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On one of the other threads, a couple people have asked me if the engine bars affect oil changes in any way. Well, last night I did my first oil change (my first, bike's second... bike's first oil change was done at a dealership), so now I can report on how the engine bars play with the oil cartridge.

Unfortunately, the whole process was a bit of an ordeal. I started out the evening by doing an oil change on my gf's GS500, that was a snap. Then went on to do the FZ6... Started at about 10pm.


When I started working on the oil change, I realized that getting the filter cartridge out once I unscrewed it might be a tight fit due to the engine bars. That's ok, we'll give it a whirl! I spent about 2 hours trying to unscrew the oil filter cartridge. I had tried an oil filter wrench as well as other tools, the bloody thing wouldnt' budge. Part of the problem was the access to the oil filter is a bit difficult with the bars on, if the filter is stock. The K&N filters have a little knob at the end that fits into a ratchet, so unscrewing those is much easier, and access to do that would have been fine. Unfortunately, the filter I had on there was a stock Yamaha one, no little ratchet knob.

Eventually we got the bloody thing unscrewed. Now came the other
impossible task. My initial assessment was right, getting the cartridge out
would be a tight fit, so tight in fact that it couldn't be done, the
bars were in the way. I'd say I was missing about a 1/4" of clearance to be able to pull the filter out. The natural solution to this is of course to loosen the engine bars to create the needed clearance.

Loosening the engine bars wasn't so easy. At the bottom, the engine bars are bolted to the bike using the same bolts that bolt the centrestand. To free that end of the engine bars, I first had to loosen the kickstand. Loosening the kickstand created enough clerance for the centrestand bolts to be pushed back enough to make it easier to slip the engine bar off the bolts.

At this point of course, I couldn't really keep the bike on either the kick stand or the centrestand, they were booth loosened. At this point, I sat on the bike holding it upright, while my dad pushed the now loosened engine bar to create enough clearance to take the old filter out, and replace it with the new K&N. Once we did that, things went much smoother.

We finally finished everything by 3am, yes, you read that right, 3am. With the challenges we had, and figuring out how to overcome them, it took a good 5 hours to do my oil change.

This is what really gets me. I can't believe that a genuine Yamaha accessory would block access to the oil filter cartridge. Seeing as there is only a small additional amount of clearance that's needed, seems that it would have been very easy to design the bars in such a way as to not get in the way.

Now that I know what to watch out for, I'm sure the next oil change will go much smoother. I now know what all the gotchas are, and more importantly what to do to get around them. In the future, I might think about taking the left bar off altogether as part of the oil change process, or I'd have to loosen the kickstand and centrestand bolts once again. If I were to do this alone, I might need a rear stand.

I think I might try to have a chat with the guys at my local dealership and see how they got around these challenges when they did the 1000km service on the bike early in the season.

I'll post a few pictures and close ups of the areas in question sometime tomorrow. I wasn't really in a mindset to take pictures last night, but now that everything is done, I'll take a few pictures tonight/tomorrow and post them in this thread to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Cheers,
-Q
 
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