Time for Zed’s oil change!


The last time I rode my motorcycle, I can remember how badly I smelled….my hair, my t-shirt reeked of exhaust fumes, and that was despite wearing a helmet and motorcycle jacket.

It’s time for an oil change.

So, after searching all over several different stores for the right filter to fit my bike and a 4-quart jug of Mobile 1’s Full Synthetic oil, I was ready to get dirty!

Yep! You heard that right. I’m the one who changes the oil on my own bike.

How to change the oil on a standard “naked” motorcycle

I passed up on a wonderful ride that my friends were taking today, so I could baby my bike and take a slow cruise through Rocky Mountain National Park. My friends were going to ride about 500 miles round-trip today and as enticing as it was to join them, I had to take care of my baby.

So, what does taking care of my baby involve, you ask? Well, I put Zed up on a bike stand and gather up my tools, the oil, the filter, gaskets and shop towels. Because Zed is a naked bike, I don’t need to worry about removing any plastic parts to get to the oil drain and fill cap.

Yes, I use a crescent wrench to loosen up the oil fill cap. It works. And it only needs a gentle nudge to loosen it up. Typically, I tighten it by hand and then maybe a quarter turn by wrench.

Next, I loosen up the oil plug and then continue unscrewing by hand, until it comes out and the old oil is flowing freely.

Then I also loosen up the old oil filter with the filter wrench. It never takes too much to loosen things up and I always do the rest of the work by hand. The only thing I don’t like about how the oil comes out from where the filter sits is that the oil falls all over the exhaust pipes.

Now that the oil is draining, I have a half cup of coffee, or do some cleaning while I wait for the oil to drain. I try to let as much oil drain out as possible.

Now, it’s time to do things in reverse and with fresh new parts and fluids.

First, the oil drain plug needs a new gasket. Then I screw it on by hand until it’s as tight as possible. Then I take the socket wrench, placing it in reverse mode from where it was before and give the drain plug one nice tightening notch.

Next, it’s time for a new oil filter. I screw this on by hand as well and tighten it with the filter wrench about a quarter turn.

Now, I refill the bike with full synthetic oil. I’ve used this oil ever since I bought my bike. It’s great for hot-running parts…like those on a motorcycle. Oh and it doesn’t smell too bad either in the first 2000 miles or so.

Last, I screw on the oil filler cap.

And, voila! Done!

Well, almost. This is where I clean up the oil off the exhaust pipes as much as possible. Then I roll my bike up close to my house to wash it down.

Now, I’m done!

RMNP here I come!!!

Tools, oil and filter brands used:

  • Crescent wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Basic funnel
  • Kawasaki oil drain gasket
  • Fram Tough Guard TG7317 oil filter
  • Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil
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