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Oil changes are pretty simple but I thought I would post a few thoughts after doing my Valkyrie's first oil change today. (I have a 2012 Gold Wing which is exactly the same WRT oil changes.)


  • The drain plug is not magnetic. There are optional magnetic plugs but I have never bought one. I did pour my old oil through a fine-mesh strainer and there were no suspended metal particles. The oil did have a weird sheen (?) to it but that is probably the moly paste they use when they assemble the engine. All of my Hondas have had the same look for their initial oil dump.
  • I waited for the full 4,000 miles before changing the oil. Usually I change it at 500 miles and then at 1,000 miles but the Valkyrie is very detuned and the oil volume is so big that I decided to listen to Honda's engineers WRT the first change.
  • I always put the key in the house after I warm up the bike so I do not accidentally start the bike with no oil in it. (Can you guess how I learned that trick?)
  • Before starting the bike after doing the oil change I make an exaggerated double-check of all plugs, dipsticks and filters to make sure they are installed. (Can you guess how I learned that trick?)
  • For the first start of the bike after the oil change I turn the throttle to max and crank the engine for 5 to 10 seconds. (The engine will not fire at full throttle.) This primes the oil filter with oil. If you prime the oil filter, when you start the bike "for real", the oil pressure gauge immediately shuts off. If you do not prime the oil filter it takes a few seconds to turn off. I just think it is smarter to prime the filter. On some vehicles that have their oil filter oriented vertically I can actually pre-fill the oil filter, but ours is horizontal.
  • I warm the engine up until the first fan cycle. This way I know the engine oil is warmed up no matter what the outside temperature is. If I am checking the oil I let the fan cycle and then wait 3 minutes to check the dipstick. I wish we had a sight glass! If you have never felt the power and heat being thrown off of the bike when the fans kick on you will probably be amazed the first time you do. It is obvious why riding 15-20MPH up a hill will cancel out the fan's ability to throw heat forward thus possibly causing overheating. All you have to do is speed up a bit to get air flowing through the radiators. The awesome part about the fans blowing the heat forward is the heat does not get tossed onto the rider. I have had bikes that have literally burned me in high-temperature slow-speed situations. My old ZX-14R in particular was very bad in this regard.
  • I changed the crush washer. It is only 30 or 40 cents so why not?
  • Parts list: FILTER, OIL - 15410-MFJ-D01 & WASHER, DRAIN (14MM) - 94109-14000
  • Unless you have a fancy crow's foot attachment for your torque wrench, you will not be able to torque the oil plug. That is okay because it really does not need to be cranked down much. Maybe 1/16 to 1/8 of a turn from hand-tight. You really do not want to crack the crankcase doing this!
  • There is plenty of room to reach the oil filter and even enough room to put an oil filter wrench on to take the oil filter off. Mine was cranked on there by a gorilla robot at the factory and even with an oil filter wrench it was pretty hard to get loose. I expected to have to use the old-fashioned "screwdriver-through-the-filter" deal but with a bit of grunt it came free. The service manual wants you to make sure the oil filter boss has not loosened but I did not bother with this step.
  • There are several aftermarket car oil filters that will fit the Valkyrie. I have used them in the past on my other Honda motorcycles with no issues, but I decided to use the OEM filter because I plan to run the specified oil change interval. I am not sure if the aftermarket filter pressure relief valve is rated the same as the OEM filter. If the relief valve does not open at the proper pressure the engine will be starved of oil.
  • The manual calls for 10W30 JASO MA oil. I could have used the OEM GN4 oil but I use Mobil 1 10W40 "Racing 4T" oil in all of my motorcycles. Usually I try to follow what the engineers prescribe for maintenance but I have a very hard time accepting 10W30 GN4 for 8,000 miles. I could see changing it every 4,000 miles but that is a hassle. With the fully synthetic Mobil 1 oil I feel comfortable going the full 8,000 miles. My wife's car uses Mobil 1 oil and the computer in the car has her go over 12,000 miles before indicating time for an oil change. Her car has 432HP and a similar redline to the Valkyrie so I am going to just trust that the oil will not shear down too much and that the additive package is adequate. (The shearing is accelerated on a motorcycle because the transmission is bathed in oil.)
  • http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Oils/Mobil1_Racing_4T_10W-40.aspx
  • I have some nice measuring containers so I measured the amount of oil I drained from the bike. I did not do anything extra to drain the oil, like tilting the bike further or standing it upright. I just left it on the sidestand. In the end I got 136 oz (4qt 8oz) out of the bike, counting the oil in the oil filter. The manual calls for roughly 132 oz (4qt 4oz) to be put back in so that is what I used. You could probably drop in 4 quarts and call it a day. I doubt 4oz makes that much of a difference. I have an extra quart of oil on hand so getting an extra 4oz was no problem.
  • The manual wants you to torque the oil filter on but I have always tightened every oil filter 3/4 turn beyond hand-tight, and none of them has ever leaked and they have been easy to remove later. Always remember to lubricate the gasket with a bit of oil and make sure that the old gasket is not stuck on the engine block.

I know I just wrote a pile about a simple oil change. It may seem like a lot but parts of it are just common sense. I just thought I would document this stuff just in case someone is new to maintenance. If you have any questions please let me know.
 

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Xyzzy,
I am in fact new to maintenance and fast approaching the first oil change. I will take all that you posted in consideration--thank you for taking the time to post. I purchased 4qts of Honda HP4S (red bottle) of fully synthetic oil. I also picked up a HIFLO FILTRO - HF204 filter. I use these filters with my '06 GL1800 and my 04' VTX1800 without issue. I change the oil on 4K schedule. I too, like a lot of people, have reservations on Honda's new 8K schedule. I was just at a dealership on Saturday speaking with the Service Manager regarding the Variety first service and confirming the first service is nothing more then an oil change. He also indicated other customers are very leery about running 8K miles between oil changes.
 

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I recently bought a near-new 2014 Valk, and I'm contemplating what I'll do about oil changes. I have a couple of questions.

This question is not entirely in jest. Why run the engine to heat up the oil before draining it? Sure, it's hot now, and thin and flows more quickly, but it is also spread right through the engine, so still takes a while to drain thoroughly. If the engine is cold, all the free oil has long drained into the sump and is sitting there waiting to flow out the drain hole when you remove the plug, although it's thicker. In the end, I think the result is very similar, hot or cold, if you wait until the oil stops dripping from the hole before you replace the plug and refill the engine. I usually dump the oil when I return from a ride, and put the sump plug on the ignition switch while it's out.

My second question is about oil. The Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W40 oil is expensive here in Australia. Best price I can find is about $18 per litre. Many GL1800 owners (and other vehicle users) in the US use Shell Rotella T6 5W40 full synthetic diesel oil. That oil is hard to get in Australia, and I'd rather use 10W40 than 5W40. The international equivalent of Rotella T6 appears to be Shell Rimula R6 10W40 full synthetic. I can buy that here for $9 per litre. At that price I can afford to change the oil every 5000km, and the filter every 10000km. Perhaps 6000/12000. The Honda recommendation of 8000 miles/13000km is too long IMO.
Has anyone tried Rimula R6 in a GL1800?
IanB
 

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My second question is about oil. The Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W40 oil is expensive here in Australia. Best price I can find is about $18 per litre. Many GL1800 owners (and other vehicle users) in the US use Shell Rotella T6 5W40 full synthetic diesel oil. That oil is hard to get in Australia, and I'd rather use 10W40 than 5W40. The international equivalent of Rotella T6 appears to be Shell Rimula R6 10W40 full synthetic. I can buy that here for $9 per litre. At that price I can afford to change the oil every 5000km, and the filter every 10000km. Perhaps 6000/12000. The Honda recommendation of 8000 miles/13000km is too long IMO.
Has anyone tried Rimula R6 in a GL1800?
IanB
I think the rimula is just the rotella rebranded for your market. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about brand name as long it it meets or exceeds JASO MA specs. It cannot be JASO MB, those oils have friction modifiers which are bad for the Valk.
I also think that waiting 8000 miles between changes is too long but if you want to wait, you can at least and not be voiding your warranty.
I also change the filter with every oil change.
 

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I have not tried Rimula, but since it is a heavy duty diesel oil I figure that it may be suitable for motorcycles in emergencies. Motorcycle oils have to be made for use in a wet transmission and clutch, and the oil needs to have zink to protect the gears. Most diesel oils do. Indeed, Harley, which has to deal with much higher engine temperatures than Honda, recommends using heavy duty diesel oil if no other oil is available, but not as a long term solution. Automotive oils do not have zinc, so most of them are unsuitable for bikes. The question is, does Rimula have friction modifiers? A wet clutch does not perform well with friction modifiers. You can sometimes hear it when bikes have the wrong oil - there are funny noises, which magically disappear when the right oil is put in. There is certainly a lot to consider when if comes to oil. Something like Mobile 1 is certainly a top choice, if you disregard the price. It's expensive here, too, like $10/qt. But, if price is an issue, what is wrong with GN4? That's what Honda prescribes and all their engines seem to love it, even their ATVs.
 

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I think you'll find that most automotive oils DO contain ZDDP (zinc-phosphate compounds) to inhibit wear. This is not a friction modifier that would cause clutch problems in motorcycles. It probably is good stuff to have in a motorcycle gearbox. So called "flat tappet" engines especially require this additive. These engines involve cam lobes acting directly against a lifter, rocker arm or bucket with a sliding action against the force of the valve spring(s) acting through a small contact area. Sounds like most motorcycle engines. Engines that include roller tappets don't have this high pressure sliding action, for example, the 2016 KTM 690 Duke.
I found this article very interesting. http://tikobv.nl/m/ZDDP.pdf
and also pages 16-21 of this http://www.penriteoil.com.au/product-catalogue
and https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/
and http://www.oilspecifications.org/acea.php

Yes, the question is whether Rimula R6 contains friction modifiers. I have not been able to find out. It's almost impossible to find the difference between Rimula R6 M and R6 MS, for example, but MS is recommended by Shell for Scania engines, and is the one that is actually available here.

After a couple of quiet work days spent researching, I have decided on this oil. http://www.penriteoil.com.au/products/fuels/diesel/full-synthetic-10w-40
I'd rather start with a 10W base than 5W, because at 100 degrees C the viscosity modifiers have a more viscous base to start with, trying to make the oil behave like 40 weight. Where I live, 15W would be fine. This oil is 10W40 grade, synthetic (not the top-shelf PAO or ester, but good enough), recommended for motocycle engines and JASO MA rated (which is not necessarily the same as certified). It has the maximum ZDDP allowed under the current SN rating. The ZDDP allowance is higher for xW40 oils and above, one reason not to use 5W30 or 10W30. The oil costs $10/litre in a 20 litre drum at my local Supercheap Auto. Perfect. That's $1/litre more than Rimula R6 and $9 less than Mobil 1.

Then there is the issue of what most oils with ZDDP in them (not the Enviro oils with lower levels of ZDDP or SAPS) do to 3 way catalytic converters (as in the GL1800) in the long run. This has been a potential problem for a long time.
IanB
 

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Just changed mine.

PO changed it right before I bought it. I put 4800 miles on it and boy was it slipping and not shifting well before my change. I was curious to see if there would be any difference because we all tend to say... wow! my oil is the best, bike is all this and all that now.

I've used Rotella T6 gazillions of times on all my previous bikes and no trouble ever. Well! I removed the old stuff and filter... piece of cake! I was determined to not make mess like I usually do and I was doing very well until I bumped the oil pan with the old oil and it spilled... a little. :|

Suffice it to say after using the T6, bike runs smoother, faster, shifts seamlessly, outran a Ducati, Harley, police, and Ferrari all at the same time. Now it gets 45 mpg.

Amazing, huh? :laugh:

Seriously! It is no longer slipping and seems to have a little more gitty up go so I'm happy.
 

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People do the first oil change early because of the filings from the engine break-in. I didn't do mine early and I didn't have any issues. I also didn't see a lot of filing in my oil. If it makes you feel better than change the oil out earlier.
 

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changed mine at 3600 and it was a piece of cake with that $11 flat oil wrench from Ebay
Went Mobile 1 MC Full Synthetic and much quieter shifting
 

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And ignore the nonsense in the manual about removing the plastic cover, an unnecessary pain with the plastic clips. There's plenty of room to loosen the filter and slide it out, saving a few minutes and bad words....
 

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And ignore the nonsense in the manual about removing the plastic cover, an unnecessary pain with the plastic clips. There's plenty of room to loosen the filter and slide it out, saving a few minutes and bad words....
This is by far the easiest oil change on any I've owned. I got the longer Mobil 1 oil filter and was concerned about it fitting. Went right on there.

It takes me longer to clean up my silly mess... such a clutz. :|
 

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Hello, just finished my oil change. Used LucasOil 10-30 full synthetic for the first time and it made a HUGE difference. Feels like a different bike. This is my first oil change , currently have 4k miles. The shifting up and down on this bike since new felt strange. Very hard and noisy to the point that I always thought the bike had a transmission problem.
With the new oil it feels just like a completely different bike. Very easy shifting and super quiet. The clutch also feels a lot smoother once it engages and the clicking noise of the engine when idling is also gone.

The second I jumped on the bike I was smiling. Well worth the 10 bucks per quart.
 

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Anybody have an opinion about those reusable stainless steel mesh oil filters such as the one offered by PC Racing and others? They claim to do a better job of filtering the engine oil in terms of flow and size of the offending particles.
 

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Anybody have an opinion about those reusable stainless steel mesh oil filters such as the one offered by PC Racing and others? They claim to do a better job of filtering the engine oil in terms of flow and size of the offending particles.
opinion. its another scam. good quality disposable filters will remove much carbon and as much particulates as any fine mesh screen filter. the screen would need to be back flushed with an amount of liquid very refined distillate (seafoam, etc) costing more than a disposable filter. and then there is the subject of oil restriction and pressure drop in the filter which of couse must have a bypass relief which diminishes the claim of superior filtering.. most of these seemingly better solutions just get you caught up in the emotion that you are doing your motor a huge benefit. Not.. everything we sink our money into , we have skin in the game and so we Feel Better. regular routine scheduled maintenance with quality oil and filter, this motor is known and recorded for over 1 million miles w/o rebuild.. there are so many other things we can do with our money and energy that are actually useful. my opinion. poncho


btw, one of my favorite subjects is the snake oil they call engine ice and other thermal additives touted as removing more heat from your motors.. or better yet amsoil which is very good oil as having better heat scavaging properties therefore you motor runs cooler.. I have done empirical test with data on all these over the top performance enhancers.. they don't shake out. snake oil.
 

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Lots of questions on this...

Mine is a 2014 that I bought used with 100 miles on it in 2020. I'm therefore assuming it has the original factory oil in it. If so, that oil has been in the bike for 7 years, and presumably has lost much of its cleaning and lubricating ability. Not to mention, the bike now has 900 miles on it and is fully broken in, so there's plenty of metal particles in it or the filter.

I toyed with doing the job myself, but taking off the cowl looks like a real hassle, even though it may not be necessary. And I don't own a filter wrench. So, rather than getting on my hands and knees, making a mess, capturing the dirty oil and disposing of it, and potentially doing something that could destroy the bike, I figured I'd take it to my dealer. I called them today to see if I could make an appointment and wait for it. They said all their appointments are booked through mid-June, but I could drop it off one day and leave it next week. So, I'll do that and catch a ride home until it's ready.

The service rep asked me whether I preferred synthetic or regular oil. I asked him what they thought, explaining that this would be the bike's first oil change since its manufacture, presumably. He said "WOW!", and said "in that case I would go with regular." I inquired why. He said that it's best to keep whatever was in the bike originally, because engines don't like to change between regular and synthetic. Yet, plenty of Valkyrie owners use synthetic and have reported no problems. So if the rep's advice is right, there should be tons of issues being reported. Anyone using synthetic, at some point, made the change.

So is there truly a reason to keep regular oil in it and not switch to synthetic? What would that be? What advantages are there with one or the other? Synth costs more, I know. Is it supposed to be better? Does it last longer? Should I make the switch, or stick with regular? What should I expect to pay for an oil change at the dealer?

Thanks for any advice.

Richmonder
 

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Do your own oil change is very simple go buy yourself a filter wrench you will need it, you do not have to remove the front cowl.
You can run any motorcycle oil you want I ran Honda synthetic oil but no switch to Rotella T6.
It fells smoother with the Rotella over the Honda oil. Plus it’s a lot cheaper.
 

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I have an oil recycling container that I drain into and then take up to my local mechanic to recycle the used oil. As to the wrench, I was looking at this:


Seems like that would be more adaptable to different sizes of filters.

And the oil thing still kind of puzzles me. I'm not sure what's to be gained with synthetic oil. Plus you still have to buy that 5th quart to get to 4.1 quarts, and then store the remaining .9 quart for a year until next time. And then, you're still going to have to store oil, because then you'll need 4.1 less .9 in the stored one, and then you have to buy 4 more quarts to get the 3.2 you need, leaving you with yet another .8 you can't use. Why on earth couldn't Honda have just made it a 4 quart engine?! Yeh I know. I'm putting way too much thought into this.

Richmonder
 
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