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Suzuki Boulevard tire and Portland area repair shop information
What is the best oil and filter for a Suzuki 1500 C90 Boulevard or Intruder?
Save money and become a preferred Customer
IF YOU'RE IN A HURRY, HERE'S THE SUMMARY:
I am *NOT* an AMSOIL Zealot. Dealers make $2.00 in profit for each quart sold (less
our advertising, shipping and blah, blah, blah costs). I don't know about you, but my
reputation is not for sale at any price and certainly not for $2.00!!!!
Oil is not oil!. If you don't know anything about base oils, additive packages,
oil grades, lubricant groups and so on, you should probably listen more and talk less.
Rotella T-6 is formulated for diesel engines. It will not "hurt" your motor since
it meets JASO MA specifications (although JASO MA2 is better). If you don't care that
much about your motor, by all means use Rotella. Again, T6 uses an additive package that
is *NOT* formulated for motorcycles. For example, CJ-4 and later lubricants have
significantly less wear additives, thanks to the U.S. Government.
If you have some sort of a religious attachment to a particular brand or if you think
there is no difference between Valvoline and AMSOIL, you're entitled to your opinion.
But... if you aren't doing a complete oil analysis after every oil change, you really
don't know what you're talking about, right? The fact that your motor doesn't blow up
a few miles after you install Brand X does not mean that Brand X is as good as a high
With synthetics (this is not true of dino lubricants), the lower the Winter viscosity
rating, the better. A 0W-40 has the exact same viscosity as a 10W-40 once the motor
is at operating temperature. For the first 30 minutes or so of [cold] motor operation,
the lower the Winter viscosity rating, the better the lubrication.
Cheaper oil wears out faster and goes out of viscosity grade faster. This is the
hidden cost of "saving money" by buying cheap oil... IT DOESN'T LAST VERY LONG!
A poor quality 10W-40 that goes out of grade and becomes a 20W-30 (or 20W-20) after
1,000 miles is obviously not going to lubricate your motor as well as an oil that stays
at 0W-40 for the entire 5,000 mile drain interval (Duh...). This can easily be
checked periodically using a viscometer, if you're interested.
You will pretty much always save money doing your own oil changes. No businesses I
know of tries to compete with shade tree mechanics. If you're happy killing an
hour installing $20 worth of diesel truck oil and a $5 Fram filter in your bike, don't
let me take the fun out of it for you.
After product costs, expenses, overhead and labor, we make about $10 profit on every
oil change. If you think our prices are too high, you are entitled to your opinion.
But you probably don't know much about running a business, huh?
These auto "Express Lube" places can do an oil change for $19.95 because their teaser
price is for oil and filters that are REALLY crappy. We are not in the crappy oil
business. We do quality work and we use only VERY high quality lubricants that were
specifically designed for use in motorcycles.
Amsoil 0W-40 is ABSOLUTELY the best oil for your Suzuki 1500. Of this there is no doubt.
Saving a couple of bucks by buying diesel truck oil at Walmart is INSANE!
Diesel oil is NOT formulated for motorcycles!!!!!
We've had good results using Castrol 75W-90 rear gear oil, but...
Amsoil 75W-90 is CLEARLY a better GL-5 lubricant and at 7 oz. per fill, a
bottle of gear oil will last a very long time. The difference in price between
an "OK" oil and an excellent oil is pennies. Saving pennies instead of protecting
your $10,000 investment seems rather foolish to us.
We sell most popular brands of very high quality synthetic oils so there really isn't
any profit motive for promoting one product over another. We can sell you Shell Rotella
if that's what you really want, but you will DEFINITELY notice the difference between the two.
K&N KN-138C oil filter for Suzuki 1500's is a well constructed oil filter and does have
a bypass and anti-drain back valves. Our only complaint is that the filter media is made
of cardboard. While we generally acknowledge that K&N filters are among the best that
are out there, this is not the case with their KN-138 model, based on our inspection and
analysis. That is not to say that the KN-138 is a "bad" filter because it is certainly a
high quality filter and will work fine in your Suzuki if you change your oil every 3,000
or so miles. It's just not "the best filter" in this particular application (in our
opinion). You might do better with the Amsoil Eaom109 model which has a much better
- Suzuki replacement battery information -
Suzuki Boulevard C90 1500 battery information: The MotoBatt MBTX16U QuadFlex AGM Battery
is "supposed" to fit the Suzuki Boulevard, according to their advertisements. IT DOES
NOT! Their "quadflex" post adapter is total crap. It is a very bad design that severely
detracts from their otherwise very good (at least their 19 Ah rating, spec-wise) battery.
You don't want to use anything less than 18 Ah. 6"l x 3 7/16"w x 6 3/8"h YTX16-BS, 250 cca
Motocross Support was helpful as far as listening to my issues went but there was
nothing they could do for me to overcome this basic design flaw.
- Impact Battery Company -
Impact Battery did issue an RMA but my refund never showed up. So I was not only out the
$15 it took to ship this thing back, I was also out the $90 I paid for this P.O.C.
battery. I have to say say that Impact Battery, Grants Pass, Oregon, has pretty
miserable "Customer Service" and is one of the worst outfits I have ever dealt with.
I would strongly advise against buying anything from these guys unless you enjoy grief.
I will most likely try a PC625A Odyssesy battery from GMan (we are a Dealer) although
it sounds like getting this much larger than OEM battery to fit could be a struggle.
Suzuki 1500 Boulevard intermittent starting problems
There are a lot of opinions regarding a highly intermittent problem with Suzukis
being unwilling to start. The common workaround is to roll the bike forward and
pop it into second gear to move the cylinder past the compression stage. The
common wisdom being that the decomp mechanism is the root cause of this problem.
My personal spin has been that the Suzuki 1500 electrical system was poorly
designed and that the battery just didn't have the oomph to reliable turn over
the motor for starting. This problem will happen on a totally cold motor as well
as motors that were fully warmed up.
I found the real solution to this problem totally by accident. Pretty much all
batteries need to be "conditioned" before they will hold a full charge. If you put
a Battery Tender Plus on your Suzuki battery and let it go through the complete
conditoning process, you will no longer have a problem starting the Suzuki Boulevard
(assuming that you haven't screwed with the decomp adjustment). My Boulevard would
fail to turn over frequently... once every week or two... HIGHLY intermittently.
I did the Battery Tender Plus thing nearly a year ago and my Suzuki now starts
first time, every time.
We called around the Portland/Vancouver area to find out what shops and Dealerships
are charging for a 4 quart Suzuki oil change. The *BEST* price we could find (4/8/11)
was over $75 for an oil and filter change using a "garden variety" 55 gallon drum
conventional or semi-synthetic oil and an OEM oil filter. Most charged more and sometimes
a LOT more, especially if you wanted a true, full 100% synthetic very high quality
oil. In addition *NO ONE* would do a Suzuki oil change without an appointment except
for a few who made a non-commital "first come first served" offer.
First come, first served?!?! An appointment? For an oil change?!?!!?
How about, "we will start work on your oil change as soon as you arrive and you'll
be on your way with a smile 15-20 minutes later"?
- Suzuki C90 Boulevard and 1500 Intruder oil filter information -
If you know anything about Suzuki oil filters or have done any research on them, you
know that they are quite small. Even the big filter manufacturers farm this one out
... if you look inside, even the K&N filters which we consider to be usually quite
good are unremarkably "common" for the Suzuki. We have torn apart pretty much every
filter that's available for the Suzuki C90 and find that the Amsoil filters are by far
the best construction and offer the best filtering. Therefore, it's the only filter
we use on Suzukis. If you want something else, we will be happy to accommodate you
(with the requisite warning)... but we think you will be very happy with our "house"
oil and oil filters that we use on Suzuki motorcycles.
OIL CAPACITY: The Suzuki 1500 Boulevard/Intruder takes 4 quarts (exactly) with an oil and filter change.
Suzuki recommends changing the oil every 4,000 miles. I generally do mine every 3,500 miles.
I've been using Amsoil Powersport 0W-40 full synthetic and an Amsoil filter. Used to
use Shell Rotella T6 but the valve lash adjusters (and the motor generally) started
getting a little noisy.
CRUSH WASHER: OEM is steel. Motor drain plug washer is 12mm ID, 16 mm OD.
The flat surface of the crush washer goes towards the engine and not against the flat
surface of the drain bolt (although in my personal experience installing the crush
washer in either orientation seems to make no difference).
You definitely want to replace these on every oil change. Torque spec is 15 pounds.
We go a tad over that (closer to 25-30). We recommend upgrading to a Parker stat-o-seal
FINAL DRIVE GEAR OIL: Suzuki recommends changing this every 7,500 miles or once a year.
I use Amsoil 75W-90 Severe Gear oil and usually do it twice a year, every 5,000 or so miles.
CRUSH WASHER: OEM is steel. Rear drive drain plug washer is 14mm ID, 18 mm OD.
The flat surface of the crush washer goes against the flat surface of the rear gear
housing, not against the drain bolt. (although in my experience O-ring orientation
seems to make no difference either way). At the proper torque spec, I've never had a leak.
You definitely want to replace these on every oil change. Torque spec is 17 pounds.
We go a tad over that (closer to 25-30). We recommend upgrading to a Parker stat-o-seal
- PRICES -
SUZUKI BOULEVARD MOTOR OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
USING FULL SYNTHETIC, CJ SERVICE RATING OIL
INCLUDES A BASIC FLUID ANALYSIS SCREENING
$59.95 is our price for doing an oil and filter change using Castrol
conventional oil which is certainly an "OK" lubricant. But, Suzukis
are air cooled motors and *HIGHLY* benefit from the use of a full synthetic
lubricant. This is not a "bait-and-switch" tactic, but you may find the extra
ten bucks well worth the investment to go with a full synthetic.
Most Suzuki Intruder and Boulevard Models
Including the popular C90 1500
Drain and replace motor oil and replace oil filter
High quality 5W-40 full synthetic oil and very high quality Amsoil filter
NOTES: Manufacturer recommends 10W-40 but Suzuki Owners (including myself)
find that a 10W-40 is a bit thick for cold weather starting. A 5W-40 is at
the required SAE40 viscosity once the motor is at operating temperature. If
your valve lash adjusters are noisy when you start your Suzuki at temps below
40F degrees, you'll find that the problem goes away with our 5W-40. We can also
install Amsoil 0W-40, which is an excellent, JASO MA2 rated lubricant, for a
small up charge. Price includes a new drain plug crush washer.
Shell Rotella T-6 5W-40 is a popular lubricant since the Suzuki 1500 is very sensitive
to low end viscosity. Amsoil 0W-40 is probably the better choice for the 1500 though.
Shell Rotella T is not as good a lubricant as the AMSOIL. Diesel oil (which is what
Rotella is) has an enhanced dispersant package to keep soot in suspension. The
increased dispersant is of no value to the bikes. It doesn't hurt anything but is is
no help either. A CF-4 rated oil would be better since it has more moly than CJ-4. But
CF and CH rated oil is getting downright difficult to find. You're fine with a CJ-4
oil (Suzuki recommends API SF or SG rated oil which we think may be a misprint).
However, it would be unwise to exceed the recommended drain intervals if you use any
motor oil that isn't JASO MA2 rated.
We carry a wide variety of very high quality lubricants and filters
We can substitute our house brand for your brand oil/filter choice for a small up-charge
Regrettably, due to the disruptions in the Arab World, there is a $1.00 per quart
of oil used surcharge, which is an extra cost that our suppliers are imposing on us.
This surcharge will add around $4 to your oil change cost and will go away as soon
as this latest, phoney "energy shortage" goes away.
When comparing prices, remember that a screening analysis of your used oil is
included in the above prices.
Schedule a no obligation FREE oil analysis appointment
Suzuki motor oil, filter and rear drive gear lubrication change
Same as above but includes replacing your rear drive gear oil with a very high
quality 75W-90 GL-5 high pressure, full synthetic gear lubricant.
If you only want your gear oil changed, the price for that is $34.95.
- THE SMALL PRINT -
The above prices apply to most Suzuki Boulevard and Intruder models.
Most shops and dealerships charge well over $100 to do an oil change and most require
an appointment a week or more in advance. For the most part, fluid changes are a
sideline for these folks... they are not lubrication experts. They typically
use "average quality" lubricants that they are able to buy in bulk at a low cost.
We do not disparage our competition but motorcycle lubrication is our passion, not
a side business. Even our low cost "House" brands are typically MUCH better quality
products than the stuff most shops offer. Riders who really understand and care about
lubrication come to us because they know that we only use the best lubricants that are
We'll start work on your Suzuki as soon as you show up, with or without an appointment.
The oil change will take 20 minutes or so.. You'll be down the road with a smile for
something VERY close to our advertised price. Is that a deal or what?
What does "Express oil change" mean?
We don't believe that nickel-and-diming customers is the way to build a business.
If you need "something special", a drain plug washer or whatever, you'll still be out
the door with a smile for something very close to these advertised prices.
If you're not totally happy, you won't come back and you won't recommend us to your friends.
"Doing The Right Thing" is good for you and it's good for us!
We will change your old oil FAST and for a lot less dough than you'd pay most anywhere else!
All of our lubricants meet and usually far exceed Manufacturer's recommendations.
If you are running extended drain interval oils or just want to know the condition of
the oil that's currently in your bike, drop by for a free, no obligation analysis!
Need Motorcycle oil for your Suzuki? Click the link below
Fuel capacity: 3.7 US Gallons
Mileage: 50 MPG +/- (stock, highway); about 40 MPG mixed city riding.
Range: About 160 miles (but that would be really pushing it); 130 miles is closer to reality
Appointments are appreciated but are not at all required
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
MOTO ExpressLube, Portland, Oregon
Motorcycle Express Lubrication Service Company
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