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Changing the oil

Being a naked bike, changing the oil is definitively a do it yourself operation. It doesn't take more than 20 mins and you don't require any special tools.

The Oil and filter for CB 750 Nighthawk

I've tried several brands of oil, and being quite an old engine now it seems to work well on semi-synthetics and does not require very exotic oils. However, please take into consideration that being air cooled during summer it tends to be extremely hot (and therefore the oil should keep it's properties at high temperatures) and during winter is really a cold blooded beast - takes a lot of time to get it to the running temperature.
 

I'm using Putoline oil (DX 4, SAE 10w/40 in winter and 20w/50 in summer). It's really a not so expensive oil, which I change every 4000 miles - exactly 2 changes per year. After doing some math, it seems there is no reason using a  more expensive oil, at 8k miles per year, the engine will last forever.

I've settled for Mann filters (but frankly speaking is quite difficult to determine filters quality).

The Oil Change CB 750 Nighthawk

The oil change is quite easy to do, and it doesn't require special tools. I usually purchase 4 litters of oil (actually you only need 3, but I will explain later) and a filter. Steps to change the oil:

  • Place the bike on the central stand
  • Get a draining pan (I usually make one from used oil containers)
  • Check how hot the exhaust pipes are (you will see that to get the filter out there is some messing around between the pipes). I hate the burning skin smell - so wait a little to cool down :)
  • Place the draining pain below the drain bolt (you can see it very easy on the right side of the oil pan
  • Remove the oil drain bolt. Get inside and take a beer until the oil drains completely (but don't drink and ride)
  • Push the draining pan a little to the front and remove the oil filter (you might need an oil wrench - I'm usually not forcing the oil filter at installation so it comes off quite easily afterwards). You might need to play a little with the filter to see where it can pass through the exhaust pipes, and even if it seems it will never come out, well, you just need to find the perfect place).
  • I usually wipe out any excess oil from the filter area and the draining area (I don't want any debris inside my engine).
  • Apply a little oil on the filter rubber seal, then install the filter (just be gentle - it will help at the next change to come off easily) - about 3/4 turns by hand from the contact moment.
  • Install the oil drain bolt back. WARNING: to much torque will crack the oil pan (it's incredible how easy is to crack it).
  • Fill it up with 3 litters of oil. Now, I'm usually keeping the forth litter, just in case for very hot days when the oil tends to get a little low (at least after 60k) and it usually happens when you are away and you can't find or remember what oil to put in.

Advices

  • change the oil every 4000 miles (or at least each year)
  • use the right grade SAE 10w/40 in winter and 20w/50 in summer
  • never overtighten the drain bolt - you'll crack the oil pan
  • check the oil level each week (especially in summer times)
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