Engine oil of a motorcycle should be replaced around every 4000 miles and this article may help You save on this basic maintenance cost by describing how to do it yourself.
Replacing engine oil can take 30 minutes to 1 hour, requires minimal DIY mechanical knowledge and just a few simple tools.
The following article aims to describe the steps and tools to replace engine oil and filter of a motorbike. Most modern motorcycles with 4-stroke engines are likely to work with semi or fully synthetic motor oil and the type of oil required depends on the exact model, please refer to the owner's manual for details. Replacing the oil filter is recommended every time along with the engine oil and it adds little additional costs (around £10). Numbers in engine oils represent grade of viscosity at cold and hot (100 Celsius) temperatures, general information can be found on Wikipedia Motor Oil section.
Although exact figures can be found in the owner's manual, an estimate is about 3.5 litres of engine oil for motorcycles over 500 cc. Engine oil is normally sold in 1 and 4 litre bottles and the latter should be enough for most motorcycles.
General maintenance of a motorcycle is much easier than a car due to easier access. Even the fairing on some sportbikes can be left on if there is enough space to reach and drain the engine oil.
Chances are the oil filter will be the hardest thing to remove (due to lack of grip and road dust sealed it in place), that's why a filter chain and socket wrench is recommended. Without one a more drastic way to remove a stuck oil filter is by hammering a strong, flat screwdriver through the middle of it sideways then pushing the screwdriver's handle to make the oil filter turn. By doing so the screwdriver can also start cutting through the filter's thin metal body instead of actually turning it, so this approach is to be avoided unless necessary (e.g. oil drained already and previous attempts to unscrew the oil filter with other equipment failed and already damaged or punctured it). An oil filter wrench provides a much stronger grip as opposed to this method.
Do not wait for the oil warning light to show up on the dashboard, because that would mean the bike had been running with oil well below the minimum level which could cause serious engine damage.
Fill the empty oil bottle with the used oil and take it the nearest tip site as it is not generic waste.
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