Everyone has changed oil before. It's not rocket science. But if you haven't done it much on a motorcycle before, it is a bit different than a car.

The VTR's oil should be drained with the bike on the sidestand. Since the drain plug is on the left side, it won't drain as easily when the bike is on a race stand. Then remove the little chin fairing. The oil filter should come off by hand. If it is stuck on and you don't have a filter wrench, just jam a screwdriver into it and twist it loose, since the old filter is trash anyway.

The engine needs 4.1 quarts after changing the oil and filter. 10w-40 or 20w-50 both work fine for normal temperatures. If you ride in real hot weather most of the time, go thicker. If it's winter cold, go thinner. There is no noticeable performance difference either way. side of engine

Car oil is different from motorcycle oil. The latest grade of car oil has much less zinc to lower emissions in cars. Since cars don't rev as high as a motorcycle, they live just fine with the friction modifiers alone in their oil. Bikes need extra protection for the valves at their higher RPM's and wet clutches don't like friction modifiers much. Bike oil costs a bit more but the average rider only has to change it a couple times a year, making the added expense relatively small.

After filling the crankcase with the new oil, let it run for a few minutes to fill the filter and circulate. Turn it off and let it sit for 2-5 minutes to settle back to the bottom before rechecking. My Hawk consumes a bit of oil during hard riding so I normally check the level before every weekend ride. I've blown a motor in a XR250 from running it dry on oil, and this bike would be much more expensive to repair. Learning the hard way means the expensive way.

3000 miles is still the accepted interval to change fluids. The manual says you can wait 8000 miles between changes but this has more to do with emissions. Manufactures (car and motorcycle) are required to pay fines if their vehicles produce excessive waste, in both gas mileage and fluid consumption. They swear if you use their oil and filters it will last but it should be changed more often after "hard use" or "dusty conditions". It might take several years of abuse for a problem to develop, but if it does, it won't be cheap. Like Fram says, "pay a little now, or a lot later". If you have any doubt, contact a service manager at a good dealer. Yes, they are in the business of selling you oil changes, but they also have to answer to warranty claims. A good manager knows if he talks you into a service you don't need, he may get the sale, but you won't come back. A bad rep can kill any dealer. (Again, I trust Mike Proo at South Bay Motorsports. He talks straight and knows his job)

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