Harley year end maint lube

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359
Location
Phoenix, Az
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Now that it's cooled off nice here I got around to all the lubing I've been putting off, much of which has been brought up from time to time around here. I notice some pretty noticeable improvements, so perhaps it's worth sharing in case it might help someone. Fork oil change - My dad was the previous owner for the first 15k miles so I'm pretty certain the existing fork oil was some HD variety, not sure if it was original or not. I had some Honda SS-8 10 wt laying around for my dirt bike so I figured I'd use it up. Wow, what a huge improvement. SO much smoother now even when cold which tends to make things feel harsher. Just smooth and controlled feeling now, way better than before. Oddly, when I drained the forks one side looked darkish but not horrible and the other side was just dark gray opaque yuk. Totally worth the effort. Primary oil change - Replace the old Rotella 15w40 with the same, felt good to begin with, and didn't look horrible when drained. Adjusted clutch while I was in there, seemed like a fair amount. Clutch felt decent before, even better now. Beautiful. Worthwhile. Clutch cable lube - I disconnected the cable from the lever, cleaned, and ran some Dupont Multi Use lube into the cable, and greased the pivot pins. I think it's the cable lube more than anything but holy cow it's smooth and easy action on the lever. Kicking myself I didn't do this sooner. Do this, you won't regret it. Steering head lube - It felt fine before, checked the fall away anyway and measured on the loose end of the good range. I used HD wheel bearing grease in my gun and re-lubed. I used this grease because I think that's what was already in there from dealer service (cuz it was blue) and I've never had any drippage so I wanted whatever was already in there. It was a pain to force the grease out the top end of the steering head, ended up using a shoelace wrapped around 2-3 times which ultimately worked but even then it was messy and a pain. Real messy. Not a ton of new grease was needed. Not sure it was necessary at this time but whatever. I can't see needing this again for another 20k unless I do some serious rain riding. Shift linkage - It's an upgraded heel/toe deal with a nice grease zerk on it, filled er up with the same HD wheel bearing grease. Hit the heim joint on the linkage with some Dupont Multi Use. Brakes - Removed calipers and pads, cleaned pistons. Was hoping my brake drag would decrease but not to be, works the same as before just prettier. Oh well. Wheels - There was some light rust on the spoked rims (my dad lived in NJ), hit them with Permatex Rust Dissolver for 5 mins which removed most of the rust and made things super shiny. I hit the white walls with some 50/50 simple green and a scotch brite pad and now they're white white white. Anyway, I learned some stuff doing all this, good to know.
 
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588
Location
South Carolina
Sounds like fun. I have a 2004 Sportster (Roadster 1200R.) Has some light rust in areas. I'll try the Permatex rust dissolver. Thanks for the idea. I have just used Formula+ in the primary as it shares a sump with transmission on the Sportsters. For oil in the bag, I use Mobil 1 15W-50 or NAPA 15W-50 Full Syn. Been working great for 65,000 miles so far.
 
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Messages
359
Location
Phoenix, Az
Thread starter
I'll probably pick up some of that Napa 15w50 syn next time it's on sale. I have one more OCI left of what's in it now, Valvoline 4T 20w50 syn but I'd like to give the Napa a try. I'm a fan of their oils in the 20w or 30w varieties.
 
Messages
359
Location
Phoenix, Az
Thread starter
Originally Posted By: BigCahuna
I don't get the end of year maintenance statement. Bikes should be serviced when they are due for service, due to wear and tear not by a calendar date.,,,
I agree. I was referring to, given a choice, I'd rather do things at a time when my garage temp was pleasant rather than an oven. Most of the things I mentioned weren't all that critical as to when they needed to be done. I don't do anything I don't have to during the summer heat.
 
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6,170
Location
North Coast
Originally Posted By: BigCahuna
I don't get the end of year maintenance statement. Bikes should be serviced when they are due for service, due to wear and tear not by a calendar date.,,,
Agreed but I do all of my annual maintenance at year end so I can fire it up and ride in Spring. It's a psychological thing. My Tbird is all set to go, air the tires, drop in a new battery (year 5) and off to the races. drive
 
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Messages
132
Location
On the Lake, Ohio
Originally Posted by fonecord2
Any updates to the year end maintenance?
I guess that depends on what you need done? It never hurts to lube steering head bearing, change primary fluid and adjust clutch along with lubing clutch cable, check brake pads, clean bike etc. The fork oil I changed twice on my 08 FLHR @ 25,000 miles and 50,000 miles before I sold it last year. Living in Ohio also I used to change out engine oil in winter so it wouldn't sit all year with old oil in it. Then I started changing engine oil in spring. Don't think I hurt a thing since bike had 56,000 miles on it when sold and it's still running strong I'm told. On my newer 2016 Ultra Limited last an this winter I just check fluid levels, put air in tires, washed, put up on jack stand, hook up Battery Tender and cover with a breathable HD cover. My garage is not heated either. When spring comes along I'll check my records and see what "I" think needs done or changed and enjoy the 2020 riding season. I faithfully do my 5,000 mile services which covers most items earlier discussed. Harley Davidson twin cams are great bikes.
 
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66
Location
South Dakota
I do my maintenance once a year on my Harley. Every spring I go through it, change fluids, inspect, and give my buddy lovins cause hes a good boy. I prefer to do the annual thing in the spring, once it warms up, before it gets hot. The bike doesn't care what time a year you do it. Huge +1 to the OP for using Rotella 15w-40 in the primary. I've done the same with excellent results despite the purists saying it'd cause world famine, victory for communism, global plague, osteoporosis, and make your weener smaller.
 
Messages
128
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted by wagsrk08
Originally Posted by fonecord2
Any updates to the year end maintenance?
I guess that depends on what you need done?
I'm current on maintenance I am due for a fork oil change. I have Ricor cartridge simulators that I'm going install soon. I've heard great things about them. What part of Ohio do you live in? I'm in Columbus.
 
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128
Location
Ohio
I
Originally Posted by Clayslayer
I do my maintenance once a year on my Harley. Every spring I go through it, change fluids, inspect, and give my buddy lovins cause hes a good boy. I prefer to do the annual thing in the spring, once it warms up, before it gets hot. The bike doesn't care what time a year you do it. Huge +1 to the OP for using Rotella 15w-40 in the primary. I've done the same with excellent results despite the purists saying it'd cause world famine, victory for communism, global plague, osteoporosis, and make your weener smaller.
I've used rotella t3 and t6. Now I went even farther to the dark side with atf!!!
 
Messages
66
Location
South Dakota
ATF!! Aghhhhhh!!!
Originally Posted by fonecord2
I've used rotella t3 and t6. Now I went even farther to the dark side with atf!!!
NOOOO!!! Ok... it'll be fine. Totally fine. It'll shift better too. I used the Amsoil universal ATF with the red cap. No issues whatsoever.
 
Messages
359
Location
Phoenix, Az
Thread starter
OP here. Funny how things change over time, I forgot I even made that post back in '15. Anyway, I ended up going to Mobil 1 Syn ATF in the primary, feels really good and seems to hold up great over a 10k interval. Costs more that regular old 15w40 but one quart every 10k miles isn't worth worrying about. In fact I use the same ATF in the forks and shock now too. It's got the right viscosity and I'm all for consolidating the oils I use. Forget about the weight listed on the bottle, this bike needs something like 36cst @ 40 degrees C which is real terms is right at a 20w. I use Blaster teflon spray in the clutch cable and lube the pivots with spray lithium grease. I love Dupont Multi Use but it just doesn't last on the pivots. Same with the side stand. When I replace the clutch cable I'll probably get a Barnett, they make awesome cables that definitely decrease the pull effort. Steering head lube.............still using Harley wheel bearing grease. Never has it dripped a single bit, and I live in Phoenix. I've been re-greasing annually but I really don't see a need, I'll do it whenever I need to take off the front nacelle because otherwise it's a pain. But I'll stick with it. Mobil 1 Syn 15w50 in the engine works just fine, and $2.18 a quart after rebate. That's how I'm rolling and it works for me if anyone is looking for options.
 
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