With 700 miles on my new KLR, its time for an oil change! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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With 700 miles on my new KLR, its time for an oil change!

Im thinking about doing it myself and found this youtube video..

Question from the newb...

#1 Can I do this?

#2 what type of oil should I use.

Instead of letting a dealer do everything I think it may be a good learning expierience for me..

Thoughts? Suggestions?

TY in advance.

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post #2 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 12:56 AM
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Anyone can do this. I've never changed the oil in anything... but I changed it in my KLR. It was fun too and I was way messier than this guy in the video. Hardest part was getting off that metal cap.
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post #3 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 06:58 AM
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#1 - yes.

#2 - I recommend using motorcycle-specific oil meeting the recommendations in your owner's manual, and keeping the receipt for documentation, at least until the motor is no longer 'under warranty'.

Do not over-tighten the bolts holding the oil filter housing cap in place. Should you break one, all the "fun" will be gone....

Do not over-tighten the oil drain plug. Should you strip the drain plug threads out of the case, you will not find the experience amusing - but you won't ever make that mistake again either....

"If you simply take up the attitude of defending a mistake, there will be no hope of improvement."
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Originally Posted by Lockjaw View Post
Oh, and I ran two quarts of hot oil through before filling her up cause I'm anal.
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post #4 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 09:19 AM
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Sure you can change the oil. It's messy though, I always wash my bike after a change. A few of things I've found that make it easier...

Bike needs to be warmed up. When you let the oil out of the drain plug loosen or remove the fill cap so it drains faster.

The filter cover is indeed a pain to get off. What I do is rotate it back and forth to work it off. I use a plastic mallet on the tab and gently tap it. Don't pry on the sealing surfaces with anything. Stick some paper towels underneath the filter before you take off the cover, oil will come out.

You don't have to use a motorcycle specific oil to maintain your warranty. You should use an oil that has a JASO MA certification. Rotella T 15-40 has that cert and is probably the most popular KLR oil by far.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #5 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 10:43 AM
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A lot of people don't use them, but I'm a big proponent of torque wrenches, probably because I was an Army helicopter mechanic for 13 years. You can pick up the three torque wrenches that will cover the torque range on every bolt on a KLR for less than $100 total.

If it's got a torque value, I pull out the torque wrench and use it, even though all those years of tightening fasteners left me with a pretty good "feel" for torques. Even the cheaper torque wrenches (as long as they're taken care of and not dropped) are still a lot more accurate than guessing at it. They're good, cheap insurance in your tool box against that, "Just a liiiitle more....aw crap!" feeling that a lot of us have experienced.

I watched the video and I think the guy did a pretty good job of showing how an oil change is done. I agree with Spec, get the oil hot and if you take the fill cap off it drains faster and better. I also use paper towels to sop up any oil remaining in the cavity where the filter goes before I put the new filter in. Always start all nuts and bolts with your fingers to make sure they're not cross-threaded, as mentioned in the video.

You can do it. As with all things mechanical, just take your time and be methodical.

For what it's worth, I use the Rotella 15-40. Good luck!

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post #6 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 11:17 AM
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It is a very easy, but messy job as others have said. Bring it on over to my casa and we will get it changed. I too, use Rotella 15 40.
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post #7 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 01:31 PM
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Use the cheap latex mechanic gloves from Harbor Freight. Keeps hands cleaner, and reduces skin exposure to harmful chemicals that might be otherwise absorbed thru the skin - if that is a concern.

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post #8 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 02:38 PM
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All these responses are spot on. Only thing I will add. When I do my oil now, I do not use a torque wrench. The bolts on the filter cap need to be snugged enough to keep the cover on. The gasket inside is what does the work. I snug the drain plug, too (make sure you use a crush washer...get a new one, they're cheap). Reason being, first time I did an oil change on the KLR I used my torque wrench. When I was putting the drain plug back in, I kept thinking, "Man, this feels too tight, but the torque wrench knows". Sure enough, I stripped it and had to tap it out and it was a pain in the butt.

Not discouraging the use of torque wrenches, but if you use one make sure it is functioning correctly. Mine was old and busted. Dumb.

Also, and people will and have disagreed with me, this is one of the places you can get away without using a torque wrench---not load bearing bolts...worst case scenario, you drip some oil. Like I said, the filter cover...as long as you snug the bolts and don't strip them, the gasket will keep the oil in. The drain plug...get it snug. If it drips, you can tighten it.


It is super easy. Don't throw away the metal tube inside the filter. This video was the one I watched before my first change, too.

"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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post #9 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Lockjaw View Post
(make sure you use a crush washer...get a new one, they're cheap).
The local "motorcycle superstore" has them in packages of 10 for for less than 3 bucks.
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-15-2011, 11:52 PM
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I also bought a magnetic drain plug that has holes drilled in the head for safety wire/lockwire so I can lockwire the drain plug after I've tightened it. Overkill maybe: old habits die hard. Just gives me some peace of mind with the drain plug, I guess: certainly not necessary.

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