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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first bike, and I know squat about it. I need to know how I go about changing the oil. I kind of know how, since I do it to my car, but I do not know where to put the oil in. I know thats really dumb, but can somebody help me out and tell me how to change the oil and where everything is on the bike.

Thank you!

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5 Posts
oil change

Its the same as a car pretty much. The easiest way is to first put it up on the centerstand. Remove the lower fairing if you have one. Now if you look near the center stand you will see the oil drain plug. Unscrew that and the oil filter is in front of the motor behind the front tire. I have a '02 500r and I use Mobil 1 15w 50 every 600 miles. Look under the seat for how many quarts of oil.

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8,232 Posts
on the right hand side of the motor there is a little plug on the top corner of the motor that you can take off and put the fresh oil in. It might be on there really tight so you might want to loosen it with some plyers (thats what I have to do every time).

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44 Posts
I'd recommend a haynes or similar manual. I have the haynes (ISBN 1 85960 562 1). It covers most of the basic servicing and would be well worth the price. Even if it stops you pulling the wrong bit off by mistake.

Calymer also do one but I don't know what its like so can't comment. The Haynes is the only one readily available in the UK.

Other than that the oil change is pretty simple and I personally think its good to look after your bike. Not only saves you money but you can do stuff the dealer won't (like greasing your suspension bushes, which stops them rusting solid, like they had in the bike I bought). Your a way off that yet, but its fun learning :)

Mobil 1 every 600 miles Steve?? Are you sure? I've been using decent semi every 3700 miles.

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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

You guys have been a big help! I did order the Haynes manual, but they are out of stock so I am supposed to receive it by end of Jan, hopefully, but I did not want to wait to do the oil change.
But once I change the oil and everything, how long do I let it run for, or what?

Really Appreciating your Feedback!


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8,232 Posts
I usually just start her up and let it run like a minute or so, then I shut it off and check the oil level. Then add some as necessary. Don't worry if its a little bit full, unless the whole oil level thing is completely full of oil (no visible top line) if its that full then you may have some problems. Just put 3 full quarts and then 1/4 of another quart when changing filter + oil and you should be good, maybe have to add another 1/4 of a quart after you check the oil level.

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44 Posts
Hi Jonathan

Thats pretty bad the haynes being out of stock and having such a long lead time :-( I managed to track it down at a local motorcycle store.

I see amazon have some listed at crazy prices, as far as I know its still in print so if you have any problems getting it have a look at http://www.haynes.com/naordin.html. There are some numbers on there to call. Its book 2052.

Make sure you are ordering the 87 to 99 book, not the old book which only covers the EX500A (that's long out of print so you should be ok).

You ask "how long do you let it run for?" you mean how long can the oil be left in between changes?

If so, that seems to be somewhat of a matter for debate. Some people like to change their oil more regularly than recommended, others leave it longer. The common opinion is that regular oil changes are good for the engine as the oil removes dirt from the engine. Also as oil is used it is broken down so it looses some of its properties. Synthetic oil is supposed to be more resistant to being broken down and also works better at high temperatures (the EX engine is water cooled so should not get very hot).

The 99 Ninja is a D6 isn't it?

The haynes service schedule for the D6 says

Evey 600km (400 miles):
Lubricate the drive chain

1000km (600 miles):
Check / adjust the drive chain slack

6000km (3700 miles):
Clean and gap the spark plugs
Check the operation of the air suction valves if fitted
Change the engine oil
Check/adjust the clutch freeplay
Check the drive chain and sprockets for wear
Check the brake system
Check the steering head bearings for freeplay
Check the tyres and wheels
Check the battery electrolyte level

12000km (7400 miles):
Adjust the valve clearances
Clean/inspect the air filter element
Check the throttle for smooth operation and correct freeplay
Check the choke cable freeplay
Check/adjust the idle speed
Check/adjust the carburettor synchronisation
Change the engine oil and oil filter
Check the suspension
Lubricate the swingarm needle bearings and Uni-trak linkage
Lubricate all cables
Lubricate the clutch and brake lever pivots
Lubricate the gearchange/brake lever pivots and the sidestand/centerstand pivots
Check the exhaust system for leaks and check the tightness of fasteners
Check the evaporative emissions control system (California models)
Clean the fuel filter and check the fuel and vacuum hoses
Check the cooling system for leaks and the hose condition

Ever 24000km (14900 miles) or every 2 years:
Change the coolant
Change the brake fluid
Lubricate the steering head bearings

Every 4 years:
Overhaul the brake calipers(s) and master cylinder

Non-scheduled maintenance:
Change the fork oil
Renew the fuel hoses
Renew the hydraulic brake hoses
Cylinder compression check

I'll be honest when I first read that list I thought "my god there's no way I will be able to do most of that" but having spent the best part of 6 months with the bike, a lot of it is not as complicated as it sounds. The haynes manual is (usually) pretty helpful too. I'm not going to lie and say I have done it all, cleaning the fuel filter seems like a pain in the butt and requires buying parts from Kawasaki :-(, etc.

Oil wise, I consider it worth using a good quality oil and keeping to the recommendations. So far I have changed the filter with each oil change. They are not that expensive if bought from mail order companies (a genuine one works out about half the dealer price to me anyway).

Oil wise, I am currently using Shell Advance VSX because it was on special when I last ordered some oil filters. Before that I used morris sport 4, which I did not think was as good.

I find the whole issue of oil to be a little confusing. There are many people out there who say Automotive oil is just as good as bike oil. Others will tell you only to use bike oil (often dealers who sell bike oil at a huge profit). I guess if you buy bike oil you get the assurance that the manufacturer is putting their name to the fact that it will work ok. Shell recommend their VSX4 for the GPZ/EX500. I haven't decided if I am going to try the oil I use in my car next time, it states "Suitable for all motorcycles".

I'm afraid you have to weigh up the evidence and take your pick. I guess first time round I would buy a good motorcycle oil, and see how you go. To me that means a semi-synthetic, but I'm sure others here will have different views :)

If you would like me to scan the bits of the manual covering the oil change then I can do that for you and email them.

Basically, remove the belly pan (if fitted).
Go for a ride to warm up the oil.
Remove the oil filler (allows the oil to flow out quickly).
Undo the oil drain plug. Its the big bolt on the bottom of the sump. Its slightly to the right hand side of the bike (if you are looking at the oil filter from by the front wheel that would be your left) and roughly at the front.
Be careful the oil is hot (but you knew that you have done a car before).
The oil filter unscrews as you would expect. You may need a filter wrench if its been on a while or was tightened a bit too much before.
You may need to change the washer (another debate, you can get away with not doing so sometimes but when its leaking you can't change it). I haven't got round to ordering one from Kawasaki as my dealer doesn't keep them in stock :-(, if you want it to go smoothly order one and change it).
Do up the sump plug, fit a new filter, oiling the seal as you go. Now fill up the engine with oil (I find towards the top of the window is good). Then start it up (gently). Unfortunately you can't crank mine with the kill switch off, so either flick it off as it fires or just let it idle very gently (mine usually starts with the choke off unless its cold). Your just trying to get oil round before things start to wear. Let it run a little and the oil get round. Switch off, wait 5 minutes and top up the oil so its in the middle of the window.

It may be worth doing up the sump plug with a torque wrench as you don't want to over tighten it (if you don't have a torque wrench be careful you could strip the thread out of the sump which will be expensive, so don't do it up too tight). Haynes says the torque is 29Nm (22 ft-lbs).

Ok, I've written enough of an epic, I should go and do something useful ;-)

Hope that is of help.


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20,959 Posts
Oil and Filter

I am NOT a dealer of AMSOIL! I have though witnessed twice now their opening of quarts of oil pouring them in beakers and then adding a paint stirstick and showing everyone in the room the colors and how it runs off of the stir sticks. They will then bring in Liquid Nitrogen and pour it into the big pan with the beakers of oil in it and show you how most of the oils are thick and even a couple you can pull completely out of the beaker solid! The last time I went I asked If I could bring my own oils and they were delighted and even paid my receipt amount for the oils that I brought. Mobil 1, Valvoline Synthetic are great oils but ar enot quite as good as the AMSOIL. The cheaper oils that were not synthetic...what a joke. IF you get the chance to go to an AMSOIL meeting take along an oil of yor choice! I change my oil filter on my car every even 5,000 miles and change out the oil once a year...even though it is still clean...and the van has 77,000 miles on it now. When I put oil in my bike after it is broke in it will be amsoil! You want to see the heat test aht they do with AMSOIL you should do that too. I am absolutely sold on it. Heat, cold, whatever you want to do with it...

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44 Posts
Yeah I hear what you are saying, synthetic oils can be better than normal ones.

Though I hear in the US that synthetic is not always synthetic since a court case ruled that mineral can be sold as synthetic if they have synthetic properties. Aparrently synthetic is a marketing term rather than a technical one. It was Castrol vs somebody (I forget whom). Go figure...

I don't ride my bike if its much below freezing, so I only need oil to work down to about -10°C. 10w40 is fine for that. Oil that is too thin can of course leak more easily etc...

I would be interested to find out if there is any value to having an oil that is still liquid at -195°C. I'm sure its a good marketing method for Amsol but what exactly does it prove?

Also in a water cooled engine the oil temperature should not get too high. In a air cooled engine resistance to thinning at temperature has more merit as they can run hotter.

Of course my decisions are (mainly) influenced by cost :-( Its more a cost benefit analysis than what is the absolute best.

My bike cost me £900 (UK pounds)
4 litres of Mobil 1 (car version) is £30 (ish). I have not got a price on the bike version.
Fully synthetic bike oil is about £25
Semi ranges in price, but the Shell Advance was £15 on special offer.

I also only use standard unleaded rather than super unleaded. that's 95 rather than 98 octane or something like that. Again, because its about 10% cheaper. The higher grade fuel would give better performance.

Also the Shell Advance I am currently using is sold by Kawasaki in Japan, I found a picture of it in one of their brochures on the Japanese site (though I can't read the text with it).

The problem I feel is that there is no real way for consumers to choose between oils. Poor oil with a high price can stand next to good oil with a low price, and you would not know. Certainly a 0W40 oil is better a low temperatures than a 20W40, that's what the specific gravity numbers are there to tell you, but most people living in a cold place would select a 10, rather than a 20 and so on.

I can't believe I am starting this conversation its gonna run and run and... Well, if people get involved. ;-) I guess the motto must be something like "don't buy really cheap ****, make sure its the right grade, and then its up to you how much you spend..."
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