KTM 1290 Super Duke R Oil Change DIY

In this Chance Moto DIY, we’ll be doing a detailed step-by-step walkthrough on how to perform an oil change on the KTM 1290 (LC8) motor.  This procedure was performed on a 2018 Super Duke R but will apply to any of the 1290 bikes (1290 Super Duke GT, 1290 Super Adventure, etc).

Supplies you’ll require for this DIY are 1) fresh oil (~3.5L) of your choice and 2) a new oil filter cartridge (KTM part # 61338015200).  Optional replacement (wear) parts are the rubber gaskets for the 2 oil drain bolts and oil filter cover which are included in the KTM Oil Filter Service Kit (KTM part # 00050000068).

Whatever oil brand you choose (in our case, “Swiss Gold”), make sure you run the recommended viscosity for the temperature range you’ll be operating in (10W50 shown here). Also note that KTM recommends oil changes every 10,000 kms / 6,000 miles.

Required tools:

  • T30 Torx
  • 13mm socket
  • Ratchet w/extension
  • Pliers

Also Recommended (optional):

  • Torque wrench
  • Reverse/Snap Ring pliers (for oil filter extraction)
  • Tin foil (to cover exhaust as shown below)

You’ll also want the usual assortment of shop towels, an oil drain pan, pig mat, disposable gloves and a funnel.

A T30 Torx and 13mm socket are mandatory but we highly recommend the pliers and torque wrench.


  • As with any oil change, the oil will flow out of the bike much more quickly and effectively if it’s hot, so either take it for a ride or let it warm up for 5 minutes
  • Put the bike on a paddock stand or on its side stand
  • On the left side of the bike, locate the oil drain bolts and oil filter cover (as shown below)
  • Remove the oil filler cap to increase flow of oil out of the motor
Oil drain bolts (2) and oil filter cover bolts (2) are marked in green.

Step 1: 

  • Pull the left oil drain bolt
  • If you release it slowly, you can avoid a hot oil deluge and resulting mess
Pull each drain bolt slowly to avoid making a mess.

Step 2:

  • Cover the exhaust with some tin foil
  • Pull the right oil drain bolt
We highly recommend the tin foil hack to keep oil off the exhaust plumbing.

Step 3:

  • Remove the 2 x T30 Torx bolts that hold the oil filter cover in place
  • Using a set of pliers (and shop cloth, to avoid scratching), pull the oil filter cover off
Use care when removing the cover as the metal is brittle and will mark easily.
  • Once the cover has been removed, pull out the oil filter cartridge using the reverse pliers
  • If you do not have a set of reverse pliers, you can try using regular pliers…in reverse
  • Take note of the asymmetric nature of the filter cartridge as you will want to ensure correct orientation when inserting the new one
  • With both oil drain bolts and the oil filter removed, let all the oil drain from the bike
Pay particular attention to the orientation of the oil filter. Putting it in backwards will result in a catastrophic failure from oil starvation.

Step 4:

  • Clean an inspect the oil filter cover gasket (black rubber seal)
Although the oil filter cover can be mounted with the letters right side up or upside down, we recommend keeping the same orientation to make it easier if you are using the rubber gasket.
  • Clean and inspect the oil drain bolt gaskets (x2)
  • Keep an eye on the 3 rubber gaskets, as they degrade with time and will eventually result in leaks (KTM replacement part # 00050000068)
Unlike conventional oil drain bolts which typically use a metal crush washer, these use rubber gaskets so be sure to check them for wear.

Step 5:

  • Insert the new oil filter cartridge, paying particular attention to the orientation
  • The cartridge goes in with the open end (with rubber seal) on the inside and the solid ring facing out
  • If you’re meticulous, you can pre-pour a little oil into the filter to get the media saturated (optional)
  • Wipe the cover’s mating surface clean (on the motor) to ensure no debris will interfere with the seal
  • Replace the oil filter cover by hand-pressing it on and orienting it so that the bolts have a clear path to the threads through the cover
  • The cover should fit snugly on the motor before you insert and tighten the bolts
  • Hand tighten the 2 x T30 Torx bolts -you do not need to torque them
  • Their purpose is only to hold the cover in place, so the required torque is probably less than you think
The image on the left shows the side that goes in first. When you press it into the motor, you should hear it lock into place.

Step 6:

  • Wipe the mounting surfaces clean for the oil drain bolts
  • Replace the 2 x 13mm oil drain bolts and torque to 20nM
  • Wipe all residual oil off the motor -this will make it easier to check for leaks in the latter steps

Step 7:

  • Begin refilling the oil
  • Unless you measured how much came out of the bike, you can begin by adding 3L
  • Due to the location of the sight glass, it’s normal for it to look like the bike is over-filled until you’ve run the bike to circulate the oil
There’s something magnificent about watching that Swiss gold flow.
  • Put the oil fill cap on and start the bike
  • Let the bike run for 30 seconds to get oil circulating throughout the motor
  • Turn the bike off and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle

Step 8:

  • With the bike level (and not on the side stand), top up the oil to the recommended level, using the sight glass
  • KTM’s manual states that the oil level should be between the 1st and 2nd hash mark from the top
Excerpt from 2018 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Manual (photo credit, KTM)
  • Once you’ve reached the correct oil level, run the bike for 1 minute to ensure that the oil has completely circulated and that the oil filter is saturated
  • This is a good time to check for any leaks
  • Turn the bike off, check the oil level one more time and top up as needed
When checking the oil level, make sure the bike is level and don’t be afraid to wait a little while and check it again, just to be sure.

Step 9:

  • Clean up and go ride!

7 thoughts on “KTM 1290 Super Duke R Oil Change DIY

Add yours

    1. The ABS and oil pressure lights are on by default before you start the bike. Just double check your oil level in the sight glass with the bike held upright and you are good to go.


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