It may seem basic to some of us, but learning to change the engine oil on your vintage Honda CB360, CL360 Scrambler, and CJ360 motorcycle is not only the first but also the most important maintenance task you can learn to do on your motorcycle. It is a stepping stone to give you the confidence to jump into not only maintenance tasks, but also the crucial mechanical skills to owning a vintage motorcycle. The engine oil needs to be changed every 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) alongside what we call the standard tune-up procedure which includes tightening your cam chain, setting your valve clearances, and setting your ignition timing. These procedures are vital to keeping a vintage Honda motorcycle reliable. In addition to your standard oil change that we show you here, it's also important to clean out your centrifugal oil filter every other oil change, or if it's the first oil change you have done since buying the motorcycle. You can find our article about that right here:
When draining your oil be sure to have the engine slightly warmed up for the proper drainage. Once drained, take a moment to inspect your drain plug. If the edges are distorted or the threads are not smoothly screwing in and out, switch out the drain plug for one of our replacement drain plugs. When the drain plug gets reinstalled, just snug it down and do not overtighten it.
Replacement Drain Plugs
What Type Of Oil Do I Use?
Recommended oil viscosity for general riding and all temperatures is: SAE 10W-40. We recommend adding 2oz. of Zinc ZDDP additive per quart of oil with every oil change.
We've also had success running diesel truck oil at 15W-40 viscosity. Diesel oil has the bonus of extra detergent additives. Synthetic oils are not recommended as they will cause your clutch to slip. As of late 2023, Shell Rotella T4 is now a semi-synthetic oil and causes clutch slippage in the engines. Chevron Delo 400 and Mobil Delvac 1300 are still mineral oil.
How Much Oil Do I Use?
Standard oil change - 1.5 L (1.6 quarts)
When removing the engine covers - 2 L (2.1 quarts)
*Always check the dipstick for an exact reading instead of just putting in the reccomended amount. To check the oil level, unscrew the dipstick and wipe it off. set the dipstick back in the engine but do not screw it back in. Remove the dipstick and check the level. If you are nearing the bottom line, add oil until you reach the top line.
When the oil change is completed, move on to the remaining service interval jobs below.