How to Change the Oil on a Harley-Davison
Changing the oil in your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is essential to keeping the engine running smoothly. Check the oil in your engine every time you ride your Harley. Most dealers and independent mechanics can charge as much as $100 to change the oil, but it costs less than $20 to do it at home. These instructions are for a Harley-Davidson Sportster, but they correspond to most modern Harley models.
- Oil filter
- 3 qts. oil (2.8 liters)
- Medium or small flat-head screwdriver
- Oil filter wrench
- Used oil container
- Clean rags
Remove the oil cap and center the used oil container underneath the filter. Turn the oil filter counterclockwise using the wrench until it's loose enough to turn by hand. Gently remove the filter, angling it up as you pull it off so the oil doesn't spill.
Tilt the filter down and drain the oil into the container, leaving the filter open-side down in the container. Allow all the oil to drain out, wiping the excess off the engine case and the oil-sending unit with a clean rag.
Find the oil drain hose, usually behind the clutch and under the swingarm. Move the used oil container under the hose. Unscrew the clamp on the hose counterclockwise. Pull off the hose, angling it down toward the container to drain the oil inside it. Replace the hose and tighten the clamp clockwise.
Wipe any excess oil off the oil pump. Inspect the new filter for damage. Using one finger, rub a small amount of new oil around the filter's rubber gasket. Pour about four ounces of oil into the filter and hand-tighten it on the oil pump.
Fill the oil tank with oil, just to the bottom of the tank opening, about three quarts (less the earlier four ounces). Replace the oil filler cap.
Loosen the oil drain hose again and let a little bit of the new oil drain out to eliminate any air bubbles in the system. Tighten the hose clamp.
Start your engine. If your oil check light had been on, make sure it's off. Check around the oil filter and drain hose for leaks.