Changing your oil is easy

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Written by (Mongo) Don Barber   
Sunday, 28 August 2005

This bike is known for not using oil and responds well to different flavors of dino or synthetic oils. Your bike will let you know what it likes as you try some different options in oil selection. Lately I've been using Royal Purple 20W50 Synthetic, which in my opinion has given good results of lower engine noise and possibly a cooler running engine.

I like to change my oil at 5000-mile intervals with the synthetic oil and have found the procedure of changing it quite simple. A one beer job, unless you are like me and tend to sit back and admire the beauty of the bike. So lets take a look at this simple procedure.

Tools Required:

  1. Funnel
  2. Rubber mallet
  3. Shallow drain pan
  4. Small oil filter wrench
  5. 3/8" 17mm socket, small extension, and rachet
  6. Two each 2x4 boards screwed together
  7. 3/8" torque wrench
  8. 17mm craftsman box-end wrench cut short

First, I get 4 quarts of oil and a new filter. I've been using the Super tech ST7317 filter that is available at Wal-Mart for a couple bucks. I find that my valve train noise is much quieter with this filter. With its larger capacity, it also adds more volume to the system as well. I do my oil changes after a good long ride as this keeps the contaminates in suspension to drain out better. It also lets the oil flow out faster during the draining. The down side is you can get burned by the hot oil if you are not quick on the drain plugs. My advise is to be quick! I set the bike up level by using two 2x4 boards screwed together under the kickstand. Be sure the handlebars are turned to the left. With the bike sitting this level, a good bump can send it over onto it's side so be careful. I then take the seat off and unscrew the dipstick but do not remove it. This allows air into the system to speed up the draining.


I have a shallow plastic drain pan that slides easily under the bike. I put it near the front engine drain bolt, which is located just inside of the kickstand pivot area. I have a craftsman 17mm box end wrench that I cut off. It is just long enough so it does not hit the floor. I tap it with a rubber mallet and loosen the drain plug. With the drain pan in place, unscrew the drain plug and slip it out quickly as the oil runs into the pan. Clean the plug and set it aside.


While the front plug is draining, I grab my oil filter wrench and loosen the filter just enough so I can turn it by hand, but not enough so it leaks. Once the front plug hole is done draining, I screw the plug back in and snug it down and wipe off any remaining oil drips. I then slide the drain pan under the filter and unscrew it enough to drain.


While the filter is draining, I take my 17mm cut box wrench and tighten the front plug. I give it a good tap with the rubber mallet and call it done. If you would like to torque the plug, the manual calls for 31 ft lbs of torque. When the filter is done draining, I spin it off and wipe down the filter base. I take the new filter and apply a light coat of fresh oil to the seal and spin it on hand tight. If you wrench it on tight then you will have quite a time removing it next time The rear oil tank drain bolt is also a 17mm. I use a 3/8" drive 17mm socket with a short extension on a rachet. Once it is turning freely, I slide the oil pan under it and remove the plug. Remember to be quick. I then clean the plug and set it aside.


When the rear plug hole is done draining, I screw the plug back in and tighten it up, Wipe up any drips remaining. Now it is time to put in the oil. One cool thing about the Roadie is it has an oil tank. This serves many purposes, but in respect to an oil change, it does require some consideration. I use a funnel and pour in 2 quarts of oil. I then put the dipstick back in and tighten it. If you do not put the dipstick back in before starting the engine, you are going to have a big oil mess to clean. So make sure it is in and tight. Start the bike and allow it to run for around 15 seconds to allow the oil to pump from the oil tank to the engine crankcase. Then shut the bike off and add 2 more quarts of oil. Reinstall the dipstick and tighten it. I then fire the bike up and kick back for a minute to observe for any leaks at the drain plugs or filter.

Clean up the oil bottles and put the tools up. After I wash my hands, I'll take the bike out for a good ride to warm it up. When I get home, I set it back on the 2x4"s for about 5 minutes. I recheck the oil level with the dipstick setting on the threads, not screwed in. If it is anywhere between the good range on the dipstick then I tighten the dipstick and call the job done. Very simple job which takes a short amount of time and saves you a lot of bucks from the dealer.

Questions should be asked in our forum (Use discuss link below). The forum is very active and you stand a good chance of getting your questions answered there. If you would like to leave feedback for the author, or have additional information you think will benefit others, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page.

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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.

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  Comments (10)
Written by davidk02, on 08-15-2015 21:44
Printed this out, and did the oil change today. It was 2 beers for me, but I took my time. Very helpful, thanks for posting this.
Written by Newf1, on 05-27-2015 12:56
ahhhhh don't see the BEER but everything else looks good.
Dip Stick oil level
Written by cep156, on 05-19-2014 21:58
I did follow "Don Barber" article ("changing your oil is easy") to change my 2008 R* oil. I will agree and he was right, it was simple. My question concerns the oil level on the dip stick. My dip stick showed oil on about 1/4 of the dip stick (from the tip of the dip stick) being covered. Is this enough or should I add more oil to get a oil level closer to the middle, or higher (closer to the high end of the hatch pattern) on the dip stick?
royal blue
Written by rout66, on 05-14-2014 09:16
I would like to get this straight, are there two drain plugs. 
above it shows one plug by the kick stand area, then the other picture 
shows one for a oil tank by what looks like it's near the seat area. 
I'm not talking about the dipstick area. I have a 2003 road star 1602cc. 
that I would like to do my own oil change on. 
Is the above instructions and photos apply to my 2003, 
I'm kinda new to this site. 
I would like the best oil and filter for I have a little engine noise 
I have 15k on the bike and a warm clement in San Diego Ca, 
If there's any good straight advice I would like some help. 
kind regards. 
royal blue
Written by Brgboy, on 04-26-2014 10:48
How do you remove seat to check/change oil?
Written by Scrubmaster, on 03-14-2014 20:12
I agree it must take longer I only got 4 beers down. great help
Yamaha recommended oil change amounts
Written by sagatath, on 08-24-2013 08:31
I bought the shop manual for my 2012 roadstar and it shows very confusing oil fill amounts. This is the 1670 CC engine. First it shows 5 L for(5.29 US Qt) without oil cartridge replacement. then it shows 3.70 L (3.91 US Qt) with cartridge replacement and then I guess the second amount to be installed is 4.10 L (4.33 Qt). 
For anyone not reading forums, they would greatly overfill their engine. I haven't done an oil change yet as I don't have many miles on it but will bring this to the dealers attention. Calling for more oil without a filter replacement than with should be a red flag for anyone. 
I'd send a pic of the page info from the manual but I haven't figured out how to do so.
Written by 02 Roadstar, on 07-20-2013 22:53
I just did 2cnd oil Change on my 02 /1600 since I didn't know much of the bikes history I done a oil change the day after I bought it I used 20w50 conventional oil . I run it 2300 miles just for a cheap flush job. I added 4oz. seafoam to crankcase and 4oz. to oil tank and also put 8oz into 1/2 tank of gas . I then went for a 40 mile ride . then changed while it was still pretty hot . I used Castrol power RS V Twin 4t 
SAE 20w50 full synthetic and a K&N filter I also did the crankcase filter mod.  
Wow what a difference. Much quieter valve traine and much better Thottle response with the clean air instead of hot oily air from crank vent. 
Thanks for all tips guys . Very big help .
Written by YahMaHa, on 06-01-2013 16:18
Oil type
Written by Doccuke, on 05-14-2013 20:53
Just throwing in my 2 cents, as we all know, EVERYONE has an opinion on oil, with that said this is my opinion from my experiences. 
I have a 2002 Roadstar I bought brand new in November 2001. It has 78K miles on it now, still runs great. For the first 8 years I used yamalube 20W/40 dino oil. After that I switched tp Yamalube semisyn 20W/50. It seems to work really well in both my Roadstar( The Purple People Eater) and my 2007 Stratoliner. In the case of the stratoliner I found it had more top end noise with full syn oil, which seems to be a common problem with the liner 1853cc and the Roadie's 1602 & 1670CC. I only have 20K miles on my strat, I bought it in June 2010 with 1800 miles on it from the original owner!! 
In any event I have found that the yamalube semisyn 20W/50 works really well in both my bikes and my wife's Vstar 1300 as well. I have found a local dealer that sells me the oil at $9 a quart which is not too bad. I do the oil and filter every 3K in all 3 bikes. Oh and I use the K&N filter on all 3 bikes that has a 17MM bolthead on the end of the filter making it much easier to remove and replace. 
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!! Hope y'all have a great summer of riding!! 
Keep smiling & ridin 

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