During my last bike service, I discovered it actually IS possible to change your oil filter without making a mess! I actually changed the filter without spilling a drop! Anyone with a touring bike and the stock HD oil cooler knows what a hassle it is to change the oil filter - usually results in oil all over the bike and nice puddle on the floor.
I have the HD filter funnel, which I thought was fairly worthless but I learned it's actually useful if you use a little patience. Similar devices should work too but I already have this.
First, do the filter change with the bike on the side stand - the lean angle will help route the oil into the funnel. My first few attempts were done with the bike on the jack (upright), and a big mess was the result. I don't even use the jack now for changing fluids … its really just in the way. (While draining from the plug, I do straddle the bike to pull it upright for a bit to remove as much of the old oil as possible.)
Second, after the oil is drained and the plug still removed, push the filter funnel into place and rotate it so that the extended part fits into the open area of the filter housing - this gets the funnel under the filter the farthest and lessens the chance for drips. From the other side (brake side), I stuff a rag under the funnel to catch any small drips. It's kind of hard to get to with everything in the way so I use a screwdriver to help push the rag into the area and under the funnel as far as possible.
Third, once everything is in place, unscrew the filter very SLOWLY until you first see oil begin to drain and then STOP … just let the oil drain a while. (this is the patience part). The trick is to let it drain slowly … If you keep unscrewing the filter, the oil will overflow at the rear of the funnel and you'll have a mess. (I use the HD filter wrench - it's kind of a pain to use with the funnel in place but I found if I loosen the filter a little and then reposition the funnel, it works fine - I do this a couple of times until the filter is loose enough to let the oil start draining. Filters like the KN with the nuts welding on the end would be easier)
Last, once the oil flow has subsided down the funnel, slowly unscrew the filter until its free of the housing. Keep in mind at this point the filter still has a LOT of oil in it … make sure you angle the filter UPRIGHT after it's free of the housing. Otherwise you'll dump oil everywhere. Then it's just a matter of wrestling it out the rest of the way. Have a rag handy to wipe the housing because that will drip a little.
I searched and searched but never found anything that laid out a practical method for avoiding the mess … so after this last oil change without a single drop of oil reaching the bike or ground, I thought I'd share. I know I'll get responses like "I just let it run all over and wash the bike afterwards" and that's fine but i'd rather not make a mess in the first place. I've gone that route before and had drips for days afterwards even after washing the bike and paying extra attention to the oil cooler area.
Sorry for the long-winded post but hope this helps someone …