Honda CH250 engine oil change is quite simple yet ignored by many owners. Honda
did not include a paper-type oil filter in it's design of the CH250. The oil is
screened and not filtered. Thus, it is possible for 10-50 microns of dirt and
debris to bypass the screen in the engine oil circulating system. It's best to
know that in the design of the CH250, the oil is screened prior to the oil pump
circulating the oil to the cylinder head. That's some good news.
Nonetheless, it is imperative that oil changes be made timely and with quality
oils. The oil capacity of the CH250 is .85 U.S. quart oil. Always check the oil
with the cap/dipstick touching the filler hole but not screwed in. The oil
level should be at or near the upper level of the dipstick mark.
What kind of oil should I use? Should I use petroleum based oils? Should I use
synthetic based oils? How about a blend of both? Each provide excellent
protection against wear and thermal breakdown. However, synthetics, which cost
more, provide additional wear protection upon cold starts, polymer friction coatings, longer
recommended oil change intervals and viscosity retention. Harley-Davidson, who
never admitted until recently that synthetic oils existed, now uses their own
synthetic brand oil in their motorcycles.
Motorcycle Consumer News, an advertiser-free independent publication, released a
study by John C. Woolum/ Ph.D., Professor of Physics, California State
University, Los Angeles, who compared the use of automotive motor oils in
motorcycles, use of motorcycle specific oils vs. automotive oils in motorcycles
and oil viscosity breakdown of various motor oils used in motorcycle
The automotive oils tested were Castrol GTX 10W40 (petroleum based, $1.24/qt.),
Castrol Syntec 10W40 (synthetic, $3.99/qt.) and Mobil 1 15W50 (synthetic,
$3.48/qt.). The motorcycle oils were Spectro 4 10W40 (petroleum based,
$4.99/qt.) and Honda HP4 10W40 (petroleum/synthetic blend, $5.99/qt.).
Each of these oils was run in the same motorcycles-1984 Honda V65 Sabre-under as
near to identical conditions as possible. The oils were sampled for testing at
0, 800 and 1500 miles each. Mobile 1 15w50 automotive oil out-performed all the
others in the test. More importantly, the test data revealed:
1. The viscosity of synthetic-based oils generally drops more slowly than that
of petroleum-based oils in the same application.
2. Comparing these figures to viscosity retention for the same oils when used in
an automobile would indicate that motorcycles are indeed harder on oils than
3. The fastest and most significant drop in the viscosity of petroleum-based
oils used in motorcycles occurs during the first 800 miles (or less) of use.
4. The viscosities of petroleum-based oils, whether designed for auto or
motorcycle application, drop at approximately the same rate when used in a
5. There is no evidence that motorcycle-specific oils out-perform their
automotive counterparts in viscosity retention when used in a motorcycle.
To change the oil on the CH250, run the scooter until the engine temperature is
warm. Place the scooter on its center stand. Remove the cap/dipstick from the
right side engine filler hole. Place an oil pan under the engine and remove the
17mm oil filter screen cap. Remove the oil filter spring and screen. Clean the
oil filter screen with solvent. Inspect the O-ring on the filter cap for wear.
(Tip: For 1985-86 models, lean the scooter over on its right side, bracing it
with your leg and excess oil will come out both the dipstick hole and the drain
hole that normally would be left inside the crankcase. For 1987-88 models, drain
oil by unscrewing 17mm drain bolt which is directly under the crankcase.)
Re-install the filter screen, spring (large side inward) and filter screen cap
in order. Fill the crankcase with the recommended oil and check the oil level.
Ride the scoot up to operating temperature and then re-check for any leaks.
Did you know that not all Honda recommended CH250 oil change intervals are the
same? For the 1985-1987 CH250, Honda recommends to change the oil at 1250 miles.
For the 1988 CH250, Honda recommends to change the oil at 2000 miles.
Remember--the CH250 has no paper oil filter. Never allow that much mileage
between oil changes. Tip-Of-The-Day: You should never see your dash panel oil
indicator show red. Change your oil when the odometer turns over an even 1000
miles and your riding days will be happy ones.
Randy Pozzi (Rev. 07/2005)