How to Change Oil in a Triumph Motorcycle

Once the premier name in motorcycles, UK-based Triumph Motorcycles' new line of bold, distinctive motorcycles features handsome lines derived from their classic bikes. And like any other motorcycle, Triumph's motorcycles require a regular maintenance routine. Recommended every 6,000 miles, the occasional oil and filter change can be done relatively quickly with the right tools and preparation, getting you back on the road in no time.

Clean the underside of the motor with soap and water to remove any dirt and oil build-up that could contaminate the motor.

Warm your motorcycle to operating temperature by starting the motor and letting the oil warm up or by taking a short ride. The oil will expand slightly and flow better to give you a more accurate reading.

Park the motorcycle on a level surface and turn the ignition switch to the "Off" position. Place your Triumph on its centre stand, if equipped with one, to provide additional stability.

Place your catch basin directly below the oil drain plug on the underside of the motor and remove the drain plug with the appropriately-sized socket. Allow the oil to drain until the flow has reduced to a thin trickle then replace the drain plug.

Locate the oil sump drain plug and centre your catch basin below it. Remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain until the flow is reduced to a thin trickle then replace the drain plug. Replace the drain plug. Note that this step is only required on certain models, such as the Thunderbird Sport and older "oil-in-frame" models.

Remove the oil filter with an oil filter wrench and discard the old filter.

Fill the new oil filter with fresh oil, coating the inner lip of the filter lightly with oil to provide a stronger seal before screwing the filter onto the motor. Tighten the filter by hand until it is secure.

Add your engine oil into the oil tank. Replace the cover and wipe away any spilt oil.

Locate the engine sump bolt, located at the base of the cylinders and the carburettors. Remove the bolt and add half a quart of oil into the sump. Replace the bolt and wipe away any spilt oil. Note that this step is only required on older "oil-in-frame" models.


Refer to a service manual specific to your model of Triumph motorcycle for in-depth details regarding this process. If you do not feel comfortable performing this task, have the work done by a qualified technician.


Use caution when draining the oil to prevent burns. To prevent the oil from reaching extreme temperatures, only allow the motorcycle to warm up for a few minutes. Do not use tools or excessive force when tightening the oil filter to prevent damage. Double-check that the oil filter cap is secured before starting the motor again to prevent spraying oil. Do not dispose of used oil in a drain or dustbin. Take it to an auto parts store for recycling.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Engine oil, 4 litres (1.06 quarts)
  • Oil filter
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Socket set, metric
  • Socket wrench
  • Rags or towels
  • Catch basin or container
  • Service manual (optional)
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.