Introduction: DIY - Motorcycle Oil Change - 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650
In this DIY we're going to take a look at changing the oil on the new (as of 2017) Kawasaki Ninja 650. Thankfully, on this model changing the oil is easier than ever, thanks to an open bottom that makes it unnecessary to remove any fairings at all. While we are at it, we are also going to install an oil drain valve making future oil changes even quicker and cleaner.
Tool Requirements: Easy
Time: Less than 1 hour
Working on any vehicle can be risky to both yourself and the vehicle. No warranties or guaranties, explicit or implicit, are made or implied regarding the compatibility, suitability or effect on functionality, safety or any current warranties. All modifications should be made within the reader's capability and under their own exclusive responsibility.
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Step 1: What You'll Need
*The following links are to either Amazon or Ebay, where available. Items in parenthesis mean optional.
Whenever possible, I'll try to link to the site with the lowest price, best service and if possible, free shipping; to help make things easier if you try to follow the project.
- Motorcycle Engine Oil - 10w-40: To change the oil on this particular bike, you will need approximately 2 liters/ 2 Quarts (roughly).
- Quality Low Cost Option - Castrol 03130 Actevo 10W-40 Part Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil: If you want a high quality, cheap oil for frequent oil changes, this is your best bet in my opinion. It's perfect for the break in period (with frequent oil changes) given it's price.
- High Quality Synthetic Option - Castrol 06112 Power1 10W-40 Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil: The all-around best oil for severe use and long oil changes, in my opinion, is this oil.
- Oil Filter: Always change the oil filter whenever you change the oil. Personally, I prefer the OEM filter, but if other quality options are available for cheaper, they are equally good choices:
- Kawasaki OEM Oil Filter - 16097-0002 / 16097-0004 / 16097-0008...: This is Kawasaki's OEM option. It should be your first choice, as long as the price is right. Any of the part numbers above are the same item. Simply choose the one with the cheapest price. The link above should show you all the options available ordered from the cheapest offer up.
K&N KN-303 Motorcycle/Powersports High Performance Oil Filter: A quality aftermarket filter. No better than OEM, but if it's cheaper than OEM it's a good option.
(EZ-109 Oil Drain Ball Valve): If you work quickly, changing the oil yourself will take both less time and money compared to taking it to the shop. This helps you get the job done quicker, with less clean up afterwards. Instead of having to find a wrench to remove the oil drain bolt, swap the crush washer, or torque it down properly you can simply flip the lever on this valve to quickly drain the oil. If you accidentally fill the oil too much, you can simply open the valve a few seconds to fix it. And if you are given to sample your oil for oil analysis, you can hook a hose directly to it. I install these on all my vehicles and would recommend you do it, too. The model EZ-109 is the correct version for most Kawasaki bikes, but to see the complete compatibility list click here.
(EZ (L-001) Silver Small 90 Degree Hose End): If you decide to install the oil drain valve, you should also purchase the elbow to be able to angle the flow down as well as attach a hose for draining or sampling.
(3/8 Inch Diameter Rubber Cap): To cap off the hose end from the oil drain valve just to keep it clean.
(WIX Filters - 24077 Oil Analysis Kit): Personally, I like sampling my oil roughly once a year to make sure all is well inside the engine. I do prefer long oil changes (about yearly) so this way I can be confident my oil isn't deteriorating, and neither is my engine.
Tools & Supplies
- Rear Stand: To keep the bike upright and easy to work on. A must have for any sportbike owner. I like this Speedmetal model since it's reasonably price, aluminum (doesn't rust) and a single piece (so it doesn't flex). It's the nicest stand I've tried.
- (Oil Drip Tray): To keep the floor free of oil stains. No matter how careful you promise you will be, you'll always end up splashing everywhere.
- 65/14 Oil Filter Tool: 65 is the diameter, and 14 the number of flutes. This is the right oil filter cap wrench for the Kawasaki OEM Oil filter.
- Ratchet: Both 1/4 and 3/8 square drive are the sizes worth using in a job like this. An extension is also useful to have on hand.
- Adjustable Wrench: Ideally two.
- Oil Drain Pan: I like this model since it doesn't leak, has a little spout for pouring, has a place to drain the oil filter, and is low enough to fit under most bikes.
- Used Oil Container: You'll only save time changing your own oil if you don't have to travel to recycle your oil each time. This 7 gallon container is very strong, and the perfect size for storing a year or so supply of used oil for a family household of vehicles. Simply dump all your oil in here, and take it to recycle once a year. The large mouth makes filling and emptying quick and clean. I understand that by law, shops which change oil have to accept used oil. If you go to any Autozone or similar place, and ask them about recycling oil, they will tell you to just go to the back and pour your oil in a large metal container they have. It does not cost anything and you don't have to buy oil from them to do so.
- Rags or Paper Towel: For cleanup.
- Chemical Guys Grime Reaper Extremely Strong Degreaser or any other degreaser: For cleanup. Personally I'm a fan of Chemical Guy's products. This stuff is great since it's concentrated (1 gallon makes up to around 10 gallons of cleaner) and works very well on your typical garage stains.
- 17mm Socket or Wrench: For removing the OEM Oil Drain Bolt.
- 4mm Allen Wrench: To slightly remove fairings or bolts if doing Oil Drain Valve install.
- 8mm Socket or wrench: To slightly remove fairings or bolts if doing Oil Drain Valve install.
- (Torque Wrench): If reinstalling original Oil Drain Bolt.
- (Heavy Duty Aluminum foil): To protect the fairings from oil splashes. The Heavy Duty, thicker version is preferable. I always have a roll in my garage since it's useful all the time.
- Funnel: On this bike using a funnel to fill the oil is nonnegotiable. The port is small and in an awkward location.
- Threadlocker: If you've owned a bike for any amount of time, you probably already know how you have to use threadlocker on every single bolt you reinstall...or else.
*Notes on oil:
On many modern motorcycles, like this Kawasaki Ninja 650, the engine oil serves simultaneously as engine oil and clutch/gearbox oil. The benefit of this is only having one fluid to change, but the downside is dirtier oil, and an oil with much more specific qualities (especially related to friction modifiers. Always use oil specifically made for motorcycles. As in, don't use car oil.
The number on the oil container, 10w-40, refers to the viscosity of the oil (how "thick" it is). 10w-40 is suitable for most users, but if you live in a more particular climate, check the images for a chart on other viscosity options.
Step 2: Identify the Oil Fill and Drain Bolts
Take the bike for a short ride to make sure the oil is hot and agitated (so all the debris are suspended in the oil). It isn't ideal to change the oil with the engine cold. It also makes the oil more fluid so it flows quicker and easier in cold environments.
The first step is to put the bike up on a rear stand, with an oil drip tray underneath (if possible). Then, identify the bolts you'll be working on. On the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650, pictured you'll find the OEM Oil Drain Fill and Drain bolts in the attached image. Don't loosen anything just yet.
Personally, I like this CNC Oil Fill Bolt since it requires an allen key to remove, making it less tamper friendly, and is a lot more aesthetically pleasing given how flush it is. The Oil Fill Bolt for the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 is 20mm x 2.5mm.
Step 3: Protect the Fairings From Splashes
If you don't want to loosen the fairing to drain the oil (and who does?), cover the fairing's tip with some aluminum foil to protect it from hot oil.
Step 4: Remove the Oil Drain Bolt
Use a 17mm socket or wrench to remove the Oil Drain Bolt. You want to remove the drain bolt before removing the fill bolt so the oil flows slower at the beginning and doesn't make a mess. Try to avoid dropping the Drain Bolt in the hot oil. Also make sure you don't lose the crush washer. Most of the time it stays stuck to the oil pan.
Step 5: Optional - Take an Oil Sample
Though originally marketed for aeronautic and heavy industry use, I personally like sending my oil for analysis whenever I go on a long oil change interval. While in the States 3 months between oil changes is typical, in Europe the norm is 1 to 2 years - using the same oil. I personally fall within the long oil change philosophy. I'll only change my oil sooner if it's required for maintaining the warranty. I do baby my bike a bit more than my car, so once per 6k miles or 1 year is what I'll do, even if I know the oil lasts longer.
The oil analysis kit costs between 15-20$, and includes the cost of the analysis. All you have to do is send it to the address on the form (2-3$ via USPS First Class Package) and a week later they will email you back a pdf with the results. Attached you'll find a sample analysis. It tells you how dirty the oil is, and whether or not it's actually deteriorated. I've gone up to 3 years without an oil change on a family vehicle and the oil is still good, per the analysis. You'd be surprised at how good modern oils are. At least doing analysis you can be confident you are in no way damaging the engine.
It also gives you useable diagnostic info like if there is coolant or water in the oil (head gasket leak) or if there are excessive metal particulates (worn piston or engine components).
By no means necessary, but for the price it's nice to have the info.
Step 6: Remove the Oil Fill Bolt
Remove the Oil Fill Bolt the speed up the draining of the rest of the oil.
Step 7: Remove the Oil Filter and Prep the Replacement Oil Filter
Remove the oil filter currently on the bike. There are no pictures of this since it was hard to get a decent image. Simply use the oil filter removal tool to remove it with a ratchet. Make sure the oil pan is underneath it since it will release oil.
Fetch the replacement oil filter and fill it partially with oil. In this case where the oil filter is installed horizontally, you want to only fill it about half way so it doesn't spill. Let the filter absorb the oil. If the filter were installed vertically, you'd fill it completely. This is to make sure the oil filter isn't empty when the engine first starts, making it take longer to get oil to where it's needed.
Also, use your finger to apply some of the oil to the gasket to aid with sealing.
Install the replacement filter and only tighten it past hand tight. It should be snug but not much more than that. Be careful with the exhaust pipes, since they should still be hot.
Step 8: Install the Oil Drain Valve or Reinstall the Oil Drain Bolt
I'm very partial to EZ Oil Drain Valves. Changing the oil yourself is only worth it if you can do so quickly and cleanly. This valve helps you do that since you can open and close the valve with the little lever. It's great when you mistakenly over fill the oil, since you can release only a bit. Plus the option to attach a hose means you could even drain the oil directly to a container for recycling without a need for an oil pan. It doesn't get any cleaner than that. I also use the same feature to take samples of oil directly to the test container for oil analysis.
Simply apply some blue threadlocker (medium strength) to the valve and screw it in. Make sure the lever can be moved freely however you install it.
On this bike, you need to install the right angle hose end to make the oil drain downwards. To screw it in you'll have to remove the 4mm bolt securing the fairing tip, and loosen the 8mm bolts holding the fairing bracket. You don't have to remove the bracket completely though, as pictured.
After installing, pop a 3/8th Rubber Cap on the hose end tip to keep it clean.
If you'll be reusing the original oil drain bolt, replace the crush washer if possible and torque the bolt down to 30 N m (3.1 Kgf m, 22 ft lb).
Step 9: Fill the Oil
You'll need 1.8 Liters or 1.9 US Quarts of oil to fill the compartment, roughly. Never pour it all in straight away though. Pour in about 90% and then pour the rest while looking at the engine oil level window.
You'll need a funnel to pour the oil in this bike.
Step 10: Check the Oil Level
You should never check the oil while it's on it's sidestand. Ideally it should be on the ground and upright. While using a rear stand isn't ideal, it is acceptable to check the oil level while it's on it (if not the oil would be "incorrect" while driving downhill). Make sure the oil level is between the two marks, biased towards the top mark.
After making sure the level is correct, reinstall the oil filler cap.
Step 11: Recycle Your Oil
It makes no sense to save the time taking your bike to the mechanic for an oil change if you have to take your used oil to be recycled each time.
The best solution I've found is this 7 Gallon Emergency Water Container. You can put just about a years supply of used oil (including brake oil, hydraulic oil, etc) in there and simply do the trip once. Most major auto-parts stores like Autozone have a huge deposit in the back where you can empty the bottle there. It's free, and you don't have to buy anything to do so.
Just make sure to mark the container as used oil. I used these cute stickers to make that clear.
Step 12: All Done!
Now that everything's done, double check the bike for leaks or uninstalled bolts and then take her for a ride! Always check the oil level afterwards as well.
Hopefully this was helpful to anyone wanting to change the oil on this, or any, bike.
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