One of the most difficult areas of motorcycle service to quantify is the “Oil Change”.
As perceived by a car owner this should be extremely simple as a packaged operation. For a car, it is. The most involved oil change on 95% of cars involves the removal of a lower plate involving a few screws. The average turn time for an operation of this type is .25 hours (15 minutes). All the oil filters are a spin-on type filter. While the transmission and differential levels are checked they are rarely changed, but if needed or requested are done so at a higher price level. No adjustments or point lubrication is done at a “Quick Lube”. Your regular service provider often does offer these services, but not at the $24.95 price.
The quality of the oil and filters are rarely called into question at the “Quick Lube” places. While not prone to disintegration, how many places can say their filters are equivalent or superior to the OEM particle SIZE and FLOW specifications? The media required to provide this is much more expensive than what is sold at the price outlets, whether installed or DIY. The oil specified for many new motors has a lubrication requirement that the 99 cent a quart may meet. In a price-driven environment how much importance is assigned to cost versus quality.
For motorcycles the time can vary widely from .55 hours to 1.1 hours depending upon the level of service required by mileage or owner request. A considerable number of motorcycles do require the removal of one or more pieces of bodywork to properly access the drain plug and filter. Many motorcycles still use a “Canister” type of filter that went out of style with the 1964 Chevy Biscayne. They are a mess to change and clean up after so the bike doesn’t look like an old barbeque when started up.
The oil filters used here meet or exceed all OEM specs for filtration of particle size and flow rate. We don’t shop cheap here and use the same filters in our customers’ bikes that are used in racing applications.
The oil is the current spec for motorcycles NOT CARS. It is also a hell of a lot more expensive.
Lastly, the person doing the service is a trained A level technician. This person is qualified to service, test and diagnose all aspects of a motorcycle. The service does include lubrication and adjustment of the chain, brake pad wear, tire tread wear, a safety check, a test ride, and evaluation of any recommended additional service issues. This takes time and additional effort, but allows a reasonably thorough evaluation of the bike and rider’s needs, making sure your bike is safe to operate.
Our pricing is an attempt to simplify the quotes available to you, the customer. As can be seen from the information above, it can be difficult and the time spent to document and price every last model specific for this service is not time well spent.
If you as a rider don’t need this type of service at the regular intervals recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer perhaps learning the proper way to change your own oil may be in order to allow you to perform this type of inspection yourself.
© Bill Whisenant 2007