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.