How to do an oil change on a Roadliner or Stratoliner WITHOUT a jack - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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How to do an oil change on a Roadliner or Stratoliner WITHOUT a jack

My last bike was easy to change oil compared to my Roadliner for four reasons: 1) the sport bike and its inline 4 engine were considerably higher off the ground than the Roadliner; 2) my sport bike had a damn center stand which I truly miss; 3) I only had to remove one drain plug on the sport bike versus THREE for the Roadliner; and 4) I didn't have foot boards getting in the way on my sport bike.

I've looked at motorcycle jacks, but frankly have no idea how I would lift my Roadliner without removing the floor boards. And I don't like doing extra work unless I NEED to do extra work.

So, when I was looking at the ground clearance on my Roadliner - literally needing a mirror to even be able to SEE the three drain plugs - I despaired. I thought, "If I could just get a couple of inches of lift, I could do this job twice as easily."

Necessity is the mother of invention. I would love to hear what other people have done, but this was my idea:



Do notice that you need to put the sidestand on a 2X4 as well!!!

What you are looking at is my Roadliner sitting on 2X12 board. I purchased an 8' 2X12 for $14 and told them to cut it in half for me at a 45 degree angle or bevel so that each piece has an end like this:





The bevel-cut gives you a little ramp and makes it less likely that the board will slide as you put your bike on it.

I put one board up against the wall for stability, put the second board for the rear wheel a few feet behind the first, and simply drove the bike onto the boards with no problem. You can also push the bike on (I did both easily).

That additional 2" literally was the difference between my being able to get my head under to actually see the drain plug bolts. And that extra space made it considerably easier to get containers under the plugs as I turned the bolts.

I always try to get the oil at operating temperature before doing an oil change. So I took her for a ride first and then drove her onto the boards.

Now comes the question that many have asked: just where the hell ARE the three 17mm drain plug bolts???

Here is a Youtube video link for the drain plug locations for a Yamaha Raider (same 1900cc engine). The bike is on a shop lift so you can see them easily:


If you're too lazy to watch the video, the forward plug for the crankcase is located on the left side of the bike (that's the port side for you swabbies) immediately behind the rear bracket bolt for the floor board. I did my best to take a picture:



Crankcase drain plug #2 is here:



And the oil pan drain plug is located on the right side of the bike near the rear shock:



You will need a 17mm wrench that has a pretty thin head. Fortunately, Yamaha gave us one in our little tool sets:



A few other things. Before you do your oil change, you will want to make sure that you have in your oily paws three size M14 crush washers. I'm not sure what the Yamaha part # is - in fact the multi-bike dealership in Beaumont doesn't even STOCK Yamaha crush washers. They sell only the Honda 14mm crush washers because they are cheaper and work as well on Yamahas as they do on Hondas.

You will also want low-height containers for the oil. It's kind of nice to have a low-profile pan that you can actually place under the bolt as you are loosening it with your hand. I was thrilled with my family-sized lasagna aluminum TV dinner pan - with was only about 2" high. With the 3 drain plug locations, you won't get a ton of oil out of any of the three sites. I used the lasanga pan and was able to pull it out and put in a larger container well before the lasanga pan filled up.

I waited until I had removed all three drain bolts before I removed the oil dipstick cap (which increases the drain flow rate).

I could not find an oil filter strap wrench small enough to fit the Roadliner, but O'Reilly's sells a small filter wrench that does the job for a little over 10 bucks.

The manual says that the bike holds 5.18 US quarts WITH a filter change. I change the filter with every oil change. If you don't intend to remove the filter, make sure you know your fluid capacities.

The instruction calls for putting in half the oil - 2.6 quarts - into the bike (make sure you replace the filler cap!), starting the bike and giving it a few revs to circulate the oil. Shut off the bike and add the rest of the oil.

I know that many of you don't need my "how to" guides for simple procedures, but I hope this helps someone who wants to do an oil change but isn't sure what to do.

Last edited by michaeld; 08-21-2012 at 05:41 PM. Reason: decreased picture sizes more
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:38 PM
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That is exactly how I change the oil/filter on my 2009 Stratoliner. My dipstick was near the top after adding 4 3/4 quarts of oil.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 08:32 PM
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I don't do any of that nonsense and I don't use a jack. *shrug* I guess I'm not afraid to lay on the ground and get dirty.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 04:08 AM
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Oil drain

I found a new jack for a hundred at Sears, and bought it. Sure makes it easy to detail bike as well. Run engine for a minute to warm. Off comes the seat and loosen the oil filler cap. On the side stand I empty oil pan with right oil plug. Put plug back in, then jack it up, slide the drip pan under left side, get those two plugs (crankcase). The jack has to be just right to not be in the way for the two plugs. Then the filter, my old strap oil filter remover works for me. Put 1/4 to 1/2 qt of oil in filter (just me, I hate to start it with a dry filter) and install filter. 3 qts in oil fill, close filler cap, run for fifteen secs. (again just me I hate to run bike low on oil). Put last two qts in, check for leaks. I have it down to under thirty minutes, coming up on third change in a week or so.

Transfer case has a work around, but dropping exhaust might be faster, only done it once so far.

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Last edited by Stuntman; 08-22-2012 at 04:10 AM.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 05:56 AM
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Yep, I've done the same before getting a lift like the one Stuntman just bought. And even with the lift I find it more desireable to just set it back done on blocks, get it level, safety strap it, and roll the lift out of the way and drain all thee points and even the oil filter to drain out. While it's bleeding out I detail the bike top to bottom. And I still find myself rolling around on the floor getting dirty like TenTwleve does.



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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 09:10 AM
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I didn't even use the 2x4, just got down there with a cat litter pan and used an open end wrench and a socket with an extension for the back two. It's not really that bad

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Last edited by 06strat; 08-22-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTwelve View Post
I don't do any of that nonsense and I don't use a jack. *shrug* I guess I'm not afraid to lay on the ground and get dirty.
I 've got to say I don't particularly care for the term, "nonsense." It is a clearly demeaning and dismissive term. For the record, I had to "lay on the ground and get dirty" using the 2X12, too. And no, I wasn't afraid as I laid on the ground. I actually laid on the ground and got dirty quite a few times when I was serving in the infantry, too, fwiw. I even laid down on the ground and got dirty in the rain and when ants were crawling all over me.

I am trying to provide an easy "how-to" guide for people who look at their new motorcylces for the first time and say, "Holy crap! How the hell do I do this?" I am not trying to teach experts.

Just the other day I was talking to a guy who was like me and hadn't ridden for 20 years. He really liked my bike. If he buys one of our bikes he's probably going to be joining a forum like this looking for help just like I think a lot of us did.

I also have a feeling there are people who would like to ask basic questions but are afraid to do so because they're afraid of somebody getting snotty with them.

The extra two inches is helpful, I assure you. You don't absolutely NEED to have those extra two inches, but the 2X12 ramp is a very easy way to get them. Like I said, it's the difference between not being able to see the drain plug bolts and being able to see them with your eyes without a mirror. And I think it's easier than using a jack.

I also believe that there are quite a few new motorcycle owners who do their oil change for the first time who won't mind having the locations of the drains pointed out to them. Which I do w/ both pics and a video link.

The next thing I'm going to write up is a how-to for doing an air filter and spark plug change, which will entail at least partially removing the gas tank. I'm sure I'll get critical remarks for that, too.

There aren't very many people on this forum who know how to fix or maintain every single thing on their bikes. Sooner or later everybody on these forums asks, "How do I do that?" questions. All I'm trying to do is provide a guide for the maintenance I do as I do it to try to help other motorcycles owners. And if everybody was doing the same thing, we'd have quite a knowledge base for this forum.

That's my view.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 10:47 PM
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Great pics, I had to find it all out on Youtube (a lot harder). Your pics are precise and right to the point. I will be waiting for the air filter and spark plug help, as I am needing those in a month or so.

09 Strat (Pheobe) New 4-17-12

When Rapture happens...Hope I'm riding my scooter; From something great, to something AWESOME!
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 05:40 AM
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Come to think of it, because my "stuff" is divided amongst two locations, I have the luxury of the bike lift in Mass but use the set up in the top picture if changing oil in Maine. But having the lift is real nice for detailing the back wheel and checking tire pressure. No fun getting at the back tire valve stem with the Strat on the ground and with the side bags I tell ya. Love the lift!



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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the tutorial. I have actually put off changing the oil because I'm afraid of dropping the bike. Your tutorial may just make me try this. Thanks!
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