How Do I Change the Oil in a Vulcan 500?

by Chris Gilliland
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The Vulcan EN 500 is the smallest member of Kawasaki's Vulcan series cruiser motorcycles. Unlike the larger V-twin powered models, the Vulcan 500 is equipped with a robust, 498 cc parallel twin cylinder motor. Although this motor was praised for its reliability, regular oil changes are essential to maintaining its performance. The entire oil and filter changing procedure is simple enough for most Vulcan 500 owners to do in their garage in a short period of time.

Step 1

Place the motorcycle in an upright position on a motorcycle stand.

Step 2

Remove the oil drain bolt from the front of the motor's crankcase, just below the oil filter, using a 17 mm socket. Allow the oil to drain from the motor into an oil pan. Remove the crush washer from the drain bolt and replace it with a new washer. Wipe the drain bolt clean with a shop rag and reinsert it into the crankcase. Retighten the drain bolt with a 17 mm socket.

Step 3

Remove the oil filter with a strap wrench or a cap-style oil filter wrench. Discard the oil filter.

Step 4

Coat the new oil filter's inner gasket with fresh 10W40 motor oil. Screw the oil filter onto the crankcase by hand until it is seated against the motor. Tighten the oil filter an additional quarter of a turn to secure the oil filter in place.

Step 5

Unscrew the oil filler cap from the motor's right crankcase cover. Use a funnel to pour up to 3.2 quarts of fresh 10W40 motor oil into the motor. Remove the funnel and wipe away any spills with a shop rag. Screw the oil filler cap onto the right crankcase cover.

Remove the motorcycle from the motorcycle stand and lower it onto its kick stand.


  • Warm oil flows smoother and faster than cold oil. Warm the motorcycle up for at least three minutes, before beginning, to ensure a complete and expedient oil drain.
  • Inspect the drained oil for contamination or debris. Metallic particles in the oil could signify excessive engine wear while fibrous debris could indicate damage within the motorcycle's clutch system. Have the motorcycle inspected by a Kawasaki technician if either of these conditions is present.

Items you will need

  • Motorcycle stand
  • 17 mm socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Oil pan
  • Drain bolt crush washer
  • Shop rags
  • Strap or cap-style oil filter wrench
  • 10W40 motor oil
  • Oil filter
  • Funnel

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