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R6 Yamaha 2003 Model
Oil Change

Mississippi Lock and Dam at Saverton, Missouri

90% new, the 2003 R6 is the cutting edge of the already superior Supersport Class of motorcycles.


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 This page last uploaded:  April 28, 2003

R6 Engine Oil Check


...The engine oil level should be checked often.

...Place the R6 on a level surface and position straight up.  A slight tilt to a side can result in a false reading.

...You can check it cold to be sure there is sufficient oil in the system, however a very good time to check oil is after a ride, letting the cycle cool down a few minutes for the oil to settle, thus it will be ready for the next ride.

...Remove the dipstick found on the right side of the cycle and wipe it clean.  Then insert the dipstick back into the dipstick hole without screwing it in.  Remove the dipstick again and view the oil level.  The oil level on the dipstick should be between the minimum and maximum level marks.

...If the engine oil is below the minimum level mark, remove the oil filler cap and add sufficient oil to raise the level to the maximum mark.  Be very careful not to overfill and be careful to replace the dipstick and fill cap.

R6 Oil Change

After a ride, let the cycle sit to cool enough for an oil change.


...Above are basically all the tools needed to remove the left side cowling and to change the oil.
...4mm hex socket &/or key, 17mm six-point socket.
...Note:  I would suggest you acquire a series of breaker bars (long handle) so that you can use controlled extra leverage on many of the fasteners.  Yamaha applies locktite to most fasteners and they can be very difficult to break loose, i.e. the drain plug.
...Not shown is an oil filter wrench.  Take a new filter to the auto stores and find an oil filter wrench that will work.  The pics below will show you that the filter is in a location which really needs a wrench to properly remove it.  I would try to find the type that fits over the top of the filter and has a socket handle insert so that you can use a breaker bar to remove the filter and then use a torque wrench to tighten the filter if you want to follow the manual.  Of course there are less sophisticated tools/ways of doing the job.  Most people simple snug up the drain plug and hand tighten the oil filter so they are not over tightened.

Remove the left side cowling, called cowling B.

...Take your time and learn how to remove the left side cowling so it is not damaged, especially the front tabs underneath the cowling.

Remove the coolant bottle cover.

...In order to properly get at the oil filter it is best to remove the coolant cover and release it from the 'drain' hoses which you can see hanging down at the base of the cover.  Lift the hoses out of the way, or just use a piece of string, etc. to hold they up and back.  I would take a good look at how they go back into position (or take a pic, make a drawing).

..Remove the coolant reservoir cover by removing the fasteners.

Removing the left side cowling.

...To remove the cowling on the left side or Cowling B, go slowly until the procedure is learned following the diagrams and pictures below to develop a visual image of the procedure.

...Remove the three bolts on the left side lower cowling.

...Remove the 8 bolts on the left side cowling. how the cowling 'clips' together underneath the bike, both at the front and the rear of the cowling.  The insert in the manual picture above is shown in the next two picture.  Note that as you slide the cowling backwards the front tabs and with the clips seen below should move backward as the rear of the cowling is worked with to release the tabs at the back.  Do not role or twist the front tabs shown.  After the cowling is carefully moved backwards the rear tabs will drop down to release, then the front tabs will release by carefully pulling outwards, and not rolling the front, which could cause the tabs to break.  You need to understand how the cowling is installed before attempting to remove the cowling so the front tabs are NOT broken.

...Slide on the left side cowling backward to release the rear taps following the pics below. Then release the front by carefully working the cowling outward and NOT rolling it downwards.

...Above you can see the underneath tail of the cowling has tabs that must be moved backwards so they can release down, and then the entire cowling will slide backwards and then can be pulled outward to release the entire cowling.

...This is what the left side cowling looks like after removal.  Just remember not to roll the cowling downward and do not use a great deal of force.  This is a very light and delicate piece and very costly to replace.  Note a cardboard tray is utilized for a fastener holder and also to set the cowling on so that it does not get scratched.

Draining the old oil from the engine crankcase.

...Remove the engine oil filler cap (on the right side of the bike) and drain bolt to drain the oil from the crankcase.









...Use a breaker bar to break the bolt loose, then you can use a normal ratchet.  Get into a habit of using a breaker bar on large fasteners as it gives much more control and reduces chances of stripping threads or heads of the fasteners.


....This is the first change on the 2003 R6 and was done at 400 miles after following rather modern 'thoughts' on break-in,  some of which are discussed on   Breaking in a new bike is a personal option that must be considered.  Hot/cold cycles were utilized with each outing having several runs going farther and farther up into the rpm band, ending in a very short/rapid break-in period.  The oil removed was remarkably 'clean.'   Mobil 1 cycle was used on this initial oil change.
...Find a place that will accept old oil and their procedure.  Be environmentally sound and dispose of old oil, coolant, tires, etc. properly.

Replace the oil drain bolt.

...Install the engine oil drain bolt and tighten to 31 ft-lb or 43 Nm if you have a torque wrench and wish to use it.  The rule of thumb by most mechanics however, is to snug the drain plug down but not to over tighten the bolt as the threads are rather delicate and the get used more than nearly all fasteners.  When you replace the oil filter the rule of thumb is to hand tighten and firm it up to the point of not completely 'squashing' the filter rubber seal or o-ring down to the point the filter becomes nearly impossible to easily remove the next time.
...Be sure to check for any  damage to the drain bolt washer and replace if necessary.  It is often a good idea to order several spare drain bolt washers and have them on hand.  It is not a bad idea to keep track of the common fasteners and parts that may need replaced later on and order spares to have on hand.

Remove and replace the oil filter.

...Remove the oil filter with an oil filter wrench.
...SUGGESTION:  Yamaha over tightens and locktite's the OEM fasteners.  It is a good idea to use only six-point sockets and breaker bars on many of the fasteners, as the axel nuts, etc.  Once broken loose and spec torque used the fasteners will break loose correctly the next time.  The same is true with the oil filter.  Even a cartridge wrench many not work on the oil filter the first time.  A strap type oil filter remover may be the best bet.  If all else fails you will probably have to fight the filter loose with oversized channel locks (which is a very good tool to have in the arsenal).  You can lock onto the filter with a reverse grip with the channel locks and then use another large set of pliers to attempt to turn the channel lock which will give a type of breaker bar leverage effect.  I would not suggest using the 'screwdriver' method.  Remember, the second time the filter is removed it will be much, much easier.
...When you replace the oil filter, just hand tighten it and snug down firmly.  The filter will come off easier the next time.

...Keep the oil catch pan under the oil filter as a quantity of oil will drain out.  You can set the filter aside to completely drain and cut it open for inspection later, if you wish to see if any unusual particles have been collected.

Replacing the oil filter.

...I run several cycles so usually one oil and filter change a year is normal.
...I run OEM filters and use Mobil 1 cycle in all bikes. 
...Oil, filters, coolant, plugs, etc. are personal choices, however riders uncomfortable with a knowledge base should rely on proven examples from others until they gain the insight to fell confident with their own decisions.
...You will not go wrong with OEM filters and Mobil 1 cycle, both are hard to equal let alone beat.  However, people do report clutch slippage with full synthetic but the incident is usually very small with normal street riding.  If slippage occurs, most riders change back to non-synthetic oil and slippage stops. 



...Apply a thin coat of engine oil to the o-ring of the new oil filter cartridge.  Be sure the o-ring on the filter is properly seated and in its original position.  The oil film will assure a leak-free seal of the filter to the engine case.


...Install the new oil filter cartridge using you hand to tighten firmly.  You can then use a torque wrench on the oil filter wrench to apply the correct torque if you have both tools.  Oil filter torque is 12 ft-lb or 17Nm.  I generally just hand tighten oil filters as they come off much easier the next oil change.  The manual continues to recommend proper torque.  You have to make your own decision.


Replace the cowling.

...To install the cowling fit the slots and projections at the rear bottom (under the bike) of each cowling together, and then slide the left cowling forward and into place.  REMEMBER:  the cowling must not be rolled upward.  The tabs are constructed so that the cowling 'moves' into place from the side and then slides forward into position.  Be careful of the tabs.  Go back to the top of this page and refresh your 'visual' of the cowling construction if not completely sure how it fits.

...And the left side/right side cowling are together at the front of the bike.

...After the left cowling is in the original position and install the bolts.  Be sure that the tabs at the front of each cowling fit side by side and that all slots and projections bit together.

...Re-install the coolant reservoir cover by installing the bolts.

Add fresh oil.

...Add the specified amount of oil depending on what was done.  Generally you will change the filter therefore you should add 2.75 US quarts of oil.
........Oil quantity to add with an oil filter change is 2.75 US qt. or 2.6 L.
...........Oil quantity without an oil filter change is 2.54 US qt. or 2.4 L.
|............If the engine is totally dry, 3.59 US qt. or 3.4 L.

...Yamaha does not recommend adding any chemical additives, and that is also the consensus on nearly all of the cycle lists on the internet.  Yamaha states, do not use oils with a diesel specification of "CD" or oils of higher quality than specified, plus do not use oils labeled "Energy Conserving II" or higher. 

...After the oil is changed, check that everything has been done correctly and closed up correctly.  Start the engine and look for oil leakage.  Absolutely turn the engine off if leakage is occurring and correct the problem.  The oil warning light will go off is the oil level is sufficient.  The oil warning light indicates oil level in the pan and not oil pressure. Turn the engine off anytime there is overheating as well, or you will be in danger of immediate, very serious engine damage.  DO NOT RUN ON A HOT ENGINE OR LOW OIL!!

My present thoughts--
...I am using OEM filters on every change but only changing yearly or not too often with Mobil 1 cycle oil.
...How often you change oil, the oil you use, etc. are a matter of choice, but take some time to study the various issues and ideas.  If not sure, copy someone with a method that makes sense to you.  Try to change your own oil and do a lot of personal maintenance so you bike will they the care you personally desire.
...Superior engine lubrication and cooling are imperative in precision, high performance engines.  Full synthetic oil is just too superior in lubrication properties for cold start up, prolonged storage, hard/hot running to pass up for the normal street rider.
...A very high percentage of engine wear has been reported to take place at cold start-up, warm-up, oil change time.  Some people attempt to reduce the number of oil changes and change filters every two changes.  I just change the oil and filter every year, generally in the fall so that the cycle is not sitting with 'contaminated' by-products all winter, even though I tend to ride all winter when possible.
...I never let the cycle sit and idle, but start, get the engine running smoothly and drive off, warming up as much as possible for 10-12 miles of moderate speed/loads, remembering an engine is not fully warmed until 15+miles.

IowaZ ride of choice.

Looking down the Mississippi River from below the Saverton, Missouri lock and dam.
There can be only one:  The ride along from Hannibal to Louisiana and Clarksville, Missouri, crossing the River at Louisiana, riding into Pike Co. Illinois, along the Illinois and Mississippi River or the 'Land between the rivers,' then on to Grafton and Alton, Illinois, is an IowaZ first choice area ride.

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