By Eric Essen • Difficulty: Easy
Although there have been some minor changes to the Sportster over the years, the oil change procedure for all 1986-present models is the same. This guide uses a 1998 Sportster as an example.
- Securing the bike in an upright position allows for easier access to the drain tube.
- This tube is attached by a house clamp to a nipple welded to the frame.
- Loosen the house clamp with a Flathead Screwdriver. Do not remove the tube until you have your drain pan in position.
- Pull the hose free from it's nipple and allow the oil to drain into your drain pan.
- When the oil slows to a drip, replace the hose. Do not tighten the clamp yet, we will return for that later.
- The oil filter is located at the front of the engine, between the frame downtube and front cylinder.
- Remove the oil filter. This may require an oil filter wrench.
- Open 1 quart of oil. Pour it into the filter until the filter is about 1/2 full.
- Apply a small amount of clean oil to the rubber gasket on the new oil filter.
- Wipe down the oil filter mounting area, and any oil residue that has run down onto the motorcycle.
- Carefully thread your new oil filter into place, turning it in a clockwise direction. Do not overtighten your filter. Only turn the filter a 1/2 turn past the point where you start to feel resistance from the gasket contacting the engine.
- Move the drain pan back underneath the oil drain tube. By this time more oil will have collected in it. Remove the tube again, and allow it to run out until it is just a light drip.
- Reinstall the oil drain tube on its nipple, tightening the hose clamp with a flathead Screwdriver.
- Pull the oil cap/dipstick off of the oil tank.
- Using your funnel, slowly pour 3 quarts of oil into your oil tank.
- Use the oilcap/dipstick to check your engine oil level (holding the bike level if you have been working with your side-stand). You oil level should be kept between the 2 dipstick marks. After refilling with 3 quarts it should be right to the top one.
It is a good idea to start your engine and let it run for a few minutes. Check your drain tube and oil filter for leaks. Recheck your oil level, and adjust if needed.