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How to Change the Oil On a Honda VLX 600

by Chris Gilliland

The Shadow VLX 600 was never really considered a powerhouse in the burgeoning cruiser motorcycle segment, a category that was dominated by larger V-twin-powered bikes. Then again, Honda designed and sold the VLX as an entry-level machine that could help new riders hone their skills without overwhelming them. This included keeping the motorcycle's scheduled oil and filter changes to a minimum, calling for a change once every year or every 8,000 miles.

1

Move your VLX600 into a well-ventilated area and park it on its side stand. Start the motorcycle and let it idle for two to three minutes, allowing the engine to warm up to its normal operating temperature. Shut the engine down. Wait for two minutes to allow the oil to settle in the engine crankcase.

2

Place an oil drain plan below the drain bolt on the bottom-left side of the engine crankcase, just below the rider's left foot peg. Unscrew the oil filler cap from the right side of the engine, just behind the large, round clutch cover. Wipe the attached dipstick clean with a rag and set the cap aside.

3

Unscrew the drain bolt from the crankcase, using a 17 mm socket and a ratchet, and let the engine oil drain. Remove the crush washer from the drain bolt and discard it. Wipe the drain bolt threads clean and inspect it for damaged threads. Replace the drain bolt if the threads are damaged in any way.

4

Wipe the crankcase drain hole clean once the flow of oil has reduced to a drip. Slip a new crush washer onto the drain bolt, and screw the drain bolt into place by hand until it is seated against the crankcase. Tighten the drain bolt to 22 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench.

5

Move the drain pan below the oil filter at the rear of the engine. Loosen the oil filter, using a 68 mm oil filter wrench, and then let the oil remaining in the filter to drain. Unscrew the oil filter by hand and wipe the engine's mating surface clean. Place the old filter into your drain pan.

6

Spread a light coat of Honda GN4 10W-40 engine oil around the new oil filter's sealing O-ring and threads, and then screw the filter into place until it is hand-tight. Do not tighten the filter to more than 7 foot-pounds of torque.

7

Place a clean funnel into the oil fill hole, and then pour 2 quarts of oil into the engine. Screw the oil filler cap into place, and then start the engine and let it idle for one minute. Check the oil filter and drain plug for leaks; if a leak appears, tighten the drain plug or filter an additional eighth of a turn. Stop the engine and let the oil settle.

8

Lift the motorcycle off of its side stand and place a jack under the engine to hold it in an upright position, or have an assistant hold the motorcycle steady. Check the engine oil level using the dipstick, and then add oil as needed to raise the oil level until it is centered between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick. Screw the dipstick into place and lower the motorcycle onto the side stand.

Tip

  • Honda recommends the use of GN4 oil, but other motorcycle-grade oils can be used as a substitute, if desired. Avoid using automotive-grade oils, which contain friction-modifying agents that will damage the motorcycle's clutch.

Items you will need

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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