Motorcycle Oil Change

Welcome to Tech Tips by South Texas Fabrication,
My name is Chris Fantich and I’m the owner, fabricator and wrench at South Texas Fabrication. I started riding in 1973, here in the Valley at Stratons race track. Without going into a long list of my history, we can assume I’ve been around. This article is not about me, but about the most basic chore everyone who owns a bike must do. The Oil Change


– Oil filter: Any quality filter will work. You can get them from any shop, online or even Walmart now a days.

– Four Quarts of Oil: I use Valvoline 20w 50 or straight 50 in the summer. If your a synthetic guy it’s the same process.

– Drain pan: You will need a pan that will hold approximately four quarts. I use a shallow baking pan since my bike is lowered. Buy one for your own use. Taking the wife’s will only lead to a fight. Trust me on this!

Step 1
Bring the bike up to temp. You should always change to oil while the bike at running temperature.


Drain PlugStep 2
Locate your drain plug. Your owners manual will tell you where it is located. I am changing the oil on a Road King so the plug is on the bottom of the oil pan. (Note: Do not confuse it with the transmission oil drain plug. Dynas have the transmission drain plug directly in the bottom, and the oil plug on the bottom side, bolted in horizontally. )

Step 3
Loosen the drain plug. Keep in mind that everything will be warm. Also remove the oil filler cap to help evacuation of the oil.


ToolsStep 4
While the oil is draining remove the filter. There are an assortment of tools that can help spin the filter off. Once you have the filter off check to make sure the gasket is sill on the old filter. if not remove it from the oil filter mount. Then clean the gasket surface with a shop towel.


filter-gasketStep 5
Installing the new filter. Before you spin the filter on take the time to inspect the mounting surface. There should be no dirt or oil on the gasket area. Also put a thin coat of fresh oil on the filter gasket. This will help it seal properly. Pour some of the fresh oil into the oil filter so we avoid the dry start. Then just spin it on hand tight.


oringStep 6
Install the drain plug. If you have a push on type just clean the plug and hose then install and tighten. If you have a dyna or FLH you will have a threaded plug. For these you have to clean the plug and remove any old Teflon tape and replace the O ring. The O ring can be purchased at your local auto parts store. Once the O ring is on simply wrap the threads with a light covering of Teflon tape and install. The plug should be snug. Over tightening can result in stripped or cracked oil pan. So be careful!


fluidStep 7
Add oil. Check your owners manual for the correct amount. Remember oil coolers or longer oil filters will need more oil then a stock unit.

Always bring the bike up to operating temperature and recheck the oil level and make sure there are no leaks. There you have it. Hopefully this helps y’all with one of the simplest of home do it yourself projects. If you need any advice or if you don’t want to do this yourself feel free to contact me at 956-212-3417 South Texas Fabrication.


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