Changing your engine oil is a very simple task, yet this crucial maintenance item is often neglected by owners. It's cheap and quick, and you will learn more about your motorcycle by performing it! It's most important to change the oil before you put the bike away for the winter. Dirty oil contains acidic contaminants that will eat away at the insides of your engine - not something you want sitting in it all winter long!
You will need oil (more on this below), and a replacement oil filter. There are aftermarket oil filters available that fit, but the OEM Honda Filter can be had for around $10, and is of excellent quality - so in this case, that's what I use. You will also need an oil filter wrench, and a wrench or socket wrench to fit the drain plug.
Lastly, you will need a suitable drain pan to catch the old oil. I like this one, as it has a large area to catch the oil, stores the oil inside, and won't let the drain bolt fall in.
1. To start, put the bike up on the center stand. It's important that it is on a level surface. Both right-side body panels need to be removed. They are held in place with posts that seat into rubber grommets. Gently pull the post free at the bottom left and right sides of the rearmost panel. Be careful not to angle the panel too much when removing - you want to pull it more or less straight out of the rubber grommet, to avoid snapping the post off.
2. Gently pull the upper right post free (on this one, the post is on the bike, and the grommet is in the panel, reverse of the other three), then the upper left. Rotate the panel upward slightly to clear the top from the seat, then pull the panel free.
3. Pull the front panel's post free from the rear of the panel as shown.
4. Pull the front panel toward the rear of the bike to disengage the front post from its slot grommet, then pull the panel away. You may need to maneuver it around the brake pedal mechanism.
Note: On some bikes with aftermarket footboards, heel/toe shifter and brake pedals, the right footboard and brake pedal mechanism must first be removed before this front panel has enough clearance to be removed from the bike.
5. Steps 5 through 7 are optional, but this is something that I like to perform once a year, before putting the bike away for the winter. If you want to skip it, go on to step 8. It involves using Seafoam (available at most auto parts stores) to clean your engine. The Seafoam breaks down sludge within your crankcase, and allows it to flow out with the oil.
6. Remove the oil filler cap on the engine.
7. Add 6 oz of Seafoam to your crankcase oil. Replace the oil filler cap, then ride the bike for half an hour or so, to ensure the engine is good and warm, and the Seafoam is fully circulated.
8. The engine (and therefore the oil) should be warm before draining the oil. If it is too cold, the oil won't flow smoothly out the drain hole, and you won't be able to drain all of the old, contaminated oil. You want it to be warm and thin enough to drain quickly, so that it carries all the contaminates out with it. Cold, thick oil that comes out like syrup won't drain all the contaminates out with it, and you'll just end up with new, dirty oil. Start the engine, and hold it up around 2,000 RPM to warm it up.
9. You want the temperature gauge in the normal operating zone.
10. Stop the engine, and locate the drain plug on the bottom right hand side of the engine block, underneath the motorcycle.
11. Position a drain pan under the drain plug. Using a wrench or socket, loosen and remove the plug. Be careful - the oil coming out will be hot, and can burn you. I recommend that you wear nonpermeable gloves such as the blue nitrile gloves I am wearing in these pictures - used motor oil is carcinogenic, and you should avoid skin contact.
12. Allow all of the oil to drain from the engine. I don't try to catch the drain plug when it comes out - I don't want to get burned. I just let it fall, retrieving it later when the oil has fully drained.
13. I replaced my original drain plug with a magnetic drain plug (left). It has a small magnet on the end, that will catch any metallic particles that may be floating around inside the engine. In either case, make sure the washer is in good shape, and if not, replace it. Once the oil has fully drained, replace and tighten the drain plug.
14. Now that the oil has drained and we've replaced the drain plug, it's time to change the oil filter. It's located inside the lower cowl, just behind the front wheel. You can see it from underneath.
15. If you do not have a Goldwing oil filter wrench, you will need to remove the lower cowl in order to access the filter. This requires removing three screws and pulling the cowl free.
16. A Goldwing Oil Filter Wrench is a good investment, and makes for much easier and faster oil changes.
17. An added bonus is that the back end of the oil filter wrench fits over the drain plug.
18. Move your oil drain pan under the oil filter. Slip the wrench up under the lower cowl, and over the oil filter. Rotate the filter counter-clockwise (filter wrench will be moving from the right side of the bike to the left).
19. As the filter is loosened, oil will start to leak out of the seal between the filter and the engine block. At this point you can remove the filter wrench, and continue loosening the filter by hand.
20. Continue turning the filter until it comes off completely.
21. Remove it from the lower cowl - careful, it will still be full of oil! Turn it with the seal down, to drain the oil into your oil drain pan. Clean the mating surface on the engine block with a rag after the filter has been removed.
22. Unwrap/unpackage your new oil filter. Careful not to damage the rubber seal.
23. We will be needing four liters of oil. What brand and type of oil you use is up to you, and is the subject of great controversy and endless argument. I personally find that regular "high mileage" auto Mobil 1 10W-40 provides excellent lubrication, makes my transmission shift extremely smoothly, and works very well with my clutch. You can make your own judgement and choice.
24. Spread some of the fresh oil over the rubber seal on the new oil filter. This is a critical step! Your filter WILL LEAK if you fail to perform this step.
25. Spin the filter onto the mount by hand until the rubber seal meets the mating surface. Using the wrench, gently snug the filter against the engine block. You do not want to strong-arm the filter into place - a newly installed filter should be fitted only tight enough that it could still be removed by hand. You want it tight enough so that it doesn't leak, but not so tight that it would require the use of a wrench to remove it.
26. Remove the filler plug and pour approximately 3.5 quarts of fresh oil into the crankcase.
27. Remove the oil dipstick from the engine by turning it counter-clockwise until it comes loose.
28. Clean the dipstick of oil using a rag.
29. Replace the dipstick into it's hole, but do NOT screw it into place - simply place it into its hole, wait for five seconds, then pull it back out.
30. Look at the oil level on the dipstick. The oil should reach up to the "full" witness line on the dipstick, as shown. This is the correct method to check your oil level, and should be done frequently! During normal use, the oil should always be between the lower and upper witness lines. If the oil is too low, add (a bit) more. If there is too much, you will need to drain some out. Do NOT run an engine with excess oil - you can damage seals and other internal parts!
31. Once you are satisfied with the oil level, screw the dipstick back into place, ensure the oil fill plug is securely screwed into place, and start the engine. Let it run for a minute or so, checking to make sure you do not have any oil leaking from the drain plug or oil filter. Stop the engine, let it sit for a minute, then check the oil level once more. Add oil if required, to bring it up to the correct level and repeat until you are happy with the oil level.
32. Insert the tab of the front panel into the slot grommet at the front of the bike.
33. Carefully push the post at the back of the front panel into its grommet.
34. Tuck the top of the rear panel under the seat, and rotate it down into place. Gently push the top posts into their grommets, followed by the bottom posts.
35. You're done! Write down the mileage and the date, so that you will know when the next oil change is due to be performed.
Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Posts: 1163
- Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:25 am
- Location: Garfield, Arkansas
- Motorcycle: 1994 Honda GL1500 Goldwing SE
Although I've changed the oil on all of my cycles many times, reading the step by step on a How To, on a new to me 1500, never hurts a thing.
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