Well we just passed the 1K mile marker on the sportster. It was a fun and happy 1000 miles of pure bliss. By now, i can feel the clutch needing an adjustment and since we have to change the oil, it’s time to go all synthetic. After doing the oil change, it’s time to do the others on the list. Most of these other things are just making sure bolts are tight, lights are working and nothing is leaking.
I know the dealership will charge anywhere from $200-$350 to do this 1K mile service. With a few basic tools and know-how, you can do it yourself. Also, doing it yourself will make you more comfortable around your bike and allow you do save money. So, let’s do that.
I don’t have a bike lift or bike stand as of yet and there isn’t much clearance under the bike for an oil catcher. So I bought an oil catcher locally and we hope it fits under the bike, if not I’ll have to order one that will fit.
After doing much research and learning I choose to go with full synthetic. It cost more up front, but realistically is better for your bike in hot weather and you don’t “have” to change your oil for 5K miles with synthetics (even though I probably will change before that anyways 😉 )
A lot of guys like the Amsoil oil. I could not find it locally and went with Mobile1 all around. Highly recommended from other bikers and it’s rated way up at the top. Also going with Mobile 1 primary gear oil for the gear box. You will need 3qt for the oil change (2.5qt really) and 1qt for the gear oil. We also went with the K&N oil filter (or the chrome version). This oil filter is just as good as the official Harley filter, but also has an extra feature that caps the oil to keep oil up in the top of the head when the bike isn’t running. Plus, the K&N filter comes with a socket “nut” that allows easy installation and removal later. It’s only about $5 more than the HD filter. Worth it in my opinion.
If you haven’t yet, you should really consider buying the official Service Manual for sportsters (this one is for all sportsters and will work, only difference through the years is carb vs EFI). But if your running an 09 or newer, this is for your sportster). If you want to get exact search here. The service manual is a step-by-step guide for pretty much any repair/check/fix on your ride and if you want to do things on your own to save cash, you need this. ALSO a great addition to the service manual is the FixMyHog DVD. It’s just like an expert walking you through each step!
Other things needed or recommended for the 1K service include:
replace engine oil and filter (see above)
inspect oil lines and brake system
inspect air cleaner (I have a K&N, we are good)
inspect tires (get a cheap tire gauge – 30psi front/36psi rear for solo riding)
check wheel spokes (video how too)
replace trans(primary) fluid (drain and pour 1qt into the inspection hole)
check clutch adjustment (video walk-though)
check primary chain adjustment (video walk-through)
inspect and adjust rear belt and sprockets (info)
inspect and lubricate jiffy stand (kick stand is good)
inspect fuel lines and fittings
check brake fluid level (look in the little reservoir window- throttle side grip)
inspect spark plugs (discuss)
check operation of electrical equipment and switches
check engine idle speed
adjust steering head bearings (video how to test starts at 1:07 )
check critical fasteners
inspect exhaust system (tighten)
Main items I actually focus on:
– change oil/filter and primary oil
– adjust the clutch – mine was starting to not shift smooth sometimes
– adjust throttle cable – mine is a bit loose with too much play (video how to)
– of course check tires
– wash her
After doing my service with full synthetic, I noticed she ran smoother, cooler and quieter. I had lots of metal shavings on the primary plug, this is normal on a newer bike. Ended up at harbor freight and bought a torque wrench for $17.00 and a 5/8 deep socket for spark plugs. I didn’t have an oil filter removal tool, so my arm hurts today but luckily the new K&N filter has a “nut” on it for next time. I need a bike lift. I did end up using a 2×4 size piece of wood to set the kick-stand on so the bike was more level – this really helped and gave me more room to work on her this time.