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How to Change the Oil on a Road Glide

by Jim Murkot Sr.

Routine maintenance on a motorcycle typically begins with a regularly scheduled oil change. Harley-Davidson recommends that the oil and oil filter on a Road Glide motorcycle be changed every 5,000 miles. In the event of very hard, dusty riding or in very cold weather, consider changing the oil more frequently. The time to complete this task is approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon skill level.

Warm the motorcycle up to normal operating temperature. Turn off the engine after it is hot.

Remove the oil filler plug on the right side of the bike.

Place an oil drain pan or other suitable container under the motorcycle. Remove the oil drain plug located at the front left side of the oil pan with a socket wrench. Allow all of the oil to drain.

Remove the oil filter with a filter wrench. Clean the oil filter mount of any old oil or debris.

Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter with new, clean oil. Install and hand-tighten the new oil filter onto the filter boss. Do not use an oil filter wrench to tighten the new filter.

Reinstall the oil drain plug.

Add 3.5 quarts of 20w50 motor oil to the motorcycle. Wipe off the oil dipstick and push it completely into the bike's fill spout. Pull the dipstick back out and check to see that the oil is at the "FULL" mark. Add additional oil as necessary. Reinstall the oil filler plug by hand.


  • Use caution when working around a hot engine.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jim Murkot Sr. is a respiratory therapist with more than 20 years of hospital management. Murkot began writing professionally in 1993 and has written numerous hospital protocols designed to guide personnel in everything from hospital ethics to emergency response. His work has appeared in eHow as well as in multiple hospitals within the Houston area. He attended Kingwood College and Boston University.

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