How to change motorcycle engine oil?

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Why change your oil?

Engine oil has a tendency to lose its properties over time. It should therefore be replaced on a regular basis in order to ensure that your engine lasts as long as possible. Changing the oil is a straightforward operation that removes all the impurities from the engine.

There is, however, a technical aspect to it – choosing the right engine oil is essential. Our ELF motorcycle engine oils prevent parts from heating up and getting worn by limiting friction, as well as cleaning the engine and protecting it against corrosion. Consult our online catalog to find out which ELF lubricant is best suited to your motorcycle's engine.

How often should I change my motorcycle engine oil?

First refer to your service manual. If you don't know when to change your oil, every 2,000km (or every 6 months) is more than enough to be on the safe side.

Oil change equipment needed for your motorcycle engine oil change:

  • Oil that is perfectly suited to your engine - of the right grade and in the right quantity. Use ELF motorcycle motor oil to guarantee optimum performance for your engine.
  • Safety equipment, such as safety goggles and rubber gloves.
  • High-quality oil filter – refer to the service manual.
  • A socket spanner for the oil drain plug.
  • A special spanner for the oil filter.
  • A container for collecting the used engine oil, together with a funnel.
  • Newspaper (or paper towel) and rags.
  • An O-ring if necessary.

There are many types of oil changes, we’ll go through an easy step by step procedure to follow:

How to change the oil procedure:

  • Get your motorcycle ready:
    To make your engine oil less viscous so that it drains out more easily when changing it, it is advisable to turn on your motorcycle's engine and leave it to run for 1 to 2 minutes. Then make sure your motorcycle is on a stand and place it on a flat and horizontal surface, with the engine switched off.
  • Motorcycle oil change:
    Once you have found the waste nut (consult the service manual), protect the ground’s surface by spreading newspaper or paper towel on it. Position the container under the nut and make sure it is big enough to contain all of the oil that needs to be drained. Unscrew the waste nut using the socket spanner. Avoid touching it – it may be very hot.
    Make sure you do not drop the plug. Allow the used oil to drain out for several minutes. Once the reservoir is empty, carefully clean the drain plug and its seal. If the seal appears too worn, replace it with a new one, then screw the drain plug back in correctly.
  • Remove the used oil filter:
    Refer to the manufacturer's service manual in order to locate the oil filter.
    Make sure that the new filter that you are going to install is the same model as the old one – there are several types.
    You will therefore need to select the right tool for removing the filter, depending on what type it is. The filter is probably filled with oil – make sure that the tray is close at hand so that any remaining oil can be emptied into it. Then unscrew the oil filter using your filter spanner, taking care to remember how all of the components fit together so you can put it back together again once you have pulled it out.
  • Install the new filter:
    Before installing the new filter, clean the base of the filter at the point where it fits into the engine. Then apply a small quantity of oil onto the new seal with your finger in order to reduce the risks of leakage. Carefully tighten the new filter, but not too much.
  • Change engine oil - Fill your engine with new oil:
    Before filling your motorcycle oil tank with oil, refer to the service manual to find out exactly how much is required and what type of oil you should use.
    How much oil for oil change? Look in your manual for oil capacity and use the funnel to add about half a quart under full capacity into the fill hole. Stop and check the level. Add or drain oil as necessary to be at about the bottom third between Add and Full. Don't overfill the oil! It adds undue pressure on the seals in your engine and can lessen its life. Once you have filled it, screw the plug back in, making sure that you have not left any components on the ground.
  • Check the oil level:
    Allow the engine to idle for 5 minutes. Switch off the engine, check the oil level again and then top it up if necessary.
  • How to change oil on motorcycle - Last step:Dispose of your used oil at an appropriate centre:
    Under no circumstances should you dispose of the used oil in your tray by pouring it down the drain or by dumping it into the environment.
    The oil, together with the used filter, may be disposed of (usually completely free of charge) at a service centre or recycling centre.

Best motorcycle oil

What is the best lubricant for your motorcycle?

Our ELF MOTO 2 oils are dedicated for 2 stroke motorcycle engines and ELF MOTO 4 oils are dedicated for 4 stroke motorcycle engines.

If you’re looking for a lubricant for used motorcycle engines, we advise you to use ELF MOTO 2 TECH as it is suitable for the most severe urban traffic conditions and for all-terrain endurance.

We have as well an extended range of products for racing motorcycles and bike care products
You can have a look as well to our Lube advisors* to help you choose the lubricant best suited to your model and brand of motorcycle.

*See 2 examples with our Lube advisor for :
France : http://www.total.fr/mon-vehicule/tout-savoir-sur-huiles-graisses-total-et-elf/ou-trouver-huile-et-graisse-total-ou-elf.html
Nordic countries : http://www.totalnordic.com/en/TOTAL-Nordic-automotive-lubricants-homepage/our-services-home/our-services-lubadvisor.html