How to Give Your Motorcycle an Oil Change

Sharing is caring!

One of the first maintenance routines for most riders is an oil change. Just like your car, your bike requires an oil change based on mileage or time. Whether you’re a pro at automotive oil changes or never touched motor oil before, here’s how you can properly maintain your motorcycle with an oil change. Grab the oil, OEM motorcycle parts and any tools you need and prepare your workspace.

Checking Your Oil

There’s a few warning signs to watch out for when checking your oil. Just like your car, your two-wheeled ride typically has a dipstick for checking oil. Some motorcycles sport a sight glass, which allows you to get a peek at your oil without getting your hands dirty.

While the minimum oil change schedule is once a year, most riders find they wear out their oil faster than that. Here’s a few signs that it’s time to change your oil:

  • Dark, sludgy oil
  • Milky oil
  • Oil with metallic particles
  • Gas-smelling oil

Thick, black oil is a sign that your oil is ready to be retired. However, the other signs should be setting off alarm bells in your head. These are all signs that either coolant or gas has leaked into your oil or that your engine is grinding itself apart. Drain your oil and fix the problem before launch a rod through your engine case.

Draining Old Oil

Grab an oil pan and prepare to drain your used oil. It’s far easier to drain hot oil, so give your old oil a celebratory lap around your neighborhood. Consult your owner’s manual for the drain plug and carefully remove it. Be aware that the bolt is the only thing separating your hand and scalding oil, so be cautious on this step.

Replacing Your Oil Filter

Waiting for your oil to drain is a great time to inspect the rest of your bike. Do you need new OEM motorcycle fairings, tires or a slip-on exhaust? This natural pause in your oil change is a great time to think about the rest of your bike’s maintenance.

Replace your old oil filter every time you replace your oil. An old oil filter is clogged with all sorts of contaminants. Leaving an old filter leaves all that grime in your brand-new oil. Choose the exact type of oil filter, or consider an aftermarket alternative that fits your bike’s specifications. Some filters are only held on with an O-ring, while internal filters are more complicated. Pop a new filter in place and get ready to replace your bike’s oil.

Filling Up Your Bike

Motorcycle oil comes in a wide range of weights. The numbers on your oil container, such as 20W-50, are used to describe the temperature of your oil at zero degrees Fahrenheit and at the average running temperature. Only use the exact weight of oil that is recommended by your manufacturer, but feel free to try out a new brand if something catches your eye.


Shop online to find all the parts, accessories and fluids you need to keep up on your bike’s maintenance schedule. If you have any questions or are more of a visual learner, watch our oil change tutorial.

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind

*

shares