Home
My Products
Search
What's New

Motorcycle Oil and Filters

This page Copyright © 2003-2011, by Mark Lawrence.
Email me, mark@calsci.com, with suggestions, additions, broken links.

Football
Investing
Neural Networks
Physics

Home
Introduction
General«
Warranties&Insurance
New Bikes«
Break-In«
Hauling Motorcycles«
Shipping Motorcycles
Winter Storage«

Road Test Links

Discount Parts

Introduction to
Motorcycles

Types of Motorcycles
Motorcycle Safety
Buying a Motorcycle
Recomendations
Motorcycle Controls
Motorcycle Steering
Motorcycle Shifting
Motorcycle Brakes
Hitting Obstacles
Lane Positions
Cargo and Passengers
Parking Motorcycles
Basic Operation
Practice Exercises
Conclusion

Body
Seat Cushions
Custom Seats
Modify Your Seat«
Backrests
Headlight Covers
Tank Bras
Fender Accessories«
Cleaning Supplies
Plastic Repairs
Touch-up Paint

Chassis
Suspension
Check Rear Suspension«
Align Rear Suspension«
Adjust Rear Suspension«
Align Front Suspension«
Adjust Front Suspension«
Increase Fork Spring Rate«
Lowering Your Bike«
Improve Fork Damping«
Drive Chains«
Tires
Tire Accessories«
Wheels«

Controls
Instruments
Handlebars
Adjusting Controls
Heated Grips«
Controls«
Cruise Controls«
Brakes
Hydraulics«
Footpegs

Electrical
Power
Switches & Connectors
Battery
Horns
Driving Lights
Headlights
Tail Lights«
Reflectors
Turn Signals«
Radio
Intercoms
Speakers
Earphones
GPS
Radar Detectors
Radar & GPS Mounts

Engine and Tools
Metric Nuts & Bolts
Radiators
Tools
Lifts

Fairing
Windshields
Windshield Height«
Cleaning Windshields«
Repairing Windshields«
Modifying Windshields«
Fairing History

Lubricants
Grease
Shaft Drive Gears«
Shaft Drive Splines«
Drive Chains«
Engine Oil«
All About Oil
API Oil Standards
Oil Filters«
All About Filters
Filter Cross Ref
Filter Surgery
Air Filters

Luggage
Straps & Nets«
Tank Bags
Bag Liners
Cargo Sacks
Saddlebag Keys«
Soft Saddle Bags
Hard Saddle Bags
Aluminum Saddle Bags
TailPacks
Top Boxes
Refrigerators
Motorcycle Trailers

Riding
Riding Suits
Rain Suits
Summer Jackets
Off Road Protective
Cool Vests
Heated clothes
Street Boots
Dirt Boots
Riding Gloves
Custom Clothes
Foam Earplugs
Riding with kids
Helmets
Riding in extreme heat
Taking long trips
Small Gadgets
Cameras
Communication
Clothes
Packing
Camping out
Logistics
Packing Check List
State Riding Laws
Printable State Laws

FJR1300
Our Products
Specifications

Ninja 1000

R1200GS HP2

R1200GS
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Links
Crashbars
Luggage
Lights
Seat
Handlebars
Dash Shelf
Footpegs
Exhaust
Tires
Specifications

R1200RT
Road Tests
General
Links
Specifications

R1200ST
Road Tests
General
Links
Specifications

ST1300
Our Products
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Handlebars
Footpegs«
Suspension«
Tires«
Brakes
Exhaust
Engine«
Fuel Filters
Air Filters
Wiring Diagrams
Lights«
Radio
Windshields«
Electric Windshields«
Fairing Accessories
Fairing Pads
Dash Shelves
Hondaline TopBox
Information
Specifications

Ulysses
Our Products
Road Tests
General
Links
Windshields
Specifications

V-Strom
Our Products
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Gas Mileage
Windshields
Gearing«
Controls
Footpegs
Crashbars
SkidPlate
Centerstand
Suspension
Body
Brake Pads
Tires
Electric
Engine
Exhaust«
Suzuki Luggage«
Fairing Pads
Specifications
My DL650 Review

Superhawk
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Crashbars
SkidPlate
Centerstand
Stock tires
Brake Pads
Electric
Engine
Exhaust«
Windshields
Suzuki Luggage
Fairing Pads

Articles
Airbags are Evil
All About Gasoline
All About Oil
All About Filters
A Friend's Crash
My DL650 Review
Horsepower & Torque
Making Horsepower
Paul Mondor's Snow Tour
Pollution Myths
Resonant Air Boxes
Riding in extreme heat
Suspension
Fighting Traffic Tickets«

References
API Oil Standards
Batteries & Spark Plugs
Chains & Sprockets
Tires
Motorcyle Accidents
Filter Cross Ref
Filter Surgery
Metal Gauges
Wire Gauges
Unit Conversions
Drills & Screws
New Bike Check List
Storage Check List
Packing Check List
Printable State Laws

Weather
Links
Web Page Popularity
About This Site
Me

I recommend FireFox
Please help support this web site
•If you need a windshield, consider ours.
•Contribute to our site maintenance fund:
•Support our advertisers. Thanks, Mark

Engine oil

Executive summary: The commercial grade oils are clearly superior to the mass market oils. For the best protection in your bike or car, use Shell Rotella Synthetic, available at Wal-Mart in blue containers for $13 / gallon. For the best petroleum oil you can buy, get Shell Rotella T, Mobil Delvac 1300, or Chevron Delo 400, about $7 / gallon at any auto parts store. On the back of most oil cans is a circular stamp with the certification. Avoid oils that say "energy conserving" in the bottom half of the donut. These oils contain friction modifier additives that could cause clutch slipping over time. All XXw-20 and XXw-30 oils are energy conserving, and should not be used in your motorcycle. 10w-40 oils should not be used in a motorcycle that runs the engine oil through the transmission. Don't buy any oil additives like STP or Slick-50. Here's several pages All About Oil justifying these conclusions.

I use Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 in my ST1300 and DL650.

The Recommended Synthetic Oils
Shell Rotella
Synthetic
5w-40
Delvac 1
Synthetic
5w-40
Mobil-1 SUV/Truck
Synthetic
5w-40
AMSOil AMF
Synthetic
10w-40
Golden Spectro
Synthetic
10w-50
Motul 5100
Synthetic
10w-40
Mobil-1
Synthetic
15w-50
Mobil-1 MX4T
Synthetic
10w-40

The best synthetics are: (in no particular order)

  • Shell Rotella-T Synthetic 5w-40 (blue container, not white), $13 / gallon at Wal-Mart.
  • Mobil Delvac-1 5w-40 (grey container, not black), $27 / gallon at Petro stations, $20 / gallon at Farm and Fleet.
  • Mobil-1 SUV 5w-40, about $5 / qt anywhere.
  • AMSOil AMF 10w-40 synthetic motorcycle oil, about $6 / qt.
  • Golden Spectro Supreme, (no price).
  • Motul 5100 Ester, (no price).

Mobil-1 automotive oils all contain small amounts of moly - about 100 to 200 ppm. This can cause clutch slippage in some motorcycles. I've only heard of this being a problem in Honda Shadows.

For temperatures below -40, I strongly recommend either Mobil-1 0w-30 or the Canadian Shell 0w-40 Rotella. At these temperatures, your car is your life. Using cheap or incorrect oil is risking your life.

For temperatures below -55c, -65f, stay home. Really.

The Recommended Petroleum Oils
Chevron Delo 400
15w-40
Delvac 1300
15w-40
Shell Rotella
15w-40

The best petroleum oils are: (in no particular order)

  • Chevron Delo 400 15w-40 (blue container) $7 / gallon at any auto parts store, $34 / 6 gallons at Costco.
  • Mobil Delvac 1300 15w-40 (black container) $6 / gallon at any auto parts store, $21/ 4 gallons at Sam's Club.
  • Shell Rotella-T 15w-40 (white container) $7 / gallon at Wall-Mart or any auto parts store, $34 / 6 gallons at Sam's Club.

If you live in another country, you'll have to do a bit of research to decide on an oil. Generally, any oil certified for use in a late model Volkswagon or Mercedes turbo diesel is a good choice. Another good idea is to go to a truck stop and ask the truckers about brands. Rotella is marketed all over the world, but in other countries it's called Rotella or Rimola or Helix Ultra, and the formulation may be a bit different, depending on local climate and preferences. It will likely also be a lot more expensive than it is here.

How to Change Your Oil

Draining the oil: Put the bike on the center stand and remove the drain plug. It's on the lower left front corner of oil pan. It's good to have the oil a little bit warm. Start with the bike cold, but let the engine idle for about two minutes, until one or two bars show on the temperature gauge.

Filling the oil: Remove the inspection cover from the tupperware, right panel just behind the cylinder heads. To do this take a small object, your key will do, and push the plastic retaining pin center stub in 1/8". Then the whole retaining pin will pop right out. Take the retaining pin apart. To put the retaining pin back in, put the female part into the plastic piece, then the center part last.The tupperware has a tab on the top. You'll figure it out. Now, remove the spark plug cover. It's the plastic piece about 8" long 3" wide on top of the cylinders. Pull up the back edge - it's held on with one rubber plug. Now, push the whole piece forwards 1/4". There are two little fingers on the front of the plastic piece that hook under. The oil fill is the obvious plastic knob right there. You will need a foot long funnel. Pour in 1 gallon and forget about measuring - this is correct.

How to Check Your Oil Level

The ST1300 takes four quarts of oil. To read the oil level correctly, you must start the engine and let it idle until the engine and oil are warm - three bars on the temperature gauge. Then shut off the engine, and wait three minutes for the oil to drain down to the oil pan. Read the oil level while the bike is on its center stand. The site glass for reading the oil level is on the lower right hand side of the engine, visible through a vent in the fairing lower. You'll find four quarts is correct for a simple oil change, or about 4.1 quarts if you also change the filter. If the oil level is above the high mark, remove oil as necessary.

Warning: The experience of existing ST1300 owners is that the dealers almost always overfill the oil on these bikes by anywhere from ½ quart to 1 ½ quarts. Overfilling your engine oil can result in excessive internal air pressures which can cause gaskets and seals to fail. Some ST1300s are developing oil leaks from the top end which are difficult to track down and will keep your bike in the shop for more than a month. We think these two facts may be related. I strongly urge you to check your oil level and adjust it or have it adjusted as necessary.

How to put a bike onto its center stand
  1. Walk up to the bike, get next to the passenger seat facing the bike.
  2. Place your left foot on the center stand, grab something sturdy on the bike with your left hand. With your right hand, grab the passenger hand rail.
  3. Gently push the center stand down with your foot until the leg touches the ground. Tip the bike upright until you feel the other center stand leg also touch the ground.
  4. Stand with nearly all your weight on your left leg, and pull mostly up and a little back with your hands. Your leg should be doing 85% of the work, there should be very little strain on your back. Once the bike starts moving, it should suddenly feel very light. If the bike stops halfway up, it should take only a gentle pull with your hands to get it the rest of the way up. Normally, once it starts moving you can quit pulling with your hands and your leg pressure will simply glide it up.



Oil Filters

Executive summary: There are highly significant differences between different brands of oil filters. Most modern Japanese motorcycles use the same oil filter as the Mazda V-6. For the best protection in your bike, use Mobil-1 M1-108 / M1-110 oil filters, $12 at AutoZone; or Purolator Pure One PL14612 / PL14610 filters, about $6 at Pep Boys. Next best, use Bosch 3300 / 3323 filters, about $6 at AutoZone, or SuperTech ST7317, about $2 at Wal-Mart. Here's several pages All About Oil Filters justifying these conclusions.

If your bike uses a different filter, the best resources to quickly find a part number are my x-ref page, and the tables at AMSOil.com and K&N.

I use Purolator Pure One PL14610 filters in my ST1300.

The Recommended Oil Filters

Mobil One M1-110
available at AutoZone, $12.

PureOne PL14610
available at PepBoys, Fred Mayers, PartsAmerica.com, $6.

ST1300 Honda oil filter, $6.99 delivered. $12 at your local Honda dealer. Normal quality. I recommend this filter only in the sense that it will maintain your warranty in the clearest possible fashion. I understand that some people strongly prefer the manufacturer recommendations and OEM parts. I don't use these filters in my bikes.

Oil Filters that fit most Japanese bikes have 20 x 1.5mm threads, 14 psi by-pass valve, anti-drain back valve, gasket diameter approximately 2.3 inches, O.D. approximately 2.75 inches, length approximately 2.5 to 3.5 inches. If you have room, I recommend the longer filters.

Motorcycle Filters.
None are recommended.

  • AC Delco PF2135
  • AMSOil SMF103
  • Carquest 85358
  • FRAM PH6017A
  • Honda 15410-MCJ-000
  • K&N KN-204, about $13. Metric nut on end for easy removal.
  • NAPA Gold 1358
  • Purolator ML16817. Imported, not made by Purolator.
  • STP SMO 07
  • WIX 51358
Recommended filters.
All have superior
filtering.


About 2.5 inches long.
  • Purolator Pure One PL14612, about $6.
  • Mobil M1-108, about $12.
    Made by Champion.
  • Bosch 3300, about $6.
    Made by Champion.
About 3.25 inches long.
  • Purolator Pure One PL14610, about $6.
  • Mobil 1 M1-110, about $10.
    Made by Champion.
  • Bosch 3323, about $6.
    Made By Champion.
  • WalMart SuperTech ST7317,
    about $2. Made by Champion.

How to Change Your Oil Filter

Get a 65mm oil filter wrench, the type that fits on a ratchet. You can get this at any auto parts store for about $4. Get a metal one, not the $)*(&^Q@ plastic type. Place a large flat metal pan under the bike, like a cookie sheet. This process is quite messy. Put the bike on the center stand, with the center stand legs in the middle of the cookie sheet. If your oil filter will drain onto fairing or frame parts, you can use aluminum foil to make protective shields that guide the oil to where it belongs.

Remove your old oil filter. Honda over tightens their oil filters at the factory. This has been a problem for everyone. I had to hammer a screwdriver through the original oil filter and turn it 1/8 turn to get it loose. Put a bit of oil on the O-ring of the new filter, turn it on hand tight, then use your filter wrench to tighten it a bit more, 1/2 turn is fine. You don't need or want to get anywhere near as tight as Honda does. Your Honda manual says the oil filter should be torqued to 24 foot-pounds. I consider this insane, as does every filter manufacturer in the US.



Air Filters

A dyno review of after market air filters. Stock paper filters cost less, filter better, and make the same power.

Our Motorcycle Accessory Products

BMW C650GT BMW F650GS BMW F800GS BMW F800ST BMW G650GS BMW K1200GT BMW K1300GT BMW K1600GT BMW R1150GS BMW R1150R
BMW R1150RT BMW R1200GS BMW R1200R BMW R1200RT Buell Ulysses CanAm Spyder RS CanAm Spyder RT CanAm Spyder ST Ducati Diavel Ducati MTS 1200
Honda CB500 Honda CBF1000 Honda Interstate 1300 Honda NC700 Honda NT700 Honda ST1300 Honda Varadero Kawasaki Concours 1000 Kawasaki Concours 1400 Kawasaki KLR 650
Kawasaki Ninja 650R Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Kawasaki Versys Kawasaki Versys 1000 Kawasaki Z1000 KTM 950 Adventure KTM 990 Adventure KTM 990 SM-T Moto Guzzi Norge Moto Guzzi Stelvio
Suzuki VStrom 650 Suzuki VStrom 1000 Triumph Tiger 800 Triumph Tiger 1050 Triumph Tiger 1200 Triumph Trophy 1200 Yamaha FJR1300 Yamaha FZ1 Yamaha FZ6 Yamaha Ténéré 1200

Home
My Products
Search
What's New

California Scientific
4011 Seaport
West Sacramento
CA 95691
Since Jan 2, 1985
 Go Packers! 
Sales@CalSci.com
800-284-8112
916-372-6800
Revised Wednesday, 27-Jun-2007 08:35:00 PDT

Football
Investing
Neural Networks
Physics