Today became an impromptu Oil Change Day at YouMotorcycle HQ in Toronto, Canada. The original idea was to get my buddy’s motorcycle running, see if we could take it out for a ride, and call it a day. After changing the oil on a Honda CBR-125R it became a “let’s a make a How to Change the Oil on a Suzuki Boulevard M50 post” kind of day.
I should back up… My buddy’s bike had been sitting for three years, why? Well, because three years ago he decided that the right thing to do was get up and leave me and go live in Australia for a year and a half. Do I sound like a bitter ex-lover? Good. Since then, his bike has sat (not good).
A fresh battery was all it took to get the motorcycle fired up. We then towed his motorcycle to a local business that takes in old gas and oil. We siphoned the three year old gas out of his tank (using this awesome pump) in the parking lot and left it to them to deal with. Then we got some fresh gas and towed her back home.
At this point it was time for the oil change.
In the past few days we’ve changed the battery, replaced the chain, changed the oil. Still ahead, we’ll be bleeding the brakes. Expect a few posts from in and around the shop over the summer.
How to Change the Oil on a Suzuki Boulevard M50
There are a few things we like to always encourage when doing oil changes on motorcycles:
- Work with an engine that is warm, but not hot. The oil can and will burn you if you aren’t careful.
- Keep the motorcycle upright. This allows the oil to drain fully, it also allows you to keep an eye on the oil level window.
- Be prepared for some mess. Have lots of rags ready, and you might want a funnel, especially if you haven’t done this in a while.
- Have a plan for how you’ll catch and dispose of the oil. Time to stop buying cans and start buying 2 lt. bottles of pop.
I got a service manual for my 2011 Suzuki Boulevard M50 from Alec at Emanual Online – they have a growing selection of car and motorcycle service manuals, and if you can’t find your vehicle on their site, just send them an email and let them know what you need. That’s how I got this one.
The Boulevard M50 requires a few things for an oil change:
- A means of holding the bike straight up. This can be a block of wood, a lift, a jack, a stand, or a pretty woman with infinite patience (less common than the other options listed).
- A 17 mm socket or wrench. This will be used on the drain plug.
- Drain pan. The old oil’s gotta go somewhere!
- Cap wrench or 17mm socket. A stock Suzuki oil filter will need a cap wrench to be removed, but a replacement K&N one will not. We simply used an adjustable cap wrench similar to this one and it worked like a charm.
- Oil filter. Stock replacement part is 16510-03G00-X07, but I replaced mine with a K&N 138. You can also use a KN-138C if you’re a real fancy pants who wants a chrome filter.
- Torque wrench. For tightening your drain bolt and oil filter.
Instructions Remove the oil drain plug, which is easily identifiable as it is the lowest hanging bolt beneath the motorcycle.
Remove the oil filler cap.
Remove the oil filter at the front of the bike, between the two down-tubes of the frame.
In order to remove the oil filter, we had to use the FRAM Oil Filter Wrench similar to this one. Here’s a picture:
Walk away now. Go make yourself a sandwich, drink a beer, walk your dog, tell you (in)significant how much that person means to you. You really want to let give it time to drain, because in the bottom is where all the thick stuff lies.
Replace the drain bolt and use your torque wrench to torque it to 21 N·m (2.1 kgf-m, 15.0 lb-ft). You may want to consider using a 12mm x 1.25 magnetic drain plug to catch all of the metal shavings rather than have them damage the inside of your motor.
Replace the oil filter and either use your torque wrench to torque it to 20 N·m, 2.0 kgf-m, 14.5 lb-ft), but your torque wrench, like mine, may not fit. In that case, the service manual says “after contacting the O-ring, tighten 2 turns.”
Pour in your oil (SAE 10W-40, API, SF/SG or SH/SJ with JASO MA). You’ll need either 3 litres if you did not replace the oil filter, or 3.4 litres if you did. I use Motul 5100 on all of my motorcycles, and found it at a kick-ass price here.
After pouring 3 litres of oil I decided to check the oil level window to see how much oil was in there.
Note: You’ll want to start the bike, let it run momentarily, and then shut off the motor. Then you’ll want to wait a moment for the oil to return to the window.
The oil level window is located below the oil filler cap. You’ll notice two line markings to the left of the window. These indicate the maximum and minimum oil levels for your motorcycle’s optimum safety and performance.
Pour a little more until you get it right. Then go out for a short ride, and check for any leaks.
For reference, detailed info follows, but you’re done!
Oil type: SAE 10W-40, API, SF/SG or SH/SJ with JASO MA
Oil capacity (oil change, no filter change): 3 litres
Oil capacity (oil change, with filter change): 3.4 litres
Overhaul: 3.7 litres
Intervals: Change oil at 1,000 km (600 miles), and every 6,000 km (4,000 miles) thereafter.
Oil drain bolt torque: 21 N·m (2.1 kgf-m, 15.0 lb-ft)
Oil filter torque: 20 N·m, 2.0 kgf-m, 14.5 lb-ft) or “after contacting the O-ring, tighten 2 turns.”
All specs are taken from the Suzuki Boulevard M50 service manual from Emanual Online, please check them out if you’re in need of service manuals for your vehicles, and thank you, Alec!