Devour Miles

How To Change the Oil In Your SV650

October 17, 2015 | 12 Minute Read
Filed under: Wrenching, SV650

Do you take your bike to a dealership to get your oil changed? Does the sticker shock make your eyes water? Well cry no more, because after you finish reading this guide, you'll know everything you need to keep your engine bits lubricated and your wallet fat and happy.

This guide is written for those who are new to wrenching. As such, it's written at an exhaustive level of detail. If you're experienced at performing your own maintenance, click here to skip right to the summary.

In this guide, we will change the oil and oil filter on a 2007 SV650. These instructions should work for all years and models of SV650, though if you own a fully-faired (SF) model, you may need to remove some plastic. For the final word, consult your owner's manual.

Step 1: Gather the Required Tools and Materials

  • 14mm wrench or socket
  • 2.4 quarts oil (2.9 quarts if changing oil filter)
  • clean funnel
  • drain pan
  • crush washer (size M12)

If changing the oil filter, you'll also need

  • new oil filter (Suzuki part # 16510-03G00-X07)
  • oil filter wrench (Suzuki part # 09915-40611) -- a generic oil filter wrench or strap wrench for smaller filters will also work too
  • 3/8 socket wrench

The clean funnel will be used when pouring the new oil into the engine.

The wrench shown in the picture is a 14mm, 6pt combination wrench. 14mm refers to the size of the bolt that the wrench will fit, 6pt (points) refers to the shape of the socket end (note the hexagon shape, thus, 6 points), and combination means that the wrench has an open end and a socket end. I like 6pt sockets because they reduce the chance of rounding off (wearing down) the heads of bolts, and drain bolts in particular have a reputation for being made out of soft cheese. I'm looking at you, BMW.

Sometimes, especially if you've had your dealer change your oil, the drain plug will be torqued (tightened) way too tight. The length of PVC pipe shown in the picture is my way of dealing with such nuisances. If you can't loosen the drain bolt using the wrench alone, you can use the pipe for additional leverage.

An oil drain pan is used to catch the dirty oil as it drains from the engine. I like this style of drain pan because it makes transporting the used oil to an oil recycling center easy. It also includes a grate to keep the drain plug from dropping down into the oil. No more fishing for drain plugs!

A basic oil change (not including changing the oil filter) requires approximately 2.4 quarts of oil. If you're changing the oil filter too, you'll need 2.9 quarts. I prefer Castrol GTX 10W-40 oil. This is a conventional, non-synthetic, petroleum-based oil made for automobiles. As Motorcycle Consumer News likes to say, "oil is a slippery subject," and which oil is "best" is a controversial subject indeed. In general, as long as the oil is not marked as Energy Conserving, it should be fine for use in your motorcycle.

Look for the API Service symbol on the back of the oil container. If the oil is energy conserving, it will be printed in the bottom half of the doughnut.

Step 2: Go For a Ride

Put on your gear and go for a ride for 15 to 20 minutes or so. You want to get the oil warmed up and moving so that it'll drain freely from the engine, but not too hot that it'll burn you if you accidentally touch it.

Park your motorcycle in a nice flat work area and put it on its sidestand. If you have a rear stand, I highly recommend using it.

Step 3: Unscrew the Filler Cap

Locate the oil filler cap on the right side of the engine.

Remove the cap and set it aside someplace where it won't get dirty. You'll want to keep this area as clean as possible so contaminants don't get into the engine.

Step 4: Locate the Drain Plug

On the left side of the bike, the drain plug is located aft of the oil filter and below the big plate stamped with a numerical code.

Here's the drain plug up close and personal:

Step 5: Loosen the Drain Plug

Place the drain pan in a location directly below the drain plug. To loosen the plug, turn the wrench clockwise.

In the above picture, I am pulling the wrench toward me. From this vantage point, the drain plug is upside down so "righty tighty, lefty loosy" is actually reversed. If you prefer to lay on your back and look up at the bolt, you will need to turn your wrench counter-clockwise to loosen it and clockwise to tighten it.

If the drain plug refuses to loosen despite your best efforts, take the length of PVC pipe and slip it over the end of the wrench like so:

The extra inches provided by the pipe will often give you enough additional leverage to free a stubborn bolt. Be careful, and if you still have problems, ask for help!

Once you've got the drain plug loosened, you can set the wrench aside and, if the plug's not too hot, unscrew it with your fingers. Test the temperature of the plug first before you touch it with your bare hands.

The drain plug can be loosened quite a ways before the oil will come out. Once you're past this point or so, slow down turning the bolt because it could drop at any moment. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can keep turning the bolt by hand, or use the wrench.

Once the bolt is removed, let the oil drain into the pan.

Step 6: Drain Oil and Clean the Drain Plug

While the oil is draining, I like to take some time to clean the drain plug. It's usually quite dirty:

That black sludge at the tip of the plug is actually metallic particles. The drain plug on the SV650 has a small magnet at the end to catch and hold these particles and keep them from floating around inside the engine. That's why I'm a firm believer in frequent oil changes make happy engines.

Here's the result after a little bit of elbow grease:

Step 7: Change the Crush Washer

Careful observers will note that there's something missing in the previous picture. In the first picture, the bolt has a small washer. In the second picture, the washer has been removed. This washer is called a crush washer and is used to ensure a tight seal when tightening up the drain plug. The very last thing you want while on a ride is to lose your oil plug! The crush washer also helps prevent over-tightening the drain plug, which will result in stripped threads.

The crush washer is designed to collapse (i.e. crush) when tightened, thus its name. As a result, crush washers are meant to be used only once. Others may tell you that you can get away with re-using your crush washers, but to be on the safe side, change the crush washer every oil change. The SV650 drain plug requires an M12 size crush washer, which can be bought at your local dealership for pennies. I usually buy a bunch all at once.

Step 8: Tighten the Drain Plug

By this time, the oil should be almost completely drained. A few drips of dirty oil here and there can be expected unless you want to let things sit for several hours. Since we're in this to save time and money, go ahead and put the drain plug back in its place. Tighten the plug by turning it counter-clockwise with your fingers as far as you can, then use a wrench for the final tightening.

In this picture, I am pushing the wrench away from me to tighten the plug. You don't want to tighten the plug so tight that you'll need to use the pipe to get it off the next time you change the oil, but you also don't want it to be too loose or it'll work itself back out. With practice, you'll find the happy medium.

If you don't need to change the oil filter, click here to skip to the next step.

Step 9: Remove the Oil Filter

First, make sure you have the necessary items: a new oil filter, the correct oil filter wrench (Suzuki part # 09915-40611) and a 3/8 socket wrench. A strap wrench will do if you don't have the Suzuki filter wrench.

Here's what a new oil filter looks like out of the box:

Situate your drain pan directly underneath the spot where the oil filter meets the engine. Then, place the filter wrench on the end of the old oil filter and use the socket wrench to loosen things up.

Once the oil filter turns freely, you can use your hand to slowly unscrew it. Dirty oil will begin draining almost immediately, so be careful.

Continue to slowly unscrew the filter until it comes free. Allow the dirty oil to keep draining.

Here's the old oil filter. Don't tip it over or dirty oil will come out! If you can, recycle it at an auto parts store or oil change place.

Step 10: Install the New Oil Filter

While the last of the dirty oil is draining, unwrap the new filter and pour some of your clean motor oil into a small container.

Take some of the clean motor oil and rub it around the rubber gasket on the new filter.

Now, take a clean shop towel and thoroughly clean the filter mounting surface. It'll be a little tricky because the dirty oil will continue to seep out. You'll have to work quick.

Screw on the new oil filter by hand until the gasket just touches the mounting surface.

Now, you must note a reference point on the filter so you can keep track of the number of turns made as you tighten it. I made some scratches on my filter wrench to indicate top dead center.

Put the wrench on the end of the filter, like so:

Tighten the filter 2 full turns. If you have a torque wrench, you can tighten it to 20N·n (2.0 kgf-m, 14.5 lb-ft). That's it for the filter.

Step 11: Fill With Clean Oil

Now we're on the home stretch and it's time to fill the engine with new oil. Remember what I said about keeping the oil filler area clean? I like to take the additional step of very carefully cleaning around the filler opening with a clean rag.

Then, it's a simple matter of sticking the funnel into the hole and adding the new oil.

If you've purchased quarts of oil, add the first two quarts and just a little bit of the third. Then stop and check the oil level as follows:

  1. Replace the oil filler cap.
  2. Start the bike and let it idle for a few minutes.
  3. Turn off the bike.
  4. Make sure the bike is level. Then wait for at least 60 seconds.
  5. Check the oil level using the sight glass.

This is what the oil level looked like after my first check:

Before the check, the oil level read full. Now it's half-empty. This is why it's important to take the time to check. Keep adding oil and checking the oil level until it reads full in the sight glass:

Tighten the filler cap, and your job is done! Don't be discouraged if your first attempt takes you a long time. Keep changing your oil yourself and you'll find that it takes less than 20 minutes and costs around $10 (depending on which oil you buy). Now that's a price I can live with!

Summary

Materials needed:

  • 14mm wrench or socket
  • 2.4 quarts oil (2.9 quarts if changing oil filter)
  • clean funnel
  • drain pan
  • crush washer (size M12)

If changing the oil filter, you'll also need

  • new oil filter (Suzuki part # 16510-03G00-X07)
  • oil filter wrench (Suzuki part # 09915-40611)
  • 3/8 socket wrench

Steps:

  1. Warm up engine.
  2. Open oil filler cap.
  3. Loosen drain plug and drain oil.
  4. Replace drain plug and crush washer.
  5. Remove oil filter.
  6. Rub clean oil around rubber gasket on new filter.
  7. Screw filter on by hand until gasket touches mounting surface. Then, use a wrench to tighten and additional 2 full turns.
  8. Fill with clean oil. Approx. 2.4 quarts if not changing oil filter, 2.9 quarts if changing filter.
  9. Check oil level.

Fin.