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Oil and Filter Change

Changing Oil and Filter – BMW K75S

By Ben Zaborowsky – or
September 1994

Removing the belly-pan

Put the bike on the centerstand and put a towel under the bike to keep the belly-pan from getting scratched. If you are lucky this is all you have to do; remove the two belly-pan screws and slide the belly-pan forward ever so slightly until it falls into your hands.

However, this slightly more detailed method may be required. Remove the two socket head cap screws from the front of the pan. Loosen the two screws that hold the rear tang which in turn holds the rear of the belly- pan in place. The two screws up front face straight up, and will need to be removed by laying on your back with the business end of the allen wrench (5mm) pointing up into the air. The two in back are 8 mm, and also point straight up. Be careful to get the right ones: the two bolts that hold centerstand are near the bracket bolts, and their mistaken removal could leave you with a lap full of motorcycle.

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The two rear bracket bolts only need to be loosened to let the nose of the belly-pan drop enough to give you maneuvering room to remove it. With the two cap screws out of the front, slide the belly-pan forward and off the mounts. The tongue that engages the grommet at the front-top-center of the pan may not want to cooperate at first, and the pan itself may hit the lower fairing before the tongue disengages from the grommet. Wiggle it around and spring the pan enough to get it off the lower front mounts and it will drop off the top front mount on its own.

Draining the oil and removing the filter

With the belly-pan off, pull the drain plug and let the oil drain. If the engine is warm/hot the oil drains faster. Don’t pull the fill plug right away; the oil drains a little slower, but reduces the chance of a mess.

There are the three screws in the cover over the oil filter. Take two of them out all the way and just loosen the third. Be careful because there is hot oil back there and it will burn your wrist. Let it drain for a while, then remove the final screw and cover. Be careful not to damage or lose the O-ring on the cover unless you have a new one handy.

Insert the oil filter wrench into the filter cavity and remove the oil filter. Don’t tip the filter because it is full of oil. Clean up the oil cavity with a rag until nothing more drips out (this is not a requirement, but I do it anyway).

Installing the new filter and adding oil

Fill the new filter with oil, oil the rubber gasket, put on the filter wrench, but not the socket wrench, and install by hand. When it tightens, use the socket wrench to put another 1/4 turn on it.

Clean the cover surface, put the O-ring back in the groove. If the old one is damaged, stiff, or deteriorating use a new one, otherwise you can reuse the old one. Tighten the screws in a cross-pattern until they bottom out. You don’t need more torque than that. You also don’t need new wave washers for those screws.

Clean and inspect the drain plug. Put on a new crush washer (don’t worry if you don’t have a new one, replacing it every other oil change is OK). Replace the drain plug in the engine. (I put a wrap or two of plumber’s teflon tape around the drain plug as a bit of extra insurance against leaking and possibly loosening and dropping out.) Torque to spec, or until you feel the washer squash.

Add oil to top of the red circle.

Start the bike up and make sure nothing leaks. Wait about 15 minutes, then top the level off at the top of the red circle. If you are high, no sweat.

Reinstalling the belly-pan

Loosen the two screws that hold the tongue bracket that slides into the belly-pan (if you didn’t do this in the first place). You don’t have to remove them, just loosen them. Put a little mechanics’ hand soap on the tongue if you want to help it slide on the belly-pan bracket, insert the belly-pan at the back, and carefully line up the front before pushing it back toward the rear of the bike. It is a tight fit between the front of the belly-pan and the radiator cover, but this method should let you put the pan back on without loosening anything else. Replace the two screws in the front of the belly-pan, but leave them loose for now. Now tighten the screws on the tongue bracket and then tighten screws in the front/bottom of the belly-pan.

Clean up the area, wash your hands, put on your helmet and jacket, start up the bike, and go for a ride!

Notes on oil filter wrenches

There are several sources for oil filter wrenches. BMW dealers have the official wrench, always a good choice, but expensive. You can also buy a generic one from Competition Accessories for about $5.00 or you can try K-Mart, Auto Source, Honda, foreign car parts stores, Spike White, rallies, etc. Take your filter and go hunting. I recently found one at K-Mart: DFM No. 1003, $2.97

Other than fitting the filter you must make sure the wrench will fit into the oil filter cavity in the engine too. Some of the generic filters may need a little filing to make them work. (The wrench that is, not the engine block 🙂


Special thanks to Jon Diaz, Scot Marburger, Robert Besinger, et al. I have plagiarized their wonderful instructions unashamedly.

Standard disclaimers apply.

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