In search of an oil change

Before leaving the campsite in Little Fort I called the Suzuki dealer in Kamloops and asked about an oil change. To change the oil on my motorcycle takes maybe 15 minutes if you go slow. It involves removing one bolt, draining 2.5 quarts of oil, reinstalling the bolt and adding new oil. It’s super easy and fast. The dealer quoted me 45 minutes of shop time at $107CAD an hour plus parts. He said it would come to about $200 CAD … but they could fit me in. Hell, at that profit margin I’d make time as well. I nearly passed out when he told me the price.

Cue stress. During the ride into Kamloops I was going through my options. Do nothing and change the oil when I get home. Not really an option since I was already 800 miles over the interval of 4000 miles and we had another 1700 miles to go. Bite the bullet and pay $200. No. Buy the oil from a dealer and find a place where I could do an oil change. The Walmart in town didn’t have a tire/lube center so I called Jiffy Lube and one other local place to see if they would let me borrow an oil drain pan so I could change the oil in the parking lot. No dice, they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Called another motorcycle dealership but they didn’t have  availability until a week out and weren’t any cheaper. My options were quickly evaporating and I was mentally preparing myself to get raked over the coals at the Suzuki dealership. As a sanity check I had also called a Suzuki dealer in Spokane, WA and they quoted me $55 of labor plus parts which was reasonable.

While I was calling around, Diane did some searching and found a Honda dealership further south in Penticton, BC. Not only could they fit us into the schedule either today or first thing tomorrow morning but the service guy, Anthony, quoted us about half an hour of labor at $55 plus parts which was in line with the quote I got from the Spokane dealer. So, we left Kamloops behind and headed towards Penticton.

Ride through the mountains, get rained on. Rinse and repeat. So too on our ride to Penticton. We rode through several downpours and temperature changes – there were even signs indicating to expect extreme weather changes in certain sections – before it got warmer again as we turned off 97C onto 97. Arriving at the dealer shortly after 15:00, Anthony was able to fit us in the same day. One of his technicians did the oil change in 20 minutes of shop time. I ended up paying $64 CAD which is very reasonable and took away a major stress factor.

With the oil change out of the way we found a camping spot at South Beach Gardens RV Park about 10 minutes from the dealership. It was packed with families but we got a good spot and, more importantly, there were no mosquitoes. Diane splurged on some ice cream and we relaxed the rest of the evening in nice, warm weather. The dark clouds appeared again for awhile but they stayed to the east and we stayed dry.

Todays route.


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