Checking all three fluids regularly will prevent wear caused by lack of oil.
Regular oil level checks are an important part of maintaining a 1998 Harley-Davidson Fatboy, but it’s not enough to check only the motor’s oil supply. Unlike other motorcycles, Harley-Davidson machines use three separate fluids to lubricate its motors, transmissions and primary drive systems. The levels and conditions of these fluids should be checked often, especially before a long ride, to prevent wear and damage caused by oil starvation. The procedure is easy enough for most people to accomplish in less than 15 minutes.
1. Start the motorcycle and take it for a short, five-minute ride to warm up the motorcycle’s oil supply thoroughly. Turn off the motor and place the motorcycle on a stand in a vertical position.
2. Remove the dipstick from the oil tank under the right side of the seat. Wipe the dipstick with a clean rag and reinsert it completely into the oil tank. Withdraw the dipstick and inspect the oil level in relation to the indicator marks on the dipstick. Add a small amount of 20W50 motor oil into the oil tank to raise the oil level to the dipstick’s full mark. Recheck the oil level and reinsert the dipstick into the oil tank.
3. Pull out the dipstick from the right side of the transmission housing. Wipe the dipstick with a clean rag and reinsert it completely into the transmission housing. Withdraw the dipstick and inspect the transmission fluid level in relation to the indicator marks on the dipstick. Add a small amount of transmission fluid into the transmission housing to raise the fluid level to the dipstick’s full mark. Recheck the fluid level and reinsert the dipstick into the transmission housing.
4. Remove the bolts from the perimeter of the large, round clutch inspection cover on the outer primary cover with a Torx-27 screwdriver. Pull the cover and its gasket away from the outer primary cover. Note the primary fluid’s level in relation to the bottom of the clutch assembly housed within the primary cover. Add small amounts of primary fluid to the primary through the clutch inspection port to raise the primary fluid level until it touches the bottom of the clutch assembly. Reinstall the clutch inspection cover and its gasket onto the outer primary cover. Refasten the clutch inspection cover’s bolts with a Torx-27 screwdriver.
5. Remove the motorcycle from the stand then lower it onto its kick stand.