How to Change the Oil in a Vulcan 900by Rex Molder
It's essential to change the engine oil and oil filter in a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 motorcycle every 3,000 miles at least. Not doing so will add unneeded wear to the engine's components and shorten its service life. Having your Vulcan serviced at a dealership or motorcycle shop can be costly. However, changing the oil and filter is something that almost anyone can do himself, for a fraction of the cost. A few basic tools and about 45 minutes are all that's required.
Park the motorcycle on level ground to ensure that the oil drains completely. Place a drain pan beneath the oil pan drain plug, which is on the bottom of the engine.
Use a 17mm wrench to turn the plug counterclockwise to loosen it. Finish unscrewing the plug by hand and remove it from the drain pan. Wait for the oil to stop flowing, then place the bike upright off the kickstand to allow any remaining oil to drain. When finished, replace the drain plug and tighten with the 17mm wrench.
Find the rectifier cover on the front of the engine, just behind the front wheel. It is a flat, square-shaped piece with slots cut into it. Use a 10mm wrench to remove the two bolts that attach the cover to the rectifier, and remove it from the engine. You will now be able to access the rectifier.
Use a 10mm wrench to remove the two bolts that attach the rectifier to its mounting bracket, and rotate it out of the way. It will still be attached to the engine by a wire harness, but it will be out of the way of the oil filter.
Remove the right side bolt that attaches the rectifier mounting bracket to the engine, and loosen the left bolt enough to allow you to rotate the mounting bracket away from the oil filter.
Use an oil filter wrench to loosen the filter, and continue to remove it by hand.
Prepare the new filter by rubbing a few drops of the old oil onto the rubber seal. Screw the new filter onto the fitting, and use the filter wrench to tighten it.
Rotate the rectifier housing back into place, replace the bolt you removed, and tighten the left bolt. Replace the rectifier and insert the two mounting bolts. Replace the rectifier cover and insert the two bolts.
Open the oil filler cap on the top left side of the engine. Insert the funnel and add approximately 3 quarts of oil. Place the bike in an upright position and view the oil level through the sighting window on the left side of the engine. Having an assistant makes this task much easier. Ensure that the oil reaches the level indicated by the two marks on the side of the window. If not, add more oil.
- Check the owner's manual for the recommended type and weight of oil.
- There is not much room to access the oil pan drain plug, but it is possible.
- Be careful not to overfill the oil reservoir, which can damage the engine.