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Oil Change Day at YouMotorcycle HQ

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.

Preface

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.

By the way, if you need motorcycle towing in Toronto, we do that, anywhere in the city, for $50. Contact us.
– Editor

At this point it was time for the oil change.

Honda CBR-125R 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.

Suzuki Boulevard M50 Oil Change

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.

Oil Drain Plug

Remove the oil filler cap.

Oil Filler Cap

Remove the oil filter at the front of the bike, between the two down-tubes of the frame.

Oil Filter

In order to remove the oil filter, we had to use the FRAM Oil Filter Wrench similar to this one. Here’s a picture:

FRAM Oil Filter Wrench

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.

Oil Filter Replacing

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.

Motul 5100 Oil Change

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.

Oil Level Window

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!

Specifications

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!
– Editor

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

5 comments

  1. Maybe I’m outta touch, but when you say, “After contacting the O-ring, tighten two turns”……..if you’re talking two, full, 360-degree rotations……that sounds like too much tightening to me.

    By comparison, this website, http://www.aa1car.com/library/oil_change.htm says “The filter should be turned about three-quarters of a turn after the rubber seal makes contact with the engine.”

    Bosch, on their site, says, “When the oil filter has spun all the way on, use your hand to tighten another one-quarter to one-half turn. Don’t use a tool to tighten the filter or it may be very difficult to remove the next time.”

    At Purolator, they say “Tighten 3/4-1 turn beyond gasket contact (this may vary by filter)”

    In addition, I have to say in all my years, I’ve NEVER had an oil filter come loose and fall off……or even leak.

    Just sayin! :-)

    • Hey brother. That’s the vehicle manufacturer specs, and they always trump the product manufacturer specs. That’s why you’ll follow the tire pressure recommended for your vehicle, and not the tire pressure recommended for your tire, no matter how Good your tire manufacturer is ;) Same thing goes with oil filters.

  2. Hey, Adrian…no offense to the friendly folks at Suzuki, but I personally have probably changed over 100 or more twist-off filters in my life. PLUS….the collective DIY experience of 5 or 10 other “old dog” Yamaha owners that I’ve spoken to about this at ventureriders.org probably account for in excess of a THOUSAND or more oil changes.

    No one who’s ever done more than 5 twist-filter oil changes…..AND had to remove the same filters 6 months or 5,000 kilometers later continues to make the mistake of overtightening these things. And believe us………..us OLD GUYS who have installed these things by the thousands, there’s no way in hell it’s necessary to crank them another two full turns “past contact”.

    I’m willing to bet that whoever wrote that Suzuki manual (and his proofreader) have never performed an oil change in their lives. (Or, if they did, they never performed the NEXT one…..where the old filter actually had to come OFF!)

    Here’s my challenge to you, Adrian (or any other reader of this blog: find a website ANYWHERE that instructs you to tighten a screw-on oil filter more than……..”hand tight”…….”another quarter turn”…….”another 1/2 turn”………”another 3/4 of a turn”……..and I’ll publish my apology here! (Keep in mind it can’t be some Hayabusa Madness forum where the webmaster is a known crack addict!! LOL).

    Later, bud!

  3. Just gotta mention Suzuki is one of the only filters that are a m20x1. Thread. Normal filters are m20x1.5 that would make a normal filter thread size 1 1/4 turn still more than your 3/4 recommendation but not by much. Food for thought

What do you think?