How to Service a Harley Electra Glide

by Jim Murkot Sr.

The Harley Electra Glide debuted in 1965, which should tell you a little something about how it got its name. Back then, motorcycles were almost universally kick-started; fine for burly youngsters, but not so much for either older bikers or for the latest "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" generation of bikers. The Electra Glide's big, new feature was an electric starter and a 12-volt electrical system; yes, that was really it. But that little starter made a world of difference in Harley's customer base, attracting new bikers and helping aging bikers stay on the road where they belonged.

Change the Motor Oil and Filter


Run the engine until it heats up to normal operating temperature. Turn the engine off. Remove the motor oil dipstick located on the right side of the bike. Place an oil drain pan underneath the motorcycle.


Remove the oil drain plug on the front of the oil pan. Allow all of the oil to drain. Reinstall the oil drain plug.


Remove the oil filter with a filter wrench. Clean the oil filter mounting boss with a shop rag.


Lubricate the rubber gasket on a new oil filter with clean motor oil. Install the oil filter by hand onto the mounting boss. Hand-tighten it ½-turn after the filter gasket comes into contact with the mounting boss surface.


Add 3.5 quarts of 20w50 motorcycle oil into the oil filler plug/dipstick hole. Wipe off the oil dipstick with a shop rag and insert it into the filler hole until it fully seats. Remove the dipstick and check the oil level on it. Add oil as necessary to bring the reading up to the FULL mark. Reinsert the dipstick.

Change the Primary Chain Lubricant


Place a drain pan under the motorcycle. Remove the primary chain lubricant chain plug with a T40 TORX drive head. Allow all of the lubricant to drain. Reinstall the drain plug.


Remove the five fasteners from the clutch inspection cover -- Derby cover -- with a hex wrench. Remove the clutch cover and gasket. Add 32 ounces of primary chain case lubricant. The fluid level should reach the bottom edge of the clutch diaphragm spring with the motorcycle standing upright.


Place a new clutch cover gasket into position. Reinstall the clutch cover with five fasteners.

Change the Transmission Lubricant


Place a drain pan underneath the motorcycle. Use a hex wrench to remove the transmission filler plug from the transmission.


Remove the transmission drain plug with a T40 TORX drive head. Allow all of the fluid to drain. Reinstall the drain plug.


Add 20 to 24 ounces of Harley transmission lubricant through the filler plug opening to the transmission. Insert the filler plug back into the filler hole.

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.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Taylor Hinton/iStock/Getty Images