Review by Dave Bucher
[This Bergmen Concours Motorcycle Oil-Filter Adapter Review was originally published in the October 2007 issue of Rider magazine]
If there is a hell, I hope there’s a special place in it reserved for the guy who designed the bodywork on the 2007-and-earlier Kawasaki Concours. Oh, it’s durable enough, and it doesn’t look too bad despite being a quarter-century-old design, but taking it apart and putting it together can be a nightmare: Countless fasteners, all of different lengths, grommets in some places, washers in others, endless alignment problems on reassembly. I could go on.
The problem is that to do a simple and oft-needed operation like an oil change, you have to remove and replace the lower pan section of that bodywork, a frustrating half-hour task. Some Concours owners have bypassed this by cutting away the rear portion of the pan, but that still leaves problem No. 2–that messy internal cartridge oil filter. Again, lots of parts and lots of drips as you pull out the cover plate, O-rings, bypass valve, spring, washer and hollow bolt. I could go on.
With one brilliant purchase, I’ve solved the problem. Bergmen Engineering has crafted a spin-on oil filter adapter that makes the process almost civilized. You still have to drain the engine oil from two separate drain plugs, but the filter swap is now a piece of cake. This product fits all pre-2008 Concours as well as a long list of other Kawasakis ranging back to 1984, including ELs, EXs, GPZs, ZLs, ZRs, even the Kawasaki Voyager.
Gary Murphy, of Murph’s Kits, the exclusive distributor for this product, told me I’d be impressed when I got it. He was right. CNC-machined billet aluminum, polished to a high shine, is always impressive. The kit is essentially a sturdy cup with a wide lip and appropriately drilled and threaded holes. The other two pieces are a hollow nipple and a large O-ring, similar to the one used on the original cover plate.
Installation couldn’t be simpler and–in a rare case for aftermarket motorcycle products–the instructions are almost too complete and too well illustrated. First remove everything original and store it. Good riddance! Next fit the supplied nipple, with some of the supplied thread locker on its threads, into the original bolt hole up inside the filter cavity. You need a 27mm deep socket and a torque wrench to do this properly–I was so excited I went ahead and bought a metric deep socket set from Harbor Freight! Then fit the O-ring in the grove off the alloy cup, smear some of the supplied sealant over it and over the lip, and thread the cup onto the nipple. A tool is supplied for tightening and properly torqueing the cup. Now all that remains is to fit an easily available automotive spin-on filter into place.
While the company doesn’t recommend a specific brand filter, it has a list of applicable filters on its website (www.bergmenengineering.com). You can also order filters when you purchase the spin-on adapter. Decision time–there is a short filter available that doesn’t require any modification to the pan plastic; the longer filter does. In either case, changing the filter without pan removal will require cutting a semi-circle from the plastic pan. Ignoring the template offered on the website, I did this using a saber saw after scribing a guide line using the filter. I still opted for the smaller filter, though, since the longer one would have protruded down below the pan, and I was concerned about it being damaged by a speed bump or some other road debris.
Despite the obsessively thorough and compendious instructions, installation was simple, almost fun. The only bad part was reinstalling that plastic…something I won’t have to do again. I checked things closely during my first ride and there were no runs, no drips and no errors. With the thought that oil changes will now be a pleasure instead of a pain, the $110 asking price for this product seems like a bargain.
For more information visit www.murphskits.com