The Best Types of Coolant to Use in a Dirt Bike

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Dirt bike sitting on engine stand next to various bottles of engine coolant.

Once you buy a dirt bike, you’ll want to keep it in great condition so you can enjoy it for years to come. Overheating or freezing can both damage your bike, so you’ll need to find ways to prevent these damages from occurring. This leads many bikers on a search to find the best/right kind of antifreeze to use.

Engine Ice is widely considered to be one of the best antifreeze products for dirt bikes, although classic green or pink antifreeze works well too. Antifreeze that contains silicates should be avoided.

Freezing temperatures are no joke, but engine overheating should also be avoided. Keeping your dirt bike operating at the right temperature is an important job and there are lots of great coolants and types of antifreeze to consider. Let’s explore some of the best options.

The Best Dirt Bike Antifreeze/Coolant Options Available

Product NamePriceWhere to Buy
Engine Ice$$$$See on Amazon
Evans Coolant$$$$See on Amazon
Maxima 82964 Coolanol$$$$See on Amazon
Zerex Original Green$$See on Amazon
Honda Genuine Coolant$$$See on Amazon
Honda 08C50-C321S02$$$$$See on Amazon

Engine Ice

Engine Ice is widely considered one of the best antifreeze options for dirt bikes. This product is excellent at stabilizing temperatures while racing. It effectively raises the boiling point in your dirt bike to 256 degrees and lowers the freezing point to -26 degrees.

This antifreeze is pre-mixed with water, so dirt bikers can simply add it to their bike without any extra mixing or measuring. It’s also biodegradable, non-toxic, and phosphate-free, which has made it legal according to CSS and ASRA road racing standards.

Tons of motorcyclists and dirt bikers have used this product and have generally been quite satisfied (source). It’s been thoroughly tested and highly reviewed across the board.

Different pack sizes are available ranging from 64 oz. – 384 oz.

Evans Coolant

Some coolants don’t rely on water at all. A great manufactured coolant option is Evans Coolant. This product is a waterless engine coolant that is designed for motocross bikes, trail bikes, Enduro bikes, street bikes, quads, ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles.

A potential problem of using water as a coolant is the corrosion that can build up over time. Water can also conduct electricity, so a waterless coolant eliminates the risk of accidental electrical problems. This coolant also has a boiling point of 375 degrees, which is higher than Engine Ice!

The dirt biking world is full of very specific products that are finely tuned to provide the best performance possible. We’ve covered a few of our top picks for the best dirt bike antifreeze above (Engine Ice, Evans Coolant, etc) but there are lots of other great options available to you as well. 

Maxima 82964 Coolanol

This coolant is a premixed blend of antifreeze and deionized water. As the name might suggest, this is a half and half mix of the two substances, which is the ratio that most dirt bikers prefer. 

The Maxima 82964 Coolanol can raise the maximum boiling temperature to 265 degrees and lower the freezing point to -34 degrees. That’s a great range of protection that has made this a popular product! 

It also contains anti-foaming agents to prevent issues circulating water throughout your system while you’re riding. It comes pre-mixed so all you have to do is pour it in, no mixing required.

Zerex Original Green

This option from Zerex is another great antifreeze to consider. This is another coolant that has been prediluted with a mixture of water, so no extra mixing needs to be done by the customer.

This antifreeze provides engine protection under temperatures of down to -34 degrees. As long as you don’t live in arctic conditions, you’re unlikely to ever break the limits of Zerex’s zone of cold protection. 

This mixture is also designed to prevent damage from rust and corrosion, so it provides multiple layers of protection for your dirt bike. This is also the most inexpensive option on our list.

Honda Genuine COOLANT (Type-2)

Honda has been a major player in the automobile world for a long time, so they can be trusted when it comes to taking care of your dirt bike. This branded coolant product has received stellar reviews and it ranks among the best on the market.

This mixture provides protection between the temperature ranges of -34 to 228 degrees. This is a nice broad range of coverage that will work well for most dirt bikes. It comes pre-mixed as well, so there’s no need to add more water.

In addition to its great performance, this coolant promises to hold up over the years. Each bottle comes with an extended life formulation of 5 years or 60,000 miles. It is specifically designed to be best for Honda vehicles, but it can work with others. If you’re using a Honda dirt bike though, definitely keep this at the top of your list!

Honda 08C50-C321S02 Coolant Ready to Use

Another great Honda product is the Honda 08C50-C321S02. This coolant is specifically designed for motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, and other recreational vehicles. It works well for dirt bikes too!

This is another 50/50 premix of antifreeze and water so no additional mixing needs to be done. This coolant can also withstand temperatures of down to -30 degrees. It’s also a genuine OEM Honda coolant so for those who want to use the original coolant for their Honda dirt bike, straight from the manufacturer, this is what you should get!

Best Dirt Bike Antifreeze for Cold Climates

Some mixes are more suited to one purpose than the other, so let’s discuss the best bike antifreeze for cold climates first.

Engine Ice is widely considered to be the best antifreeze for dirt bikes in cold climates. It has a host of features to keep your bike running smoothly when it’s cold out and prevent freezing.

It covers pretty much every range of the riding spectrum because nobody wants to bike when it’s -20 degrees or lower anyway! The extra heat protection is also nice because it prevents engine overheating and the damages that can come along with it.

Antifreeze is an important component of cold-weather dirt bike maintenance. An unprotected bike is more likely to freeze, which could damage the internal mechanisms. An even partially frozen engine also isn’t likely to run, so you might be left out of some cold-weather rides you could have gone on otherwise.

Antifreeze and coolants perform pretty similar tasks, even though they sound like complete opposites. When antifreeze is mixed with water, it serves to simultaneously lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point of an engine. Essentially this substance makes it more difficult for your bike to overheat and/or freeze.

Best Dirt Bike Coolant for Hot Climates

So now we’ve covered the best antifreeze for cold-weather situations. But what about the best coolants for when you’re riding under the blazing sun? Engines run hot under the best of circumstances, so they need a good coolant to prevent them from overheating.

Evans Coolant is the best coolant for dirt bike riding in hot climates. It’s a waterless coolant that will raise the boiling point of your engine to a whopping 375 degrees Fahrenheit! It also does a great job of preventing corrosion which also negatively affects cooling capability.

As mentioned above, many coolants and types of antifreeze perform similar purposes, so there is some overlap between the effectiveness of the two. Engine Ice, although it’s an amazing anti-freeze, could still work well as an engine coolant because it does raise the maximum boiling point to 256 degrees. 

However, if you’re looking for something that’s just as effective (and maybe a bit cheaper) consider just using a mix of distilled water and standard green antifreeze. Some dirt bikers even get by just using water with no extra add-ins, here’s one example of bikers who do this. Although I wouldn’t recommend that since water alone can lead to corrosion in your coolant system.

Distilled water is preferred because it is less conductive and will be able to mix more easily with add-ins. However, some bikers have even used creek water effectively in a pinch! This may not be advisable because it can make your system dirty, but it’s a short-term option if you’re on the trail with no other choices.

Water is a crucial component in almost every antifreeze/coolant on the market because it does an amazing job of dissipating heat. However, to provide extra lubrication, prevent corrosion, and increase the boiling point, adding a bit of green antifreeze can go a long way. Using a 50/50 ratio of distilled water and antifreeze tends to get the best results.

Best Coolant for a 2 Stroke Dirt Bike

When it comes to picking a coolant for a 2-stroke dirt bike, the best options are pretty much the same as the ones listed above. However, using coolant is particularly important in a 2-stroke engine because these tend to run hotter than their 4-stroke counterparts, especially when they are being revved.

This is because 2-stroke engines are usually more powerful and punchy. They only use 2 strokes of the piston per crankshaft revolution and this quick, continuous movement builds up heat quickly. When the bike is in motion, the engine is working very hard and producing a ton of heat as a result.

The best coolant for a 2-stroke dirt bike is Evans Coolant. It has a very high boiling point and the corrosion resistance abilities of Evans Coolant make it a great choice for those hot 2-stroke engines.

2-stroke engines are at risk for overheating, which could lead to smoking, oil leaks, and possibly a complete engine failure (source).

To combat this problem, a great coolant is a necessity for 2-stroke dirt bikes. Some models are air-cooled, but there are many that require coolant. A mix with a very high boiling point would be the best coolant for a 2-stroke dirt bike. Once again, Evans would be a good choice due to its 375 degree boiling point.

A 50/50 mix of distilled water and generic antifreeze should still be effective under most circumstances though. Dirt bikes tend to undergo a variety of temperatures as they operate due to the practices of revving and braking. 

It can sometimes take time for the heat to build up, but a good coolant can take care of problems before they get serious.

Best Coolant for a 4 Stroke Dirt Bike

4-stroke dirt bikes are usually a bit cooler than 2-strokes when they are being revved and put through their paces. However, when they’re idling, these bikes can sometimes run a bit hotter than their counterparts!

Air intake is an important component for the cooling systems of 4-stroke bikes. If you just let these bikes sit and idle for a while, they don’t get the airflow they need in order to vent the heat and get their fuel flowing properly. To prevent heat buildup, make sure you don’t idle your 4-stroke for too long.

The best coolant for a 4-stroke dirt bike is Engine Ice. It has exceptional cooling properties which can help keep even an idling dirt bike engine cool.

It’s a great coolant that can help keep your bike in good condition. The actual coolant needs of a 2-stroke and 4-stroke aren’t too different apart from the fact that a 2-stroke might benefit from having a slightly higher maximum boiling point.

Once again you can also use Evans or a distilled water/antifreeze mixture to produce good results. Just make sure you top off before any ride because running out of coolant partway through can be disastrous. 

Dirt bike over looking a trail.

Using Car Antifreeze in a Dirt Bike

Maybe you already have a jug of car antifreeze sitting in your garage and are wondering if you can use this in your dirt bike as well. The general rule is that you can use car antifreeze in a dirt bike as long as it does not contain any silicates.

Antifreeze that contains silicates can damage the metals that make up your dirt bike components. These at-risk metals include aluminum and magnesium. If silicates come into contact with these metals, they can create pores in them that will lead to engine leaks and poor seals.

However, if the car antifreeze in question is silicate-free, go for it! You can check whether or not a product contains silicates by looking at the ingredients on the jug, if ethylene glycol is used in the product, it means it contains silicates. If propylene glycol is included in the ingredients, it’s safe for your dirt bike.

If you can’t find any information about these substances on the antifreeze container, try looking it up online or calling the help number to ask for product specifics. Some people can get away with using silicate antifreeze in their dirt bikes, but the long-term risks just aren’t worth it.

Many types of antifreeze are universal for engines. After all, classic green or pink antifreeze is one of the main solutions that dirt bikers mix with water! Just make sure you’re using a product that won’t harm your engine and you can certainly use car antifreeze.

Where to Get Coolant for Your Dirt Bike

Finding a place to buy coolant or antifreeze is quite simple. Lots of places sell antifreeze because it is a necessity for all sorts of engines (both large and small). You can find antifreeze at your local Walmart, or order a container off of Amazon if you’re looking for something more specific.

A major component of a lot of coolants and antifreeze mixtures is distilled water. This is also easy to find at local grocery stores in the bottled water isles. You won’t need to go very far out of your way to find/make coolant for your dirt bike unless you want a very specific product.

How to Change Dirt Bike Coolant

Once you have your coolant or antifreeze mixture on hand, it’s important to know how to drain the remaining fluid and change out the coolant in your bike. This keeps the whole system fresh and functional. Luckily this is a pretty easy process that doesn’t take much time to complete.

  1. Make Sure Your Engine Is Cool – Make sure your bike is turned off and completely cool before performing any maintenance. (source)
  2. Drain the Old Coolant – This will prevent any cross contamination of the old and new and ensure that your bike is only running with fresh fluid. Place a bucket underneath the drain bolt and open the bolt. The coolant will begin to flow out. Open the radiator cap as well because this will provide more flow that will help the old coolant run out. At this point, you may even want to flush your system now with distilled water to get any remaining coolant out.
  3. Recycle the Old Coolant – The old coolant can sometimes be recycled, so look for a safe way to dispose of the drained fluid.
  4. Add the New Coolant – Now that the system is clear, you’re all set to add your new coolant/antifreeze of choice. Replace the drain bolt so that nothing leaks out and pour the coolant into the radiator cap. 
  5. Fill to the Top and Expunge Any Remaining Air – You can fill it up to the top, but make sure that there are no air bubbles. Gently tilt the bike from side to side or shake it to release any trapped air.
  6. Replace Radiator Cap – Now you just need to replace the radiator cap and twist it until you hear a click or two. Now your dirt bike is ready to hit the road, no matter what the temperature is!

If you’d like to see a visual guide of this process, check out the video below.

Final Thoughts

Antifreeze and coolants go hand in hand when it comes to maintaining the temperature of your dirt bike. Going too hot or too cold can both be dangerous, so it’s important to choose mixtures that will keep your engine functioning under either extreme.

There are lots of great options on the market, but you can even get by just using water in some circumstances. Just make sure your engine has some form of temperature protection and you’ll be set to ride no matter the weather!

John Hayes

A street biker turned dirt bike rider, I've been riding motorcycles since I was 12-years-old and have a passion for the technical aspects of dirt bike riding.

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