It's 'bout that timmmeeee!


So it's about around the first time I should be doing an oil change on my newish 2012 KLX250S. I'v put about 1700 miles on it since the dealer did the last oil change when I bought it. Two questions. Number one, I've done oil changes on my TTR125, but never on a bike like this. There doesn't appear to be a dipstick to measure the oil level. Can anyone tell me how to know how much to put in? Also, what weight and type of oil do you guys use on your KLX's?


Download an owners manual from Kawasaki for oil quantity.  I think mine has the quantity right on the side of the engine, near the oil sight glass on lower right which you should be using to check oil level.  Fill to the top of the line in the oil sight glass with bike level.  Suggest you check your oil level before each ride, or at every fuel up. I use Rotella T 15-40.  Some suggest using motorcycle specific oil. 

Edited by IDRIDR


Ditto to what IDRIDR said, the manual gives you "first-hand" info from the manufacturer. It is good to get the facts from the factory and then it is your choice to consider other's opinions or experiences that make sense to you.


I would offer this additional info that I have found being a new owner who has recently researched your very question.

First, the oil specified by Kawasaki carries the JASO MA rating. From what I read, the JASO MA spec defines an oil that DOES NOT have some of the additives used in "Energy Conserving" motor oils formulated for automobiles. Specifically friction modifiers that negatively affect to operation of the oil-bath clutch used in our bikes. Zinc and phosphorus levels (both tried and true anti-wear additives) have steadily been reduced in automotive oils, apparently for emmissions reasons. JASO MA oils seems to have higher levels of those additives than "Energy Conserving" auto oils.

Many more-experienced bike owners have told me that you can run any good quality motor oil. I suspect they are right in our application as if you use the factory specified 10W/40, those weight oils do not seem to carry the "Energy Conserving" label like many xW/30 oils and thus don't have the friction modifiers said to cause clutch issues in our bikes. (Don't accept this as fact, it is just an observation that could explain the successful use of, non-JASO rated, automotive oils.)

Further supporting IDRIDR's comments - Shell's Rotella-T 15W/40 and Rotella Synthetic 5W/40 have always been said to meet JASO MA spec and now carry the certification printed right on the bottle. Both of those Rotella oils are well-proven in heavy duty diesel engine applications and available by the gallon for cheap at W--mart. Regarding cost, even at $4-6 per quart for motorcycle specific oil, two quarts will get you through two oil changes! Cost becomes far less a concern when buying two quarts, than when buying 4 gallons to do an oil change in a 7.3L Powerstroke!


The last tips I would offer is regarding the spring that sit behind the oil filter in your KLX. I don't claim any credit for this one, I read about it and it works, but if you "unwind" the first coil of the spring to make it a little wider/larger circle (not longer), it can be press fit between the tabs in the engine case so that it stays in place all by itself and you don't need to worry about it staying in position when jockeying the filter and cover in to place.

All that said, The manual is always the best place to start!


Good luck and God Bless,



regarding oil types automotive vs motorcycle....lets not forget that many motorcycle's oil also lubricate the transmission as well as clutches.  A transmission imparts large shear forces on the lubrication via the gears meshing together.  Automotive motor oils do not see much of this type of shear force applied to them so as such are not designed for those forces.  They have different additives from those used in motorcycle oils.  Also, automotive oils, as stated in earlier posts, are now being "smogged" to prolong the life of the catalytic converter, and multiple friction improvers are being removed and/or reduced.  So with these factors and the factors mentioned by TC above.  I'd stick with good quality motorcycle specific oil that meets your bikes specifications.

Just my opinion.

motorcycle oil also has additives to help prevent the oil from eating up the friction plates in the clutch.  You can get away with running auto oil and a lot of guys on the XR600 forum run Rotella, but they also experience faster clutch wear and slipping.  I think Valvoline makes the cheapest oil for bikes and you can get it from Wal-mart at a pretty good rate.  I found my last case at an auto parts store for about 3 bucks a quart.

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