K&N oil filter, Spectro Platinum 4 oil
$13.99 (filter), $14.99/quart
When oil change time comes around you typically won’t find me dancing and skipping my way to the garage. It’s really not the most exciting project after all. Certainly not on par with fitting an aftermarket exhaust, anyways. But I managed to actually merge both of those activities into one this month, though not at all by choice and certainly not to my pleasure.
What does the exhaust have to do with changing oil, you ask? Usually nothing, aside from being somewhat in the way and a repository for oil spills when removing the filter. But the association on the 2011 R1 is that the Brocks full exhaust has a different header configuration than stock, which unfortunately means the oil filter can’t be removed without dropping the headers.
An oil change should have been a half hour job, but it turned into something closer to two hours. The attraction of K&N oil filters soon became apparent when I couldn’t get the stock filter loose. K&N fits a 17mm nut to the head of its filters, so it’s an easy on, easy off deal. Getting the stock filter loose required the old “screwdriver stab” move, but since the headers were out of the way anyways the extra mess that is usually created with that filter removal approach was negligible.
Standard paper filters (right)...
Standard paper filters (right) aren't designed to flow as well with semi and full synthetic oils as K&N's synthetic media is. Nor will it break down as quickly from these types of highly concentrated oils so it can be safely used for longer service intervals (unlike standard paper filters). Note the K&N's helpful 17mm nut with hole for wire tie.
Sometimes you simply have to take these minor annoyances in stride, but thankfully the Brocks system uses an ingenious flange system that greatly reduces the frustration and uncertainty when fitting pipes with fixed flanges. Once the flanges are fit, the headers slide right in and are fastened with springs, making quick work of an otherwise lengthy task.
With the crusty oil drained and everything buttoned back up I flicked on the key and started to thumb the starter to make sure there were no exhaust leaks. Thankfully I stopped short. Realizing that the initial task was changing oil (not exhaust) I dumped in four quarts of Spectro Platinum 4 10W-40 full synthetic. But why not just use some Castrol from AutoZone that costs five times less? Spectro’s full synthetic blend boasts the JASO stamp that guarantees it doesn’t have friction modifiers like car oil.
Not a very eventful month in the quest to create the perfect R1, but it’s about to get juicy. I think I might have found the solution to the hideous undertail predicament I created by fitting a low mount exhaust, but I’ll need a little time, fiberglass and resin to be sure…
Next Month: An undertail solution.