How to Check the Oil in a Honda Shadow Motorcycle

by Chris Gilliland

The Shadow has played the role of Honda's mid-size cruiser since 1983, enjoying a great deal of success with riders looking for a reliable "cruiser" motorcycle. The Shadow's V-twin engines, which range in size from 125cc to 1100cc, are well-built and reliable, but require a steady supply of oil to lubricate their moving parts. Checking the oil is accomplished through the use of the dipstick found on the right side of the engine on all Shadow models. Check your Honda Shadow's oil regularly to ensure that it will be ready to ride when you are.

Step 1

Start the motorcycle and let it idle, allowing the engine and its oil to warm up. Stop the engine after five minutes and turn off the ignition.

Step 2

Unscrew the oil filler cap from the right side of the motor and pull the cap and its integrated dipstick out of the oil filler hole. Using a clean rag or towel, wipe the dipstick clean.

Step 3

Lift the motorcycle into an upright position; it must be upright and level to obtain an accurate reading.

Step 4

Insert the dipstick completely into the oil filler with your left hand. Pull the dipstick back out of the oil filler. Look at the oil level in relation to the "maximum" and "minimum" level marks inscribed into the dipstick. The oil level should be between the marks.

Lower the motorcycle back onto its kickstand. Add oil as necessary to adjust the oil level. Pour just a little oil into the oil filler hole (to avoid overfilling) and check it again. Do this several times--do not fill above the "maximum" level.


  • Have a friend hold the motorcycle upright for you if you do not feel comfortable supporting the motorcycle by yourself. Remember to level the bike for each check. If it is leaning on its kickstand, the dipstick will read artificially low, and you may overfill the engine.


  • Never check your motorcycle's oil level with a cold engine. Cold oil will not provide an accurate reading and may cause you to overfill your engine.

Items you will need

  • Rag or towel
  • Oil

More Articles