Change Oil In Softail

Harley-Davidson recommends changing the oil every 5,000 miles.

Regularly changing the engine oil on your Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle is one of the most important maintenance procedures you can perform and it can add years to the life of your ride. Harley specifies an oil change every 5,000 miles. With a little practice, you should be able to change the oil and filter on your bike in 30 minutes or less.


1. Run the engine on your bike to achieve normal operating temperature. Turn off the ignition.

2. Place an oil drain pan underneath the motorcycle. Pry the drain hose from its bracket using a large flat head screwdriver. Remove the engine oil dipstick and set it aside.

3. Remove the drain plug from the oil drain hose on the lower right side of the motorcycle with an appropriately sized flat head screwdriver. Place the end of the drain hose over the oil drain pan and allow all of the oil to drain.

4. Reinstall the drain plug into the drain hose and clip the hose back into place.

5. Move the oil drain pan underneath the oil filter area. Remove the old oil filter with a filter wrench. Allow any oil to drain into the pan. Clean the filter mounting boss of any old oil or debris with a shop towel.

6. Rub a small amount of new, clean oil on the gasket of the new oil filter. Install the filter on the filter boss, turning it by hand. When the gasket contacts the mount, turn the filter an additional 1/2 to 3/4 turn.

7. Fill the tank with 3 quarts of appropriate engine oil Start the engine and observe the filter and drain hose for any leaks. Turn off the engine.

8. Check the oil level on the dipstick with the bike upright and level with the engine hot. Add oil up to the fill line, if necessary.