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Radiator flush & oil change

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#1 HispanicSlammer



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Posted 03 January 2003 - 12:01 AM

Oil Change and Radiator Flush

I began by first removing the 2 lower fairings with the bike on the center stand.

First I drained the oil, position the drain pan below the oil plug.
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The manual says to warm up the engine to get the oil to flow better, I don't do that since I like my skin unburnt, I just let it flow out for a very long time! Remove the drain plug 17mm, Inspect it for pitting the soft metal washer might need to be replaced if it is pitted.

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When replacing the oil filter it is best to put a rag over the headers cause oil always spills out onto them.

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It is difficult to remove the oil filter by hand or using a ring type wrench, I use this Honda filter wrench $7.00

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I removed the old filter but did not replace it yet since I need the room to do the radiator flush. I did however replace the oil plug.

Flushing the Radiator

Remove the drain plug from the water pump, make sure the bike is not hot! You will get burned! The bike was cold here, the fluid will not come out until you introduce air into the system.

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I drained the cylinder plug now, you can see why I did not put the oil filter back on, because it was in the way, make sure your bucket is positioned cause the old antifreeze squirts out about a foot and a half.

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Here is a better view of where that plug is

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It just starts gushing out, once its almost done go over to the other side of the bike and open the radiator cap, more will come gushing out.

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radiator cap open now

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At this point I began pouring in distilled water into the radiator cap, and watched until the fluid coming out was clear!
  • put both drain plugs back in
  • screw on the oil filter 7ft/lbs
  • screw on the oil plug
  • fill the oil up 3.5 quarts approx
  • fill up the radiator with distilled water
  • start the motor till it warms up then turn it off
  • wait until it cools down
  • check the motor oil level top it up to the level in the sight glrear
  • remove the drain plug and radiator cap and drain out the distilled water
Once all the water is removed from the radiator replace the drain and mix the antifreeze.

I used simple ethylene glycol, Wall-Mart brand, its aluminum block radiator/motor safe, and it contains no silicates, you don't want to use a brand that is not rated for aluminum engines. Silicates can damage your water pump, most major brands do use silicates so read the label. You can use the Honda brand, its made by the same company that makes Citgo gas (Seven Eleven stores brand), Citgo also makes the Honda brand oil. The Wal-Mart stuff is fine, aluminum safe and no silicates (read the owners manual its all there).

I mixed it 50% antifreeze and 50% water, that 70/30 is the best concentration for the greatest temperature extremes. 50/50 is as low as you want to go but gives the best cooling in the summer. DON'T USE TAP WATER the minerals will build up and cause blockages, use distilled water.

I poured it in my 50/50 mixture about a gallon till it filled to the brim of the cap, I also poured out the overflow fluid and replaced it with new fluid in the over flow jug.

put the cap on start up the motor and rev it a bit, turn it off and check the level again, top it up if need be.

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A word about oil

I usually change my oil about every 3000 miles, when I do I always change the filter too, I don't use expensive synthetic stuff since that oil is designed not to break down over longer periods of time, if you change your oil as often as I do the oil is usually still fairly clean, its a waste of money to use expensive oil. As long as it is the right weight 10w 40, no molybdenum or graphite additives as it harms the wet clutch. They say your oil does not need additives, don't use castor based, or non detergent, vegetable oils!

Also since your riding a bike that has a wet clutch the friction plates of the clutch are soaked in oil, you want to change the oil often since the friction material of the wet clutch wears off and circulates thru the filter, don't wait more than the recommended 6k miles to change it.

#2 marriedman


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:58 PM

Thank you so much for making this guide. I needed it so badly & referred to it every step of the way. Only thing I would add is maybe mention burping the cooling system? I read about it and would have it written down with this tutorial.

Thanks again!

#3 FrankoQ


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

nice writeup!

#4 Willy


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

HS, Thanks for the tip. I'm doing an oil change this weekend and have had a nagging mental note that with summer here that a coolant change is needed. No w I know I need to do both at same time to save some steps. I would have probably have not discovered the access to the head plug tip unitl after my oil change. Cheers!

#5 geoyachtsus


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:53 AM

HS, great piece. Thank-you for the effort. Photos are a great adddition.

#6 MaxSwell



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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:02 PM

Thanks HS. Love the photos.

#7 VfrNiko


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:56 PM

HS, just curious, how often do you change your oil on your 2010 VFR1200 (the manual says every 8k miles)? What kind of oil do you use for the 1200?

#8 VictorFoxtrotRomeo



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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:17 AM

Awesome post, this really helped me to prep my bike for the upcoming road trip.

I wanted to add a reference, the coolant drain plugs for both water pump plug and cylinder plug use the following brass washer 6.5mm


There were no torque specs listed so I just tightened it up nicely.

Thanks again HS for the great site and references!

#9 oldman


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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:38 PM

Thank you very much for this topic , yuu are the Pro.

#10 ninjadoc


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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:48 PM

thx for this HS, how do we burp the system? amount of coolant i need to buy to fill up the system?

Edited by ninjadoc, 30 October 2012 - 09:37 AM.