I’ve heard plenty of people say that their bike leaks oil all the time so they are constantly adding oil and believe that it must be clean, right? One of the properties of good oil is its ability to trap and contain contaminants and particulate matter that develop in every internal combustion powerplant. It requires extra horsepower to force oil through the bypass, which means the motor oil is no longer doing its job of trapping particles and protecting your motor. The oil filter of a Harley-Davison Sportster is located just behind the downtubes and immediately in front of the cases and front cylinder of the motor. Start the oil change by venting the system, and remove the oil filler cap from the oil tank located on the right side of the bike underneath the seat.
Before removing the oil filter, construct a small rectangular piece of cardboard to channel the flow of oil from the filter instead of just unscrewing it and dirtying everything on your bike underneath the filter. Slide the cardboard underneath the filter, and check to make sure it fits in all the way to the mounting surface for the filter because that’s where it’s going to start leaking out once the filter is unscrewed. The new filter should resemble the old filter in size, shape, and especially the gasket surface.
Apply a light bead of oil to the gasket surface of the oil filter so that the gasket will smoothly compress against its seat.


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Time, extensive heat, changing weather conditions, and a variety of other factors can degrade oil – and it never stops.
A clogged filter also creates parasitic drag which means your bike is running with a few less ponies- and nobody wants that. Depending on your bike’s configuration, you may want to vary these dimensions, but most applications should find that a piece a little over 11-inches long and about five inches wide ought to be large enough to protect your bike from dirty oil and save you some clean up time later.
Unscrew the filter slowly and allow the oil to drain out over the cardboard and into the drain pan. If you ever have to question whether or not to change your oil, just err on the side of caution and do it. While it is a common misconception, adding oil and never changing it all out at once is not the same as changing your oil. I still abide by the traditional 3000 miles or every six months rule for changing oil, and I’ll do it even more often if my bike has been ridden hard for extended periods of time.
Sure, you used soap and water to scrub with, but after awhile the washcloth gets dirty too.


There is a hose with a screw-type hose clamp attached to it (all the other hose connections are crimped) just behind the primary and in front of the rear tire.
Pull off the hose from the frame-mounted plug and allow a few minutes for the tank to drain completely.
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The cleaner a motor’s oil is kept, the longer it will stay healthy and in good running condition. The same is true of an oil filter; it stops being effective when contaminants are trapped in its inner pleats. Once the oil has stopped draining, replace the hose on the plug, and re-tighten the hose clamp.



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