the Kawasaki ATV manuals, they also recommend matching the oil to the conditions in which you ride it most often.
There are benefits and drawbacks to the different kinds of oils on the market. So, I was curious whether Kawasaki oil is synthetic.
Kawasaki supplies synthetic, semi-synthetic, and mineral oil, and is available from their online store and at selected retailers. Synthetic oil is generally about 10% more expensive than semi-synthetic oil because it undergoes more processing.
The same is true for mineral oil compared to semi-synthetic oil. For Kawasaki ATVs, the user manuals say that you can use either mineral, semi-synthetic, or regular.
Although a Kawasaki Mule is technically an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), it’s a bit different to a ride-on ATV like a Brute Force because it’s a side by side. But, what oil does a Kawasaki mule take?
As a general rule, 10W – 40 SAE, API SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM with JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 oil is recommended for the Kawasaki Mule. This is an all-purpose oil that is recommended for all of the full-size Kawasaki quads.
But, the specific oil can differ by model number so refer to your owner’s manual to make sure it’s definitely recommended.