How to do a Motorcycle Oil Change

Riding a bike is fun. Compared to a car, it has a simple engine system and is much easier to operate. For your motorcycle to keep functioning optimally, be sure to maintain it. One of the ways to do this is by periodically having an oil change.

Thankfully, you do not need external help to get this done. With the aid of guidelines in your motorcycle manual, it shouldn’t be difficult. The manual should give you information on the recommended oil to use, the oil filter needed, and how often the oil change should occur.

What’s more? This article is a guide you can refer to for easily change your motorcycle oil.

Items Needed for a Motorcycle Oil Change

First Step: Warm your Motorcycle Engine

It is easier to change your motorcycle oil when your engine is warm. Some manuals stipulate that you warm the motorcycle to room temperature before the oil change.

Note that for air-cooled bikes, it is not advisable to start up the engine and let it sit idle for long. Doing that poses a risk of damage to your bike.

Second Step: Clean Up

Set the bike upright with the aid of the rear paddock stand or the bike’s center stand. Using a neat rag, clean out the area around the drain plug and oil filter. This helps to prevent dirt particles from gaining entrance into the oil chamber.

Third Step: Drain Out the Old Oil

It is dangerous for the old and new oil to mix in the engine. Place a drain pan under the drain plug. This helps to collect the old oil and prevent it from spilling on the ground. Unscrew the drain plug and wait for everything to drain out.

Fourth Step: Replace the Old Oil Filter 

As an engine maintenance tip, replace the oil filter with a new one when changing the oil.

Use the strap wrench or oil filter wrench to loosen the filter until you can unscrew it by hand. Also, drain out the oil residue in the oil filter into the drain pan.

To install a new oil filter, apply a little oil from the drain pan on the O-ring of your new oil filter. It helps the oil filter slip into place, and seal tightly. 

Carefully install the filter by hand and turn it till you feel some resistance. Do not over-tighten it to avoid damaging the seal.

Fifth Step: Replace the Sealing Washer

Some manufacturers manual recommend that you replace the sealing washer any time you change the oil. However, this is not necessary if the sealing washer is still functional.

If your bike makes use of O-rings instead of a sealing washer, replace it every time you change the oil.

Sixth Step: Install the Drain Plug

Put back the drain plug by hand. Installation of bolts like the drain plug by hand is necessary because it helps you avoid cross-threading. Cross threading wears out the threads and causes bolts to not fit again.

After installing the drain plug, ensure it is tight enough with the aid of a torque wrench. Use the specified torque weight in the manual.

Seventh Step: Pour in the Oil

Ensure that you pour in the oil type that the manufacturer’s manual recommends. The wrong oil type damages the engine.

Eight Step: Conclude Your Work

When you finish, start the engine and leave it idle for some minutes. Inspect the drain plug and oil filter for any leaks.

Top up the oil if it is not at its recommended level. Take the used oil to an auto store for recycling.

Types of Engine Oil

There are three types of engine oil:

Full Synthetic Oil

This type of oil is not naturally gotten. It is made by blending multiple compounds. A chemical process changes the molecular structure of the oil. This type is more expensive but is worth it.

Semi-synthetic oil

Semi-synthetic oil is a mix of crude oil and synthetic oil.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a bye product of crude oil. It is less stable and breaks down quickly, making it unsuitable for most engine types. 

Benefits of Engine Oil

Every engine needs oil for smooth performance. For bike engines, the benefits are numerous. Some of these benefits include:

Engine Cleaning

Engine oils are composed of two main ingredients: base oil and additives. While the base oil helps in lubrication, the additives provide additional engine protection through a cleaning process.

The additives clean the carbon formations residual in the engine parts.

Engine Cooling

When the engine is off, the oil returns to the oil pan. With this process, heat is carried away from the lubricated parts, thereby cooling it.

Engine Lubrication

Every engine needs lubrication to function well. It is the primary duty of engine oil. It works by lubricating two moving parts and covering them with a thick film.

Improves Performance

As a result of the cleaning property of engine oils, the bike’s motor maximizes fuel efficiency. In turn, it increases the mechanical output of the machine.

Increases Engine Life

Using good engine oils on any engine elongates its life span. It is because the oil helps to minimize the sludge build-up and keeps the internal parts clean.

Best Motorcycle Oils

Just as the right fluids are essential for your body, so also the right oil is essential for your bike. It is because it improves performance and increases its durability.

There is a wide variety of oil options in the market. However, we have handpicked five of the best for you.


1. Mobil 1 Motor Oil

This motorcycle oil is a full synthetic oil. It offers all-round protection for your motorcycle engine, clutch, and transmission system.

Some of its advantages include smoother performance, faster revving, and quieter operation. It is inexpensive and available in a one-quart container.


  • Fully synthetic
  • Ideal for better gear transmission


  • It is quite corrosive


2. Castrol 06116 Motorcycle Synthetic Oil 4T

Experience the ultimate performance with race-derived technology. This Castrol Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is more than oil. It is liquid engineering.

Inside this lubricant are race-proven additives that protect your bike’s working components, improves its performance, and enhances the thrill of your ride.

Engineered with Trizone Technology, it simultaneously protects your engine, gearbox, and clutch. Also, its production is for 2-cycle and 4-cycle motorcycle, V-Twin motorcycles, Snowmobiles, and ATVs.


  • Excellent shear ability to prevent viscosity breakdown
  • Formulated with Trizone Technology to protect the three critical engine areas 
  • Raced derived technology for maximum engine acceleration
  • Enhanced air cooling performance


  • It is quite pricey


3. Red Line 42504 20W50 Motorcycle Oil

Made specifically for motorcycle engines, the Red Line Motorcycle Oil is Fully Synthetic. It contains a higher than average amount of phosphorus and zinc to help prevent engine wear and tear.

As seen in its viscosity level, this engine oil is premium grade. It is stickier and thicker than other 50W oils, ensuring its durability and performance at a high temperature.

Also, it is efficient for your bike’s transmission system, clutch, and engine compartments. If your motorcycle engine specifies 20W-50W, this is the oil for you.


  • Enhances engine performance
  • Fully synthetic 
  • It prevents wear and tear
  • Premium quality 


  • It is quite pricey

4. Maxima Premium4 Motorcycle Oil

Maxima’s Premium4 motorcycle oil is a superior product featuring advanced additive technology.

It makes use of an exclusive blend of petroleum base stocks, advanced anti-wear, and anti-shear additives. This formula assures viscosity stability and handles extreme loads and peak temperatures in motorcycle engines. 

Besides, it is formulated for wet clutches and makes for an easy engine start.


  • Premium based
  • Viscosity stability 
  • Handles extreme loads and temperatures
  • Enables an easy engine ignition.

5. Liqui Moly Motorbike 4T Engine Oil

The Liqui Moly’s Motorbike 15W-50 engine oil is for use in air-cooled and water-cooled four-stroke motorbike engines. Besides, it is also suitable for use with or without a wet clutch. 

Formulated with high-quality additives and selected base oils, it ensures excellent engine cleaning, impressive friction coefficient, and optimal lubrication.

Also, it has high shear and aging stability that ensures low oil consumption.


  • Premium grade
  • Suited for use with or without wet clutches
  • Ensures low oil consumption 
  • Good wear protection


  1. Can I use car oil for my motorcycle? No. There is a difference between the oil wavelengths of cars and that of motorcycles. Using car oil on a bike causes damage to it.
  2. Which is better for my motorcycle? Synthetic or Conventional oil? Both types of oil are usable on a motorcycle. However, the best oil for your bike is in your manufacturer’s manual.


In conclusion, it is easy to change your bike oil. However, for any product, the best knowledge is gotten from the user’s manual.

So combine the knowledge derived from this article with that of your user manual for a better result.

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