Another season of riding has come to an end here in central Alberta and now it is time to put the bike away for the winter.
On my last ride I filled my gas tank and added fuel stabilizer. If I am not going to drain the fuel tank then I use the stabilizer.
I purchased oil and a filter according to the manufacturer guidelines and when I got home and while my engine was hot, I started the oil change. Make sure you choose motorcycle oil because motorcycles have a wet clutch that is lubricated by the engine oil. If unsure, go to your dealer and ask them what to use.
Old oil is acidic, so if it is going to sit all winter I want it to be with fresh oil. That is why I do the oil change before storage and not in the spring.
Draining the Old Oil
The first thing I did was locate the drain bolt and loosened it slightly using a 17mm wrench.
Then I positioned an oil pan under the engine making sure it would catch the oil as it flowed out. I try to center it the best I can so it doesn't splash over the edge.
I use a pan made especially for catching oil because it is designed with spouts and handles that make handling the old oil a bit easier. I transfer the old oil into jugs to dispose of at my county collection area.
Now, with the pan ready to catch the hot oil I can loosen the bolt and remove it.
Do this slowly and carefully so you don't suddenly have hot oil on your hand or drop the bolt into the oil. It tends to gush out fairly fast at first and can get you by surprise. I was wearing shop gloves to help protect my hands.
Set the bolt aside ensuring it stays clean and let the oil drain into the catch pan.
Removing the Oil Covers
While the oil is draining you can start removing the outer oil filter cover. There is an outer and inner cover. The outer cover is removed with a 4mm allen wrench.
I keep a little container handy to put the bolts in so I don’t loose track of them and they stay clean. Using the allen wrench was a bit hard so I had to wrestle with it a bit and use another wrench to extend the handle and finally got all the long bolts out.
Once the outer cover is off you can start taking out the bolts on the inner cover.
When the inner cover is removed you can easily remove the O-ring and the oil filter.
There is a place on the drain pan to set the filter to drip until you are ready to dispose of it properly.
I check to make sure the surface is clean and put the new O-ring and filter in place. Now I just work in reverse and put the cover back on using a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the suggested specifications. When tightening the bolts I use a criss-cross pattern and do not tighten them all the way at first. My manual said the cover bolt was 10Nm (1.0 m-kgf, 7 ft-lb). The torque wrench is pretty easy to use. You set the amount of torque you want and turn it till it clicks. This will ensure the bolts are tightened properly and neither too loose nor over tightened.
By now the engine oil should be just about drained. My bike was on a kickstand so I sat on it and picked it up and put it back on the kickstand several times to get as much oil out as I could. When I was satisfied all the oil that was going to come out was out, I replaced the drain bolt ensuring it was clean and hadn’t picked up any grit or dirt. I also made sure the washer was in good shape and clean. This bolt is also tightened with a torque wrench. The manual says 43 Nm (4.3m-kgf, 31 ft-lb).
When that is done, you can remove the pan and put the new oil into the filler. I go by the manufacturer specs on this and make sure I have the correct type of oil and the right amount for my engine. My engine (when changing the filter as well) takes 2.80 L. Take care that everything going into the engine is very clean. I clean the filler and I am careful no contaminants get into the oil. Once that is done you can replace and hand tighten the oil filler cap.
After one final check that everything is back in place, you can start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes and watch to see if there are any leaks. I watch and make sure the engine light goes out in the appropriate time and listen to the engine noting if there are any unusual clattering noises. (If that’s the case, shut the engine off immediately.) If you did everything right it should be ok.
All you have left to do now is shut the engine off and check the oil level in the site gauge. This is best done with one person checking the site and another holding the bike in an upright position.
A future article will go into the other preparations for storage.
Changing the oil isn't that hard and it gives you confidence to try other things. If you are unsure, have someone with experience watch you the first time and make sure you do everything right.
I just make sure I follow the guidelines and instructions suggested by the manufacturer.