Do It Yourself! See How to Change Oil, Other Fluids

It’s an old adage, but it’s true – a few quarts of oil is cheaper than a new motor, transmission, etc. More often than not it’s not about the money. It’s about not having the time to do it, or maybe not having the knowledge, which leads to doubting yourself and worrying that you will possibly tear your beloved motorcycle up.

Have no fear, J&P Cycles is here to help. There is nothing we like more than our customers spinning wrenches and working on their own machines. We took a little time to walk you through the typical fluid changes on a late-model Harley bagger. For “most” Harleys this will be similar for big twin models, but always make sure to check your owner’s manuals for torque specs, drain plugs and other specifics.

Kick back for a few minutes and we’ll walk you through the routine, but oh so important maintenance of your bike.

By |2015-04-14T14:54:46+00:00December 29th, 2014|Categories: How-To Articles|22 Comments

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22 Comments

  1. Jerry bruce November 10, 2016 at 2:03 am

    I have an 06 Electra glide classic. MY primary drain plug is not on the bottom but on the side of the derby cover. Just below the cover. It’s a 3/16 Allen. Will it drain ok upright or should I put it on the jiffy stand? I have a harley lift. THANKS….

  2. Tim February 9, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Having just purchased my first “twin cam” HD, I could not ask for better timing since I did not get the manual however, with all the mentioning of the need for torquing, how about some more mentioning of “how much”? In all the fluid change videos, you only mentioned one torque value! I still ride my original 1976 Shovel, torque everything with locktite if you want it to stay and torque values only refers to what color!

    • Patrick Garvin February 9, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Tim, I didn’t mention “how much” because you should reference the service manual for your specific bike. Torque specs will obviously vary from bike to bike. Enjoy that new ride my man, but keep that old iron on the road!

  3. Chris January 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    On your oil change video I’m guessing you checked the oil level when the oil was cold. On cold oil check shouldn’t the dip stick read in the middle range? And on hot oil check it should read full?

    • Patrick Garvin February 3, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Yes, cold level would be in the middle, hot oil would be towards the top.

  4. Zane Wilson January 29, 2015 at 9:31 am

    In your video you say the bike should be on the jiffy stand. My manual says standing up level for the transmission. I have a 99 Road King. The bike you were demonstrating on was a Street glide I believe a newer one. Which is correct?

  5. Laurie Germsheid (Mr.) January 28, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Well that’s all the easy stuff, how about the fork oil?

  6. Bob D January 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    The videos on changing the engine oil and gear box oil were very good. What about changing the engine oil filter, especially on the HD product, as shown in the video? My first thought was perhaps it doesn’t have an oil filter like my Star Stratoliner, as I had my first service done on my Electra Glide Classic by the selling dealer, so I had to go out in the garage, remove the dust cover, and there it was, just in back of the oil cooler assembly. I think I’ll do the next oil change by myself, to save some money.

  7. Monika Colby January 28, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I would like to see oil an change video for other then Harley bikes. I have a 1800 Goldwing.

  8. Gregg B January 28, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Great videos for easy DIY maintenance. Don’t spend $200+ at the dealership for a fluids change! I sure wish I had a bike lift to do it on.

    J&P video hint: get some light into those tight places where you are pointing out drain plugs, fluid levels etc. so they can be seen clearly.

  9. Ira January 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Hey nice video on engine oil changing. My only questions is, I was always taught to fill the new oil filter halfway with oil before installing. I see Patrick did not do this or even suggest this.

    How important is it to fill the new oil filter with oil before installing??

    Thanks!!

    • Patrick Garvin January 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Its for sure not a bad thing to do, but really is a matter of personal preference. The cylinders still have plenty of oil in them and the Twin Cam motors dry sump oiling system only circulates a minimal amount of oil through the engine at any given time. So I personally don’t believe its necessary. And most of the time I end up dumping the oil allover the bike trying to install the filter. If you have been pre-filling your filters and that is working for you I wouldn’t change my method.

      • Ira January 28, 2015 at 10:12 am

        Thanks Patriick. Yes, since day one I have been putting some oil in the new oil filter before installing on my 2010 HD Super Glide. And yes some oil does spill out when installing it.

        I really enjoy all your videos and sense of humor too! Keep em coming!!!

      • Ira January 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        Patrick,

        One more question, is it best to start the bike and get it up to normal riding temperature before draining old oil? I was told that this helps drain the fluids better when the oil is heated up. Helps to drain any unwanted particles in the oil as well.

        Just wondering. Thanks.

        • Patrick Garvin January 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

          Warming the bike (and the oil) up will help it drain faster. Be careful though, it doesn’t take too long to get the oil hot enough to burn you when it comes out.

  10. Jimmy Herring January 28, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I know these how to videos help a lot of new and older bikers. Keep up the good work.

    • Romy February 13, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Amen from we older, lucky enough to still be able to ride much less. able to get up and down. lol…

  11. Romy January 28, 2015 at 7:48 am

    I really enjoy watching J&P Cycles maintenance and product videos. It would be great if the videos were available for specific bikes so a bike owner could see first hand familiar examples so, there would leave no question on what and how to do the right job. It’s a glorious day here so, I’m ridin. Bye.

    • Ira January 28, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Hey Romy, freezing cold here on the East in Philadelphia… snow on the ground. No riding for me!
      🙁

      • Romy January 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm

        Well Ira, I’m sorry you don’t have an inside track. Crank that baby up and rack the pipes a few times. It’s a start. It’s a good time to learn how to ride a unicycle. Lol… Don’t panic, it’ll be good riding weather in no time. Keep the shiny side up Brother and have a glorious hibernation.

  12. Jack Garrett December 30, 2014 at 7:14 am

    2000 HD Ultra Classic. Video info never hurts. Send me new catalog. I still should be on file.

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