How Do I Change the Oil in a Yamaha Virago 750?

by Chris GillilandUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Socket wrench

  • Catch basin

  • Allen key set

  • Funnel

  • Oil

  • Shop towel

As Yamaha's first V-twin-powered cruiser motorcycle, the Virago has become a favorite for riders who prefer the bike's classic lines and nimble handling. Although the Virago was available in a range of engine sizes, the 750cc model is the most commonly seen on the road today. Unlike modern motorcycles, which use a spin-on-type oil filter, the Virago utilizes an older, in-motor filter element to clean the oil. While its not difficult to replace the filter and change the oil, a new Virago rider can be perplexed by the apparent lack of an oil filter.

Lift the motorcycle onto its center stand, place it in neutral and start the motor. Let the motor run for five minutes to warm the oil, which will help it flow easier and speed up the draining process. Stop the motor and turn off the ignition switch.

Unbolt the left front foot peg with a socket wrench and pull the entire peg assembly off of the frame. This will provide better clearance to the oil filter.

Locate the oil drain plug on the bottom of the motorcycle and place a catch basin directly under it. Remove the drain plug bolt with a socket wrench and allow the oil to drain completely. Replace the drain plug bolt when the flow of oil slows to a trickle.

Remove the three Allen-head bolts that secure the oil filter cover to the left side of the motor with an Allen key. Pull the retaining clamp and filter cover away from the motor.

Remove and inspect the oil filter cover O-rings. Replace them if they are damaged in any way. Pull the oil filter out of the motor and place it in your oil catch basin.

Install a new oil filter into the motor and place the O-rings and filter cover over it. Secure the filter cover by tightening the three Allen bolts into place with an Allen key.

Remove the filler cap on the left side of the motor and place a funnel into the filler neck. Slowly pour oil into the motor, adding no more than 3.3 quarts to prevent overfilling the motor. Remove the funnel and replace the filler cap.

Wipe away any oil that spilled onto the motor or frame with a shop towel and reinstall the left front foot peg.


Refer to a Yamaha repair manual for detailed information regarding this process. If you lack the tools or skills needed to perform this task, have the work done by a Yamaha technician.


Avoid overfilling the motor with oil. An overfill will cause oil to be blown from the crankcase and into the air filter, clogging the air filter and reducing performance. Do not dump used motor oil and oil filters. Take them to an auto parts store for recycling.

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