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Discussion Starter #1
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.

:50:
 

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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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#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....
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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.

CW
 

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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.

WHATEVER YOU DO, REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN NOT UN-OVERTIGHTEN A BOLD IF YOU STRIP THAT SOFT METAL!

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.
 

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(make sure you use a crush washer...get a new one, they're cheap).
+1
The local "motorcycle superstore" has them in packages of 10 for for less than 3 bucks.
 

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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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Do not freak out when you see all the metal particles on your old oil filter.

It'll take a few filter and oil changes before you'll not be noticing a lot of metal in the filters, even if you do install a magnetic drain plug.
 

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Stupid question (I don't have the manual) but how many mile intervals are most of you changing your oil? I've had thumpers where the shifting got notchy prior to 750 miles, and others that the shifting didn't get any worse close to 2000 miles.

What do you recommend? Thanks!
(I don't think it's time for mine again, but what can I say, I enjoy maintaining and messing with my bikes)
 

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2000 miles would be the maximum that most people go with a KLR before an oil change. I've heard of others who go longer but the comments always come back to reduce the interval. Because it's a wet sump, the oil gets a real beating so more often is better, especially in the first 2000 miles. I know of lots who change it 4 times before the first 500 miles are done.
 

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That question will get as many varied answers as asking which oil to change to. 1700 miles is the magic number as far as making time to do an oil change. It might be 200 more miles before I get to it, and on the other hand, if I have some heavy running around to do, I'll drop the oil at 1400 miles. Filters go two oil change cycles on my bikes, except for HD's. I base the 1700 mile decision on what I have gleaned from too many hours reading over at Bobistheoilguy.com. I may change my mind. YMMV.
 

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Well I changed it at 800 miles but I let the filter ride until next time. Odo was at 7k so I wanted to get it on a nice # so I can change every 1k to 1.5k miles from now on. Oil still looked good. (BTW oil was only $1.99/qt at Autozone)
 

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What does the Owner's Manual say about oil change intervals?

(Yeah; I'm stirring the pot!)
It doesn't matter what Kawi says. Their answers are wrong. They say the first 1000km (600mi) then every 12000km (7500mi) or once per year whichever come first. Of course, Kawi also says that the KLR650 doesn't have an oil burning problem in some bikes. At the rate some bikes burn oil, they'd be dry before that many miles were ridden. Stick to the 2000mi max and you'll be grateful. Break it in properly and the oil burning issue has a good chance of not happening either.
 

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Dbrewerton,

Kawasaki is wrong? Every major machine manufacturer is wrong? I know of almost no major transport manufacturers even close to 2k-3k miles in oil changes now. Most are 6k-10k +. Now I know most do not like to go that long. Clean oil never hurt an engine. However, I am not going to be obsessed over the interval. There is no reason to be. Do what makes you happy and what you are comfortable with. I will likely change mine every 2k - 3k miles.I will change filters every other time. If I were using a true synthetic, I would change at 7500 miles. That would be my choice. You do as you like.

As to the Kawasaki being wrong statement. Yes they make mistakes and literature is sometimes wrong. Other than that, the manufacture thousands of bikes a year. Of course they are wrong on some small percentage of them. I would guess that they are right on 99% of them.

Let's put this in another perspective. Early 70s Pintos had fuel filler necks that would ram in and rupture the gas tank in a rear collision. This could and did cause explosions in a few cases. Compare these cases to the total number sold that had the issue. It came out that Ford KNEW about the issue. They did a cost analysis and figured that the payouts to injured and dead would be less expensive than fixing the problem. Some would hold this up as to why Government oversight is needed on industry. They would be wrong. The consumer needs to have oversight on industry. It was overwhelming consumer sentiment that was a threat to profit that made the fixing of the issue now LESS expensive. So back to the KLR. You chose to buy a KLR knowing to potential issues. If you were ignorant of the well known issues, that is from your lack of research. The ones that would need to be angry are those who bought a 2008 and had the oil burning issues. I would simply ask Kawasaki to not fix the issue. Simply give me $600, and I would fix the issue. It is cheaper for them, and I buy a 685 kit and have a better machine.

So far, so good on my 2010. I just passed 1500 miles. I have changed the oil at about 800 miles. The biggest issue I have is the seat. I knew about that and tried to head it off with a Sargent. That didn't do the trick. I am experimenting with foam now. I am getting there. I knew I would need carrying capacity and protection. I had that done before I ever rode the bike.

Do not Obsess. Have fun and ride. That is what I do.
 
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