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Step By Step: How to Change Your Motorcycle's Engine Oil


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Get your supplies ready, and expose your engine
Step By Step: How to Change Your Motorcycle's Engine Oil

Be careful not to scratch the fairing while unfastening and removing it.

© Basem Wasef, Licensed to About.com
Oil changes are of the easiest and most effective ways to prolong the life of your bike, and should be performed every six months or 3,000 miles-- whichever comes first. Carbureted bikes are more susceptible to the ravages of storage since fuel can easily contaminate the engine oil, so be extra vigilant with non-fuel injected bikes.

Before you start, make sure you have the following supplies ready:
  • An allen wrench or screwdriver (for fairing removal, if necessary.)
  • An oil filter wrench (for removing the oil filter.)
  • The appropriate crush washer for your oil drain plug-- this can be purchased from a hardware store or motorcycle service shop.
  • A pair of needle-nose pliers, in case the oil filler cap is hard to reach or tightly screwed on.
  • An adjustable socket wrench.
  • Clean rags.
  • The proper amount of manufacturer-recommended engine oil.
  • A new, manufacturer-approved oil filter.
  • A funnel.

If necessary, remove fairing or bodywork blocking access to the engine

If bodywork surrounds the engine that needs an oil change, you'll have to remove it. Don't worry- this is easier than it sounds.

Bikes often come equipped with small toolkits under their seats; if you can't find yours, use the appropriate Phillips screwdriver and/or Allen wrench in order to unscrew the bolts holding your fairing to the frame.

Be sure to keep all fasteners, brackets and bolts together in a safe place until it's time to put everything back together again.

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