Harley Transmission Oil Change- Everything you Need to Know

If you’re a Harley or a motorcycle enthusiast, you know that maintenance is one of the keys to keeping your bike running smoothly. And one of the most important maintenance tasks to keep up with is changing the oil in your transmission. But this task can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before.

Don’t need to worry! In this article, we’ll walk you through all you need to know about Harley transmission oil changes. With the proper knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to confidently taking care of your motorcycle and enjoying the ride ahead. So, let’s get started with it.

What Is Harley-Davidson?

Harley-Davidson is one of the most recognizable and iconic American motorcycle brands, boasting a long and storied history from 1903.

It is known for its large, powerful engines and classic American cruiser styling. Harley-Davidsons have been the go-to choice for many motorcyclists all around the world.

While they’re known for their style and performance, they also require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. That’s where the Harley transmission oil change comes in. It’s an essential part of keeping your Harley in top shape and ensuring that you get the utmost performance from it.

Harley Transmission Oil Change

Which Oil Type Is Suitable for Harley-Davidson?

When it comes to Harley-Davidson bikes, choosing the right oil is essential to keeping your bike functioning optimally. But which is the right Harley Davidson transmission oil type?

Harley-Davidson recommends heavy-duty, synthetic engine oil for all of its models. The oil should meet the requirements of the American Petroleum Institute (API) Service Classification SG/CD or higher.

It is recommended that Harley Davidson should be serviced with a synthetic oil that meets the SAE 20W50 standard. But if your region is below 40F, you should get something that meets the SAE 10W40 standard. SAE 60 H-D is also recommended for high temperatures above 80 degrees F.

This type of oil is formulated with a higher viscosity index than standard engine oils and contains additives designed to enhance performance, reduce wear and extend engine life.

Read Also: Best Primary Oil For Harley

What Is the Transmission Oil Capacity of Harley-Davidson?

Now that you know the importance of changing Harley-Davidson transmission oil, let’s look at what that entails. You may be wondering,

“What is the Harley transmission oil capacity”?

It is easy to answer. The oil capacity for all Harley-Davidson models is approximately 24 fluid ounces or .75Ltr. If you want to keep your bike running smoothly and efficiently, it’s essential to use the proper oil amount & type when changing the transmission oil in your Harley-Davidson.

The most prevalent oils used are SAE 20W50 for motorcycles with pre-2006 engines. Most synthetic oils have a higher viscosity than conventional motor oils and are designed to hold up better under heat and pressure.

What Is the Importance of Changing Harley-Davidson Transmission Oil?

Well, one big reason is that changing the transmission oil helps keep your ride running smoother for longer. That’s because transmission oil serves three primary purposes:

  1. It lubricates the transmission components, making it easier for them to move and shift gears without issue or friction.
  2. It helps reduce the heat that can be generated from friction, helping to keep the engine cooler and prolonging its life.
  3. It helps keep contaminants from corroding and damaging parts inside the transmission.

So, without regularly changing the transmission oil in your Harley-Davidson, you could end up costing yourself more in repairs down the line.

How Often Should You Change Harley Transmission Oil?

Changing your Harley-Davidson transmission oil is important to keep your bike running smoothly and efficiently. But how often do you need to change the transmission oil?

The frequency of transmission oil changes really depends on a few factors. To start, how much you ride and the types of conditions you ride in will determine how often you should be changing the transmission oil. If you ride frequently, in hot or dusty environments, you should change your transmission oil more often than someone who rides less in more temperate climates.

Another factor to consider is how long ago the last transmission oil change happened. Usually, manufacturers suggest changing your transmission oil at 1,000 miles, then every 10,000 miles after that. Try to keep track of when the last oil change occurred, so that you can plan for the next one accordingly.

And finally, check with other Harley-Davidson owners and see what their experience has been with changing their transmission oils—they may have tips and advice that could be helpful for your situation specifically!

How to Change Harley Transmission Oil: Step by Step Guideline

Changing your Harley’s transmission oil isn’t rocket science, and you don’t need any special tools, either. You’ll need: a drain pan or bucket to catch the old oil; a new transmission oil filter and gasket; some Harley-Davidson approved transmission oil; latex gloves, and; a medium to large flathead screwdriver.

Follow these simple steps to get the job done right:

  1. Put on those latex gloves – safety first!
  2. Place a pan or bucket beneath the bike to catch all the old transmission oil.
  3. Use a medium to large flathead screwdriver to remove the transmission drain plug from the bottom of the transmission housing.
  4. Allow all of the old transmission oil to completely drain from your Harley into the bucket or pan below – this may take some time, so be patient!
  5. Once all of the old oil has been removed, re-install the drain plug onto your Harley’s transmission housing and make sure it is firmly secured in place – use thread lock if necessary.
  6. Remove and replace your Harley’s transmission oil filter if necessary – make sure you have a new gasket for this step!
  7. Slowly pour in about two quarts of fresh, Harley-Davidson approved Transmission Oil into your bike’s transmission housing – check your owner’s manual for specific amounts and types of oil recommended by Harley-Davidson for your model bike – never overfill!
  8. Re-start your bike and let it warm up slightly – this will help seat any possible air bubbles that may be present in your fresh Transmission Oil.
  9. Check for leaks around both sides of your bike.

Final Thought

Changing the transmission oil on your Harley-Davidson isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. With the right tools and information, it’s a breeze. It’s important to ensure that you use the right type of oil for your bike model and to check the levels regularly. With the right process, you’ll be able to keep your Harley-Davidson running smoothly and in top-notch condition. Thanks for reading this article.


Rio is a car & motorcycle mechanic who is working with different kinds of problems relating to oil and grease. He is also a passionate technical writer.