Motorcycle Oil and Oil Filter Change Notes & Procedures

With the extra time I have had on my hands the last few weeks I decided to do a few more oil change write-ups on the bikes we currently have around. This lead me to realize I have a lot of posts about motorcycle oil changes. So To help organize things a little better, I have created this motorcycle oil change index, which includes general guidance for motorcycle oil changes in general, as well as links to the more detailed posts for each bike.

Bike Specific Oil Change Posts

General Procedure for Motorcycles
(in general)

Standard Tools Needed:

Typical Materials Needed:

  • Oil – Most motorcycle manufacturers (including Kawasaki and Honda) require JASO-T903 MA type SG or higher. I use ProHonda GN4 10W-40 SJ or Castrol 4T 10W-40 synthetic SL. 10W-40 is typically recommended for a wider temperature range.
  • Oil Filter – I like the K&N filters with the 17mm nut on the end for easier removal/install
  • Sealing washers for 12mm drain bolts – this Tusk kit is handy
    (optional if existing are damaged)

Typical Procedure

  1. Warm up bike for 3 to five minutes if cold. Then turn off engine and wait 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Remove any skid plates as required
  3. Remove drain plug(s) and let oil drain into oil pan
  4. Reinstall drain plugs and torque to spec (replace drain plug crush washer if necessary/damaged
  5. Remove oil filter. If you cant get it off with a oil filter strap wrench (or it doesn’t have a 17mm hex nut for removal, like the K&N) stab it all the way through with a screw driver (from the side) and rotate it that way. Sure its messy, but not more messy than anything else you are doing – and it’s highly effective.
  6. Replace oil filter with new filter. Use oil on the tip of your finger to lubricate the o-ring on the filter.
  7. Tighten oil filter to just past hand tight – but not too tight!
  8. Refill oil using a funnel. Fill to specifications.
  9. Start bike to circulate oil then check the oil level. Start bike and let it idle for 3-5 minutes. Switch off and wait 2-3 minutes
  10. Check oil level as directed and top off as needed.

This more or less covers the procedure for most bikes (The BMW F650GS is very very different). Check out the motorcycle specific oil change and filter change notes and procedures for additional information.

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