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How to Change Motorcycle Oil

Learn how to change motorcycle oil in this Howcast motorcycle video with expert Kenyon Kluge.


My name is Kenyon Kluge. I'm from Santa Cruz, California. I'm a team owner and rider for K Squared Racing. I'm also the team manager and rider for Zero Motorcycle Racing. If you want to find out more information about me you can look at my website, or for more information on Zero Motorcycles go to And now I'm going to talk to you about motorcycles. So to change your motorcycle oil first you should get the right tools together before you start the job. Of course the motorcycle oil that you're going to use up until about 3,000 miles I recommend that you use a petroleum-based oil after which you can switch to a synthetic. You're gonna need a funnel to pour the oil into the motorcycle. You need you're oil filter, an oil filter wrench, either one of these handy ones that goes on the end of a socket or just an old fashioned oil wrench. And then you're gonna need a ratchet or a wrench with the right sized socket or at least sized appropriately for your size drain bolt. You may also need, if you have a bike with fairings, you may also need some tools to remove the fairings and get to the oil plug or if you don't have fairing and it's all available you can just go at it. I have these race fairings so I'm gonna go ahead and pop these off. Remove the fairing. From there you're also gonna need a catch tank. Which you're gonna go ahead and place underneath the drain. On your motorcycle it may vary a little bit but it's gonna be somewhere under the oil pan at the bottom here. Take your wrench. Go ahead and loosen that and spin it out. Be aware that it's gonna shoot a little bit at first and if it's extremely cold when you're doing it then I would recommend idling your motorcycle until the oil temperature comes up to about 80 degrees or so. So that it flows and you get all the oil out of your motor. Once that's drained--you should leave it for about five minutes to let it drain--go ahead and put that plug back in. Tighten it down with the wrench. Don't over tighten it. You don't want to strip the threads. Then you're going to remove the oil filter which is in up under the front here. So it's gonna be somewhere in the front of the motorcycle generally. Go ahead and again remove that using your wrench. Loosen it and then spin it off. Put it in your catch tank. Take your new oil filter. Put a light coat of oil on the seal to make sure it's lubricated and then spin it on and tighten it as tight as you can get hand tight and then take your wrench and tighten it 1/8 of a turn more tight from there. So hand tight plus 1/8 of a turn. Once you've done those two things and you're all tightened by up and sealed back up you can add your oil. So now that you're ready to fill the oil back into your motorcycle go ahead and remove your oil filler plug. Put your funnel in there. Start adding your oil through the funnel, watching the window here but make sure your bike is on a flat level surface and that both wheels are flatly on the ground. The bike being higher like in this case on a stand or on a slanted hill is gonna affect the level of the oil in that window and throw off your measurement. So make sure it's flat. Fill it up to about half way between the empty and the full line. Then go ahead and put your cap back on. Run the motorcycle for a couple of minutes until you see some temperature rise in the oil and then let it sit for about five minutes and check that you'll see that the oil level has gone done because the oil has been circulated through the new oil filter. Go ahead and refill it up to halfway between the empty and the full line. Put the cap back on. Wipe down everything to get any oil drips off of the bike that you might have dripped in the process and then you're ready to go.

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