Sportster Primary Oil

Discussion in 'Oil' started by ahern25, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. ahern25

    ahern25 Active Member

    Finished install on my brothers 06 883 custom for a new set of bars and cables. When I removed the primary cover I noticed the oil did not look like the primary oil in my road king. I know they are two different bikes but his oil looked more like a dark gray color instead of the clearish light tan color im used to seeing. Is it cause its a sportster or should I be looking to inspect the clucth hub? Could it be rubbing the friction plates some where inside causing the oil to be gray? Or is that the normal color and Im over thinking things? Bike only has about 3500 miles so I never cracked open the primary until now.
  2. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member


    BUBBIE Well-Known Member



    The Sportster is a Different animal. IT's Primary SHARES lubricant with the Tranny..

    Completely different as the big bikes have 3 places for oil and the sportsters have TWO. (engine and primary)

    I would recommend to use HD's Formula + in the Tranny shared Primary-clutch area.

    Formula+ is Wet Clutch approved and also a good Gear Oil.

    Big TC bikes could use it in their tranny OR in their Primary (some do)... But many other choices for me in my TC's then Formula+..

    I DO use HD's Formula + in my 06 Sport R for lubing my primary chain/clutch/tranny. ALL in one location, Filling thru primary behind the derby cover. For the engine, 20/50 Redline and a HD Sportster oil filter.
    (make sure the filter is for a sportster. Using a TC oil filter will burn up the sportster motor)

    Now in my big bike, 09 FLHR
    I use Redline 20/50 engine and a HD oil filter (for twin cams)
    MTL Redline in the clutch/primary (not for sportster primary/tranny)
    Redline Heavy ShockProof in the tranny. (not for sportsters at all)

    As far as the sport primary/tranny/clutch lube color, It may be due to the type of oil used? and OR in need of Changing.
    (first change? over due in My Book)(second change OK at those intervals)

    Check the primary chain free play, as it may cause the color of the oil IF the chain IS too loose and rubbing inside the aluminum housing...

    Don't tighten UNLES you know what you are doing.... Much damage can be done IF you tighten it Tooooo tight.
    And Not the proper way.


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Bubbie has you covered...the Sportster has "only" two "holes"...100% Synthetic oil may be used for the ENGINE to take advantage of the friction modifiers and higher temperature performance it's purity advantage over "refined dino oil" which has some impurities dispersed within. Gear oil should go in the "other" hole to lubricate the Primary Chain / Clutch and Transmission compartment such as Formula + or "regular" gear oil WITHOUT friction modifiers due to possible premature slippage of the oil wetted clutch pack friction surfaces. :s
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Formula+ is the current oil that hd sell for use in the sportster transmission although there are other oils that can be used and most of the big oil producers that do oil for air cooled v twins will also do an oil suitable for the sportster transmission