Maintenance schedule (change oil etc)

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Baggh, May 31, 2008.

  1. Baggh

    Baggh Active Member

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    Hey all,

    I just happened upon this site while browsing for some information about my new bike... I can see I'll be visiting this regularly given that its full of helpful info.

    A couple weeks ago I purchased a '06 Sportster XL 883 with 4400 miles. I already put 1K on it... love this bike!

    As soon as I got the bike I did some general maintenance and was wondering what the intervals are for each (when they should be changed again). I have been looking up this info online and in the manual but cant seem to find any help.

    Changed the spark plugs, Oil filter and oil, Air Filter, and tranny oil. Any recommendations for timely intervals to do each? Guy at the HD shop here in Dallas says that he does his oil like his car... every 3,000. That seems a bit long between changes...?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    On average the 3000 mile between changes is a good way to go. Some go the 5K route. I like to do it at intervals where it can be tracked easily like the 2500 0r 5000 mile intervals and I also do all the oils at this interval too with synthetics except for the primary that gets formula+ . It's a bit of a waste of money but considering the price of these bikes, it's cheap by comparison.
     
  3. Baggh

    Baggh Active Member

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    thanks for the quick reply and the helpul link you posted! Based on reading some of the info I'll go with oil\oil filter\tranny oil every 2,000 and do the air filter\ spark plugs every other oil change or 4,000 miles.

    I ride alot of highway back and forth to work so the rpms are pretty high... so more frequent changes would help me sleep at night. As you say... it might be too frequent meaning a potential waste of money but maintaining the ride is cheaper than replacing it.

    I'll post some pics of my bike tomorrow... I'm pretty pumped about the mods\additions I've been adding to it. Everytime I go to the local Harley store I can't get out of there without finding something to add onto it :)

    thanks again
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I really think you could stretch out those changes a bit with no problems IMO.:s
     
  5. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

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    especially with the air filter (unless EXTREMELY DUSTY conditions) and spark plugs ????
     
  6. schumacher

    schumacher Member

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    I've heard some guys say HD synthetic is good for about 10k miles. I don't think I'd ever leave oil in a bike that long though.
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Nor would I do that, 10K is a bit much to me for any oil regardless( in my bike). Some have the oil analyzed and run it longer. To me it's just easier to change it anyway. By the time you pay for the analysis, you can put that towards the oil and do the job.
     
  8. Baggh

    Baggh Active Member

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    hmmm... ok. You guys are selling me on the idea of stretching these out. Being careful about maintenance is one thing but being overly cautious is a whole other thing that could be some wasteful expense. I could put that money towards more add ons!

    thanks guys...

    so... oil, oil filter, tranny oil every 2500... air filter, spark plugs every other oil change (5k) .

    thanks again... pics coming tomorrow :)
     
  9. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If you wish, the trans could go to 5K too, there's no byproducts from combustion in there and at 5K it would be good to go, even more than enough.

    Oops, we're talking sportster here.Two holes, not 3 :D Missed that up above.
     
  10. scottaudio

    scottaudio Member

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    I've got a 2006 XL1200C, and the owner's manual states (after the initial 1k mile service) to change oil/filter and tranny fluids at 5k mile intervals, starting at 5k miles. Spark plugs are at 10k miles. Air cleaner is inspected, and clean/replace as necessary.

    FYI, my father was a oil and grease lubricant chemist with Conoco for 40 years with many patents on common oils and greases in use today. As he taught me (while growing up and riding/racing motorcycles) is that many people change oil a lot sooner than is necessary, wasting money and oil!

    Oil, unless abused by overheating until it carmelizes, lasts a lot longer than we think. In the "old days" before additives which allow oil to act as a multi-viscosity lubricant, changing every 3.5k miles was standard because engines were quite different.

    Now, look at your recommended maintenance cycles with today's cars-5k between changes as well! Oil filters are better than they used to be as well (better tolerances for the filter elements!). Engines are built to tighter tolerances because of emissions standards.

    I just had my bike in for the 5k mile service about a month ago (a week before the Laughlin run), and my oil (with a lot of highway miles as well as trips to work every day) was still translucent (not solid black). Therefore, the oil had not been abused. And I ride in 112+ degree weather on highway runs on weekends with other HD riders from our office.

    My recommendation-evaluate the oil's condition when you pull the tank dipstick and look at the color of your oil. You might find you do not need to waste time and money (or oil) as often as you think.

    One caveat though: If you live in a dusty environment (where you have to clean or replace the air cleaner quite often) this will get into your oil over time and require more frequent changing as appropriate.