Oil Change Question - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Oil Change Question

So just changed the oil and checked all the torque specs, etc. at around 1,000 miles (couldn't get to it at 600). Oil was barely even discolored and the only thing I found that had loosened was the triple clamp nut which with one half turn with my fingers would have fallen off, glad I checked it when I did.

So my question, which I know I've seen an answer to on here before but ... I spent $50 on the filter and the oil from the stealership (which is the same as it cost me to change the filter and 15 qts. of oil in my diesel truck). Ridiculous! So is there a cheaper oil recommended, and how about a filter that I can use that isn't $12?? I'm sure since it said Kawa on the box that bumped up the price for a filter that looks similar to the $3 filter I buy for my wifes SUV. Thought there might be a car filter that fits that is $3-$4 and a certain oil I could use that is not $10 a quart. just because it says Kawa on the bottle. I needed to get it done so I went ahead and spent the money this time but now that I have 3,000 miles until it will need it again, I have time to get some suggestions. Thanks in advance for any help!

Brad Kline
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"Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle."

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 04:04 PM
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I believe your filter falls under category #5 on this page. That gives you tons of options from the extremely inexpensive (but well made) Supertech 7317 for $3 or so at Wal Mart to the Mobil 1 M1-108 at around $12, with many other good choices to consider as well.

Oil opinions vary dramatically and are guaranteed to create drama. I run Rotella T6 5w40 synthetic. Plenty of people around to swear for or against synthetic, amsoil, etc. You'll have to make your own decision in that regard.

'99 Vulcan 500, 29k miles

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 04:44 PM
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Well... here we go. It's a good idea for the dealer to do the 600 miler just so they can check everything out and make sure there's no bad stuff in the oil and all the hatches are battened down as it were.
You'll find all kinds of opinions on oil and filters around the site. Probaqbly the best bet is to stay away from Fram filters. Personally I use Mobil1 V-Twin oil and Walmart Supertech oil filters. Now, before you react to the Wally-World special, they're really good filters and cost about $3-$4 a pop or so. The oil I use is pricey, but I'm comfortable with that. Most sythtics are good as long as they're spec'd right by the owners manual. Synthetic blends can be really good as well. Many stay strickly with Dino. The owner's manual tells you to change at 7500 mile intervals. Most people do it at 3000-3500 or so. I go 5000, but then I'm using a top-shelf sytnthetic. Amsoil is supposed to be the best, but not exactly readily available down the street and can also be expensive. Those who use it, really love it.
Bottom line: cruiz the oil and lube section. You'll find all kinds of information to get you informed and confused at the same time. If nothing else reading the exchanges can be entertaining at the very least.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 07:17 AM
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I use the Wal-Mart SuperTech ST6607 Made by Champion at Walmart, cost $2.84, same specs as OEM, you could also use SuperTech ST7317, it is a little longer, more filtering. As far as oil, I am planning to use Shell Rotella T6 synthetic: http://www.shell.com/home/Framework?...t6_detail.html , it cost $19 for a gallon. You could save a little and use Shell Triple T, cost $12 a gallon. Both meet the specs for our bikes and are used by many motorcyclist.

So there you go, you now have a $15 oil change. By the way the owners manual calls for changes at 7500 miles or yearly. I do 5000 for ease of remembering.

2008 Vulcan 900 Custom

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:00 AM
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Never had any problem with FRAM myself but the other filters works too.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the feedback! Sorry I had to ask again but I really couldn't find the old post I saw with these same answers! I didn't worry about taking it to the dealership because I went to school (and graduated) with a degree in automotive technology which included classes on motorcycles, working on them, rebuilding them, etc. So I don't pay people to work on my vehicles, ever. Thanks again and I look forward to saving a butt load the next time it needs serviced!

Brad Kline
2009 Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition

Completely Debaffled Exhaust
Flush mount smoke turn signals
License plate relocater

"Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle."

“Riding a motorcycle is ten percent hands and feet and ninety percent mind and eyes.”
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 11:58 AM
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Oil color is not a good indicator of oil condition. Did you check the oil screen too?

2007 Custom
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 01:12 PM
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How do you check/remove the screen? Where is it?

'07 Vulcan 900 Custom, Candy Fire Red
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 01:20 PM
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on the bottom of the motor down just behind the kickstand and facing the frame is a 17mm nut with a wide flanged cap attached to it. Undo this and you'll have oil start pouring out from it. I use this nut to drain my oil all the time. A couple turns out and your oil will be draining freely. After it stops flowing unscrew it the rest of the way, do kinda of a twisty motion to work it from in between the engine and the frame and the cap will be off in your hand with the spring and screeny thing behind it. Take notice of how and what comes out as you need to put it back in the same way. Inspect the screen (a wire mesh tube) for FOD, clean and replace. Change the filter and refill the oil. Start the bike, check for oil pressure, check for leaks, go ride.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 10:30 AM
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What is an FOD?

Also, when you clean the screen, do you ever see anything caught by it? One should be probably alarmed if he sees any shavings or anything that you know should not be there...

Once you drain the oil through the screen bolt, do you still need to unscrew the nut at the bottom of the pan? Or can I just replace the filter and that's it? Would any oil remain at the bottom of the pan?

I am changing the oil this weekend -- this is my first oil change, therefore any suggestions are appreciated. I am at 2,200 miles. The first change (for the bike) at 600 miles was done by the original owner at the dealer.

'07 Vulcan 900 Custom, Candy Fire Red
'05 Suzuki DR-Z 400s
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