Changing the Oil and filter for CB 750 Nighthawk

Changing the oil

Being a naked bike, changing the oil is definitively a do it yourself operation. It doesn’t take more than 20 mins and you don’t require any special tools.

The Oil and filter for CB 750 Nighthawk

I’ve tried several brands of oil, and being quite an old engine now it seems to work well on semi-synthetics and does not require very exotic oils. However, please take into consideration that being air cooled during summer it tends to be extremely hot (and therefore the oil should keep it’s properties at high temperatures) and during winter is really a cold blooded beast – takes a lot of time to get it to the running temperature.
I’m using Putoline oil (DX 4, SAE 10w/40 in winter and 20w/50 in summer). It’s really a not so expensive oil, which I change every 4000 miles – exactly 2 changes per year. After doing some math, it seems there is no reason using a  more expensive oil, at 8k miles per year, the engine will last forever.

I’ve settled for Mann filters (but frankly speaking is quite difficult to determine filters quality).

The Oil Change CB 750 Nighthawk

The oil change is quite easy to do, and it doesn’t require special tools. I usually purchase 4 litters of oil (actually you only need 3, but I will explain later) and a filter. Steps to change the oil:

  • Place the bike on the central stand
  • Get a draining pan (I usually make one from used oil containers)
  • Check how hot the exhaust pipes are (you will see that to get the filter out there is some messing around between the pipes). I hate the burning skin smell – so wait a little to cool down 🙂
  • Place the draining pain below the drain bolt (you can see it very easy on the right side of the oil pan
  • Remove the oil drain bolt. Get inside and take a beer until the oil drains completely (but don’t drink and ride)
  • Push the draining pan a little to the front and remove the oil filter (you might need an oil wrench – I’m usually not forcing the oil filter at installation so it comes off quite easily afterwards). You might need to play a little with the filter to see where it can pass through the exhaust pipes, and even if it seems it will never come out, well, you just need to find the perfect place).
  • I usually wipe out any excess oil from the filter area and the draining area (I don’t want any debris inside my engine).
  • Apply a little oil on the filter rubber seal, then install the filter (just be gentle – it will help at the next change to come off easily) – about 3/4 turns by hand from the contact moment.
  • Install the oil drain bolt back. WARNING: to much torque will crack the oil pan (it’s incredible how easy is to crack it).
  • Fill it up with 3 litters of oil. Now, I’m usually keeping the forth litter, just in case for very hot days when the oil tends to get a little low (at least after 60k) and it usually happens when you are away and you can’t find or remember what oil to put in.

Advices

  • change the oil every 4000 miles (or at least each year)
  • use the right grade SAE 10w/40 in winter and 20w/50 in summer
  • never overtighten the drain bolt – you’ll crack the oil pan
  • check the oil level each week (especially in summer times)

 


Can you actually become part of someone else’s adventure?

Can I still write on this blog if I changed from Honda to Suzuki? Do I still got this riding and writing in me?

Three questions and It’s already a strange way to get back to riding and writing after 4 years. I only know how to answer the first question. The second question doesn’t matter and the third only the future will tell.

Problem is that I should write something great. So here it is.

I think most of the bikers get into biking after hearing, reading or participating to someone else’s adventure. There is always somewhere that mythical biker that sold everything and got into biking around the World. Or the one that went to exotic places and come back with a different meaning of life. The ones that crashed and got back into riding, the ones that broke in the middle of the road and the ones that take beautiful pictures.

You can find their stories on forums, sometimes they are your friends, sometimes they are your co-workers and sometimes you meet them during your own travelings. And there is always their bike, which becomes more than their bike. It becomes their partner in adventure, the one that makes everything possible. Sometimes it’s more just a machine, it becomes their friend and get names like “blue horse”, “thunderstorm” or “Gunnar”.

You can recognize the adventurer bikes at the meetings or on the streets. Stickers, scars, tear and wear you can tell it’s an adventurer bike.

So you have PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome – I had it for 4 years while not riding), or you just browse through the adventure forums out there and you get daydreaming. Maybe even life models if you are courageous enough.

You just wonder how could he do it? How could he or she just close the door, start the bike and never look back for a month, a year or a life? You could never do it. Then you see pictures from Patagonia. And from Greece. And from Canada. Gunnar was there. They never run out of stories. Maybe they write a book or make a movie.

The thing with books is that from their nature they are here to stay more. Books are not just simple forum posts that are going to be forgotten or deleted. Books take the stories further and make the adventures even stronger.

At some point you think about buying a bike. You could do this, but that would be your adventure, your story and you might never get to become an adventure book. Or maybe you will, but that would be a different story from the one of your adventure role model.

But hold on. There is another way of getting in someone else’s adventure. You’re not going to make it in their book but you might be able to continue their book. It’s like a never ending adventure. You get the full thing and make it your own.

You could buy Gunnar. You can make that old full of histories bike and make it yours. You can continue the adventure. Gunnar made this:

55.000km in one trip. A family on a bike an adventure and an adventure book.

Owning Gunnar comes with responsibilities and guilty pleasures. I have to take the adventure further and make my own. Gunnar’s scars, stickers are not mine, but taking them further becomes my guilty pleasure.


The first time I can do something for the bikers community

It’s not often when you can be involved in a good positive way in the community you are part of. Being a biker I feel that doing good for the fellow bikers is good for me too. So, I’m very happy to be involved and try to help up the creation of Kevlar jeans for bikers which looks like it’s going t save some serious ass!

The good news is that you can do some good too! Support Tobacco Motorwear on kickstarter and this might save your ass someday. Here is the interview about the Kevlar Jeans with David Ackerman where he is explaining what is he up to and how you can help.

And here is the video:


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