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Oil change Tips


Veteran Member
Oil level. (four stroke engines only)
Checking your oil level is not a simple matter when in comes to motorcycles i.e. should the oil be hot or cold, is the oil level checked in the crankcase or in a separate reservoir (a dry sump), should the dipstick be fully screwed in or not, must the bike be on the side stand or simply 'level' and does the bike have a dipstick or a sight glass? All this adds up to reading the manufacturers handbook very carefully. An under filled crankcase can be disastrous while an overfilled one may flood you air cleaner with oil.

You should also know the difference between the 'low' level and the 'high' level and how much is TOO much

Here are some pointers regarding oil which are true for most motorcycles

The bike should be level as possible, except for some that are checked on the side stand. Check your owners manual before proceeding here.
The oil should not be checked cold and is therefore best done after complete warm up to operating temps.
Do not allow foreign matter and dirt to fall into the sump during the inspection process.

With threaded dipsticks do not screw the dipstick in when taking a reading but rest it on the top thread, with push in dipsticks, insert them fully into the opening.

High temperatures, time, speed, heavy traffic, short trips and dust quickly destroy the quality of your oil.
Change your oil every 3- 5 thousand miles or 6 months, whichever comes first except in dusty conditions where more frequent changes are a good choice.
Never use a pirate oil filter. An excellent quality pirate unit can still destroy your engine as its "Bypass Filter Rating" may be incorrect for your particular model causing the oil to circulate without the benefit of being filtered. Thus, use only the one from your manufacturer for best results and long life.
Motorcycles can use the same oil as cars although the motorcycle specific oils contain additives such as moly for better oil performance and are highly recommended over the car oils.
Note that synthetic oils are not recommended in the primary if your bike has a wet clutch. In most instances a semi-synthetic oil graded as SAE 20 W-50 is usually fine, an oil without friction modifiers is a better choice. A lot of people have gone back to the HD primary oil for this, it's been tried and proven for many years.
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I am curious how many people run synthetic in the primary. I run 20 w50 amsoil and have had no issues with my eglide. I can actually find neutral far better than Harley oil and not as much clunk.
That's pretty good advice. I've been debating making the change over to Synthetic. Right now, I don't reallyd omy own oil changes, but all that will change if I do start going synthetic as it'll save a lot of money.
I used Mobil 1 V-twin in all 3 holes,runs like a dream,shifts smoother than Syn-3.
30000 miles before I traded for 2014.:D