Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northeast Oregon State
Needs a washer. The price of being wrong could be being stranded, or blowing an engine. Not worth the risk, IMHO.
Your clues will be--bump, as rear tire runs over the plug; skidding, as rear tire coats itself in motor oil; oil pressure warning light comes on; engine slows down, then stops, due to seizure. All this will probably happen in 30-60 seconds.
If you're fast, you can
1. Loosen the plug, but hold it in the hole.
2. Snatch the plug out with one hand and plant your other thumb over the hole.
3. With the first hand, place the washer over the bolt.
4. Step 2, in reverse.
5. Tighten per spec.
The oil will come out slower if the bike is cold and the oil fill cap is on. With luck, you'll only lose a fourth of a quart. If you're slow, you'll lose a half quart, but in any event, better than losing the whole load.
You can also drain the oil into a clean container, and then add it back to the crankcase.
If you opt for the first method, put something under the bike to catch the loss, such as Mom's cookie sheet, or old towel.
Ask me how I know all this...
2007 VN900LT, red/titanium
OEM highway bars and luggage rack
OEM WS lowers
4.5 inch pull back risers
Kuryakin highway pegs
Stebel air horn
Utopia driver backrest on OEM seat
OEM gel seat for about town, and hauling grandkids
Jardine light bar
K&N air filter
Brakeaway cruise control