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They’re a little short-handed at American Suzuki, enough so that they asked, if we were going to be keeping our loaner V-Strom 1000 for a while, would we mind changing the oil at its 600-mile break-in interval? Actually I think they just wanted to get us to mention their new ECSTAR Suzuki Oil Change Kits, but I was so excited at the change from the usual DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING ON OUR MOTORCYCLE attitude, I’m willing to play along.

I’m sure other OEMs must’ve done complete oil change kits, but I’m not aware of any off the top of my head. The idea strikes me as small stroke of genius, really, made possible I suppose because of the fact that all Suzuki motorcycles share a common oil filter. All you have to figure out then is if you want semi-synthetic or full synthetic, and if your bike needs three or four quarts? For people who agonize over what kind of oil to put in their bike, if it’s a Suzuki, problem solved.


Actually I don’t know about the oil filter commonality, but I know I had one R9000 kit ($59.95) here, with four quarts of Suzuki’s R9000 Full Synthetic 10W-40, and another R7000 kit ($49.95) with four quarts of its R7000 Semi-Synthetic 10W-40 juice (because we’re also in possession of a new GSX-S750 that needs its oil changed): Both kits contained the same Suzuki Genuine Oil Filter Part #16510-07J00 and Genuine Gaskets #09168-14004 and 09168-12002 (one of which will be your new drain plug crush washer), so it was eenie-meenie-miney-moe time, we decided to put the semi-synthetic in the V-Strom.


Removing a couple of fasteners let us pull the Suzuki’s plastic modesty panel aside to reveal its drain plug and easy-access oil filter – easy enough that even the Editorial Director was able to perform the operation with no injuries to himself or the motorcycle. The `Strom says right on its side that it takes 3.7 quarts, which was actually closer to 4 with the new filter. Perfect.


Mainly I was excited to use a new crush washer on the drain plug, since I’ve never done that before in the many oil changes I’ve done over the years. Sadly, I was not able to dislodge the previously crushed crush washer from the drain plug (remind me to get a vise), and the Editorial Director was too busy on the phone to berate me, so those nice new ones went into the junk drawer for use at a later date. Mea culpa. Don’t tell anybody at Suzuki.

As for value, $49.95 for four quarts of premium motorcycle spec semi-synth plus a new filter and washer seems reasonable to me, especially given the convenience and lack of chin-rubbing cogitation required. ECSTAR is a Japanese combination of ecstasy and riding. You’re also supporting Suzuki’s MotoGP team when you buy ECSTAR products, which is a nice feeling. I feel it.

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