How Often Should I Change Oil Filter In A Motorcycle?

Oil filter

Not many change the oil filter while changing the engine oil for their motorcycle. But one has to replace the oil filter eventually though.

So, how often should you change a motorcycle oil filter? The oil filter in a motorcycle should be changed every 6000 miles (10,000 kilometers) of distance traveled. Even better frequency is changing as per the motorcycle maintenance schedule provided in the owner’s manual.

Irrespective of the timing you choose to replace the oil filter, you need to ensure that the engine oil is also changed as well along with the oil filter change.

Now that we know the frequency for an oil filter change, let’s dig deeper into how to change an oil filter, how long do oil filters last, and what happens if you don’t replace the oil filter in a motorcycle.

How long do motorcycle oil filters last

Motorcycle oil filters usually don’t last more than 10,000 miles and will be functioning far poorer after around 6000 miles.

That’s why it is always recommended to replace the oil filter in a motorcycle for every 5000 to 6000 miles of distance traveled. Few motorcycle manufacturers even recommend replacing the oil filters much earlier than that.

Also, it is even advised to change your oil filter every time you are changing the engine oil. While this is the best practice, I change the oil filter every alternate time I am changing the engine oil.

For a good maintenance, it is best to replace the motorcycle oil filter at least for every 6000 miles (10,000 kilometers) traveled.

How to remove the oil filter from a motorcycle

To remove the oil filter fitted at the bottom of the motorcycle, you will need an oil filter wrench or a torque wrench. The oil filter here is without any casing and is fitted at the bottom of the bike, most likely right below the crank case.

Use the oil filter wrench or the torque wrench to remove the oil filter and it should come off easily.

On the other hand, if the oil filter is located within or alongside the crank case – encased in a circular casing, you might have to use a screwdriver to remove the casing fitted with two or three screws.

To know more about where the oil filters are located in a motorcycle, check out our post here.

In this case, the screws must be removed to open the circular casing that covers the oil filter. Post that, you can remove the oil filter from your bike by using your hands easily.

Changing oil filter: step by step guide

Removing an oil filter is just one part of the step. Here is a quick guide on changing and replacing the oil filter in your motorcycle.

Step 1: Start the motorcycle to warm up the engine thoroughly. You can idle it for some time and then stop the engine.

Step 2: Park the motorcycle using the center stand. The motorcycle should be in an upright position.

Step 3: Allow the engine oil to settle down. Wait for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Drain the engine oil completely. Remove the sump plug (drain plug) from the engine sump and let the oil drain completely. Make sure to place a container below the sump to collect the oil before removing the drain plug.

Step 5: Discard the washer of the drain plug and by incorporating a new washer, refit the drain plug (sump plug) back to the engine sump.

Step 6: Now, position the oil drain container beneath the oil filter. Remove the oil filter by using an oil filter wrench or a torque wrench. Dispose of the old oil filter.

Step 7: Take out the new oil filter and smear some clean engine oil into the sealing ring of the new filter.

Step 8: Fit this new oil filter and tighten it using the wrench.

Step 9: Fill the sump with new and clean engine oil that meets the required specification of the motorcycle as well as JASO MA standards.

Step 10: Now that the oil and oil filter is replaced, start the engine and allow it idle for a minute or two, and then, you are good to go!

Should I change oil filter everytime I change oil?

Ideally, you should change the oil filter every time you change the oil in the motorcycle.

That’s what most motorcycle owner manuals say as well. If you look at the scheduled maintenance of your motorcycle the changing frequency of the oil and the oil filter is exactly the same.

However, not many practice this. Including me. I usually change the oil filter every alternate time when I am changing the engine oil.

But, one thing to make sure of is that when you are changing the oil filter, change the engine oil as well in your motorcycle. Oil filter change must be accompanied by an oil change as well.

Although you would like that oil and oil filter change should happen every time, it is okay to change the oil without changing the oil filter. But the opposite should not happen.

What happens if you don’t change oil filter in a motorcycle?

If you don’t change the oil filter regularly in your motorcycle, your oil filter gets clogged eventually.

Once the oil filter gets clogged, it no more filters the soil as well as metal contaminants in the oil. As a result, there will be higher wear in the engine components, engine sputtering, slug and deposit formation in the engine, poor performance, and lastly, low durability of the engine and its components.

All these effects will ultimately lead to low power, low performance. low mileage and most importantly, the lower life expectancy of the engine.

To Summarize

The oil filter in a motorcycle should be changed every 6000 miles (10,000 kilometers) of distance traveled.

Motorcycle oil filters usually don’t last more than 10,000 miles and will be functioning far poorer after around 6000 miles.

To remove the oil filter fitted at the bottom of the motorcycle, you will need an oil filter wrench or a torque wrench. If the oil is encased in a circular casing within or alongside the crank case, you will need a screwdriver to remove the casing.

While you should change the oil filter every time you change the oil in the motorcycle, if you are not following this frequency, change the oil filter at least for every 6000 miles traveled.

Make sure that when you are changing the oil filter, change the engine oil as well in your motorcycle. Oil filter change must be accompanied by oil change as well.

If you don’t change the oil filter regularly in your motorcycle, your oil filter gets clogged eventually, which in turn will affect the performance and durability of the engine and its components.