The 1997 HD Softail is a motorcycle produced by Harley-Davidson. Check the transmission fluid regularly when checking the other fluids on the bike. This regular maintenance keeps the bike functioning properly. Proper transmission fluid levels help keep the gears from grinding and prevent the engine from overheating. Checking the levels requires a bike stand to keep the motorcycle upright in order to get a correct reading. This maintenance takes about 15 minutes.
1. Drive the softail for five to 10 minutes to warm up the engine. Make sure to shift through all the gears during this warm-up.
2. Park the bike on a level surface and place it in a bike stand to keep it upright.
3. Remove the engine casing by unscrewing the 10 screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the screws and casing aside in a safe location.
4. Locate the transmission on the right side of the engine. Pull out the dipstick on top of the transmission. Wipe it off with a rag and look at the color of the fluid. It should be a translucent, red color. If it’s opaque or any color other than red, change the fluid. Place the dipstick back in the transmission and pull it out again. Read the level of fluid on the stick; it should be about halfway between the minimum and maximum line. If its below the halfway point, fill it. Drain some if it’s above the maximum line.
5. Place the casing back over the engine and attach it with the screws. Remove the bike from the stand.