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The FZ1 has the R1 race bred 1 liter engine developing nearly 120 rear wheel HP stock.
High performance, high power, high rpm engines  especially need tender loving oil care.
You can trust your FZ1 oil changes to others or do them yourself, knowing the job is done right.

A Modern  Muscle Bike right out of the box? Yes.
One bike that can do it all for me? Yes.
One of the quickest ways from Point A to B on the street/road of any land machine.


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Yamaha FZ1


What Oil should one Use in the FZ1?
....The Great Oil Debate, is one of the "exciting" topics of Cycle Land!  Everyone has opinions and  their opinions are right.  Sure!  Study the issues and go with your  best "guess" but keep an open mind to change.  If not sure, you will not go wrong with cycle companies recommendations.
.Yamaha recommends Yamalube 4 (20W40) or SAE 20W40 type SE motor oil.
.In a motorcycle the engine oil also lubricate the clutch (more importantly it acts to cool the clutch). The wrong oil types or additives could therefore cause clutch slippage.
.Yamaha does not recommend using any oil additives.
....I changed the first time at 500 miles, however one can go longer on the break-in oil, from 600-1200 miles.  Like all oil issues there are numerous opinions on when to change the first time and how often plus the oil type to use.
...I will use Yamalube for the first  change or about 2000 miles, then  transfer over to Mobil 1, full synthetic cycle oil.  I have used Mobil 1, 15W50 auto in the Magna for years, and Torco 20W50 full synthetic in the Vmax since 1996.  Mobil 1 cycle, in 2000, became much easier to find in the auto supply stores and Wally Worlds, so easily availability will be the reason to use Mobil 1 cycle in the FZ1.  I am likely to switch over to Mobil 1 for the Max when my supply of Torco runs out, as Torco has to be ordered and the price has climbed well over the cost of Mobil 1.  
....In motorcycles the clutch is "bathed" in the same oil that lubricated the engine, primarily to act as a cooling agent for the clutch plates. Since synthetic oil has vastly superior lubricating qualities, the theory is the clutch plates will not have enough friction between them to stay engaged and will slip on reach other.  Major slippage can be/will be felt as a hesitation or like a deceleration/braking sensation.  Minor slippage may feel like a slight "chugging" action.  Unfelt slippage at a microscopic level is my concern.  What is actually happening at the micro level?  The plates my be microscopically moving on one another under insufficient clutch spring force and therefore wearing excessively.  Many of the Vmax crowd simply install "better" clutch plates/kits and heavier springs, whether using synthetic or dyno oil.  There are some major, major wrenches in the Max group and they seem close to evenly divided on dyno or syn oil.  The SabMag (Sabre/Magna) riders know their bikes have almost no oil pressure in the upper heads as a result of Honda's major mistakes and great cover up of the issue.  Thus almost to a man/lady, they run full synthetic because of the superior lubrication qualities.  Even when a oil mod is done to get oil to the upper heads, nearly all of the group runs syn if they know and understand the issue with the upper heads on the early Honda V4's.  
....Since I come out of the Honda cover up times, I am a champion of synthetic oils and will continue to use them in my Muscle Bike fleet until clutch slippage or damage occurs.  None yet, after years of use :))
.....How often do I change oil.  Every year in the Max and Magna.  With three cycles these two bikes do not receive many miles per year and are being kept relatively classic.  The FZ will be the main runner and probably get an oil change every 2-4k miles.  I tend to run a lot more miles on full synthetic oils.  In fact I really do not worry about mileage anymore.  I do watch the oil level carefully and I do watch for water or "dirt" in the system, but other than that, I let Mobil 1 or Torco handle things without worry.
....I also change plugs every year and try to bleed the brakes/clutch and change coolant every other year, if not every year.  If you want an easy way to bleed lines and therefore make changing line fluid "pleasure," surf into the Vmax sitemap and find the clutchline page.

Drop to the bottom of this page for a log of my oil change intervals and comments.


Filter and Oil Selection
....I tend to use nothing but factory filters.

....Oil of choice, which will be Yamalube the first couple of changes, then Mobil 1 synthetic cycle.

Changing the FZ  Engine Oil
.Start engine, warm it up for several minutes, or better yet let the engine cool enough after a ride to easily work on the oil change. There are some riders who make a good argument for changing oil in a cold engine. I generally try to change after coming in from a ride.

.Gather equipment and clean-up supplies. Have everything ready to go so time is not taken to hunt items down. 
....You will need an oil wrench, funnel, oil drain pan, 17mm six point socket, ratchet with extension bar, also I would suggest having a good breaker bar available for any "first" maintenance on the FZ as the factory used blue locktite on most of the fasteners.

.Place an oil collection pan under the engine oil drain plug, which is under the frame tube on the lower left side of the engine crankcase.

.Remove the engine oil filler cap, which is the black plastic "knob" on top of the clutch housing on the right side of the engine. This will equalize air pressure and allow the oil to freely flow from the drain opening.

.Remove the engine oil drain bolt along with its gasket. Be sure to wipe off the oil drain bolt and check the metal gasket.  The bolt and gasket are good items to pick up and keep in your "extra" parts inventor

HINT: Yamaha used blue locktite on almost every fixture on the FZ1 including the oil drain bolt. A standard ratchet may not initially break the bolt loose. I would suggest investing in a few breaker bars of various sizes. Breaker bars drastically increase torque on a fastener the is hard to bread loose and therefore subjecting the head of the fastener to sideways forces that tend to round the head. Also the treads of both the fastener and insertion point are being stressed in lateral directions from the intended movement, thus subject to the threads being stripped or weakened. Invest in some breaker bars, good ratchets and six-point sockets and wrenches, please! You can count on Sears, other suppliers will work.
Hint: DO NOT use anything but a six-point socket (wrench) on all fasteners on you FZ1, including the oil drain bolt. There are a few rare occasions where a six point socket will not fit and a twelve point socket may have to be tried.

.Drain the engine oil completely from the crankcase, then replace the engine oil drain bolt and torque to 31 ft-lb or 43 Nm, or firm up moderately tight. SUGGESTION: A good torque wrench, not a "cheapo" is needed over and over when working on your FZ1. Make the investment. Just one or two wrenching jobs on your cycle will pay for the tools, and you know the job is done right. y.

....HINT: to help eliminate oil from getting on the header pipes, use some heavy aluminum foil to create a funnel/tough to direct/catch the oil that will "spill" out of the filter area. I try to make a little foil pan below the filter and on top of the header pipes. A small hole is poked in the foil, trying to direct the oil into the drain pan on the floor without running/dripping on the pipes. I am generally partially successful. .

.Using an oil filter wrench (a number 4 from Auto Zone or Yamaha part number YU-38411; better yet, just take a filter to the auto stores with you and find an oil wrench that will fit) remove the oil filter cartridge. 
.I had to initially use a breaker bar to loosen the original oil filter. Locktite? I do not know but it was all I could to break both the drain bolt and filter loose. The auto store filter wrench had to be held firmly/hard back against the filter. Do not knock the bike off stand. I do not know if the Yamaha wrench works better. I would assume it had a better fit to the filter, but most of us will just take a filter to an auto supply store and pick up a wrench.

.Install a new oil filter. Apply a thin coat of fresh engine oil to the O-ring of the new oil filter cartridge first. BE SURE the O-ring is positioned correctly in the groove of the oil filter cartridge.
.Torque the new oil filter cartridge to 12 ft-lb or 17 Nm if a torque wrench is available, otherwise firm up the cartridge to about hand plus tightness.

.Add fresh oil to through the engine oil filler cap/port. With a new filter in place, you should be able to add 3.1 US quarts of oil or 3.0L. Note: the total capacity of the oiling system is 3.8 US quarts or 3.7L, therefore about 0.6 quarts of a pint plus of oil stays in the system upon oil change. That is an amount like a 16oz overflowing pop bottle of old oil mixing with fresh batch. If you do not change your oil filter every time, then add 2.9qt or 2.8L of fresh oil.

.Install the oil filler cap, start the engine and idle for several minutes to check for major oil leaks. I do not like to have my cycles idling, so I generally go for a short, slow ride and stop to check for smaller leaks.

.After running the bike a little, check the oil level in the system by placing the bike on center stand on level ground. The oil level should be between the two lines in the site glass, which is under the clutch housing area on the right side of the bike.

....Hint: It is important not to overfill the engine oil system. There is some thought that overfilling is worse then slight under filling, as the excessive oil causes the crank to froth the oil, meaning air is literally beaten into the oil bath, much like air is beaten into egg whites for some baking recipes.  Which you mean a major loss of oiling/oil pressure in the total system.  


Checking the Engine Oil Level often is a good idea!!
.Be sure the bike is upright on a level surface. Center stand will work.
.The engine oil level should be between the minimum level marks and maximum level marks.
.Check the oil warm, and after it has been allowed to settle several minutes.
....NOTE:  The level of oil showing in the sight glass window is very sensitive to the bikes position.  When on center stand my FZ shows completely overfilled.  When tilted just a little it will show empty or overfilled.  I have found the best results on an absolutely level surface with the bike not on center stand but tipped up as in riding position.  Be careful if you tilt the bike upright off the side stand, that it does not get away from you as you look down to check the oil.  It would be best to have some straddle bike as you check the oil, and this would be a fairly normal riding position for most of the time.

Manual's Direction for Checking the Oil Pressure
.Slightly loosen the oil gallery bolt (picture).
.Start the engine and keep it idling until engine oil starts to seep from the oil gallery bolt.
.If no engine oil starts to seep from the oil gallery bolt after about one minute, turn the engine off so that it will not seize
WARNING: DO NOT run an engine after the warning light comes on or after you know there is no oil pressure. Unlubricated engines will destroy their contact surfaces and seize up very quickly.
.If you have no oil pressure you will have to check the engine oil passages, the oil filter cartridge and the oil pump for damage or leakage.
.Recheck the oil pressure after solving the problems.
.Tighten the oil gallery bolt to 7.2 ft-lb or 10Nm

The Violent World of Cycle Oil in High rpm Engines
....These pics were taken during a GSX and a FZ1dyno when the engine was head up at high rpms and then power released.  It is/was hard to time the pics so there is not timing sequence.  They are just random pic, but show how the oil bubbles, foams and splatters around in the main oil galley.

Blue FZ1, oil??


My FZ1, oil Mobile 1 Cycle

GSX, oil??




My present opinion is that the FZ1 is an affordable,  technologically modern riding and performing motorcycle which does a very good job of bridging the gap between my old Muscle Bikes ( V65 Magna & Vmax) and the sportbike developments of the recent years.  Since the FZ has so much power and agility for all types of street riding it is very  functional selection for a broad band of motorcyclists.  



June 6, 2001---First Oil Change at 500mi; used Yamalube 10W40.
....I changed the first time at 500 miles, however one can go longer on the break-in oil, from 600-1200 miles.  Like all oil issues there are numerous opinions on when to change the first time and how often plus the oil type to use.
...I will use Yamalube for the first  change or about 2000 miles, then  transfer over to Mobil 1, full synthetic cycle oil.

June 17, 2001--- Changed to Mobil 1 Cycle at 2k 
.....The FZ is relatively easy to work on with right tools.  Tool 15 minutes to change oil and tighten chain.
.....Threw in three quarts of Mobil 1 cycle, left the oil filter in place.  First time in my life I have not put on a fresh filter when changing oil. 
....Old dogs can learn new tricks.  This filter only has 1500 miles on it, and when really getting involved in the oil issue as the internet became more functional starting about '94/'95 there were a number of folks that made a very scientific argument for quality filters doing their best filtering process after they are used for a few hundred miles up into the several thousand.  Thus, the thought was to change every 2-3 oil changes.  Most of us will not do that, but I am confident enough in the the theory to leave this filter in place through the next oil change.  There is nothing magical about a fresh filter unless the old one has its "pores" shut down so much they are not allowing enough oil to flow through and the by pass is then letting "dirty" or unfiltered oil to go through the system.  But that is not going to be the case for at least past the third oil change unless one has a really "bad" engine or is passing a lot of grit into the oil through the air system. 
....Again, do not do as I do, make your own decisions.  I am just posting what I am doing and what I pick up and process.  One thing about not replacing the oil filter too often is the filter maintains its oil charge.  There is a number of people quite concerned about what they consider is the "terrible wear" time for an engine.  They claim most wear, 70-90%, is from metal to metal contact during the time the lubrication coat is lost or oil quantity/pressure is way down in the system.  Such as after long sitting periods and at oil changes.  Using these thoughts, I tend to change my oil in haste.  I drain out the main quantity and not "drip dry," plug it up, add oil, start it up and get going. 
....I generally  never idle or warm an engine up sitting around at low rpm's, as this is another very vulnerable time.  I start the engine, get it running and drive off, warming up under light load/speed.  I keep the rpm's up to at least 2.5k and usually try to run very little time under 3k. 
....Another thought on the superior qualities of synthetic oils, is the fact it "stays" on the internal metal surfaces much better and for longer periods of time, thus reduces the lubrication issue at start up, during cold weather and oil change time.
....I will be interested if synthetic improves gas mileage on the FZ.  I have enough data recorded now to detect any changes.  Generally, since lubrication from synthetic oil is so much better, that with friction greatly reduced the gas mileage will go up.  Some folks claim 2-4 mpg.  I think they may be right on my Magna.  On my Max, an educated guess would be 1+ mpg more, but it is hard to tell, as the Max is such a "hot rod" engine, it is very sensitive to riding style.  In my experience going from 26 (my lowest) to 48 mpg.  The FZ, right now at least seems to be getting 40-48 no matter how it is ridden.
....Bottom line, smoother shifting and smoother engine with synthetic oil.  I did not notice any clutch slippage but the initial 30 miles was a cruise.  I will monitor the clutch issue carefully.  Synthetic has been run for years in my Max and Mag without any detectable slippage to date and both of these engine although old are still formidable weapons.


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