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Moto Maintenance – Oil Change

Just picked up a new machine, or dusting yours off for some summer riding? Our moto experts are here to help with a few tips so you can get your bike ready for the track and trails. Over the following weeks we’ll be releasing a series of maintenance tips for you and your ride, with a simple to follow step by step process to getting your bike ride ready.

What you must remember most when working on your bike is simple, a clean bike is a fast bike. If you’re lugging dirt and dust into your garage with your bike, chances are that dirt will end up in and around places it does not belong. If you have removed your air filter and a large amount of dust kicks up and goes into the air box that can cause some major complications, which can result in a new engine, costing thousands. It’s always better to dedicate some money for bike wash, a varied brush set for getting into those hard to reach places and a few hours of your time towards cleaning your bike to avoid such disasters.

The gear you’ll need:

Bike Wash

Wash Set

Exhaust Plug

You won’t get far working on that new machine without the workshop basics. Almost every job will require loosening and tightening nuts and bolts. T-Bars are perfect for this; they’re quick and easy to use and save switching sockets around when working on those easily accessed nuts and bolts. While you’re running circles around your bike you want to assure that it is safe and secure, not only do you not want your precious bike hugging the concrete floor, you’ll enjoy your day more without the bike landing on you. For this, there’s nothing better than the Torpedo7 Scissor Lift. Clamps that secure your foot pegs to the platform prevent wobbling and potential tipping, while the inbuilt wheels enable moving your bike around the garage without taking it on and off the stand.

The gear you’ll need:

T-Bar Set

Scissor Lift

Hex Key Wrench Set

It’s no secret that motocross bikes have high-performance engines, and in order to keep your engine running smoothly, oil changes are a necessity. It is recommended to change your engine/gearbox oil every 5-10 hours of riding depending on skill level. More mellow riding won’t require as a change as often as a professional racer. For those with two-strokes, life is a little easier, as the engine oil is mixed with petrol therefore the engine has a constant supply of new oil. The gearbox oil should be changed approximately every 10 hours. Four strokes are a little different, (excluding some Hondas) the engine oil services both the engine and gearbox. Therefore it is recommended to change the oil every 5 hours, with an oil filter change every second oil change. Honda owners with dual chamber oil, it is recommended to change the engine oil every 5 hours and the gearbox every 10 hours, with the oil filter also being changed every 10 hours.

  • Have a drain pan ready to collect the old oil.
  • Remove the sump plug. It is recommended to have disposable gloves to avoid your hands becoming covered in old oil.

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  • Remove the filler cap. This helps to improve the flow of the old oil.
  • Once the flow begins to slow, give the kick-start a few pumps with your hands. DO NOT start the bike.
  • Tilt the bike from left to right to get out all the old oil you can – make sure your drain pan is in a good position to accommodate the movement.
  • Leave to drain for 15 minutes on a sturdy side stand.*
  • Once the oil has completely drained re-install the sump plug. DO NOT over-tighten as this will strip the thread and the cases of your engine may need replacing. Finger tighten the bolt and then tighten to the torque setting found in your workshop manual.
  • The oil volume is commonly displayed on the side of your engine, if not you can find this in your workshop manual or internet research. This value can change between year models of your bike, so be sure to get the accurate oil volume for your make model and year of bike.

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  • Re-fill the oil with the required amount, once full reinstall the filler cap.
  • Dispose of old oil at your local recycling center.

*Four strokes only – while draining remove the oil filter cover – be careful as a spring holds the filter against the cover, take note of the orientation of the current oil filter to assure the new one is placed in the same way. Remove the oil filter, wipe out any excess old oil in the chamber.  When installing the new filter put some engine oil on the tip of your glove and wipe it around the O-Ring of the new filter, then with the spring place the new filter in the same way as the old and do up the cover again.

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Tips and Tricks: Oil is a cacogenic, wearing disposable gloves keeps oil from touching and irritating the skin. You can keep old oil containers to pour used oil into – you can then take these containers to your recycling center for easy disposal. Mark any used oil containers to assure you don’t put it back into the bike!

The gear you’ll need:

Oil Filter

Oil Drain Container

Measuring Jug

Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil

Disposable Gloves

*The bike pictured and worked on in this tutorial is a 2009 CRF250R, bolt locations, torque specifications and processes can alter between makes and models. The best addition for your workshop is a workshop manual, this best describes all processes and torque specifications relevant to your bike.

Author: Matthew Reilly – Torpedo7 Team Member

Cover Photo: Torpedo7 Athlete, Cohen Chase

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