How Much Oil Goes In A Harley Primary?

The amount of oil that goes in a Harley-Davidson primary varies depending on the model and year of the motorcycle. For most models, the capacity is between one and two quarts. However, A typical Harley-Davidson motorcycle holds approximately one quart of oil in the primary.

As an example, a Sportster may take in up to a little over three quarts of 20w50 oil. While a Twin Cam with a 2.0L engine has a 3-quart (2,800 ml; 100 ml oz) oil capacity.

It’s a necessity to keep your Harley’s primary engine lubricated so that it runs smoothly and doesn’t overheat. Too much or too little oil can cause problems, so be sure to check your level often and top off as needed.

If you’re not sure how much oil to add, it’s always better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. You can always drain out any excess oil, but your Harley could be damaged if you don’t have enough oil. So when in doubt, add a bit more oil rather than less.

The console on the motorcycle will tell you when it is time to add more oil to the primary. It is always a smart idea to check your owner’s manual to be sure you are adding the correct amount of oil for your specific motorcycle model.

What type of oil goes in Harley primary?

The type of oil that goes in the Harley primary is a Mobil 1™ V-Twin 20W-50 synthetic blend.

This oil is designed to provide superior protection for your engine, as well as excellent performance in all weather conditions. 

Also the 10W-40 oil by Mobil 1 Racing is designed specifically for Harley primary motorcycle engines.

How do we fill oil in Harley primary?

Step 1: To fill the oil in your Harley Davidson primary, you will need to remove the oil filter cap and use a frame jack to access the underside of your bike.

 Step 2: Position the oil drain pan and drain the oil. Remove the oil filter and prepare a replacement one for installation.

Step 3: Fill the oil tank with fresh oil.

Step 4: Replace the oil filter and reattach the oil filter cap.

Step 5: Use the frame jack to lower your bike and check the oil level.

Step 6: Add more oil if necessary. Replace the primary cover and gasket.

Step 7: You’re now ready to ride! 

How to tell if oil goes bad?

When it comes to oil, there is no definitive answer as to how long it will last. However, some general guidelines can help you determine if your oil has become bad.

  1. One way to tell if the oil has gotten bad is by its appearance. If the oil is cloudy or has changed colors, it is probably time to throw it out.
  2. Another way to tell is by its smell. If the oil smells rancid, it is probably time to discard it.
  3. Also, if the oil has a thick or sticky consistency, it’s probably time to replace it.

However, if you notice any changes in how your motorcycle runs, such as increased engine noise or decreased performance, it’s a smart idea to check your oil level. If necessary, change your oil sooner.

Bad oil can cause several problems for your motorcycle, so it’s wise to be proactive and change it as needed.

How to extract Harley primary oil?

There is no easy answer to this question. The process of extracting oil from a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be quite difficult and time-consuming.

It is always advisable to consult a professional mechanic or someone with experience in this area before attempting to extract the oil yourself. You can also follow these guidelines.

Step 1: To remove the primary oil from your Harley, you will first have to remove the derby cover.

Step 2: To do this, simply unscrew the four bolts that hold it in place. After the derby cover is removed, you will be able to see the drain plug. Remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain into a pan or container.

Step 3: Once the oil has finished draining, replace the drain plug and screw it in tightly.

Step 4: Replace the derby cover and screw it back into place. Your Harley is now ready to ride!

How To Change The Harley Primary Fluid Of Transmission?

Step 1: Gather necessary materials and tools, including a Harley primary fluid drain pan, Harley primary fluid, and an appropriate wrench or socket set.

Step 2: Place the drain pan underneath the transmission drain plug located on the bottom of the primary cover.

Step 3: Use the wrench or socket set to loosen and remove the drain plug.

Step 4: Allow the old primary fluid to fully drain into the drain pan.

Step 5: Replace the drain plug and tighten it securely.

Step 6: Use a funnel to add new Harley primary fluid until it reaches the full mark on the primary cover dipstick.

Step 7: Double-check all connections and dispose of the old primary fluid properly.

Step 8: Start the engine and check for any leaks before taking the bike for a test ride.

Step 9: Repeat the draining and refilling process as necessary to maintain proper primary fluid levels.

Can you use worn-out oil in Harley primary?

 No, it is not recommended to use worn-out oil in the Harley primary. This can lead to damage and breakdown of the internal components of the primary system. It is a necessity to regularly change the oil and use fresh, high-quality oil for optimal performance and longevity of your motorcycle.

How do I check the primary oil level in Harley?

To check the primary oil level on a Harley:

Step 1: First make sure the motorcycle is on level ground and the engine is cold.

Step 2: Locate the inspection cover on the outer primary and remove it using a wrench.

Step 3: Dip a dipstick into the primary and check the oil level. If it is low, add oil through the inspection cover until it reaches the “Full” mark on the dipstick.

Step 4: Replace the inspection cover before starting the engine.

It is critical to regularly check the primary oil level and add oil as needed to ensure proper lubrication and functioning of the engine. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions on checking and adding oil to your motorcycle.


As we saw proper maintenance of your Harley’s primary oil is essential for optimal performance and longevity of your motorcycle. Be sure to regularly check the oil level and change it as necessary, using fresh high-quality oil.

Consult a professional mechanic or experienced individual if you have any questions or concerns about extracting or changing the primary oil.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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