How to Change the Oil in an H-D Sportster

Why pay someone to do something when you can do it yourself? Follow along as Patrick walks you though the basic steps you need to follow when changing the oil on your Harley. This oil change was performed on a 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster, and would be similar on other rubber mount Sportsters from 2004 and up. Enjoy!

2015-04-24T16:56:59+00:00 By |How-To Articles|29 Comments

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29 Comments

  1. Grant Starr September 8, 2015 at 4:52 am

    I heard that after adding new oil drain plug should be pulled off again to prime drain tube otherwise could end up with air lock in system!

  2. Rey Solis July 10, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Please do a video on how to replace brake pads and adjust brake lever on a 2005 Heritage.

  3. boston jim June 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    It wasn’t a Great Video, even if it was, who makes Milwaukee Twin Oil, Johnson & Johnson, or some shmuck in China ? Beware, all oils are not created equal ! BJ

    • J&P Cycles June 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      The MT oils are premium oils. All of them are produced and bottled by a manufacture in the USA.

      • boston jim June 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Did you not see the baby oil that poured out that bottle. H-D Syn3 is made by Citgo by Hugo Chavez’s Dictatorship in Venezuela ! Maybe, just maybe, MT & Drag Specialties oil is made next door to the K&N factory in Thailand ? I’d like to see some oil specs & or some legitimate oil testing ? Show Me the PROOF !

        • Dirtfertaters June 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

          I’m no genius…but my MT bottle says made in the USA right on the label.
          Not all of us got 13 bucks per qt for HD repackaged oil…they don’t make theirs either I’m guessing.

          • boston jim July 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

            Hey Dirtbagger, you’d guess right about H-D Syn3 oil. H-D Dino oil, from Sunoco. BUT, why would you buy MT, DS, Revtech, generic crap, when you can go to Walmart & buy, the 2nd best M/C oil, Mobil V-Twin 20W-50, for cheap money. All oils are not created equal !

          • Lee July 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

            Mobil1 -cheap at Walmart and cheap at Costco, $4.20 a quart at Costco with a coupon – if Mobil1 is the second best oil, what is the best oil? From my research it’s Amsoil – not easy to find in some places but worth the trouble.

          • boston jim July 2, 2015 at 10:41 am

            Hey Lee, you are well read, you’d be right about AMSOIL, being #1, Great Stuff ! You can find it on your doorstep for less than $9.- per qt., at fatzusa.com . Lee, what are you riding ? Be Safe, BJ

          • Lee July 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

            First time I tried Amsoil was in my Sportster – worked so well I now have it in my KLR650, car, truck, tractor, and lawn mower! What are you riding?

          • boston jim July 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

            Hey Lee, I hope you’re a AMSOIL PC & buying Wholesale ? We have a 1986 1st year Evo Sportster, since 1998. Also have a 1999 FXSTC, last year of the Best motor H-D ever made ! Won it New ! I also have AMSOIL in every Bike, SUV, Van, lawnmower, snowblower, weedwacker, etc.. Tractor, where do you live ? BJ

          • Lee July 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

            Won it new – how can you be that lucky? What makes the FXSTC the best engine? I live in the Allegheny Mountains of NW Virginia on the WV line – some of the best motorcycling in the world in WV and NW Virginia.

  4. Will May 31, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Very cool video, used it as a reinforcement tool for my kids. I bought an 87 Sportster to teach them to ride and maintain. They are more likely to return to your video than to ask dad for help, at least I know that they are in good hands.

  5. Hugo Haymoz May 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    very good video and explanation. even if I ride a ’85 xlh Ironhead Sportster. thanks guys. Hugo from Switzerland

  6. Tony M May 31, 2015 at 11:09 am

    great video a question I have is why did the oil change end up using 3 qts when HD says 2 ?

    • Lee June 1, 2015 at 9:33 am

      I bought an ’07 and it takes 4 quarts – a few years later I noticed new ones took 2 quarts – I asked someone at the local dealer what changed and he just shrugged – it’s kind of a worry because the more the better, and an oil cooler better yet. If I had a Sportster that takes 2 quarts I would definitely look into an after-market cooler.

  7. Greg Rac May 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    They should have hit the starter button a few times or started the engine for 2 seconds, after the motor drained and the plug was out. More dirty oil would have come out. I always do this on my ’79 XLS with 38k on the original engine.

    Good clear job camera man. Great description Patrick.

  8. larry May 30, 2015 at 7:50 am

    great video!!!!! Keep it up guys

  9. steve jurek May 29, 2015 at 10:33 am

    great video thanks

  10. Lee May 29, 2015 at 8:52 am

    My ’07 says to drain a few drops out of the drain hose after adding oil and before starting to prevent an air lock. Maybe not all manuals have that. The video should have reminded people to drain oil while it’s hot. This was a very useful video because H-D dealers charge a lot for an oil change and then there’s the trip to the dealer and waiting for it. When you do it yourself you know it’s done right, the drain screw is tight, the oil was drained hot and not cold.

  11. Tom Blake May 29, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I have a 2004 883. I use a electric gear pump to suck oil out of tank. A lot easier than pulling plug out from underneath frame. I checked by draining the normal way and only oil left was in short section of drain hose.

  12. boston jim May 29, 2015 at 7:10 am

    The 2004 & up Sportsters suck, ask any good tech. They have NO trapdoor for the tranny. If you have a tranny problem, you need to split the engine cases, for a minor tranny fix, DUH, WTF ? I’ll take any 2003 & back Sportster, except the AMF years.

  13. Jim May 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Very informative. However, I have to question oil pan drain plug setup. There has to be a better setup other than a plastic plug held in place on a rubber hose by a hose clamp. Hose clamps have been known to work/vibrate loose at the most inconvenient times.

  14. William May 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Like the motorcycle fix it tips saves you money other then not have to take it to the dealership where you will spend 2 3 times much. Thanks

  15. Marty Pulliam May 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Loved the demo .. Would love to see more .. Great Job JP Cycles !!
    Marty

  16. bob paulson May 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    thanks for sharing this it was great you guys are the best

  17. Rick Hilty May 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Really glad to see you pre load the oil filter.

  18. roy cole May 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    thanks for sharing the oil change post. I have two sportsters at home. a restored 77 iron head XLCH and a 07 sportster I ride and take care of. Thanks J&P cycles

  19. Enoch Holland May 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Good info video…Thanks

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