One of the most important part of maintaining any motorcycle engine is properly and frequently changing the engine oil. Here’s how to change the oil on a BMW F700GS, so that you can keep on riding worry-free.
Tools you need to change the oil and filter on a BMW F700GS
First off, the good news: Changing the oil on a BMW F700GS is actually really easy. You can do it yourself in less than ten steps, and I’ll walk you through all of them, along with pictures. Before we get to that, let’s start with going over what you’ll need to change your oil and filter:
- 2.9 litres of 15W-50 semi-synthetic (or full-synthetic) motorcycle oil
- K&N KN-160 oil filter
- Torque wrench (even this one for $35 promises accuracy within 4% which is fine for our needs)
- Some torx bits (you only need a T55 but you can get a whole set for $13)
- A 13 mm bit (not necessary but it makes the job cleaner and it’s only $3)
- An oil filter wrench (I like this one because it’s versatile)
- Gloves and wipes
- Oil drain pans and a way of disposing of your oil
- A motorcycle table lift isn’t necessary but sure makes it a lot more fun
Got everything you need? Great. Let’s get started.
How to change the oil on a BMW F700GS
I’ll try to keep this walkthrough aimed at the first time do-it-yourself, and keep everything simple and well-illustrated. If you have any questions, just leave me a comment down below and I’ll help you out. There are a lot of small details to cover, but I hope to nail all of them.
Before we begin, make your sure your motorcycle is warm, because warm oil flows out better, and it’ll help you get your oil filter off too. Don’t do an oil change right after a long ride though, as your oil may be too hot and risk burning you. You want your motorcycle to be warm, but not hot.
1) Remove the sump protector
There are four 13mm bolts that hold the sump protector in place on the bottom front of your BMW F700GS.
Grab your ratchet and 13mm bit and remove all four bolts. You’ll now have easy drainage and access to the oil filter.
2) With the engine warm, remove your oil cap and drain bolt
If the oil in your BMW F700GS is warm, it’ll be able to flow out of your motorcycle more easily. Going for a short ride in your neighborhood is a great way to get your oil to warm up, without getting so hot that you risk burning yourself.
From here onwards, everything you’re doing should be done with your motorcycle in a completely vertical position and not on it’s side stand. A motorcycle table lift is ideal, even this $89 wheel chock will help to hold your motorcycle straight up.
Unscrew the oil cap, it’s on the left side of the bike, where you pour oil into (picture further down this walkthrough).
Your BMW F700GS’ drain bolt is pictured above. You’ll need a T55 Torx bit, and you’ll want to have something ready to catch almost three litres of oil that will begin flowing out of your motorcycle.
Note: The oil drain plug also has a washer, so be sure not to lose that washer. Sometimes it gets stuck to the engine casing, other times it gets washed into your drain pan by the oil rushing out and you can throw it out if you aren’t paying attention.
3) Remove your oil filter
While you wait for your oil to drain out, you can remove your oil filter with an adjustable oil filter wrench (link at the beginning of the article). Now might also be a good time to clean up everything.
If you have a lot of vehicles you want to be doing your own oil changes on, I recommend this 30 piece set of oil filter wrench bits. Whether I’m doing oil changes on any of my three motorcycles or my car, I always have the right size filter remover.
4) Replace the drain plug (and the washer)
As soon as all of the oil is done draining from your BMW F700GS, you can put the oil drain plug and washer back on. It’s recommended that you replace the washer with every oil change, but if your washer is still in good condition, than you don’t need to worry about it.
The torque spec for the drain bolt on a BMW F700GS is 40 Nm, so be sure to set your torque wrench properly so that you don’t risk overtightening or undertightening your drain bolt.
Torque specs are important because if you under-tighten your drain plug it could leak oil right in front of your tires (which could be dangerous), and if you over-tighten your drain plug you could damage your engine casing.
The only way to be sure you’re getting the right amount of torque on your drain bolt is to use a torque wrench. Even the cheap one I link to at the start of the article accuracy within 4%, which is perfect enough for our needs.
5) Install the new KN-160 oil filter
Before putting the new KN-160 oil filter on (linked above), you need to lubricate the black leather o-ring at the bottom of this. To do this, just dip your finger in some fresh clean oil, and run it around your o-ring until the entire o-ring is well lubricated. Lubricating your o-ring will stop the oil filter from being stuck to your motorcycle the next time you want to change your oil.
You can start by installing your new oil filter on your F700GS by hand, but eventually you’re going to want to use a torque wrench to make sure you aren’t over-torquing or under-torquing the filter. Set your torque wrench to 14 Nm and attach it to your oil filter bit and finish tightening up the oil filter carefully.
6) Refill the GS with new oil and test the bike
If you’ve got smooth hands, you should be able to pour the 2.9 litres of oil directly into your BMW F700GS, but if you’re like me, you’ll be happy to use a funnel instead.
The oil cap is also a dipstick, to use it, first start your motorcycle and let it run for 10 seconds to allow it to circulate the new oil. Turn off your motorcycle, take your dip stick out, wipe it clean, and put it back in your motorcycle. Then take the dip stick back out again and inspect it. Along the dipstick you’ll find Min. and Max. markings. As long as the oil level is somewhere between the Min. and the Max. it’s okay.
Remember, both too little and too much oil is bad for your motorcycle. If your oil is too low (below Min.) you’ll need to add some more oil. If your oil is too high (above Max.) you’ll need to loosen off the drain bolt a bit to let some of the excess oil out.
7) Put the sump protector back on and go out for a rip
The final step is the opposite of how we started. Finish putting your GS back together by putting the sump protector plate back on. Clean up any mess you made and wipe any oil off of your tools. When you’re done that, wash your hands clean, gear up, and go for a motorcycle ride.
Your first ride after an oil change you may smell a bit of oil burning. This happens when oil falls on exhaust pipes or somewhere else on the motor and the heat the engine produces slowly cooks the motorcycle oil. It’s nothing to panic over and the smoke and smell will go away with no damage to your motorcycle.
How ’bout the battery?
If you’re looking for how to get access to the battery on the BMW F700Gs, I have a walkthrough on that too. Check out my how to replace the battery on a BMW F700GS post.
This walkthrough would not have been possible without the work of Peter Sanderson who posted this very thorough video showing how he changes his oil on YouTube.
Note: Peter does his oil change with his motorcycle on a side-stand, but you should do it with your motorcycle perfectly vertical (straight up), using a table lift vice, a wheel chock, stands, or some kind of jack.