Change Oil On A Sportster

Motor oil is the lifeblood of your Harley-Davidson Sportster. If left neglected, the oil that lubricates the various moving components within the motor and transmission can deteriorate, causing premature wear and parts failure. To keep this from happening, your Sportster relies on regular replacement of its engine oil. This simple task can be done in your own garage with a minimal amount of tools and money. Your motorcycle’s oil should be changed every 2,500 miles.


1. Start the motor and let it run up for a few minutes to warm the oil. Once the motor has warmed, stop the motor and turn off the ignition. Vent the oil tank by removing the filler cap.

2. Place your oil pan under the rear of the motor. Locate the oil drain hose and loosen the hose clamp with a flat head screwdriver. Pull the hose off of the frame and allow the oil into the oil pan. Slip the hose back onto the frame after the oil has drained and tighten its hose clamp.

3. Move your oil pan to the front of the motor, placing it directly under the oil filter. Remove the oil filter with a filter wrench or strap wrench and discard it. Allow any remaining oil to drain.

4. Fill your new oil filter with oil and apply a thin coat of oil to the filter’s mating surface with your finger. Screw the filter into place by hand until it is seated against the motor.

5. Pour fresh motor oil into the oil tank through the filler neck. Fill the tank with up to 3 quarts of motor oil and replace the filler cap.

6. Remove any air trapped within the oil system by starting the motor and slowly loosening the oil filter. Tighten the filter as soon as a small amount of oil seeps out from between the filter and the motor. Stop the motor and wipe away any oil that may have spilled with a shop towel.