All motorcycle engines require regular oil changes to stay properly lubricated.
Similar to a car, changing your motorcycle oil periodically provides a flushing out of sediments and old engine grit that the oil captures as it circulates. The 1997 Harley-Davidson Road King is no exception to this rule. The process involves a straightforward series of steps with which every motorcycle owner should be familiar. You can do the job at home in your garage with a few standard household tools and the cleanup is simple.
1. Warm the motorcycle up by running it for a bit. Turn it off and park it in an open workspace. Twist the filler cap off the motorcycle oil tank. Position an oil pan or container below the engine oil drain plug at the bottom of the oil tank. Use a funnel to catch the oil draining out and avoid a mess if your motorcycle doesn’t come with its own drain hose already attached.
2. Take a crescent wrench and twist the drain plug (a hex bolt that screws into the engine) counterclockwise to release it from the oil tank bottom. When loose, twist it off by hand, so you don’t lose the drain plug in the oil pan.
3. Allow the oil to drain out of the tank into the oil pan, which may take a few minutes. Place a new drain plug gasket on the plug and reinsert it back into the tank when empty. Tighten it with a crescent wrench until there is resistance; do not over-tighten the plug. Discard the old oil in an empty milk jug and recycle it at an oil-collection center — usually a professional auto mechanic shop.
4. Use a socket wrench and crescent wrench to loosen and remove the motorcycle seat. Take the seat off to expose the oil filter cylinder underneath. Remove the securing clip on the cylinder lid and loosen the oil filter with a filter wrench. Pull out the old oil filter when loose. Throw the old filter away. Insert a new oil filter in the same location. Close the cylinder lid and replace the retaining clip. Re-attach the motorcycle seat.
5. Take a new bottle of motorcycle engine oil and open it. Use a funnel to guide the new oil into the oil tank filler opening as you pour it in. Add 4 qts. of oil to fully fill the oil reservoir. Replace the filler cap when finished. Twist it firmly to make sure it stays shut. Wipe up any residue with a shop towel.