Shock Oil Choices

First off I want to say if you havent had your shock oil changed in a while, get it done!

Or it might end up like mine, viscosity being not much more than water.

Continuing on...

My service manual specifies 'ATF or equivalent' as replacement shock oil, is there anything better I could use instead; maybe something a little thicker as the shock bottomed very easily before. I know just puttting new oil in will be a vast improvement at this point, but I'm thinking a little ahead as it is the stock valving.

Just looking for a little insight, putting ATF in it doesnt bother me a bit as it is the easiest on my pocketbook if more expensive oil isnt going to make any difference.

Depending on they way you ride (fast, slow) and the size of your spring (.42, .44, .46 ) will help determine what weight oil to use. I personally have found that Spectro 5wt and 10 wt is the best performing oil and the longest lasting. I use 10wt at 140mm from the top. You really need to play around to figure what you like.

Good Luck, KaBooM

I, and most of my friends, use Redline synthetic. I like the way it works and i haven't had any problems with it. I use 5wt in pretty much everything. Most higher weight oils will thin out too much when heated, and light weight oils won't work as good. I've tried them and i stick to 5wt and just adjust valving if i need valving changes.

this is a good article on fork and shock oils:

Motocross Action Suspension Tips

Thanks for the input Binder.

Kaboom...shock oil, not fork oil.

A high quality synthetic ATF (like Mobil-1) is rated ~7wt and can be used in a shock. It has long life, anti foaming additives, and a high tolerance to heat and viscosity breakdown. For the average rear shock, by all needed specs, ATF will work great.

But I would still use a more tightly controlled viscosity fluid, as ATF can range a bit as low as 5wt and some say as high as 15wt.

So it sounds to me like pretty much any 5-7W shock oil would work well?

So it sounds to me like pretty much any 5-7W shock oil would work well?

most 5wt fork oils are also used for shock oil. Redline's synthetic works great for forks or shocks. I wouldn't use anything except 5wt for shocks though.

Cool, thanks folks, I've had this question for a long time.

Tried them all over the years and have stayed with Torco for the last 3-4 yrs. I have found the thicker oil may last a little longer but doesn't have as good a feel for most my riders. (Some will say the opposite) I have had better luck valving with thinner oils.


Yea I ended up going with 2.5W Maxima based on the recommendation of the local Independent shop and I wish I had gone with heavier oil. I might as well go through it again, it was working okay at first (better but still too soft) but now its starting to pogo a little bit.

Though Honda spec'd ATF for this shock originally. :applause:

Just go to Farm & Fleet and buy a quart of 10 weight hydralic fluid. It's less then half the price of fork oil, and basically the same stuff.

For one 10W is too heavy for my forks

and secondly the thread isnt even about forks, its about the rear shock.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now