We love to ride our motorcycles. We want to do everything we can to make sure our bikes last a long time without mechanical failure. One of the most important motorcycle maintenance services you can do yourself is changing the engine oil and filter.
Even if your manual suggests installing a new oil filter every other oil change, swapping both the oil and filter every time you do the service is an inexpensive way to safeguard your bike’s internal parts. And like cars, certain conditions may call for more frequent oil and filter changes. If you do a lot of short trips, ride in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, or ride where it’s dusty and dirty you’ll want to change the oil sooner than later.
Changing your motorcycle’s oil and filter is easy and you only need a few tools to do it like a pro. You can save money by doing it yourself but, even better, working on your own bike is personally gratifying.
Here I’ll show you how easy it is to change your oil and filter using my 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200S. Consult with M.O.M., but the steps are pretty much the same for any motorcycle.
If you have a bike lift or a center stand, this job will be a lot easier. If you don’t, you can still perform the maintenance, but you’ll be crouching down on the floor and your drain pan will need to be shallow enough to slide under the bike while giving you access to the drain plug.
Warm the bike up for a few minutes before performing the oil change. Oil flows more freely when it’s warm. Don’t let it get too hot though, or you can burn yourself.
Finally, once everything is tightened up, run the motorcycle for a few minutes, keeping an eye on the ground beneath the drain plug and filter to make sure there are no leaks. Do one last check of the oil level after the bike’s been warmed up then turned off for a few minutes.
Remember that you can’t just dump dirty oil down the drain. I always use the containers from the new oil to put the old oil in. Then I bring them, along with the oil filter, to my local hazardous waste dump. You can also ask your local dealer if they will accept your used oil. If you purchased your oil and filter from them, they should be more than willing to accept the waste.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any handy tips for changing your motorcycle’s oil or another DIY tip. We love to hear from all our readers who are taking charge of their own motorcycle maintenance.