There"s nothing like riding a Harley. Make sure you save your journey on the road for as long as feasible by transforming your oil regularly.

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This article uses to the Harley Davidson Softail.

Changing the oil in your Softail is just one of the most financially rewarding DIY jobs you deserve to perform on her bike. Fortunately, it is likewise one of the simplest things to carry out on your regimen maintenance schedule. If friend are brand-new to Harley Davidson motorcycles or come riding a bike at all, don"t worry or worry around breaking her baby. Transforming the oil is easier than taking your dog because that a walk roughly the block. You"ll it is in satisfied learning you did this job on her own and ecstatic once you uncover out that you conserved yourself at least one large bill by no taking it come a pro to do this straightforward task because that you. Monitor this guide to learn just how to adjust the oil in her Harley Davidson Softail.


Materials NeededReplacement oil (either Dino or synthetic will do)Catch panReplacement oil filterShop ragsOil filter wrench (optional)Torque wrenchMotorcycle background or 2x4 block of lumber (optional)

Step 1 – acquire your Softail right up

If you space fortunate sufficient to have access to a good motorcycle lift, you room a step ahead that the game. These items make preserving your bicycle so much easier, however they are not required by any means. Friend can attain a close to upright place by making use of a block of timber such together a 2x4 and also placing the under the kickstand. If this makes your belly queasy simply thinking about that, no worries due to the fact that she"ll still it is in stable and you can always forgo the block that wood and have a helper sit on the cycle to save it straight up. We carry out this since we gain a much more accurate analysis of the oil level when the bike isn"t tilted prefer it is once it"s on the kickstand.

Figure 1. A bicycle lift such as this will collection you earlier less than $200 and also it will certainly pay for itself after just a pair of oil changes.

Step 2 – heat up bike and open oil fill cap

Warm up her bike a little, together this will assist thin the oil and also let it circulation faster. As soon as the bike has actually been to run for a pair of minutes, shut that down and then remove the combined oil to fill cap and also dipstick. Removed the oil to fill cap will introduce air into the system, i m sorry will aid push the old oil out faster.

Figure 2. Eliminate the oil fill cap after you have shut under the motor.

Step 3 – Remove drainpipe plug and also drain the oil

Locate your behind (passenger) foot peg, or if you have removed yours, wherein it must be. The oil drain plug (or bolt, rather) is situated under friend bike in the center, in line through these rear foot pegs. Use a 5/8" deep fine socket to remove the oil drainpipe plug. Make sure that you have actually your drain pan in place before you remove the plug. This component is where the bike should be level to acquire as much of the old oil out together possible.

Figure 3. Use a 3/8" deep fine socket to eliminate the oil drain plug.
Figure 4. Use a ratchet to loosen the drainpipe plug and also then use your finger to remove the plug the rest of the method for less mess.

Step 4 – eliminate oil filter

While the key oil is draining, you have the right to remove the old filter. This can get a little messy, so have some shop rags in hand. A filter wrench makes this job much easier, especially if you do not have a filter such together K&N with the bolt welded onto the head for use through a typical ratchet. Theoretically, the filter have to be removable by hand only, however that is a rarity at best. The filter is located in front of the front V-Twin cylinder at the bottom. Revolve the filter counterclockwise until it comes right out. Make sure that friend have an additional drain pan in location prior to you traction the filter the end to record all the oil the is going come spill.

Figure 5. An oil filter wrench renders the job lot easier, particularly if the filter is really seized on there good.
Figure 6. As soon as the oil stop flowing, usage a shop rag come clean up this area when the oil filter is removed.

Step 5 – Install brand-new oil filter

Once you have cleaned the area roughly the filter port on the bike, it"s time to prep your new oil filter.

Crack open a party of brand-new oil and rub a tiny around the rubber filter gasket ~ above the brand-new filter.Optionally, you may want come pre-load her filter v a few ounces of oil.Seat the filter right into the port and turn clockwise until it is hand-tight and also then one more 3/4 come a complete turn.
Figure 7. Rub some new oil roughly the rubber gasket come ensure a great seal ~ above the bike.
Figure 8. Hand-tighten the brand-new oil filter, making certain it is snug. Be mindful not come over-tighten it.
Pro Tip

Be mindful not come over-tighten the filter. As the engine heats it up, the will expand a little and the following oil change you may discover that it is a be affected by each other to take off.

Step 6 – change the drainpipe plug

There is one O-ring on the drainpipe plug the you may wish to replace. If the existing tho looks good, you don"t must replace it, however some owner advocate replacing it in ~ every oil change. Usage your own best judgment and also if you have cleaned up the area roughly the plug, girlfriend will be able to detect any kind of leaks around the plug area after girlfriend come back from a ride. Once you change the plug, the manual calls because that torquing this bolt come 14 come 20 pounds.

Figure 9. Change the drainpipe plug till it is snug, then torque that in.
Figure 10. Talk the drainpipe plug to 14 come 20 pounds, according to the manufacturer"s guidelines.

Step 7 – Add brand-new oil to her bike

The age-old inquiry is what type of oil you should use. Harley proposal their specific oil that course, but any type of motorcycle-rated oil will certainly work simply fine and you can choose between artificial or regular Dino. The most necessary thing is to make certain you readjust it in ~ every recommended interval. 20W50 is most likely the most usual weight, yet you have a little leeway depending upon the atmosphere where girlfriend live and also ride.

Insert a long-neck funnel into the oil to fill port.Add around three quarts of your favorite motorcycle oil.Replace the cap and also with the cycle level, check the dipstick. It have to read somewhere between the upper and also lower hash marks.Replace the cap again, however this time start the engine and also let it operation for a couple of minute in stimulate to get the oil through the system.Recheck the oil level top top the dipstick and, again, the bike need to be level to get an exact reading.Add more oil as needed to preserve the level in in between the hash marks. It"s less complicated to add a tiny at a time to stop over-filling and having to drain some out.Put the cap back on and also take her for a ride. Re-check the area approximately the filter and the plug for any type of leaks.

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Figure 11. Usage a long-neck funnel to avoid messy spills. Add about three quarts.

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