Change The Oil On A 2004 Harley Sportster

The Harley Davidson Sportster is one of the most popular motorcycles on the road today. Its sporty yet comfortable riding position, ample power and good looks make it the perfect bike for many riders. However, without proper maintenance, the Sportster can quickly lose its charm, leading to frustrating problems while riding, difficult starts and myriad of other issues. Learning to change your own engine oil is the first step in home motorcycle maintenance, so break out the tool box and get ready to work.


1. Set a drain pan beneath the oil filter located to the front of the engine to catch any spilled oil. Attach an oil filter wrench to the oil filter by twisting the handle of the wrench clockwise. Turn the oil filter counterclockwise until it is loose enough to spin by hand. Remove the oil filter wrench from the oil filter, then carefully remove the filter from the bike, pouring any excess oil into the drain pan.

2. Remove the oil filler cap from the oil filler located on the left side of the bike just below the seat. This will allow oil to flow more freely out of the engine. Locate the oil drain tube behind the clutch and underneath the swing arm at the rear of the bike. Set the drain pan below it and loosen the worm clamp of the tube with a flat head screwdriver.

3. Remove the tube from its socket and allow the oil to drain out of the engine and into the drain pan. When the oil stops draining, replace the tube on the socket and re-tighten the worm-clamp using a flat head screwdriver.

4. Lubricate the O-ring of your new oil filter with a small amount of motor oil. Pour three to four ounces of oil into the filter body itself. By hand, twist the new oil filter into place where the old one was removed previously. Tighten the filter until you can no longer turn it by hand.

5. Pour three quarts of motor oil into the oil filler located below the seat on the left side of the bike. Replace the oil filler cap, then start the bike and allow it to run for a few minutes to circulate the new oil.