A Quick Guide To Learn How To Change Motorcycle Oil

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Like most machines, the operator manual of a motorcycle is the most reliable source of information. While it elaborates on the instructions for the use of the motor controls, it also has valuable maintenance tips. One crucial aspect the manual covers is oil replacement. Generally, as per the manual, oil replacement should be done after riding for every 10,000 kms. In this article, let us see how to change motorcycle oil in quick and easy steps.

Checking The Oil Levels

Although there are no set rules for checking the oil level in your motorcycle, it is advisable to do it before every ride. Riding with low oil levels can harm motorcycle batteries. Moreover, after every trip, minor leaks are possible due to damage. Often, these leaks go unnoticed and cause a great loss in the end. Thus, we recommend that you check the oil levels before every ride.

However, we know as well as you do, that you’re going to forget doing this simple task daily. Therefore, make it a point to check the oil level in your motorcycle at least once a week. However, if you plan to go on a long ride, checking the oil level before you set off  is a must so that you do not have any trouble midway. 

1. Using The Dipstick

Like every other procedure, you should read the motorcycle manual to understand how to check the oil level. Most motorcycles today have a dipstick to check this factor. To use the dipstick, first, allow the motorcycle to cool down. This is because warm oil has a different viscosity that cannot be measured accurately with the dipstick method. 

Once the engine is cold, insert the dipstick into the designated point, and move it until it contacts the filler plug threads. Let it be inside for some time. Take it out to check the high and low points and the hash marks. These indicate the oil levels. 

2. Using The Sight Glass

Some motorcycles today have a sight glass to measure the oil levels. It is more convenient than the dipstick method, as you do not have to take it out. However, the measuring process is the same. There are high and low points on the sight glass. There will be lines between the two points indicating the oil level in the tank. 

Changing The Motorcycle Oil

Before you proceed with changing the motorcycle oil, you should allow the engine to warm up for a couple of minutes. It is easy to take out hot oil from the tank. However, do not keep the engine on for long, as it will start burning the oil. 

1. Exposing The Crankcase

Every motorcycle has a tank or a crankcase where the oil filter is present. The crankcase can have a rubber ring, copper washer, or a screw to tighten its covering. You need to remove the screw or the ring to take the oil out. If the motorcycle has a copper washer, you should ideally replace it after changing the oil. Loosen the screw or the rubber ring gently, so that it does not get damaged. A damaged screw will lead to oil leakage after you complete the process. After this, remove the drain bolt that covers the crankcase. 

2. Draining The Oil

Bring a container and keep it below the bike. Tilt the motorcycle to extract the oil out of the tank. You should consult your nearby authorities to know how to dispose of this oil.  Mindlessly throwing away the used oil can cause a great amount of pollution. While you drain the oil, you need to replace the oil filter as well. 

3. Removing The Old Filter

Use a filter wrench to remove the oil filter. Do not unscrew very forcefully as it can damage the filter and cause its contaminants to get back inside the engine. If the oil filter is fixed very tightly, you can use a screwdriver as well. 

Sometimes the oil filter can also have some residue left in it. Therefore, remove it gently so that the oil does not splash out on you. Keep the container below it when you do so. 

4. Installing The New Filter

Before you install the new filter, it is essential to prep it with some oil. Put some motorcycle oil inside the filter, such that all the layers get wet. Moreover, you need to apply some oil to the outer ring of the oil filter that comes in contact with the engine. It will make the filter work smoothly. 

5. Replacing The Washer Or Reinstalling The Rings

After fitting the oil filter, install a new drain plug or copper washer. It might cost you some money, but using a new drain plug improves engine efficiency. It is because less torque will be exerted on the filter threads, keeping them functional for a longer time. If your motorcycle has a simple screw or a rubber ring, you can reinstall the same. 

6. Screwing The Drain Bolt

After installing the rubber ring or crush washer, you need to put the crankcase cover back. In most cases, it is a drain bolt that needs to be screwed. However, ensure that you clean the drain bolt because a lot of dirt and grime gets accumulated on it. Installing the drain bolt should be such that it fits snugly on the crankcase. Make sure not to over-tighten it. 

7. Adding New Oil

Now that you have changed the filter and drained the old oil, it is time to add the new lot. The motorcycle manuals clearly state the amount of oil to put in the tank. Therefore, you should refer to the operator’s manual and fill the oil tank accordingly. 


We hope that you got an idea of how to change motorcycle oil, through this article. Several types of motorcycle oils are available that primarily differ in their density. You need to put the oil according to ambient conditions. The nomenclature of the oils is done according to their densities in cold and hot climates, respectively. For instance, motorcycle oil 10W40 indicates density in cold weather on the left and warm conditions on the right. 

Referring to the operator manual is essential to make this decision. All in all, changing motorcycle oil is not a complicated task. By taking certain precautions, you can complete the procedure without any wastage and trouble. 

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Emanuel Smith

Emanuel Smith

Emanuel has a degree in mechanical engineering and a great interest in the workings of bikes. His articles are always well-researched and are supported by his good knowledge of how bikes work.
Emanuel Smith

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