Question: How much does a motorcycle oil change cost on average?
A few months ago, I needed to get the oil changed on a Suzuki DL-650 and wondered what the cost would be. I called a dealer for a quote, then took the bike to the shop. Here’s a breakdown of the price for my machine in Illinois; your price may differ.
The cost of an oil change from a dealer will probably be dependent on your bike, the cost of supplies, and how long it takes.
Keep in mind the oil change on a Suzuki V-Strom is easy, which is not the case with all motorcycles.
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My total cost: $90.02 + 135 minutes of my time
I had the dealer change my oil, and here is a price and time breakdown.
The original Suzuki oil filter cost $13.99 and the oil cost $12.48 for 2.5 quarts of 10W-40 motorcycle-specific oil. (There is a difference between motorcycle oil vs car oil, which explains the higher cost for oil.) The parts cost total was $26.47.
The labor total was $58.46, with the total time for service taking about 45 minutes. Ride time to the shop was 90 minutes round-trip.
The service included additional preventative maintenance and checks.
According the receipt, it included checking the battery, gear oil, antifreeze level; clutch, throttle, brake, steering and suspension operation; tire pressure, chain adjustment and lube; spark plugs; electrical components working; lubing grease fittings; clean or replacing air filter; axle torqued; and instruments checked.
Shop supplies cost $2.92 and Illinois sales tax was $2.17.
When all was said and done, I paid $90.02 for a motorcycle oil change at the dealer. The price included parts, labor, shop supplies, and sales tax.
I spend 135 minutes getting the task completed, along with driving time. (Side note: I was able to get use out of my new motorcycle throttle lock.) It was time- and money-expensive, I think.
How much should an oil change cost?
I did a quick search on the Internet and found that others were reporting similar motorcycle dealer oil change prices. I saw costs ranging from $50 to $200.
Is the cost worth it? It depends, I think.
It depends on the time required for the service, including ride time; your mechanical skill level; your bike; and many other factors.
About “many other factors”: My bike is still under warranty, which is why opted for the dealer to do the work instead of the DIY method. I wanted maintenance recorded with the VIN / serial number at the dealer in case I wanted to sell the bike in the future. (My DL-650 was bought new.)
Once the bike is out of warranty in a few months, I plan on doing oil changes myself. (Oil changes on a V-Strom are easy — even with accessories like crash bars and skid plates, from what I’ve read. A 600cc sportbike with fairings may be another story.)
The real question between DIY oil changes and having the dealer do them comes down to this: How much is your time worth?
To me, that is the answer to how much you should pay for an oil change on your motorcycle.
I want to use a car and motorcycle oil and filter changes as examples.
Car example: I always pay to have the oil changed in my car. My local shop charges less than $25 dollars for the service. In this instance, I can’t buy oil, a filter, put the vehicle on jack stands, change the oil and filter, recycle the oil, then get cleaned up in less than 1 hour.
Because the shop is 1 block from my house, I can drop the car off, walk back home, live life and they call when the car is done.
Total time I spend messing around getting the oil change in the car is about 15 minutes, with a $25 cost. It takes 2 minutes of driving time, about 7 minutes of walking time, and about 6 minutes for talking to the service manager explaining what needs to be done and paying for the service.
My time is worth more than the roughly $10-$15 savings to opt for the DIY method for the car.
Motorcycle example: My motorcycle will be a different story once the warranty is over.
The dealer is 45 minutes away, which is a 90 minute round trip. There is also the time the dealer takes servicing the bike, which is about 45 minutes.
The time required for an oil change at the dealer (with travel time) takes more than 2 hours. There is also the parts, labor, shop supplies, and tax cost, which is almost $91. (For this oil change, conventional was used, which made the cost lower than synthetic oil.)
From a time vs cost perspective, the DIY route for changing motorcycle oil is going to be my preferred route once the bike is out of warranty. I will save about 1 hour of time and about $50.
Of course, the time it takes to complete an oil change on a motorcycle will depend on the bike. A sport bike with fairings that need to be removed to even access the filter will take more time than a bike that the oil drain plug and filter are out in the open.
To me, it all comes down to how much your time is worth.
Shop tools, supplies
It is important to note that you need tools and a place to do your oil change if you plan on doing the maintenance yourself.
At a minimum, you need a wrench for the oil drain plug and a oil filter removal tool, along with a bucket for the used motor oil and gloves. (Used motor oil may be carcinogenic and you do not want that on your hands.)
Tools and supply costs are important to account. Cost will be less than an oil change at a dealer, sure, and amortized over time through the amount of oil changes you do. But there is an up-front cost with them, though.
The mess is another factor to consider. Despite how clean you are, changing oil does make a little mess. A good parts washer solvent can help clean up the bike; a good soap can help clean you up.
Motorcycle oil change near me: Popular motorcycle dealer locator links
Big cities like Chicago, New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles make it easy to find a motorcycle dealer. Even if you live in more suburban or rural areas, you should be able to find a dealer near you to get your bike serviced. To make life easier for you, here is a list of motorcycle dealers with links to search for a dealer near you.
Wrenching on your bike can alert you to other problems you might not notice on your pre-ride inspections.
I hope this provides insight into about how much does a motorcycle oil change cost?
UPDATED on 5/3/2019: I have 18,000 miles on the bike as of now. As it stands, I have done all the oil changes except two — the first oil change and when I took the bike in for a stator recall.
The cost savings has been worth it, especially because I use synthetic oil and change it as soon as the shifting just does not feel as good as it should.
That said, oil changes on this bike are really easy — even with the skid plate I have on it.