How long you should let your motorcycle warm up

Your motorcycle should reach about 40°C or 104°F before riding. This could take as little as two minutes but it really depends on what the weather is like and what type of engine your motorcycle holds.


In this article, we look at how long you should let your motorcycle warm up and what would make you have to wait longer.

We will discuss the following:

  • How warm your engine has to be before riding
  • The outside temperature
  • The type of engine that you have
  • The oil your engine uses

How warm your engine has to be before riding

You want your engine to be around 40°C or 104°F before you start riding. But this doesn’t mean you can go off riding like a thunderbolt through the air. You still need to let the engine warm up to around 65°C or 149°F before opening up the throttle. So until you reach that temperature, pretend you actually obey the rules of the road.

The outside temperature

The time it takes to warm up the engine will depend greatly on what the outside temperature is because that is the temperature of your engine will be if it wasn’t running recently. So it’s going to take longer to get the engine up to temperature if it’s a very cold morning.

The type of engine that you have

Not all engines are the same. Sportbikes have a more lightweight engine than what cruisers do and also usually run at higher revs when idling. It might not take as long for a sportbike to reach temperature but as you may already know, they often struggle getting rid of heat when they are not moving.

The oil your engine uses

Something you might have wondered. Why do you need to let the engine warm up before you go riding?

Well, it’s simple. The oil in your engine is there to protect all the moving parts from wearing out faster than it should. But oils don’t deliver the same protection at all temperatures. The oil the manufacturers recommend deliver optimum protection at normal engine temperatures which are between 75°C and 90°C (167°F and 194°F).

But not oils are the same. Some oils are engineered to deliver better protection at lower temperatures which you would usually use in places that have colder weather. This doesn’t have anything to do with the oil company that makes them. Instead, there is a way in which all oils are measured so you know what to use it for.

You have probably seen it before; 5W30, 10W40 etc. If you want to know exactly what these numbers mean, you can read this article from

Final words

On my CBR1000RR, I always wait until my digital gauge reaches 42°C just because that’s when the numbers start showing. But I guess it differs for all bikes. I hope this answers your question and maybe a few others as well.

Featured image by exagon_moto on Instagram.

I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.

Two Motion

I don’t see myself as an expert in every topic of motorcycling but my articles usually relate to new experiences that are relevant at the time of writing.

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