Review by James Parchman
[This Pela Products Motorcycle Oil Extractor Review was originally published in the September 2007 issue of Rider magazine]
You know the routine: hoist your motorcycle onto its centerstand; crank the engine and let ‘er warm up a bit; remove the oil filler cap; bennnnnd over, locate and remove the oil drain plug(s) without burning your hands or hitting your head in the process. Try to avoid kicking over the hot oil draining into the catch pan.
On some machines this procedure is painless and simply a rite of passage for every red-blooded biker. On others, it is a real PITA and is done reluctantly or avoided by heading to the dealer for service. Why modern motorcycles don’t have drain plugs, plus the oil, fuel and air filters standardized and easily accessible is a question that should be taken up at the next council of the Bilderberg Society–right after why so few have centerstands!
The procedure for changing engine crankcase oil hasn’t changed much since the days of Ernest Sweetland and his first Purolator, but could there be a simpler and less grungy way? For some motorcycles, the answer is…Yes.
It turns out that Mercedes mechanics, many quick-change lube operations, boat repair yards and small engine repair shops use another method of removing oil from engines. It’s called evacuation and is accomplished by inserting a flexible tube into the dipstick opening or fill cap of an engine, and neatly siphoning out the old oil. Basically, it’s the Shop-Vac approach to oil removal. Evacuators can be powered manually, by electric motors or by air compressors.
Since 1996, Pela Products has designed and marketed several models of manually activated (think tire-pump) oil extractors. Available in 2-14-quart capacities, these Taiwanese manufactured products initially found favor with the boating industry, where a drain-plug oil change process is not an option. Pela’s extractors are designed to remove various types of liquids including water, coolant, motor oil, and hydraulic and transmission fluids.
We tested the Pela model 6000 (6-liter capacity) on a variety of motorcycles and an auto. It says much about our litigious society when a product’s usage instructions require a magnifying glass but the warning label stands out on a large yellow box! On wet-sump motorcycles including Kawasaki’s KLR, BMW’s GS 1150, Honda’s ST 1100 and 1300, and Suzuki’s V-Stroms, the Pela extractor removed only one-third of the vehicle’s oil. Motorcycles with a separate oil tank (many cruisers, BMW 650, etc.) and automobiles had the oil evacuated quickly and completely after tube insertion and 20 or so two-handed pumps on the removable handle. On all machines, the product performed well in removing coolant and final drive fluid, and when it was necessary to remove only a small amount of oil (i.e. overfill).
The Oil Extractor’s plastic container has a carrying handle, making it easy to transport the old fluids for recycling. An oil filter change still requires the normal procedure, but you might wish to read your owner’s manual first, many motorcycles are spec’d to change the filter at every second or third oil change interval. The Pela 6000 Oil Extractor is a useful tool that can quickly pay for itself in time and effort.
For more information contact Pela for the closest dealer and for specific motorcycle applications at www.pelaproducts.com