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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oil Change
Kawasaki Vulcan 750

(updated 8-21-09 ~ comments/corrections/rebuttals welcome!)

Oil:
Use any 10w40 or 15w40 oil that meets Kaw specs and is not “energy conserving” – Viscosity = SAE 10W40, 10W50, 20W40, 20W50; Type = API SE, SF or SG; API SH or SJ with JASO MA. The most common suggestions I’ve received include:
• Shell Rotella T 15W-40.
• Mobil One 10W-40 synthetic; Mobil 1 MX4T 10W-40 synthetic motorcycle oil; Mobil 1 (“red cap”) 15w50; Mobil Delvac 1300 15W-40.
• Chevron Delo 400.
• Castrol GTX 10W-40; Castrol Syntec 10W-40; Castrol Actevo 10W-40; Castrol 4T 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil
• Valvoline Blue 15W-40.
• Kendall Motorcycle Oil 20W-50.
• Lucas Full Motorcycle Synth 20W-50.
• Amsoil 10W-40 motorcycle-specific synthetic.

Filter:
The stock Kaw part # 16097-1066 FILTER-ASSY-OIL 2003 (an auto parts store can cross reference a another one for you). The most common suggestions I’ve received include:
• Purolator Pure One Filter (PL14610) – it’s blue, so use flat black spray paint, several coats all at once, then let dry before mounting.
• Amsoil SMF103.
• Mobil 1 M 1-110 or Mobil 1 M-108, Champion.
• Bosch 3323 or 3300, Champion.
• Wix (black), # 51334 or 51356.
• K & N 202 – larger than most; also has a “nut” at the end for easier removal.
• Supertech ST7317 (longer), ST6607 (shorter) – cheap from Walmart.

Procedure:
• Change the oil when the engine is warm/hot. (Some riders add a little Seaform before heating up the oil just prior to changing it.) Remember: when the engine is running, there is no oil in the sight glass.
• Tools: 17 mm socket, socket wrench, oil filter remover, oil, filter, drain pan, wide-mouthed funnel, knee cushion, torque wrench.
• Gather paper towels, small sheet of heavy aluminum foil, a solid plastic container (for the old oil), newspapers, and a box/bag (for the oily towels/rags).
• Put the bike on the center stand over a thick mat of widely-strewn newspapers, and place the oil drain pan under the left side of the engine.
• On the left side near the bottom there is a 17mm oil drain plug. Loosen the plug, and let the oil begin to drain. As the flow decreases, remove plug entirely. (Some, who drain the oil on the side stand, will then lean the bike far to the left to get the last bit of oil to drain. I find this difficult to do with the full oil pan under the bike.)
• Once it’s drained, reach in and very gently remove the loose-fitting spring, the flat washer, and (with your pinky) the snugly-fitting (metal/tubular) screen.
• Clean the screen of any debris (you may want to soak it in high flash point solvent; some use Seafoam). Replace the screen, washer and spring in the correct order.
• Replace the drain plug. (If you have a torque wrench, tighten to ONLY 13 ft-lbs – lots of people strip drain plugs!)
• Move the drain pan to the front of the engine under the oil filter. Push the aluminum foil under the oil filter (making a crude funnel) before removing it. (The foil will prevent oil from leaking behind the starter, which is not easy to wipe away.)
• Remove the filter. (An oil filter remover may be needed.) Make sure that the rubber gasket comes off; if not, remove gently. Wipe off any leaked oil from around the oil filter plate and starter motor.
• Some prime the oil filter by pouring oil into it until it’s full and then let it sit for a few minutes (almost all of the oil will be absorbed into the oil filter, so it doesn’t make a mess when it’s screwed on).
• Rub a thin coating of clean oil around the rubber gasket of the new oil filter and screw it onto the mount, turning it hand tight – 1/4 turn past snug.
• Add the new oil. Once the oil site glass shows the oil level touching the H (full) line, stop and replace the filler cap and start the engine and warm it up. Then stop the engine and let the oil settle for around 5-10 minutes.
• Check the oil site glass – with the bike still on the center stand – and slowly (a little at a time) top off the oil level, if needed. Leave a bubble at the top of the site glass. (Do not overfill by trying to put in a full 4 liters! Most riders can only put in 3-3.5 liters to bring it up to the full mark. It’s easier to add a little oil later than to drain the excess!)
• Don’t be alarmed if the oil light comes on for a little bit once you fire the bike up. If it seems like it’s staying on too long, you may have an air pocket in the line somewhere. Loosening and then re-tightening the filter, while the bike is running (allowing a slight bit of oil to come out) usually seems to get the light to go out.
• Take used oil to Auto Zone or similar spot for recycling.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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Looks like ya got what ya need.

Don't be alarmed if the oil light comes on for a little bit once ya fire the bike up.
If it seems like it's staying on too long, ya may have an air pocket in the line somewhere.
Loosening and then re-tightening the filter, while the bike is running (allowing a slight bit of oil to come out) seems to usually get the light to go out.
 

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Some just like doing this themselves and find satisfaction in doing it. Is there a cost savings to doing your own oil change? If so how much?
 

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Premium Member
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Charlie, nice job on the write-up.

Seth, I don't know what a bike shop would charge. But the satisfaction of knowing it is done right, with the correct parts, and in your own driveway in 15 minutes borders on priceless.

Jon
 

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Premium Member
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Nice job Charlie! Only thing I would add is it will be easier to add the new oil, watching your site glass for the level, if you eventually put the bike on the centerstand, as you will want the bike sitting as level as possible to get the correct reading on the site glass.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
 

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Good write up EasyRector.

I found out the other day when I did my oil change that Wix makes a filter for out bikes too that's already black. The part # is 51358, it costs a little more than the Fram (the only other one I could find in my area) but the Fram is orange, so you gotta take the time to paint it.
 

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Gnarly Jokester
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1,796 Posts
Oil change

Thanks for the Oil change write up. I agree with a lot of the write up and learned a few pointers too.

My stealership advised me to drain the oil from Lena using the very bottom bolt in order to get all the oil out.

Found a very interesting site on Oil, I learned a lot from it. Especially why
MC oils are better than other oils.

Here is one question in the article:

Q: WHY ARE MOTORCYCLE SPECIFIC OILS BETTER?
A: Motorcycle specific oils are pumped up with five times the anti-wear, anti-scuff and extreme pressure additives of regular motor oil. As an added plus, motorcycle oil does not include molybdenum disulfide and other friction modifiers that wreak havoc on clutch performance.

The article:
http://www.thumperfaq.com/oil.htm
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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For what it's worth, I found that, with the Bosch filter, even after sitting for a week on level concrete via the centerstand, using 3 quarts 10 ounces of oil yielded an oil meniscus that was just at the upper level mark on the oil level sight glass.

3 1/2 quarts after one week was too much, completely filling the sight glass.

My bike is an '05 model.
 

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Premium Member
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For what it's worth, I found that, using the Bosch filter, even after sitting for a week on level concrete via the centerstand, that using 3 quarts 12 ounces of oil yielded an oil meniscus that was just at the upper level mark on the oil level sight glass.

3 1/2 quarts after one week was too much, completely filling the sight glass.

My bike is an '05 model.
I just found the same (although am waiting for the meniscus to drop a little). Where'd Kaw get the 4.0 liters figure?
 

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Search Goddess
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4 liters is a dry engine spec.
Anyone that has removed an engine will find little pockets of oil that just don't drain out unless you lift the bike and work it all towards the drain holes. I know I had at least a cup of oil come out when I removed the front bevel gear. Then a little in the clutch plates, the misting around the stator, other various parts that are coated with oil, it adds up. Since we don't completely remove the oil from these with a regular oil change, it takes less.
 

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Makes sense...so 3 1/2 l is about right for an oil/filter change?
Cindy -

I put in 3 quarts, start it, let it run for 30 seconds. Shut it, let it sit for 5 minutes and check and add slowly as required. I hate when it goes over the top of the glass.

Jon
 

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Cindy -

I put in 3 quarts, start it, let it run for 30 seconds. Shut it, let it sit for 5 minutes and check and add slowly as required. I hate when it goes over the top of the glass.

Jon
What he said....

Really, I used a little less than 3 1/2 quarts when I changed mine earlier this week.
 

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Oil Change

Hi.......I have never been able to get one drop of oil out of the bottom plug after pulling the side drain plug & screen & letting it drain for thirty minutes or so. I will never bother pulling the bottom one again.

2006 VN750
Pure One 14610 Oil Filter (Painted)
Mobile 1 MX4T 10-W-40 synthetic M/C Oil (Walmart)

I also will NEVER put a "Fram" oil filter in any vehicle that I own! Not even my kids little red wagon!

Tcat
 

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Gnarly Jokester
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Probably why my stealership uses the bottom drain plug is because they
don't bother cleaning the screen? I know on my KAW KLR 650 many riders
don't always clean the screen.
 

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For whatever reason, my used 86 doesn't have a center stand. So, the trick I used to easily check the eyeglass was to tie a rope around the sissybar, set it level, and stick the other rope in my workbench vise. That way, I could check for perfectly level without dropping the bike. Its pretty hard to hold it totally level otherwise, without a centerstand. Or an assistant.

I used generic 10W40 oil. I'm not sure of the advantages of anything more fancy. And the "pure one" filter (though smaller than the stock filter) fit nicely. Overall, its about a 15 minute job. A little messy in my case, but definitely worth doing yourself. And this is from a guy that usually takes his car to the shop for the oil, only because changing the oil on my VW is a real pain. The bike oil change is pretty straightforward.
 

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I like the K&N 202 filter. It's the largest filter I've found for our bikes. More surface area for the oil to flow over. Also has a "nut" on the end of the filter for easier removal during oil changes. Cheese and crackers, just over a month and almost time to change it again.
 

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Gnarly Jokester
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Thanks for the tip on the K&N Oil filter, will have to find one. What color is it?

Since this is an Oil Change thread here is a pic of the Oil Gypsy used.



If I could find this Pennsylvania oil I would use it. The Kendal Oil Company is 125 years old this year.

 
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