Are Motorcycle Magnetic Oil Drain Plugs Worth It?

First, I have to say: I change my motorcycle oil frequently, which scared me one day when I found metal flakes in my TBR7’s motorcycle’s oil. (My Previous Post: Metal Shavings In The Motorcycle Oil!!!) My TaoTao TBR7 isn’t old and shouldn’t be shedding large flakes of metal. These flakes were both large and magnetic.  

I suspected the metal flakes had to do with an overheating problem, why I change my oil frequently, and my clutch was misbehaving. The clutch felt ‘bad’ and saw this as a chance to learn how to change a motorcycle clutch.  Just in case, What Does Metal Shavings In Motorcycle Oil Look Like? – FAQ

Being magnetic, I used a magnet probe/pick-up tool to swish around the accessible spaces of the engine case and pull out the metal shavings flakes. It worked. I got many metal flakes of different sizes, and of course, they were all magnetic.

The success of the magnetic pick-up tool had me thinking that my motorcycle needed a magnetic oil drain plug.

My TaoTao TBR7 Has A Oil Drain Plug?

This question might sound both weird and dumb. Does the TaoTao TBR7 or RPS Hawk 250 or other Chinese dual sport motorcycle clones have a drain plug? The reason for this question, most of us have it ingrained to drain our motorcycle’s oil from the left side of the bike through the oil screen filter housing.

Why the soil screen filter housing? The oil filter is on the left. The bike naturally leans to the left on the kickstand, which aids in oil draining. How the oil filter cap is lined up: you can pop off the cap with a socket wrench, and oil can be drained without even getting your hands dirty.

Once loosened, the oil filter cap will be pushed out with the internal spring and pushed up against the frame. The oil filter cap will not fall into the oil. The oil will continue to drain. Your hands have a moment of cleanliness till you pull the spring and screen out.

So I have not been using the TBR7’s oil drain plug. :/

I Do Not Use The TaoTao TBR7’s Oil Drain Plug.

OK, now that you know I don’t use the drain plug and why I don’t use the drain plug, what are my plans to get a magnetic oil drain plug? Well, on hold for now.

However, I Can Do Experiments With Magnets?

TBR7's Clean Oil Screen
Before Picture Of My TBR7’s oil screen.

Are Regular engine wear products in oil magnetic?


From my research, I found that most wear products in a motorcycle’s old motor oil are from the clutch pad. The friction material on the motorcycle clutch pad has the same makeup as a regular brake pad.

The clutch pad material is not magnetic. So the regular wear products of a motorcycle clutch are not magnetic.

So most of any regular wear material in a used motorcycle oil should not be magnetic.

Are irregular engine wear products in oil magnetic?

Well, yes, yes, for my motorcycle.

A couple of times, after draining oil, I would examine the oil for any unusual signs. I once took a magnet and held it under the pan, and swirled the magnet around. Guess what I found? The oil moved. 

Yes, the used motorcycle oil moved. But, I couldn’t see what was moving in the oil. The oil was dirty, as any used motor oil is, and the magnetic particles were so small I couldn’t see them in the dirty oil.

My Magnetic Oil Filter Cap Test.

I have taken apart hard drives in the past, pulling out their magnets. Anyone who has done this knows hard drive magnets are pretty strong. I was curious if I could rig a magnetic trap for metal particles on my TBR7’s oil strainer, and I did.

Old hard drive magnets.
Hard drive magnets on frame for picture.

The oil filter cap is not magnetic, but the metal spring inside is. I put a couple of hard drive magnets outside the oil filter cap and found them strong enough to stay attached. There was enough metal spring in contact with the cap to hold the magnets in place.  

Old hard drive magnet on TBR7's oil screen cap.
Hard drive magnets stuck to oil screen cap.

FYI, the metal spring I am talking about holds the metal oil screen in place.

Magnetic Oil Filter Cap Findings.

After a couple of thousand kilometers, I changed the oil. I found something; a grey sludge stuck to the inside of the oil filter cap. Mainly around the base of the spring that came in contact with the cap. This sludge was primarily on one side. This finding is important.

Grey sludge collecting on TBR7's oil screen cap.
Grey sludge was like thick pain. Gritty feeling.
Large metal flakes collecting on TBR7's oil screen spring.
Not a great pic, but the grey sludge is on bottom of spring. End touching cap.

I also found small metal flakes, but they appeared large enough to be stopped by the screen. I am still concerned about the flakes, but my experiment showed whether the magnets found contaminants not, the oil screen would have filtered them.

The hard drive magnets sat only on one side of the filter cap. I suspect this is where the magnetic field was strongest.  

Did The Magnets Work With The Engine Oil?


The sludge was ‘soft,’ and when I touched it with the oil screen, it squished through the oil screen’s holes. This finding means these particles could freely float and circulate in the motorcycle oil until the magnets captured them. The engine oil screen wasn’t filtering these particles. 

Was The Magnetic Particles Damaging?

The grey sludge was gritty, like sand. And being magnetic, the sludge/particles had to be made of some ferrous material, like the steel in the engine. Steel particle circulating through the motorcycle oil and getting into wear surfaces sounds damaging.  

Damaging as in accelerated engine wear. I am not impressed with the material my TBR7 is made of. I’ve read many complaints from Hawk 250 owners as well. This cheap Chinese dual-sport motorcycles class is known to have ‘soft’ steel, prone to premature wear and tear, including rapid failure.  

The joke is that if you buy a TBR7 or a Hawk 250 or a Raven 250, etc., you might want to pick up the welding hobby. Things break on these bikes, and sometimes it’s even the frame.

I am interested in magnetic drain plugs now, and here is what I learned from my experiments and a little online research:

What is the purpose of a magnetic oil drain plug?

The magnetic oil drain plug is designed to catch hard(ferrous/magnetic) particles too small to be captured by the oil filter/screen. Therefore extending the life of the engine and its components.

Are magnetic oil drain plugs worth it? (based on what I found)

These magnetic oil plugs are low-cost solutions to extending the life of your motorcycle engine. A filter or screen catches not all oil contaminants due to their size, and the magnet captures hard/magnetic particles.

How much is a motorcycle magnetic oil drain plug?

Fairly cheap from my research.

I know the TBR7 and Hawk 250 motorcycle’s are cheap bikes, but they are worth a lot when measured for fun at a low cost. So a magnetic oil drain plug might be in my future.

But, can’t get cheaper than using a couple reclaimed magnets from old hard drives. 😀

Am I Buying A Better Magnetic Oil Drain Plug?

TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Magnetic Drain Plug stock with bike.
Stock, TaoTao TBR7 Magnetic Drain Plug

Not yet. The TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle comes with a magnetic drain plug I found, but like most stock items, the TBR7 could use an upgrade.

I do not drain my oil from the drain plug but from the filter screen cap. However, I value the concept so much; that I plan to keep those hard drive magnets on the oil screen cap until I have to use the drain plug.

So, as I upgrade the TBR7 motorcycle more and upgrade hopefully to a motorcycle oil cooler in the future(the oil cooler upgrade removes the stock oil screen), I will have to start doing oil changes on my motorcycle through the normal oil drain plug.

So then, I will consider upgrading my TBR7’s oil drain plug to a better magnetic oil drain plug. In the meantime, I will be using the stock oil strainer method of oil changes so I can both drain the old motorcycle oil and clean the oil screen.

Because of these great results testing if magnets work to collect motorcycle wear products, I will be keeping those old hard drive magnets attached to the outside of the oil strainer cap.

Everyone uses that oil cooler that taps off the oil screen housing or the one that taps off the engine head. I plan to put on an oil cooler; still having overheating problems with my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle, so getting an oil cooler makes sense.

If you have an oil drain plug, please leave a comment below about any feedback you have. Thank you.  

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

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TBR7 Upgrades

Update to “Are Magnetic Oil Drain Plugs Worth It.”

I have finally got around to adding an oil cooler to the TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle( Oil Cooler Installation For My TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle ). It has helped to keep the bike’s temperatures under control, showing fewer overheating symptoms ( Air-Cooled Engine Overheating Symptoms? ) and smoother gear shifting when riding for long periods. The TBR7 motorcycle is running much better.

I opted for the oil cooler upgrade that attaches to the stock oil strainer housing. This type of cooler upgrade allowed all the oil to go through the oil cooler, not just the motorcycle engine head section oil, but it did eliminate the stock oil filter.

The oil cooler came with an oil strainer feature, which isn’t as easy to change as the stock oil strainer, but that’s for a later post.

The point is, I have now lost the ability to quickly clean the TBR7’s oil strainer with every oil change and now must use the oil drain plug that comes with the TBR7 motorcycle.

I found it to be magnetic and does work collecting magnetic metal shavings. It works.

Now that the oil strainer is difficult to clean after the oil cooler upgrade, I want the magnetic oil drain to work “better.”

How Do I Measure The Magnetic Oil Drain Plug’s Strength?

Remember those hard drive magnets I have? They worked great. A piece of metal got on one of those hard drive magnets, and it was difficult to remove with simple wiping. That is the standard of magnetic attraction I am using.

Now the stock TBR7 motorcycle magnetic oil drain plug is easy to clean off. Yes, easier as in ‘too’ easy for my comfort. So… I am looking for another magnetic oil drain plug for my motorcycle.

So are magnetic oil drain plugs worth it?

Yes. Anything that can catch hard metal shavings and remove them from the oil circulation is well worth it.

Please leave a comment below if you know a good source for a motorcycle magnetic drain plug that fits the TBR7 motorcycle. I appreciate your help.

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TBR7 Upgrades

1 thought on “Are Motorcycle Magnetic Oil Drain Plugs Worth It?”

  1. I’m sure someone may have already informed you but most of that material is from the clutch plates wearing as it is a wet clutch design. This is extremely common in all of these amazon/ebay bikes and is just the nature of this design. Nothing to fear at all you can change the oil every 50 miles and its still gonna have clutch material in it.


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