Of all the mechanical tasks that come up at regular intervals for a motorcycle, an oil change is my least favorite. I’ll even admit to committing the mortal sin of paying someone else to do it when I procrastinate for too long.
The reason I procrastinate doing it has nothing to do with required skill, it is a relatively simple and straight forward affair, it’s just boring and you can’t see or appreciate any difference in your motorcycle when you’re done. Plus, there always seems to be something more interesting to do around the shop than change the oil!
This is truly a case of “do as I say not as I do”, because if there is anything you can do to effectively extend the life of your motorcycle it is change the oil at regular intervals(not necessarily factory recommended). So if you’re like me, you have been procrastinating for weeks and decided you refuse to wait around for hours and pay someone hard earned cash that could go to parts and fuel. Look no more for the definitive guide of changing the lifeblood of your beast and getting back out on the open road.
|1: Tank Support (18-3/8in Long)||7: Oil Filter Wrench||13: 3” 3/8” Drive Extension|
|2: 4 mm Allen Wrench||8: 3/8” Drive Ratchet||14: 12mm Wrench|
|3: Flat Head Screw Driver||9: 10 mm Socket||15: 10mm Wrench|
|4: Phillips Head Screw Driver||10: 18 mm Socket||16: 8mm Wrench|
|5: Short Philips Head Screw Driver||11: 5/8” Deep Socket||17: Funnel|
|6: Needle Nose Pliers||12: 6” 3/8” Drive Extension|
|18: Drain Pan(Not Shown)1|
|19: Motorcycle Stands (Not Shown)|
*Not all the tools in this list are required for an oil change. I replaced the spark plugs at the same time as the oil and included all the tools in one picture. A How-To on the spark plugs is coming soon!
Note: You do not have to use a drain pan designed specifically for oil, any plastic or metal container will be fine.
1: Support the motorcycle, this can be done two ways depending on the tools you have
- Using the kick stand and a block of wood to keep the bike level
2: Remove the fairings
2a: Start by removing the three plastic clips on the bottom of the fairing using a flat head screw driver3 to pop the center pin re-do picture
Note: They can be fragile but are easily replaced from your local hardware store if one is damaged
2b: Remove the 10 fairing bolts from one side using the 4mm Allen key2
2c: Once the fairing is loose unplug the side blinker
2d: Set the fairing aside where it won’t get damaged
3: Remove the remaining 8 fairing bolts from the fairing on the opposite side of the bike
3a: Unplug the blinker the same way you did for the other previous side
3b: Set the fairing aside where it won’t get damaged
4: Place a drain pan18 under the drain plug
Note: Any container will do as long as it is large enough to hold at least one gallon of oil. There isn’t one gallon of oil in the bike but you need some space leftover to move the drain pan18 around when you are done.
5: Using a Ratchet8 with a 18mm socket10 remove the drain plug
WARNING: Keep in mind that oil will start to poor from the bike as soon as the plug is out. Do not use your hand if the engine was recently run as the oil will be HOT
6: The last couple turns required to remove the drain plug can be done by hand allowing you to maintain control of the plug and not drop it in the drain pan18
Note: If you drop the drain plug use a magnet to pull it out of the drain pan18
7: Let the oil drain until it has slowed to a drip
8: Remove the oil filter
8a: This will require a filter wrench7
Note: If you are in a bind or the filter is installed too tightly you can use the screwdriver method. While this method is messy it is effective when in a pinch only works for removal
9: Put the new oil filter on
9a: Dip your finger in the new oil and spread a little bit on the oil filter gasket (red line below) before installation. This will provide some lubrication and ensure you do not tear the seal
9b: Tighten the filter with the filter wrench7 until it is snug. A filter wrench works in only one direction and you will always put it on backwards the first time. If you got the direction wrong turn it around 180 degrees
Note: You can also use the belt method if you do not own a filter wrench
10: Replace the seal on the drain plug, apply oil to the new seal the same way you did for the oil filter, and reinstall it into the bottom of the engine
10a: Tighten until it is snug or to the torque specification in your motorcycle’s manual
11: Remove the oil fill plug
WARNING: Always make sure the engine is off before checking the your oil level
11a: If the fill plug is on too tight you can use the needle nose pliers6 to improve your leverage
11b: Using a funnel17 pour oil into the bike until the full level is reached
Note: When checking the oil level it is important that you keep the bike level both side to side and front to back or you may display a false reading
11c: You are looking for the oil to be at the “F” mark as shown below.
12: Replace the oil fill plug, start the motorcycle, let it idle for 30 seconds, and then turn it off
WARNING: Do not immediately rev your engine on start up. It is important to allow enough time for the oil to make its way into the the crevices of your engine
13: You replaced the oil filter in step 6, when you start the bike for 30 seconds oil will fill the filter and your oil level will drop slightly
14: Recheck the oil level and repeat steps 8 and 9 until the level does not change
15: Finaly run the bike for few minutes to check for leaks anywhere once levels are correct
16: Reverse the procedure in step 2 to put the fairings back on the bike
17: GO FOR A BRAAAAP!
|1: Oil Filter||2: Motorcycle Oil (*Weight Per Owners Manual)||3: Spark Plugs (How-To Coming Soon)|
WARNING: Make sure you get motorcycle specific oil NOT automotive oil. Motorcycles have a wet clutch which will not work well with normal car/truck oil!
*: The weight for this oil is 10W-40.