Project 525EXC Oil Change Tips and Tricks

Mar. 01, 2004 By Eric Tabb

Over the past number of months we have performed numerous oil changes on the 525 and come up with a routine and a few tricks to make things easier. Our normal schedule has been to change the oil and clean the two screens and then on every third oil change install two new oil filters. If you're racing or really abusing your machine you may want to change the filters more often.



The main tools we use during an oil and filter change are an 8mm socket to remove the rear brake reservoir and oil filter covers, 10mm & 13mm sockets for the three drain bolts, a pair of snap ring pliers for removing the old filters and a vacuum pump to remove the old left over oil from the filter cavities. Besides these tools we also use a funnel, drain pan, new filters and oil to finish off the oil change.

 Untighten with Care

The first thing we discovered on our first oil change is the need to take your timegetting out the stock allen head bottom drain bolt. The factory puts it in so tight that unless you use a high-quality allen wrench - you risk stripping out the bolt and a costly repair bill. After successfully removing the stock allen bolt we picked up an aftermarket BRAP 10mm hex head drain plug to make life easier for future oil changes. There are a number of companies that offer these replacement bolts so just shop around until you find one.

 Step by Step

The oil change process we follow is to first warm up the bike. With the bike off and the oil warm remove the bottom drain bolt (a 10mm in our case) and drain the majority of the oil. Next remove the countershaft side 13mm drain bolt and the rear 13mm magnetic drain plug (thank you readers for catching the missing rear magnetic drain plug) to let the rest of the oil flow out. While the oil is finishing up we clean the two screens, still attached to the drain bolts, and the magnetic drain plug with a spray solvent. You want to check for excessive metal shavings or chunks stuck to the magnetic plug and on the screens. Usually our screens are either clean or have one or two small shavings. This is somewhat normal but if you see chunks coming out then you need to do some investigating.

After the oil has stopped draining and the screens are clean reinstall the drain bolts and snug them up, but be sure not to over tighten them. Next we lean the bike on its side, resting the throttle side handgrip on a stand. Leaning the bike over gives direct access to the oil filters and prevents the oil from running all over the place when removing the filters. From here remove the rear brake reservoir, followed by removing each of the two oil filter covers.

Getting the oil filters out can be a little tricky but the best method we have found is to use a pair of snap ring pliers inserted into the center holes on the outsides of the filters. If you don't have snap ring pliers needle nose pliers can work, but not nearly as well.

With the oil filters removed there will still be a little dirty oil left in the oil cavities. Using a vacuum brake bleeder type tool is quick, effective and doesn't make a mess. A turkey baster could also be used if you A.) don't want to spend the cash for a pump or B.) want to get the lady of house excited that your taking interest in her kitchen tools. Once the old oil is removed fill the cavities about ? to a ? way up with fresh oil (too much will result in a mess when you put in the new filters). Install the new oil filters with the rubber seal facing down and then fit the o-rings into each cavity seat. Finish off by replacing the filter covers and brake reservoir and snugging down all the 8mm bolts.

 Oil Level

Adding oil and finding the right level is the final step to our oil change process. Instead of worrying about the exact amount of oil we put in we have learned to utilize the sight glass window. The oil level seems to vary in the window depending on if the bike is cold or warm so keep this point in mind. First put in enough oil that it comes about halfway up the sight-glass window. Start the bike and let it warm up a bit before shutting it down and rechecking the oil level. Continue to add oil with the bike off until it reaches between ? and ? up the window. Restart the motor and let it run for a minute or so and then shut it off again and recheck the level to be sure it remains within that range. After you get the oil level correct double check that you tightened everything down, clean up your mess and go ride. Newsletter
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