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How to Change the Motorcycle Oil yourself

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Cambiar el aceite de la moto tú mismo

As we love to learn new things and do them ourselves, today we bring you a simple tutorial to change the motorcycle oil yourself in 7 steps, and at a much lower price than if you take it to a workshop. It will depend on the volume and type of oil your motorcycle has, and the price of the oil filter, but doing the oil change yourself will cost you an average of €30 . We are going to change the oil of a BMW R45.


This is a basic motorcycle mechanics task that you can do yourself without any problem.

I tell you all the steps:

Every how many km do you change the oil on a motorcycle?

For the correct maintenance of any motorcycle, it is necessary to change the engine oil every 5,000 – 10,000 km , this oil is in charge of lubricating the internal components of the engine, preventing its friction and heating.

With the passage of kilometers, this oil accumulates waste from combustion and even small filings that come off the metal parts, losing effectiveness, so it must be replaced. The oil is also in charge of cleaning the engine, which is why with the passage of time we will see that it turns black.

I don’t want to put fear in your body, but driving with the same oil for kilometers and kilometers can cause your engine to flu, and that… That is a very fat task .

It is important that you know that changing the motorcycle oil yourself is something really simple.

We are going to change the oil of a BMW R45, although it works for any motorcycle.

Before starting

Before getting down to work, we will have to study and answer three very simple questions:

  1. What kind of oil does your motorcycle use?
  2. How much oil does it take?
  3. Do you have more than one type of oil?

You can find all of them in the motorcycle manual, in the case of Azahara , a BMW R45 , he uses two types of oils, one for the engine (225 cl of SAE 20W-50 motor oil ) and another for the gearbox. gears and cardan (800 ml of 80/90W GL-5 oil ).

To know everything about motorcycle oils we have written a complete entry.


What do the initials SAE mean and the numbers that characterize each oil?

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) determines the viscosity grade of motor oil. The higher the digit, the more viscous the oil will be. The number that precedes the letter W (Winter) determines the viscosity of the oil when cold, while the other determines its viscosity at engine operating temperature. Oils with two viscosity grades are called multigrade (SAE 20W-50) while those with only one viscosity are called monograde (SAE 40).


With all this data we will buy the necessary oil for our motorcycle. When we change the oil, it is very important that we also change the filter, since it is where all the dirt that the engine has generated during 10,000 km will have accumulated. With the reference of our motorcycle we can find it in any workshop of the brand or online. The one from Azahara cost €15, but the one from a 125cc scooter can cost less than €5, it’s not worth saving.

Get to work to change the oil in a BMW R45 yourself

You have already done the most difficult thing, decide to change the oil yourself and buy everything you need, now let’s go to the simple thing, change it! We explain it to you in 7 easy steps:

1. Locate the oil inlet and outlet plugs.

The fill plug should be easy to locate, as it is where you measure the oil level. It is in the middle of the engine and has a screw cap that you can unscrew by hand.

The drain plug is at the very bottom of the engine, among all the grime accumulated from years of not looking under your bike.

2. Place a basin under

You are going to stain, and a lot, the entire floor with black and viscous oil, which will later be very difficult to clean, so do not forget to place a basin or container just below the drain plug. Do not underestimate the size of the oil tank, it is better to have extra space in the bowl than to fill it all with oil!

I recommend that you bring a roll of kitchen paper.

Change motorcycle oil yourself

3. Open the plugs

Before opening the plugs, make sure that the motorcycle is warm, keep it idling for a few minutes, so that the oil warms up a bit and is more fluid. In this way it will come out faster and we will not leave used oil inside the engine.

I strongly recommend that before opening a drain plug you have opened the filler one . When I opened the drain plug on Azahara and drained all the oil from the transmission, I realized that the fill plug was stuck and there was no way to open it. I couldn’t move the bike because I had drained all the oil and I couldn’t fill it again through the drain plug unless I had turned the bike over, which weighs more than 200 kg… I had to struggle for a whole hour on the floor of the community garage where I live, to the amazement of my neighbors, until the filler cap gave way.

Change oil BMW R45
Engine oil drain plug in a BMW R45

4. Change the oil filter

When the used oil has stopped dripping, we will change the filter. It is located on the side of the engine, in its lower part, and it is a perforated cylinder that normally enters the engine horizontally. You will have to find it, unscrew it and replace it with the new one. It has no more mystery, just check that you do not lose any washer and that you mount it the same as the one you took out.

Change motorcycle oil filter
Change oil filter BMW R45
Oil filter BMW R45

5. Fill the oil tank

To fill the tank with new oil, it is advisable to get a small funnel and a transparent rubber tube, you will find it in any hardware store. However, most modern oil bottles come with a removable dispenser.

Close the drain plug and begin to slowly pour the contents of the bottle. I recommend that you measure the amount of oil that you put into the tank , to respect the manufacturer’s prescriptions.

If we have to add 225 cl of motor oil, as is my case, and when I have less than a bottle the tank has been filled, it means that I have mistaken the tank and have filled the transmission oil. It was about to happen to me. :)

6. Check levels

Check that the oil level is between the minimum and maximum. For engine oil, you’ll typically have the level at the filler cap. You must check it without screwing it, simply by inserting it all the way.

The transmission oil level is usually measured flush with the fill plug.

Even if the levels are fine, take the bike for a spin, let the new oil warm up and circulate throughout the engine and check the level again.

The level is checked with the motorcycle on a smooth surface and on the center stand.

Check motorcycle oil level

7. Take the used oil to a clean point

It is essential that you take the used oil to a clean point, since it is highly polluting.


This is all, as you can see, changing the oil on a motorcycle yourself is extremely simple and cheap, not to mention the satisfaction of doing things yourself and learning to do new things.

I hope it helps you and if you have any questions leave me a comment.

This tutorial is valid for changing the oil in a BMW R45 but it is valid point by point for any classic BMW of the R series.

Cheer up and get to work!

We've written a motorcycle mechanics book!
I tell you, in words everyone can understand, how each part of your bike works and how to repair it.

Basic Motorcycle mechanics book

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