Oil change tips #1

So many people get hung up on oil changes. Not the oil change in itself, but more the oil grade and type. But before we talk about oil, lets look at some of the consumables/serviceables involved. Here are a few things that you need to watch on the AG200…it’s not rocket science, the AG is a simple and basic design so there are only a few simple things to look for.

New style
New design

First lets look at the oil filter. There have been a few different types released over the years with Yamaha upgrading the gauze to increase the surface area. I don’t think the style really matters that much but just be aware that the newer type will take longer to block up. If you are working on your own bike and you follow a regular maintenance regime, then the old filter design wont be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re a bit slack with your servicing or you service farmers bikes, I’d suggest installing the newer ones. Cockies have been known to skip the odd oil change (see my earlier post)!

Older design
Older design

Inspect the filter very closely after washing it out with solvent. No, it doesn’t need replacing at every change, and if you keep the oil changes up to this engine then it may never need replacing. Once you have washed it out and blown it dry with compressed air, carefully inspect the glue holding the edge of the gauze to the filter body. With age, heat and chemicals that build up in the old oil, this glue can become suspect. This is the time to change the filter.

Filter cover
Filter cover

I have found this only on severely neglected bikes where regular oil changes have been constantly skipped. The nature of the AG200’s use means they don’t get thrashed while going about their daily work so I’m more of the opinion that its the chemical build-up in the oil that is the culprit rather than heat. The more the filter is allowed to clog the more strain it puts on the gauze/glue interface as well so if a filter is deformed in any way, swap it out.

While we are on the issue of filters, the genuine one from Yamaha can be used for around the twenty dollar mark, while after-market K&N units can be had for under ten. Other no-name after market units can be had for even less. Choose your poison. I will look into filter specifics in an up coming post.

So that’s the oil filter, the next “Oil Change Tips” will cover all the other consumables/serviceable hardware.



8 thoughts on “Oil change tips #1

  1. Hi
    What kind of oil grade and type do you recommend for a 2003 AG, with past bad maintenance.

    1. Hi there
      Thanks for reminding me to complete part 2 of the oil change tips!
      What do I recommend? I think the best thing to run is an oil that was intended for the engine when it was designed – 20W/40 or 20W/50 if you are in a hotter climate. I always run a mineral 20W/50 in Australia. I don’t think the oil brand matters that much, just change it often and keep the filter clean.

  2. Hi AGMan 🙂
    thank you very much for your quick reply.
    Right now I am in East Timor, so it’s near you and an hot climate.
    I will stick to your recommendations.
    But what about synthetic oil or semi-synthetic?
    Or why not a lower viscosity like 10w-40?
    BTW, I’m right now thinking about make a trip around the island, more or less 1000km on bad roads and tracks.
    Do you recommend I change the chain or take an extra with me?

    1. Yes you can run synthetic derivatives and lighter viscosity oils but I have found that it makes the gearbox harder to shift. Try different oils and see how you go – you certainly won’t do any damage. Just make sure it’s an oil designed for motorcycles and wet clutches. Additives in a lot of car oils will damage your clutch.
      As for your chain, is the chain guard/cover still on? If it is and your chains and sprockets are currently in good condition then all you need will be some chain lube. It will all depend on the condition of what is on it now.
      Good luck with your trip. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Hello AGMan,

    I recently bought a used AG200. It is my first bike (…and the crowd goes wild…)

    Now, I would like to change the oil and probably the oil filter. Here is where I get stuck.

    I have drained the oil and topped off with some 4T oil (that’s what we get in Kenya) but being new to the AG, and motorcycles as a whole, I have no idea where to find the oil filter. I have looked below and behind everything that I can see, which leads me to believe that I have to remove a panel or two.

    Could you please post a newbie guide to oil changes/oil filter maintenance? It would be a great help.

    Thanks for all the guidance, and I hope you recovered fully from the fall, and the burn that came with it!

    Best regards

    1. Hi Ken
      Thanks for the comments and don’t let anyone put you down on owning an Ag – They are a cool bike! First of all, you don’t have to replace the filter; its a mesh gauze that can be cleaned with solvent so that should save you some money right there! I have plans for some basic servicing posts once I get this carby thing out of the way so keep coming back and I will have an oil change tutorial as soon as I can. For now I have updated my Oil Change Tips #1 post with a photo of the oil filter cover. When you are sitting on the bike its on your right hand side of the motor. Three bolts hold it in – two 8mm hex and a 5mm Allen/hex. Keep an eye on the rubber O-rings when you remove the cover and then the filter just slides out. You can also download the manual if that helps. Good luck with your AG200.

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