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Kpaul makes WAY too much money to waste his time getting his hands all covered in oil. It makes those 15lb dumbbells hard to hold on to. Let the flunkies do it!



Great article, though. How many of you use full-on synthetic in your bikes? At what mileage did you start?



Oh, and:



First Post!



-Tony
 

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Yossef once again serves up the ace. Though I'm not quite sure I'm ready to take that plunge just yet. But then again...



Hey, here's a dumb question, but one I must ask... Most of our bikes come with some basic tools, but is there a more comprehensive tool kit on the market that serves a motorcyclist's needs? I was at Costco of all places, and I saw all kinds of tool kits, but I wasn't sure which one would be of best use. Any suggestions?
 

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I have had numerous BMWs, both R and K bikes. New filters for those bikes often came with a new crush washer for the drain plug. If there was no washer in the filter box the parts guy would offer one for a nominal price. More recently I have been riding Japanese motorcycles and have yet to see a crush washer in the filter box nor has any Japanese dealer parts guy ever offered one. I did not see any reference to crush washers in your how to article. Do Japanese crush washers not need replacing? They do exist. My

DL 1000 has one, so did my VFR800, and my KLR 650.



Anyway I would recommend paying close attention to the crush washer when removing the oil drain plug. These little boogers tend to stick to the bottom of the crankcase and can then fall into the oil while the slippery stuff is draining out. If this happens and you don't notice the washer is gone you might install the drain plug sans crush washer which is not a good idea.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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2 biggest no-no's when changing oil. Don't tighten the oil filter too much. Hand tight is just fine. Using a filter wrench to crank it on hard will result in major problems getting it loose later. Second is overtightening the drain bolt. Strip that baby and tears will flow. If you don't have a torque wrench, then a light snugging works just fine for a drain bolt. Most guys that start out working on their bikes like to tighten things way more than is needed and end up causing major problems. I agree that everyone should do this job, just for that peace of mind that it was actually done right.
 

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Wow, maybe you could show us how to start a motorcycle next - LOL, j/k.



Since you have to safety wire the drain plug, filler and filter for the track (and one can of wire lasts a lifetime) I do it to all my vehicles.



You never have to worry about drain plugs vibrating out.



Don
 

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Some useful tips here. But I pity to boob who doesn't know how to change his own oil or is too stupid to figure it out with out guidance. I guess there are lotsa newbies out there and failing to change the oil is a good way to kill a new engine. Doing it wrong is a good way to kill a bike and yourself. But owning a bike used to be an exercise in rugged self-reliance and having to read a "how-to" on oil changing seems a bit sissified. Yes, "how-tos" are self reliant activities but some things you should just figure out on your own.



On an upbeat note, with the economy in the tank and gas prices not allowing you put anything in the tank, this is a good way to save a few bucks. Toward that end, keep the "how tos" coming.
 

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After the first oil change I've been using my own blend of 1/2 Castrol 10w40 GTX and half Castrol 10w40 Syn-tec for years with good results, It's fairly cheap and I KNOW it's 50/50 synthetic, instead of "a synthetic blend" I change the oil and filter every 3k anyway so it's not a big deal.

I've used full-on motorcycle oil and straight car oil and from my experiance and everything I've read there doesn't seem to be any differance, just stick to non-energy conserving oil like 10w40 or 15w50 Interestingly enough my bike shifted poorly on Mobil MX4T also, however with plain Mobil 1 10w40 it shifted fine.

The only thing I don't like to do is valve adjustments, poor close-up vision, big hands and 16 itty-bitty valve shims doesn't make a fun afternoon. Everything else is cake and pie
 

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I started out out with a ratchet, deep well and regular sockets (8-18mm) a set of combination wrenches in the same sizes and a set of T-handle hex drivers. I bought all of these at Sears. I then filled in with a 10" crescent wrench, some vise-grips and several screwdrivers. These tools will allow you to do about 90% of the basic maintenance tasks and beyond that, you just slowly fill in for the specific needs of your bike. As far as oil changes, I bought an oil filter wrench for my Ducati for around $10.

If you want to go all out, this website has one man's (a Ducati owner, but the suggestions should fit all bikes) version of a comprehensive tool set:

http://www.ducatisuite.com/tools.html

If you are looking for packable tools that will cover most needs, Cruz tools has some nice sets:

http://www.cruztools.com/
 

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CBR1100XX message boards were stressing the importance of a new crush washer with every oil change, so I just picked up a dozen or so at the dealer for some nominal amount. I would be much happier if the washers came with the filter...the only thing I wonder about is, the dealer had 2 sizes of washer and had to see which size I needed. The same filter fit my Magna as goes on my Valkyrie and XX, so is it the same size drain bolt/crush washer for these bikes as well?
 

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On the subject of oil. I've done a little research on the subject and this is what I've found.

** If your motor oil also lubes your trany gears then you want to use synthetic oil or single viscosity conventional oil. The reason is that multi-visc conventional oils rely on "long string" polymers that literally expand and contract with temperature to create a more stable oil. The problem is that the meshing of gears creates such high pressures that it breaks down these polymers and you end up with the base product. IE. 10w-30 will end up being straight 10w after a time. This can happen in as short as 500 miles. So.. Unless you change your oil every 500 miles use synthetic or single weight conventional because they don't use the polymers. Also... there are no more mineral oil motor oils.. Their all petroleum based products! Happy ridin' all!!

 

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The Toad
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Oh great. You had to remind me of the dozen gallons of old oil sitting in plastic milk bottles in my garage that I've got to take to Autozone.

I've been using Mobil 1 in my bikes after a few thousand miles of mineral oil for initial run-in. My old G has 50K on it now and still doesn't use oil at all. Apparently Mobil 1 still has gear shear additives in it so the tranny works fine. I tried Castrol Synthetic once and the tranny immediately became notchy. So that was $25 in oil down the drain.

This is a good time to recommend this interesting article on oil additives:

http://www.vtr.org/maintain/oil-additives.html

I especially like the following quote:

Avco Lycoming, a major manufacturer of aircraft engines, states, "We have tried every additive we could find on the market, and they are all worthless."
 

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The Toad
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In addition to James' good advice I'd add that 6-point sockets are your friends.



Also a simple old fashioned torque wrench, the kind with the torque bar not a dial gauge, is a good investment. They last forever. Craftsman sells one for about $30. It's lifetime guaranteed. The dial ones aren't.



If you plan on buying a Harley all you will need is some screwdrivers, vise grips, baling wire and some duct tape. And a big basket to carry the parts that fall off.
 

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Ouch, I know this the hard way! I snapped the drain plug on a V65 head (V65's have a small oil drain bolt on the bottom of the front cylinder bank). Torque spec is 7-10 ft/lbs so you can imagine this is not real hard to do.



Nowadays I use a torque wrench!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
---Off Topic---



Nplateau-



You like small sportbikes, right? Have you seen the picture of the Aprilia 450cc V-Twin sportbike in Cycle World (gasp)?



-Tony
 

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Thanks Sean great article. Since I have a great position at a great company, I don't have to do this myself. However, if you want to make some sure something is done right do it yourself. I also enjoy doing this stuff since my position involves a combination of people skills (negotiation, coaching, mentoring, leading) and highly abstract thought. My wife (CEO of the hous of KPaul) has approved motorcycle maintenance items such as a shop manual, a back and front stand. Some day I want to be like sportbikepilot. He's my hero.

These type of articles are a great idea. Good job.
 
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