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Suzuki Design Screwup

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Suzuki elected to put 2 oil drain plugs on the bottom of the engine case. There's a big bolt on the left rear under the case and a tiny bolt on the right center under the case. The first time I pulled mine off, it stripped coming out (not putting it back in). Now I have to get an insert put in to fix the problem.

The insanity of it all is that I drained the oil out of the big plug first and removed the oil filter. Then, I followed the manual and tried to remove the small drain plug. Wow, once I got it out, maybe 1 teaspoon of oil came out. What a worthless design mistake..putting a tiny bolt in a very important place knowing that people who read the manual will think that it is important to remove each time. There should have never been a 2nd bolt, especially a tiny bolt with tiny threads that would have stripped at some point anyway, much less the first time I took it out.

My dealer told me that no one removes that bolt and I wish I would have asked them first. Apparantly everyone but Suzuki knows that. Do yourself a favor and NEVER remove that bolt, regardless of what the manual says.

JCW

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what year is your bike?

in theory, it seems impossible that you could strip the threads on a bolt when reversing it. the enviornment would have to be the exact opposite of stripping it while threading it in. you would need resistance from the back side of bolt (the side inside the engine). it seems more likely that whomever initially inserted that bolt stripped it and left it for you to find.

if your bike is an 07, then the right center bolt is an absolute necessity as it is where you check your oil level. as much of an impedance as i thought it would be, i actually dont mind back that bolt out to check the oil level...

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It was on a super clean old stock 05 with about 25 hours of riding time. I agree that it probably was over-tightened at some point, but to me the whole idea of having such a small oil drain bolt on the bottom on the engine case was nuts. Regardless of how careful anyone would be, this little bolt would strip out. It's the same size as the small bolts that hold the radiator shrouds on (and that's not an oil drain plug!). And given the fact that it was not needed at all adds to craziness. I can understand 2 bolts when you have a separate reservoir like a lot of the 450s, but this one makes no sense.

Sorry for the frustration, but I hope someone at Suzuki monitors this website to see what we say about their product. That was the main reason for this thread (and to warn anyone else who might buy one and hopefully save them from having to deal with this issue).

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I got out all of the oil by tilting the bike back and forth. When I did remove that bolt, NOTHING came out. But like tdc said, you can't strip threads while they are coming out. The bolt and thread pattern are already lined up. Someone stripped it going in, and just kept wrenching on it. Mine is an 07. My stand tilts back and forth, a couple degrees, so it wasn't bad at all.

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This little oil drain bolt that you are talking about is the oil that comes from the top end, I also have a 05 and I always take both the drain bolts out at the same time and oil always pisses out the small one...

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It kinda makes me laugh when someone states 'Suzuki Design Screw-up' when they obviously have no idea about engineering. And they are complaining about a screw being too small I have stripped bolts and cussed out some things on bikes but I'm not so naieve as to place the blame on the manufacturer for all my dumb mistakes.

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SUZ109, I'm glad I was able to make you laugh. I'll be glad to compare degrees with you and I imagine you'll find that I'm as qualified for my opinion as you are for yours. It doesn't take a rocket scientists to know that a tiny bolt with less surface area to spread and share stress will fail quicker than a large bolt which can spread the stress over a greater surface area. That's one reason they make bigger bolts and smaller bolts...but you knew that already....right?

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JCW, you are entitled to your opinion of your pro's and con's of bikes, Suz 109 you need to keep your mouth shut and quit blasting people. I told you I would love to meet you in person, you are on every topic and when someone dislikes something you are all over em', Man get a life and quit your critic influences on people on here that want to make statements for a search and feel for other people having the same problem.. JCW I made a little remark in the seizing of the Rmz 250 and he gets on me like stink on shit! These forums are for positive feedback of problems, not to be making fun of people and telling them what to do! Johnnie

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I have an 05 RMZ, it's Ryan Dungey's 05 season bike. I had to put a helicoil in the large oil drain plug, probably from being changed and tightened many, many times. Small or big its soft aluminum it will strip.

I pull the small one every time I change oil. Instinctively I want to tighten it as tight as I can cause I don't want it to fall out. But have to remember it is small.

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Suzuki elected to put 2 oil drain plugs on the bottom of the engine case. There's a big bolt on the left rear under the case and a tiny bolt on the right center under the case. The first time I pulled mine off, it stripped coming out (not putting it back in). Now I have to get an insert put in to fix the problem.

The insanity of it all is that I drained the oil out of the big plug first and removed the oil filter. Then, I followed the manual and tried to remove the small drain plug. Wow, once I got it out, maybe 1 teaspoon of oil came out. What a worthless design mistake..putting a tiny bolt in a very important place knowing that people who read the manual will think that it is important to remove each time. There should have never been a 2nd bolt, especially a tiny bolt with tiny threads that would have stripped at some point anyway, much less the first time I took it out.

My dealer told me that no one removes that bolt and I wish I would have asked them first. Apparantly everyone but Suzuki knows that. Do yourself a favor and NEVER remove that bolt, regardless of what the manual says.

JCW

I have an 05 RMZ250 and drain the oil out of the front plug every time I change my oil. You have to pump the oil out by pushing the kick starter a couple of times until the oil stops coming out of it. I can get about 4 tablespoons out of my front resevoir by doing this. I was told by a very good Suzuki dealer mecanic who races MX to drain both resevoirs........along with every person that rides a kawasaki 250f or suzuki 250f.

By the way I stripped my front drain bolt also!:lol: Fixed it by tapping in a slightly wider diameter bolt.:applause:

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The "small" drain port is crucial. Depending on what stroke you stopped the bike on and how much oil is in the top end, and due to the 2 oil reservoirs, the plug is a must. With that said, you are supposed to warm the bike a bit prior to draining the oil, hence the oil in the top end. Failure to drain oil from this location can cause over filling. I had a 04’ and probably did over 200 oil changes. I never had a problem with the plug stripping, I did however have to repair a few others that I worked on. The plug is not an engineering debacle however it would have been an engineering catastrophe if they did not place the drain in that location. If you are only getting a small amount out of this port, then all your oil has drained down to the main cavity. Not to be rude or obtuse, but if your dealer told you that "noone" drains from that port, you probably need to find a new dealer. Again, failure to complete this process may result in overfilling and bigger problems than worrying about a small bolt.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the info everyone. I had an insert and larger bolt put in so I can remove it. There's no doubt it was overtightened before I got it and personally I can see how that would be easy to do. I did it several years ago on one of my son's race bikes and I've been careful not to over tighten bolts since.

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I have a KX125 in my garage, that a friend owns. He bought the bike used. I tried taking the bowl off the carb he other night, and I stripped every one of those little phillps head screws out (the head, not the threads). Still haven't got those little things out... I talked with the guy he bought it from, and he said he had never even taken the bowl off. I fully believe him, since they had absolutely no wear on them before I started. Looks like they were put on extremely tight originally.

Anyway, moral of the story... Sometimes this thing happens. You should just be happy you found it. At least that means you ARE doing maintenance, according to the manual. :-)

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I have an 06 and I don't like how small the front bolt is as well, however, I do get quite a bit of oil out by cycling the kickstart a couple of times and tilting the bike over to each size a couple time. Sometimes when I put the bolts back in I'm afraid of stripping it because its so small.

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I have a KX125 in my garage, that a friend owns. He bought the bike used. I tried taking the bowl off the carb he other night, and I stripped every one of those little phillps head screws out (the head, not the threads). Still haven't got those little things out... I talked with the guy he bought it from, and he said he had never even taken the bowl off. I fully believe him, since they had absolutely no wear on them before I started. Looks like they were put on extremely tight originally.

Anyway, moral of the story... Sometimes this thing happens. You should just be happy you found it. At least that means you ARE doing maintenance, according to the manual. :-)

those screws are terrible to get out, you need to place a good screwdriver in the head then give it a good tap with a hammer, the same applies to the ones on the front brake fluid reseviour.To get the screws out of the carb you can take the carb off and use a pair of mole grips on the sides of the screw heads.

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JCW! If you run the engine fore 2 min before you drain the oil you dont need to drain the m6 plug.

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Lots of good discussions and info. Thanks everyone. As they say, all of us is smarter than one of us.

stephena198301 - I've seen tiny replacement allen screws head bolts for carb bowls. You might want to see if you can get some of those. They rock!

You're right about over-tightening the carb bowl. That's pretty important since a leak there could be a huge problem.

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