I use Shell 15W-40 "Rotella T" (found at Wal-Mart in gallon jugs). Your oil change will take a little less than one jug. Many people believe this is the best oil available, and it's cheap ($7 / gallon at Wall-Mart or any auto parts store, $34 / 6 gallons at Sam's Club). Many studies have shown there is no benefit from using higher priced motorcycle oils, but if that's what you want to do, I'm sure it will be good. It may even be Shell Rotella (motorcycle companies do not make oil). Do not use oils that say "energy conserving" in the bottom half of circular certification stamp. These oils contain friction modifiers that could cause clutch slippage over time. Essentially all 10w-30 oils are energy conserving, and should not be used in your motorcycle. Don't buy oil additives like STP or Slick-50. Super slippery stuff has no place in a bike with a wet clutch (really, no place in any car or bike, IMHO).
I follow a few simple rules when changing the oil on the VN750 :
1. Change your oil every 2,000-3,000 miles. Period. There is no better protection, and this is more important than anything else ! If you are not riding much, change it after a one year, maximum. Acid builds up in the oil over time and is hard on the internal gaskets and other engine parts.
2. In preparation for the oil change, warm up the bike and take it around the block. Go through the gears. This helps loosen up anything hanging around in there and suspends it in the oil.
3. Optional! : While the bike is still hot, put in several ounces of "Sea Foam", keep the bike in neutral and let it run several minutes. This will help clean the engine.
4. Always change the filter when changing oil. (The EMGO Chrome filter shown in the picture can be found on my other page Pictures and Accessory List ).
5. Use aluminum foil (as shown in the picture) to keep the hot oil off the starter and starter cable.
6. Be sure to lubricate the oil filter O-ring gasket before putting it on the bike. Just use a small amount of the fresh oil on your finger.
7. Clean the oil filter plate on the bike with a little solvent (brake cleaner is fine).
8. Use the side drain-plug to get out every last drip of oil (start with the bike on the center stand, loosen the bolt, then put the bike on it's kickstand so it leans).
9. Always inspect and clean the screen from the oil drain hole (that's another reason to use the side drain hole, not the center one).
10. Never over-tighten the oil filter, oil drain plug, and oil fill plug. When screwing on the oil filter, when it meets resistance, turn another 1/4-1/2 at the most. That's all it needs, really ! Any further and you risk crushing the rubber O-ring (leaks), scoring the filter plate on the bike, or having a really bad day when taking it off.
11. Fill to a little down from top of sight glass with bike on center stand. Run bike several minutes. This will load the new filter with oil. Refill to top of sight glass.
12. Keep a record of the mileage and date you changed the oil.
Good tips but I have to disagree with ya on the oil filter. It holds so little oil that it really doesn't contaminate the new oil of it's changed every other oil change, especially if one (e.g. me) changes their oil every 2K. It also isn't anywhere near to being "full" of dirt/contaminants yet. I would also like to add that a very nice little trick is to pre-fill the oil filter with fresh oil. Fill it right to the top and what ever the filter media doesn't absorb after 5 minutes you can pour out before you spin it on. This will reduce that dry start time. There is no reason not to do this. -Bruce Detroit
I always tighten the filter by hand..Some times a wrench is needed to remove them..Because the rubber ring over time may expand some..making the filter a tad tighter. If you change your oil and filter more frequently...you may be able to twist it off by hand. New bike owners may find that the bike came with the filter torqued pretty tight. Most mechenics I have known say tighten it as hard as you can with one hand..wait a few minutes and then give it a little "nudge" with both hands. Using a torque wrench on it to tighten it up may not be a good idea anyway...sence most of us wipe the seal with a bit of oil..or some don't...and some forget to wipe off the seals seat and some don't...And some change the filter when the engine is hot...and some do not...this means that the pressure to needed to smoothly screw it on can be diffrent..as the idea is to simply ensure that the rubber seal is firmly matting with the seat. This is why most manufactures tell you NOT to use a wrench ( of any kind..a torque wrench is still a lever..) Knifemaker