Harley Davidson Primary Oil Change: How To Change Harley Primary Fluid

Harley Davidson primary oil change has always been a hassle process for many people who are owners of this bike’s model.

If you own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, you would always want to ensure that the engine, primary clutch system, and transmission get regular oil changes.

Harley’s engine is a separate piece, contrary to a unit-construction bike, where its transmission and engine are combined into a single assembly that uses one type of oil.

Harley’s engine is separated from the clutch and transmission; hence, it uses two oil types. Each separate system makes use of its own type of oil, which you should replace every 2,500 miles.

Just as the engine’s supply of oil functions to minimize internal friction, the fluid inside the primary chaincase decreases wears on the chain and the clutch plates of the transmission.

You need to carry out Harley Davidson primary oil change every 5,000 miles if you want your bike to last long and perform efficiently.

What is The Best Primary Oil For Harley Davidson?

The best primary oil for Harley Davidson is from the Harley Davidson company.

We recommend Harley Davidson engine oil because they know the engine material so that they prepare that way primary oil or engine oil which will keep the engine in good condition we think.

Alternatively, you can check out Mobil 1 Racing 4T is the optimal another good choice for the best primary oil for Harley’s bikes.

Mobil 1 Racing 4T oil’s exceptional protection and efficiency is acknowledged by the world’s largest and most prominent motorcycle rallies.

This bike oil is recommended for lots of 4-stroke engines, and it is being used for both street and motorcycle racing.

Harley Davidson Primary Oil Change

Tools For an Oil Change

It keeps costs down to change your motorcycle oil by yourself and is much more satisfying because you will no longer have to send your bike to an auto repair store.

To change the oil, you will not be needing a number of tools/parts; Below are the items you need:

  • Funnel
  • oil filter
  • filter wrench
  • oil drain pan
  • motorcycle oil
  • Hammer
  • socket kit

In order to keep your engine functioning comfortably and with durability, Harley-Davidson primary oil change is an essential maintenance practice you should regularly consider. Even if you are a first-timer, the process is reasonably straightforward.

The DIY is a good path to take as it will educate you really much about your motorcycle if you have prior basic info about that, and the time. All you will be needing are oil change tools for Harley-Davidson, also a little knowledge.

All the motorcycle parts that need to be tampered with for the procedure can be accessed easily. Besides, the tools you will need are basic and do not require prior know-how to handle.

If you buy all the required fluids and filters in advance, it should not take you upwards thirty minutes (even if you are a  newbie) to have the oil changed and that requires hand-washing after that.

Before beginning, it will be a sensible move to start your engine and let it run for a while to have the oil warmed up to drain easily when you’re prepared to extract it.

Then, locate a well-ventilated spot that is ideal for changing the oil of a motorcycle. After that, gather the tools and the fluid you will be using.

Vertically position the motorcycle to have the oil drained. If the motorcycle is on the kickstand, it is recommended that you straighten it on an upstanding position, ensuring the draining of all the oil.

But if your bike is being worked on over a lift, you are good to go.

Below are some simple steps to help you change the oil of your motorcycle and forgo the motorcycle shop, saving you some money:

  • Step 1:  Do well to take your motorcycle for a ride because the oil in the transmission system needs to be warmed and thinned out before you pour it out. Then allow the oil to settle for sometime (about 5 min.)
  • Step 2: Get the necessary tools (such as those listed above) you may need for this purpose.
  • Step 3: Open the transmission housing and remove the primary chain inspection cover
  • Step 4:  Proceed to remove the drain plug using your socket wrench, then drain the transmission oil.
  • Step5: While the transmission oil is draining, clean the transmission drain plug with a rag or paper towel to remove metal shavings and excess oil
  • Step 6: Remove your filter and take your filter wrench while the bike is draining oil.
  • Step 7: Insert a different filter and recap the drain plug after the oil has been drained out. Try to re-attach the drain plug to your motorcycle’s base and screw it back in. You will then need to introduce your new oil filter, which can easily be screwed on.
  • Step 8: Add your oil. You can begin to add your oil with a new filter once you’re plugged in.

How do you know the bike’s primary oil needed to be changed?

While every motorcycle maker will tell you when to change the oil (basically 5,000 miles or 5,500 miles based on the motorcycle).

There are many other things you ought to be aware of that could prompt you to change the oil. Below are 5 signs that mean that an oil change is required for your motorcycle:

Check the oil and see if it is black and gritty

The current motorcycle models have a screen to check the oil level, while some bikes still have a dipstick that can be used for the same purpose.

But whichever way, there is a need to evaluate the oil color through the screen or on the dipstick. The oil is initially translucent with light brown color, but it will get black and thicker over time.

To verify its thickness, put a small amount of oil on your finger, then massage it with another finger. It ought to be smooth. If it’s not smooth and you notice some grittiness or debris, it implies that the oil is polluted, and you should change it.

When your transmission system runs louder than usual?

This is one of the things you’re going to know better than anybody else, because it’s your bike, so you understand it more than anyone.

The noise from your transmission system sounds lovely when the oil is fresh, but as time goes on, that oil will lack this ability, and soon after, you will begin to hear metal rubbing metal.

So, once you start noticing this change in your Harley motorcycle’s sound, it is time for a primary oil change.

Dashboard warning lights refuse to go away.

Modern engines (including transmission systems) are equipped with sensors that can notify you that you do not have oil in the engine (or transmission system) via the lights on your motorcycle’s dashboard.

When this occurs, you can always visually inspect the engine oil level, and if appropriate, add a small amount of oil to get it to the usual level.

The level of oil is under the minimum mark.

If you notice that the level of the oil keeps going down below the minimum mark in the oil screen or dipstick even after you have tested and topped the oil level, it is a sign of a problem.

If the transmission system does not leak, then it is an issue with the oil being far too old. Hence, it would be best if you change it as quickly as possible.

You forgot the last time you changed your oil.

There is a need to do the Harley Davidson primary oil change every month irrespective of the manufacturer’s recommendation.

If you forgot the last time you change your bike’s primary oil, then this is a clear indicator that it’s time that you do the oil change. Make sure you write the oil change date so that you can verify at a future date.

Available Primary Oil For Harley Bikes

01. Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson motorcycle company primary oil or engine oil is the first choice. Most of the pro biker recommend Harley’s engine oil to keep the engine operating for long time. The engine oil keep the sound of the engine smooth which expect Harley biker.

The primary oil can be found on the Harley’s website.

02. Mobil 1 Racing 4T

Mobil 1 Racing 4T motorcycle oils are uniquely produced to ensure high efficiency by maintaining the cleanliness of your engine.

It is tailored for long drives or short races and endures high temperatures. This oil is intended to improve the performance of your engine, clutch and protect the transmission system.


Amsoil is one popular oil for Harley-Davidson. Lots of reputed manufacturers also recommend this motorcycle oil for their brands due to their exceptional characteristics.

It is synthetic in nature and can excellently withstand heat, including wear in hot running motorcycles.

04. Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50

The Mobil 1 V-Twin 20W-50 offers outstanding performance to bike engines designed with a standard engine and transmission lubrication system.

It is also perfect for bikes with a separate engine lubrication system and transmission system. This engine oil is also intended to offer the right frictional features required for moist-clutch engine and transmission systems.

05. Maxima V-Twin( 80W-90)

This is a premium-quality, motorcycle transmission oil(mineral-based) formulated to improve your bike’s transmission system and primary chaincase performance level.

The oil is robustly formulated to prevent heat breakdown mechanical shearing. It is perfect for gearboxes of high-performance, including 4-, 5- and 6-speed.

How to test the primary oil quality

Although most oils are produced to the required standard, they can differ enormously in their overall and specific qualities. Below are ways on how to test the primary oil quality of motorcycles.

Engine Oil Properties(Viscosity)

Oil must have particular physical and chemical properties, such as viscosity, explained as the resistance to flow of fluid or a type of molecular friction to better serve the engine.

The viscosity of engine oil means how quickly an oil pours at a defined temperature. Thin oils possess lower viscosity and are easier to pour at room temperature than thicker oil having higher-viscosity.

Thick oils at elevated temperatures and loads are great at keeping oil pressure and film strength. Since the molecules of fluid are indeed attracted to each other, energy is needed to draw them off and generate flow.

Larger molecules usually have higher viscosity and more attraction between them. An increase in viscosity often increases internal friction, increasing the operating temperature.

In a nutshell, thin oil with lower viscosity is better than thick oil with higher viscosity, and this also defines the quality of an oil.

Engine and Bench Tests

A machine’s engine has often been used to identify its oil quality required to ensure its maximum performance.

The oil quality can be measured in dynamometer tests by engine manufacturers to determine the quality of the oil required for a specific component or design.

After the oil quality has been determined on the dynamometer, engine manufacturers can now appraise the oil quality for bike riders.

Cost of Harley Primary Oil

Buying a high-quality oil that gives the best value is what every motorcycle enthusiast wants. The price of engine oil varies, and it depends on the brand.

However, the cost of changing the oil of high-performance motorcycles, like Harley Davidson, ranges from $25 to $60. Nevertheless, the price may still change due to some conditions.


What variation after changing the engine oil?

Changing your oil provides a wide range of noticeable benefits. Once the oil change is done, your motorcycle will run smoothly with improved performance and a pleasant engine sound.

Furthermore, periodic oil changes enhance the fuel mileage of your motorcycle. The lubrication of the metal parts enhances your engine’s efficiency as the new oil passes via the engine and makes it operate more effectively with less effort so that it does not consume as much fuel.

Engine oil changing tips

A classic oil change is a common do-it-yourself motorcycle maintenance job. Although the process is simple, it is necessary you fully understand the things that are involved in having your oil successfully changed. Below are few tips to help you:

  • Double-check the instructions for these details from the manufacturer
  • All engines have specific oil weights that must be used for each particular engine, so ensure you use the correct weight
  • Ensure that the right protective gear and supplies are in place
  • Allow your motorcycle time to cool down if it is heated
  • Use the right drain pan
  • Clean your hand of any stain to ensure you can remove the oil filter easily
  • Seal your filter properly
  • Make sure that all the oil gets into the engine
  • Know how to read your dipstick and oil screen
  • Dispose of the old oil correctly

FAQ’s Harley Primary Oil Change

Q: Is it recommended to warm my bike before changing the oil?

A: Yes. Warm your bike to complete operating temperature, ensuring that the oil cooler thermostat opens for the oil to drain properly.

Q: How often should I have my Harley’s motorcycle oil changed?

A: Semi-synthetic oil used by high-performance motorcycles like Harley Davidson needs to be changed every 5,000 to 6,000 miles

Q: Is it hard to have my motorcycle oil changed?

A: Oil changes are relatively easy and significant. If you choose to do it yourself, you can save some dollars, get to understand your motorcycle and find small issues before they become major issues.

Q: What will happen if I don’t get my motorcycle oil changed?

A: If you fail to change your bike’s engine oil, it will make the engine work less effectively and trigger the engine parts to degrade and wear out as time passes on.

Q: Do I need to add too much oil to my motorcycle?

A: If you put too much oil on your bike’s engine, the pressure in the crankcase will rise, which in turn pushes oil out of the engine to your intake system.

Q: How much oil do I need to put on my motorcycle engine?

A: Ensure you read and follow the manufacturer’s manual and add in the right amount of oil as per the instructions therein


Just as the cleaning of your surface prevents potential problems from appearing, frequent checking and changing your Harley Davidson primary oil will ensure that it runs smoothly for years to come.

If your Harley Davidson is operating low or runs out of oil, this could result in a very costly repair project.

It may even require a complete replacement of the transmission system because of the damage to the recent oil-lacking one.

To guarantee that your engine operates efficiently, cooler, smoother, and lasts longer, it is necessary to get a recommended, high-quality oil to replace the old one.