How to Change the Oil on a Motorcycle


Pull out the dipstick and inspect the oil. The oil will most likely have some residue in it, but if it is dark and smelly, the oil will need to be changed. Remove the dipstick so that oil will flow out more quickly once the oil plug is removed.


Remove the oil drain plug by hand and discard the O ring around the screw. The oil drain screw is behind the floorboard mount. This will need to be replaced before putting the drain screw back in.


Use a filter wrench or strap wrench to remove the oil filter. Turn counter clockwise to loosen the filter. Make sure there is a pan underneath for the oil to drain into. Use bike cleaner to clean off areas where oil may have dripped.


Open 1 qt. of the new oil and pour 2 oz. into the new oil filter. Take some oil and rub it along the rubber edge as well. This will lubricate the new filter and help it stay in place. Put the new filter on and tighten it by hand.


Put a new O ring on the drain screw and reinstall the screw.


Add the rest of the new oil to the motorcycle through a funnel. Pull out the funnel and replace the dipstick.


Take the bike for a short ride immediately after the oil has been changed. This will allow the new oil to properly lubricate the engine.

Tips and Warnings

  • Put the used oil into a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. Take it to an auto parts store or a bike shop for disposal.
  • Changing the oil in your motorcycle is fast and inexpensive, and it gives you the satisfaction of doing it yourself. In order to give your motorcycle its highest performance, the oil will need to be changed every 2,500 miles. Here's a brief explanation of how to complete this maintenance yourself.