Changing your Harley-Davidson Sportster’s motor oil on a regular basis is vital to its continued operation. In fact, Harley-Davidson recommends that the oil be changed every 2,500 miles. If left unchecked, the motor’s oil will degrade and lose its lubricating properties, leading to the premature failure of the V-twin motor’s internal components. Luckily, changing a Sportster’s oil is uncomplicated, since the motor oil is held in a separate oil tank beneath the rider’s seat, and requires only a handful of tools.
1. Place the motorcycle on a stand or lift to hold it upright. Remove the oil filler cap from the oil tank.
2. Locate the oil drain hose on the left side of the motorcycle’s frame and place an oil pan beneath it. Remove the hose from the frame, using a flat screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp, and allow the oil to drain into the oil pan. Return the drain hose to its mounting point on the frame once the oil has stopped dripping. Tighten the hose clamp with a flat screwdriver. Wipe away any spilled oil with a towel.
3. Place the oil pan beneath the oil filter on the front of the motor. Loosen the oil filter using a strap wrench then unscrew it by hand. Let any remaining oil drain into the oil pan.
4. Prepare your new oil filter by filling it with fresh motor oil. Spread an even coat of oil around the filter’s mating area to create a strong seal between the filter and the motor. Screw the oil filter onto the motor by hand until it is seated against the motor. Twist the oil filter an additional quarter of a turn to secure it to the motor. Wipe away any spilled oil with a towel.
5. Add up to 3 qts. of fresh motor oil into the oil tank. If necessary, place a funnel into the oil tank’s filler neck to prevent spills. Wipe away any spilled oil with a towel and replace the oil filler cap.