Basic Motorcycle Maintenance: Oil Change

Here at the Partzilla blog, we’ve posted and will continue to post motorcycle oil change articles that are make and model specific (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc.).

Motorcycle oil change basic maintenance

We’ve also posted tips and basic motorcycle maintenance articles related to oil changes. And we often note in our articles that the steps to changing the oil on a particular motorcycle or ATV are the same or similar for all makes and models. However, since this holds true for most motorcycles anyway, we felt it was overdue time to post a general article about doing a basic oil change on any motorcycle, regardless of make or model. Here are the basics steps of doing a motorcycle oil change.

How to change motorcycle oil

How to Change the Oil on a Motorcycle

Step 1. Run your motorcycle for a couple of minutes to circulate the engine oil through the system, which helps the oil drain out faster.

Step 2. Remove the dipstick or oil fill cap to allow the engine to breathe, which also helps the oil drain out faster. 

Motorcycle oil change dipstick

Step 3. Find the oil drain bolt on your machine, which is typically found on the bottom of the engine near the ground. 

Step 4. Place a drain pan under the bolt to catch the old oil, then remove the drain bolt. 

Motorcycle oil change drain pan

NOTE: Some bolts may have a gasket or washer. Don’t lose them.

Step 5. Find the oil filter, then place a drain pan underneath it before removing the oil filter. The location of the oil filter varies per machine, and you might need an oil filter wrench to remove it.  Some oil filter wrenches are adjustable for use on any size filter. 

Motorcycle oil change filter

Step 6. Replace the oil filter without overtightening it, followed by the drain bolt. 

PRO TIP: Rub a little bit of oil around the oil filter’s O-ring seal to create a good seal.

Step 7. Pour in the new oil per the manufacturer’s recommendation, then run the engine for a minute before checking the dipstick and/or sight glass to set the level.

Motorcycle oil service level check

Step 8. Replace the oil fill cap or dipstick.

Step 9. Dispose of the old oil and filter properly, preferably by recycling the old oil

It’s recommended you change the oil in your motorcycle about every 3000-4000 miles, and even more often if your ride frequently in harsh conditions. 

Now that you know the basics of a motorcycle oil change, watch the video above to see it done by a pro


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