PMI Workshop June 2016 Notes




Oil changes should be done on a warm engine.


Make sure the bike is upright, place it on it’s center stand or a bike jack/lift


Before starting anything, make sure you can get your oil plug out. Especially if working on a new-to-you bike. Don’t forget that righty-tighty, lefty-loosy seems different when working on the underside of the bike (upsidedown)


What oil?


Check your manual to find out what type of oil to use. Always use motorcycle oil, automotive oil isn’t formulated the same way, and won’t work properly in a bike.

Look for 4 stroke Moto oil


The type of oil represents the viscosity of the oil. Different oils will react differently in hot or cold. If it is too thin, it won’t work as well in the heat, if it’s too thick it won’t work well in the cold.


Oil has two main functions

  • Absorb heat from the engine
  • Clean parts and cushion bearings


Consider using a thinner oil early season, when it is cooler.




Supplies :

The right oil

The right filter

An O ring for the filter (not needed for spin-on filters)

A crush washer for the oil plug (if needed)


Tools :

Oil pan (clean)


Towels or shop rags

Gloves are great


Oil Change :


Warm up engine

Loosen oil plug (standard threading)

Place oil pan below oil plug

Remove oil plug, be sure not to lose it.

Let the oil drain out.

While oil is draining

Remove oil filter

Let drain and wipe down interior of oil filter cover(non screw-on type)

Check the O ring on screw on type

Make sure to keep the spring.


Check your crush washer, it and the engine case should be cleaned if you are re-using. Check for particles of metal on the plug (as described below)


Re-insert drain plug with crush washer.

Always start this threading by hand.

Use a short socket wrench for this to ensure that you don’t apply too much pressure. You only want to apply about 15 foot-pounds of pressure when putting in the plug




Check your O ring for cracks and damage , clean it off, re-apply new oil to it to lubricate if it is fine.

Clean off the oil filter cover well. Inside and outside.

Insert your oil filter as you removed it. Check O rings.


Spin on filters should only be inserted until the O ring touches, and then ¾ more turn ONLY. Do not over tighten, they will seize. Only use your hand to tighten, no wrench.


Fill oil as dictated in your manual. Check your level when getting around full, and check your sight-glass.


Run your engine for 5-10 minutes and check your level again.

Check engine case for leaks.

Top up if necessary.



Engine Assessment:


Always clean off your engine when doing an oil change. If there are any leaks, this will be the best way to be able to see if there are any leaks in your gaskets and where they’re coming from.


Oil assessment:


It’s a good idea to take a look at the oil that comes out of your bike. It could indicate other issues that may come up. Checking the oil in the drain pan, as well as the used filter is a great way to avoid any larger issues in the future. Makes its first point of contact with the filter, and pushes through the fins to filter it before it goes through the bike again.


If you oil is Milky – there is water in it from the coolant – there is likely a leak in a gasket or O ring somewhere.


Check oil in oil pan and filter for any particles of metal or debris that would indicate engine wear. Anything larger than a grain of salt, usually like sediment on the bottom of the oil pan would indicate engine wear. Always start with a clean oil pan to make sure that you’re not finding sediment from another bike.


If the sediment sticks to a magnet it is engine or cylinder wear.

If it doesn’t (aluminum) it could be bearing wear.


Usually there will be a deep ticking noise if there is any significant wear, but if there is a noise it will only get worse as the damage increases. For issues like this, it’s best to take the engine apart.


Cut open a regular filter, or use tin snips to cut open a screw on filter. Check for debris or particles inside.


Dispose of oil and used filter appropriately.






Chain Inspection


Inspect the tightness of the chain.

Put your bike on it’s center stand, and check tightness at various areas of the chain as you turn the wheel. It should be the same. A bad link would also be felt when trying to roll the wheel.

Check that it moves smoothly all around. Check that all links move smoothly.

Check that the chain doesn’t move side to side. It should remain straight.

Check that it doesn’t move side to side on the sprocket.

Try to pull the chain back from the sprocket at the most rear part, if you can see light through the back of it needs to be replaced.

The suspension system will tighten the chain as well.

Check your sprocket – should be flat at the tops of the points, not sharp. Shouldn’t be dished out.


Keep in mind that if you have to change the chain, you have to change both sprockets as well.


Chain Service


Service your chain when it is hot.


Follow directions on Motul


Spray all over whole chain.


Lube and Clean chain every 2-3 tanks of gas. Lube it often





Feel is a big part of tires. If you are getting a lot of vibration at different speeds on your bike then it is likely the tires.

Check them for wear

Check that they are even

Wobble, Kink, or Growth?

Check TWI tread wear indicators

Check for cracks especially near bead

Flat spots on tread anywhere?

Check that the radius is even and has a nice curve


Check pressure

  • Tire pressure is not what it says on the tire!


Check your manual for the correct pressure.

Adjust as preferred. If riding in the city you may want more pressure. Remember that hot tires will increase the pressure as well.

If going off road you can lower for more contact etc.

If carrying a bigger load increase pressure.




Check the levels of your electrolyte in your battery.


Charge the battery completely before topping up.

Ensure that the level is where marked on the body of the battery. Liquid should be covering all the cells completely. If not, top up with distilled water (only when charged)


Check battery posts – they should be snug

Check for corrosion on the mounts




Check your brakes and brake fluid. Recommended to do it in the fall, so the brakes are left with fresh fluid over the winter.


Check how they feel, have you noticed a big change in your stopping ability?


Check the indicators to see where the shoes are at for wear.



And OF Course


Do a thorough once over on your bike, checking bolts and making sure that things look “right”. If something looks cracked, worn, dirty spend some time to clean or assess.