ELF Engine Oil Maintenance

Posted 3 years ago

For any classic and vintage motorcycle enthusiast, an oil change is a regular part of your maintenance schedule. Much like we need to keep our own health in check, our bikes need regular care too. But, what do you need to look out for when we’re talking engine oil? Luckily, our partners at ELF Lubricants are here to help you when it comes to keeping your engine running smoothly, because they know how important it is for you to take care of your bike the way you take care of your health!

Every bike is different and uses specific grades of oil based on its engine. Your manufacturer’s service manual will tell you how to check your engine’s oil level, what type of oil you should use, and how frequently you should change it. Your classic bike might be a little different, so take some time to get to know your bike, and what the best oil choice is for your engine. When checking your engine oil, you may need to set your bike on its centre stand or while upright to get an accurate reading. There should be no metallic flakes clumping in your oil, and it should be transparent with an oily viscosity, and no milkiness.
Not everyone likes getting their hands dirty, so if you’re not comfortable changing your own engine oil, then take your bike into your nearest dealership or mechanic and get them to perform a service and oil change. If you’re a little more adventurous and want to get acquainted with your engine, then it is something that you may need to do from time-to-time. Once you’ve located your oil plug, line an oil pan underneath the plug and unscrew it until you can fully remove it. From there, you can watch in awe, and hopefully without horror, of the engine purging its old oil while you prepare to replace it. This would also be a great time to replace your oil filter. To find out which oil filter is best for your bike, check your manufacturer service manual.
Your service manual should also tell you the oil capacity of your engine. Pay attention to this to ensure you are only putting the appropriate amount into your bike. Once you know how much you need, you can prepare to pour by using a funnel to avoid splash-back or unwanted mess. Once your fresh oil has been added, fit your oil plug back in and allow your bike to idle for a few minutes, then switch it off and recheck your levels. If it looks like your oil levels have dropped, top them up with a little more if necessary.
Now, with all this knowledge, how do you know when the time is right to use it? As a general rule, engine oil should be changed every 3700 miles or so. That being said, you do need to consider your riding style as that will impact how frequently you need to change your oil. If you’re riding a classic that might not see too many long journeys, or you don’t throw a leg over and ride frequently, your engine oil quality may reduce depending on the types of lubricant you use. If you’re using synthetic oil, the general rule is 3000 miles.
And remember, don’t pour your old oil down the drain or anywhere other than a service centre! Disposing of oil down drains, sinks, or with your household trash can be damaging to the environment. Always dispose of your oil responsibly.
Your engine is the heart of your motorcycle. Any blockages or damage caused by the wrong type of oil could stop it in its tracks. Keep your eye on your bike, and every time you think to look after yourself, maybe spend some time in the garage and give your bike the love it deserves.