Basic's are everything. Chief among those basic skills is the classic oil change. Learning to change the oil on your Honda CB450, CL450 Scrambler, and CB500T is the first in a line of skills to learn when becoming the owner of one of these vintage machines. They not only need frequent changes but other tune-up procedures that will directly contribute to the reliability and performance of your vintage motorcycle. Engine oil, like the other frequent service procedures, needs to be done every 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers). They also have an order to them starting with the oil change, then moving onto the cam chain tensioner, valve adjustment, and finally the ignition timing. 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. Here's how to do that:
Before draining your oil, take a moment to fire up your motorcycle and run it for a minute or two. This ensures the oil is slightly warmed up and can properly drain. After draining, inspect your drain plug. If the edges of the hex are slipping in your socket or the threads are damaged, replace it. We even sell an upgraded black hole drain plug that's race-grade with a built-in magnet to catch any metal in your crankcase. When the drain plug is 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've also had success running diesel truck oil (Shell Rotella, Chevron Delo, Mobil Delvac) at 15W-40 viscosity. Diesel oil has the bonus of extra detergent additives as well as zinc which older engines need. Synthetic oils are not recommended as they will cause your clutch to slip. We recommend adding 2-3oz. of Zinc additive with every oil change.
How Much Oil Do I Use?
Standard oil change - 2.8 L (2.9 quarts)
*Always check the dipstick for an exact reading instead of just putting in the recommended 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.