Ducati Substitute Oil Filters and
a Multistrada 620 Oil and
by Rick K. and "Mad Dog" Earle for webBikeWorld.com
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Editor's Note: Most of the information you'll
need to change the oil and filter on a Ducati
Multistrada can be found in my
Oil and Filter Change article.
After a year or so of ownership, I had changed the oil and filter on the
Multistrada 620 only twice. It was changed once during the 600-mile service by
a local repair shop and I wrote a short entry in my
Multistrada 620 Blog about that experience.
According to my logs, I changed it again in May of
2008, using a Ducati oil filter and Motul V300 15W-30
So I decided to change it once more before winter
2008 sets in. The Multistrada is the default
winter bike around here because it's easy to ride, it's
Tourmaster Synergy heated clothing (review) and its
vestigial fairing and
Ducati hand guards (review) help to keep at least
some of the cold breezes off the rider's hands and chest.
I don't remember changing the Multistrada's oil and filter back in
May -- in fact, I'm pretty sure that I simply drained the oil and
re-filled it, without changing the filter. I'm not sure why I didn't write that
up for the blog, so I'll now try and make amends.
But over the past year, more than one Ducati owner has
written to tell us about substitute Ducati oil filters
made by Amsoil. Some owners rave
about them, although how it's possible to really tell a
good oil filter from a better oil filter is beyond me.
I've always been one to go by the book -- or the
owner's manual, in this case -- rather than try to
second-guess the motorcycle manufacturer's engineers on
which oil to use.
And the Ducati manual is actually more liberal than
most when it comes to oil recommendations, so my feeling
is that if the oil is changed at regular intervals, just
about any decent oil that meets the specs will work
fine. After all, when's the last time you heard of
a motorcycle or car engine failing due to poor oil
The same goes for oil filters. Who can second
guess the engineers? The Ducati oil filter looks
pretty rugged -- if looks mean anything. And since
the bike is still under warranty, I figured it's best to
use an official Ducati part rather than a substitute.
But, in the interest of science, we ordered a gaggle of
Ducati substitute oil filters from Amsoil. Oil filters
(and oil) can be ordered directly from the
by the way.
Amsoil recommends Ducati substitute oil filter part number EaO138C
(or EAOM138C as it's printed on the invoice, I believe
that's an "O" rather than a "0" [zero]).
Apparently, Amsoil must have some sort of relationship with Wix,
because Wix filters are also sold on the Amsoil site,
and, as it turns out, the Amsoil and Wix Ducati oil
filters look nearly identical (see Owner Comments
and Feedback from AMSOIL Below).
But first, a little background on the Amsoil
motorcycle filters. Their Ea filters are, they
claim, "made with
full synthetic nanofiber technology", although I'm not sure if
the term "synthetic nanofiber"
makes a lot of sense, or if the word "nanofiber" is a realistic
word. Whatever -- the marketing department strikes
Amsoil claims the filters are "Guaranteed for 25,000
miles or one year when used in conjunction with AMSOIL
motor oil in normal service", and this may be, but I
can't think of any reasonable motorcycle owner who'd let
their bike go that long between filter changes, and who
would you blame if things went wrong?
The current retail price as of this writing for the
Amsoil EAOM138C Ducati oil filter substitute is a
whopping $16.90, plus shipping, handling and possible
sales tax. We bought four filters and the shipping
was $7.50 and state sales tax was also added in.
We placed our order several months ago, and the
filters were either on sale back then or the price has
gone up, because we paid $15.10 for the Amsoil filter.
They only had two Amsoil EAOM138C filters in stock when
we placed the order, so we also ordered two Wix 557013
Ducati substitute filters. Wix filters can also
be ordered directly from the Amsoil website, again an
indication of some sort of corporate relationship.
The marketing info for the Wix 557013 is slightly less
provocative, saying only that the filter is "Made with a
full metal base plate for superior strength at the
double seal & also feature a silicone anti-drainback
valve. Glass-enhanced media in WIX oil filters
offers greater efficiency, capturing more 10 to 12
micron sized particles than other cellulose/synthetic
Both oil filters look similar, but not identical, and
both the Wix and Amsoil substitute oil filters also look different from the
Ducati filter. In fact, they look so different
that I was reluctant to use either one, and I went back
to the Amsoil website to check once more to make sure I
had the correct part numbers.
Here's a chart I put together, illustrating the
As you can see in the next photo, there is what I think is a
significant difference in the height of the Ducati oil
filter compared to the Amsoil and Wix filters.
But, it's hard to tell what's inside of the filter body,
so this may or may not be meaningful.
Wix EAOM138C oil filter (left); Ducati 444.4.003.4A oil
Comparing another feature, the business end of the
oil filters also look significantly different.
Here's a photo comparing the Amsoil EAOM138C (left) with
the Ducati 444.4.003.4A oil filter (right):
Amsoil EAOM138C (left); Ducati 444.4.003.4A (right).
You can see that the oil intake holes in the Amsoil
oil filter are larger in diameter, and the silicone
anti-drainback valve (brown color in holes) is clearly
visible. It's possible that the oil in the used
Ducati oil filter on the right is blocking the view to
the anti-drainback valve; I don't have a new Ducati oil
filter to compare.
Both the Amsoil and Wix oil filters came with a chrome
finish, which I could certainly do without, but no harm
I guess, because 90% of the filter body is buried under
and inside the Desmo L-twin anyway, so no one will ever
know you have a chrome plate oil filter.
The Amsoil EAOM138C is on the left, with its 16 flats,
or flutes more like in this case. The Wix 557013 is
on the right; it has 14 flats on the body, a strange
Amsoil EAOM138C (left, with its 16 flats, or flutes more
like in this case. The Wix 557013 is on the right.
So now I had to find yet another oil filter cap wrench
to fit the Amsoil filter. You think they could
standardize on these things? Nah...
I discussed the Ducati oil filter wrench issue and the
octagonal Vector 17030 oil filter cap wrench that fits
the standard Ducati 74 mm oil filter in my previous
Oil and Filter Change article. See that
article for a lot more details on this project.
So I had a Vector 17030 to fit the Ducati branded oil
filter, but it doesn't fit the Amsoil or Wix filters --
I didn't realize both them would be that much different
than the Ducati filter.
Rummaging around in the toolbox, I found a Vector 17000,
and it fits the Wix 557013, so I'm all set with that
one. I believe the Vector 17000 is 76 mm
across, but it seems to have enough grip to work on the
The 16-flute Amsoil EAOM138C is a different story.
I now have 8 cap-style oil filter cup wrenches, and a
handful of strap wrenches of different diameters, but
wouldn't you know it -- nothing to fit the Amsoil
So down I went to the local auto parts store and the
clerk -- an old-timer who probably forgot more about
auto parts than most people know -- found me a CarQuest
STL 54740, with a dual 74 mm and 76 mm hex end.
This two-for-one wrench is also marked and sold as a
Lisle 54740 "End Cap Filter Wrench", again with the dual
74 mm and 76mm end (here's the hot tip: you can get just
about any type of oil wrench available at the
The CarQuest 54740 has 15 flutes, which seems to fit the
Amsoil EAOM138C, but not the Ducati or Wix filters.
It cost me $6.31, and I should have bought the nice
Sunex End Cap Oil Filter kit, which costs about $30.00
and includes 5 different cap wrenches, some with dual
fitments, and comes in a molded case.
Wix 5557013 box (left); Amsoil EaO138C box (right).
Ducati wrench on right; universal removal wrench left.
CarQuest (Lisle) STL 54740 End Cap Oil Filter Wrench,
fits 74 mm and 76 mm, 15-flute filters.
and help support webBikeWorld
Replacing the Multistrada Oil Filter
OK, I won't go into all the gory details about draining
the oil on the Multistrada, because I covered that in my
"master" Ducati oil and filter change article.
Suffice it to say that it's very easy to do, especially
if the bike is held by something like the
Acebikes Steady Stand front wheel chock.
So I'll pick up at the point of threading on the new oil
As I mentioned above, I was a bit anxious about putting
what looked like a quite different filter back on the
bike, but in the interest of science, I forged ahead.
I chose the Amsoil filter to try first, for no
particular reason. It threaded on to the 620 cc
Multistrada engine with no problems, but the 11 Nm of
torque suggested in the MTS shop manual seemed excessive
and the filter seemed like it wouldn't stop turning.
I was able to get it up to 10 Nm with the torque wrench
and left it at that.
But then I realized that I forgot to first fill the
Amsoil filter with oil -- an important part of the job
to help avoid, as much as possible, starting the engine
with low oil pressure.
So I unscrewed the Amsoil filter again and -- lucky for
me -- I realized that the rubber gasket was missing.
It was stuck up inside the engine.
The seating gasket came off the Amsoil EAOM138C filter.
The gasket pulls right off the Wix 557013 filter
also...and the Ducati filter too.
I was able to retrieve it, and this brings up an
important point. This happened to me once before
recently, when changing the oil in a car.
realize the rubber gasket could come off the filter --
any filter (not just the Amsoil). The gaskets are
usually only placed on the filter base, not sealed on,
and if the old gasket is left inside the engine's oil
filter receptacle, when the new oil filter is put back in
the it will not
Anyway, I didn't notice that the old gasket was left
inside when I changed the oil in the car, and I put a
new filter on top of it. When I started the car
after refilling the oil, a huge
amount of said oil come flying out, all over the driveway.
Lesson learned, but then forgotten...
The usual cause of a stuck gasket is not oiling the
gasket before putting the new filter in place.
Always oil that gasket!
I didn't want to take a chance on the Amsoil filter at
this point, so I tossed it -- $17.00 down the drain.
Just for kicks, I checked the gasket on both the Amsoil
and Wix filters and it comes right out of the base when I pick it
with my fingernail -- same with the Ducati oil filter gasket.
So the lesson here is, be careful and double-check to
make sure those gaskets are in place and oiled!
I tried again, this time, I used the Wix filter. It also screws
up into the engine with no problems, and it seemed to
seat more securely than the Amsoil filter, but I still
don't think it feels as secure as the Ducati filter,
although I may now be over-sensitive to it based on my
gasket experience with the Amsoil filter.
After everything was secured, I poured in the 3 liters
(the MTS 620 takes 3.1 liters of oil) of Motul V300 and
I was all set. I started it up and everything
seems fine, but I'm going to keep an eye on it over the
next few hundred miles just to make sure.
So that's my story -- I think in the end, I'd just as
soon sleep easy at night knowing that I'm using the
official Ducati oil filter.
So the next time I'm at the local Ducati shop, I'm going
to buy a half-dozen or so of the standard Ducati
version. It just doesn't make sense to try and
save a few bucks (which I didn't, especially when you
figure in the cost of the new oil filter cap wrench) and
then have to worry that the filter is going to blow.
But, our pain is your gain, and that's why I'm reporting
my results back to you.
If you have any feedback or comments on changing the oil
on your Multistrada, please send it to me at the address
►Your Comments and Feedback
Please send comments to
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Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.
From Richard Holappa, Jr., Technical Product Manager:
Filtration/Aftermarket, AMSOIL INC.
"I had an opportunity to review your article
regarding the AMSOIL EaOM138C for Ducati applications
and wanted to respond to your comments.
AMSOIL has had a long history of providing world
class lubricants and filtration products for motorcycle
and other power sports applications.
AMSOIL utilizes the same oil filter media in our
motorcycle oil filters as employed in AMSOIL full flow
filters for automobile/light truck applications.
AMSOIL nanofiber media have more pores per square inch,
allowing for higher dirt-holding capacity and lower
pressure drop compared to cellulose or
cellulose/synthetic blend filter medias.
The thinner nanofiber media fibers also produce more
uniform pore size distribution, improving the filterís
overall ability to capture and retain particles.
According to ISO 4548-12 testing protocol, AMSOIL EaOM
filters provide a filtering efficiency of 98.7 percent
at 15 microns, outperforming the best
cellulose/synthetic blend media on the market.
To the best of our knowledge, AMSOIL is the only
company that communicates filtering efficiency on the
filter or box in these applications. By cutting
the AMSOIL filter open and comparing to the other
filters in the market one can see the media (and
In addition, Ea Motorcycle Oil Filters feature a
silicone anti-drain back valve and a nitrile sealing
gasket. The anti-drain back valve provides
excellent protection during startup and remains flexible
in all temperatures, while the nitrile sealing gasket
resists chemical breakdown, providing excellent
durability and ensuring long filter life.
After the chroming the EaOM138C, the sealing gasket
is flipped to expose only the black rubber portion of
the sealing material, thus making the filter more
aesthetically pleasing. The gasket is simply
placed in the base plate channel and pressed in by hand.
The sealing characteristics of the filter are not
compromised in any way.
In response to your comments pertaining to fact the
EaOM138C looks very much like the WIX filter; AMSOIL
works closely with a number of leading worldwide filter
companies such as Donaldson, WIX, and MANN+HUMMEL, plus
other partners to provide our Dealers and customers the
most current filter technology and performance.
All filter components, ranging from the media pack to
the by-pass valve, are approved by AMSOIL and come from
a variety of sources, not just one filter company.
Finally, AMSOIL does not use the same filter can as
the OE Ducati filter, thus requiring a different
wrenches for removal, (AMSOIL Part Number G2198) .
AMSOIL also provides the appropriate end cap wrench for
installation and removal, part number G2309.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have