today I did my first oil and oil filter change, ever! (Honda CB400A “decaf”)

Russ and I changed our motorcycle’s oil and oil filters today.  This was the first time I’ve ever changed oil in a vehicle — I guess it sort of was a life goal I figured I’d never get around to — part of understanding cars/bikes more!   So it was a nice way to kick off the start of our 3-day holiday weekend.

The actual work on my bike was quite simple:

  • 1 ratchet-able bolt as the drain plug to release most of the used oil into oil drip pan
  • 1 ratchet-able bolt underneath to release the bike’s oil pan and oil filter section

 Russ helped figure out those bolts which I could confirm with a shop manual PDF.  Harder was sorting out what oil and filter to get/use and getting them.  I went with:

  • Valvoline SAE 10W-40 Motorcycle oil (for 4-strokes; non-synthetic; ideal for wet clutches) (AutoZone/Walmart)
  • K&N KN-111 oil filter (local motorcycle shop)

Putting everything back couldn’t be easier — slipped on new filter to bolt/cover, ratchet-ed the two bolts back in, and poured in ~3 quarts of oil.  I was happy parts were all in good shape and aside from some relatively dirty oil, no badness or surprises for my 35 year old bike.  Phew!

my first oil change
my first oil change
removing bottom bolt and filter
removing bottom bolt and filter
garage work overview
garage work overview

Published by

tracey pooh

i like digital video and road cycling

3 thoughts on “today I did my first oil and oil filter change, ever! (Honda CB400A “decaf”)”

  1. That you took pics of your first oil change is hilarious! But I’m really posting this comment to get in touch, because I think I knew you at CU, where I worked for Bruce and Dan. I had a different name then, and looked different, though! We took a motorcycle ride together once, but that was before you had a license, I think. I had a CBR600. Drop me an email sometime!

  2. Hi Tracy, I have the same motorcycle here in NH! 1978 CB400A. I love the cafe racer style of your bike. Very nice work. Mine sat in my friends shop for many years, then he decided to get it going for me. It has the original seat and mostly original parts. I love that bike and soooo many people want to talk to me about it. My husband’s boring Harley gets no attention, but there is always a fan club around my bike. I joke with my husband that if I want to meet men, I just need to travel around on that bike! I hope you are still riding her and that she lasts for many more years.

  3. Hi June,
    hehe, awesome to hear! I grew up in NH, so it’s a trip to think of you potentially riding down the same roads and scenes as I would have — but with our shared bike 😎
    Glad you like the mods — all were done by the prior owner, except the total consolidation, cleanup, and replacement of all the instruments and area (speedo, neutral and directional indicators and other lights, etc.) (which is quite easy to do if you ever get the inkling 😉
    My boyfriend’s Harley got waaaay less attention too, and he had really styled it and nearly “murdered” it, too. It’s nice to get the kudos from people who see the bike and it takes them back to their Honda CB from 30+ years ago, isn’t it?
    (And it’s very nice to feel like we are stewards of some true Antiques that have quite the heritage and history, too).

    And yes, I’m sure you can get as much attention as you’d care for, with the fans that attract to your bike.

    Thanks a lot for the comment and thoughts — always appreciated to connect with another kindred rider — and another kindred sister!

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