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How to Change the Oil on the XR650L

by Chris Gilliland

Honda's XR650L was introduced in 1993 to fulfill the need for a motorcycle capable of traveling longer distances both on and off paved roads. To ensure the XR650L's performance at all times, Honda recommends a total change of the motorcycle's oil supply every 2,000 miles. However, the design of the XR650L's lubrication system is slightly different from other models and requires a few additional steps in order to drain its oil completely. With the right tools, the entire procedure should take a minimum of 30 minutes to complete.

Park your XR650L on its kickstand, then start the motor. Let the motorcycle idle in place for three minutes, then stop the motor and let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

Unscrew the oil filler cap, with its attached dip stick, from the top of the frame tube between the gas tank and the handlebars. Clean the filler cap's dip stick with a shop towel.

Unscrew the oil tank's drain bolt from the frame's front down tube, which extends down from the handlebars to the front of the motor, using a 14-mm socket and a socket wrench. Drain the oil tank's contents into an oil pan. Clean the drain bolt with a shop towel, then screw it into place with the 14-mm socket. Tighten the bolt to 29 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Move the oil pan below the left side of the motor. Unscrew the drain bolt from the motor's crankcase, located behind the shifter pedal, using the 14-mm socket and a socket wrench. Drain the crankcase oil into the oil pan. Clean the drain bolt with a shop towel, then screw it into place with the 14-mm socket. Tighten the bolt to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Unscrew the oil filter cover's bolts, located on the motor's right crankcase, using a 10-mm socket and a socket wrench. Pull the cover off the oil filter and take note of the position of the alignment notch cut into the side of the cover and the crankcase. Pull the old oil filter out of the motor, by hand, and discard it. Place a new oil filter into the motor.

Align the oil filter cover's alignment notch with the crankcase's notch. Screw the cover's bolts into place with the 10-mm socket and socket wrench. Tighten the oil filter cover bolts to 9 foot-pounds with the torque wrench.

Place a funnel into the oil tank's filler neck, between the gas tank and the handlebars. Pout one quart of SAE 10W40 motor oil into the oil tank, then remove the funnel and screw the filler cap into place. Start the motor and let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, then stop the motor.

Remove the filler cap and wipe its dip stick clean with a shop towel. Pour a half quart of SAE 10W40 motor oil into the oil tank, then check the tank's oil level with the dip stick. Add small amounts of oil into the oil tank until it has been filled to the upper mark imprinted on the dip stick. Screw the dip stick and filler cap into place.

Warning

  • Your XR650L uses a wet-clutch transmission that is sensitive to the friction-modifying additives found in automotive motor oils. Use only motorcycle-specific oils to prevent the clutch from slipping while in use.

Items you will need

References

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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