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How To Read Harley Davidson Oil Dipstick?

Harley Davidson is an American motorcycle company famous for making classic-looking luxury motorcycles. It’s not just only a brand name. Again, it is a kind of art craft in the realm of motorbikes. But every machine needs proper care to function and run smoothly.

And when it comes to the matter of something like a Harley Davidson bike, the owner really should be careful to take care. An essential daily routine task of using a vehicle is checking the engine oil. Regular oil checking informs you of the right time to change your engine oil and your engine’s health.

Generally, using a dipstick is the most common way to check the oil level and quality. But the owner must know, How to read Harley Davidson oil dipstick? In this article, we will make you know the process of reading the oil dipstick of Harley Davidson.

How To Read Harley Davidson Oil Dipstick

How to read Harley Davidson oil dipstick?

The process of reading the dipstick of a motorbike isn’t hard. You need to follow some steps to do it. Here they are,

  1. Run your motorcycle until the engine is at operating temperature.
  2. Put the jiffy stand on level ground and let the engine rest for two minutes.
  3. Turn the engine off.
  4. Unthread the filter plug and remove the dipstick. Wipe it off.
  5. Bring it back into the oil pan. Wait until seated.
  6. Remove and read the current oil level.
  7. When the oil level reaches below ADD OT mark, add some oil to turn the level into FULL HOT.

Be careful about filling oil. Don’t overfill the oil. Warm your engine before inspecting the oil level.

History of Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson started manufacturing bikes in 1903. They made bikes for the military in world war I and world war II. Even this company had survived the great depression.

This ancient company is still making classic-looking and sporty motorcycles. Almost every collector like to have a Harley Davidson in their workshop.

How often should I change the oil of my Harley Davidson?

It depends on the type of oil you are using in your motorcycle. When you use mineral oil, you will need to change it every 2 to 3-kilo miles. Semi-synthetic oil will provide more oil cycle life than minerals. While using semi-synthetic, you will need to change the oil after 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Synthetic oils have the longest life among the other engine oils.

With synthetic oil, you can drive up to 7,000 to 10,000 miles. Though it’s a bit costly, it runs for a long time. Remember, fresh oil helps to keep your engine healthy and allows a smooth ride. So, while changing the oil, you should remember that the sooner, the better.

How much oil does a Harley Davidson need?

Maintaining a proper amount of engine oil is required to ensure proper lubrication. A low amount of oil can raise the engine temperature and decay the internal parts. It also can cause a loud noise and heavy smoke.

In contrast, too much oil is also a problem for the engine. Overfilling engine oil is harmful cause too much oil can make foam in the engine. That will hamper your lubrication system, and surely less lubrication means a hot engine, decaying engine parts, and other problems.

So a Harley Davidson owner must know the required amount of engine oil. You will mostly need about three quarts or around 2.8 liters of engine oil. This is the perfect amount for Harley Davidson.

harley oil temp dipstick

Which oil should I use in Harley Davidson?

Every different type of engine needs a different type of engine oil. The use of the wrong engine oil can result in severe damage. So, knowing the suitable one for your engine is a must. The manufacturer mentions which engine oil is required in the owner manual. Mostly Harley Davidson engines need SAE 20W50 engine oil. It’s the recommended oil for almost every weather.

We all know that the viscosity of engine oil changes due to the temperature. You need to understand in which condition you will drive your motorcycle for the next months. At lower temperatures, SAE 10W40 is a better choice for your motorcycle.

If you need to drive in hot weather, use SAE 60 H-D. It’s designed for temperatures above 80° F. But the best one for your Harley Davidson is Mobil 1 10W40 engine oil.

Signs of changing oil

Some signs can help you know the time to change your engine oil. Here they are,

  • The oil level is low or below the minimum mark of the dipstick.
  • If the oil is gritty or blackish.
  • If you find sludge in the oil.
  • Check engine/oil light is on.
  • Oil burning smell.
  • Increased engine sound.
  • Bluish or whitish exhaust smoke.

Check your engine oil if you find any of these signs with your motorcycle. Read the dipstick. Try to rub a small amount, like one or two drops, with your finger. If you feel sludge or dirt in the oil, it’s time to change the engine oil.

Is mineral oil better than synthetic oil?

If you use mineral oil, you will get a short oil life. Petroleum-based oils have a lot of disadvantages also. They are cheaper than other oils, but they don’t last long. You will need to change the oil every 2 to 3-kilo miles. But synthetic oil is designed to work in engines. Also, it will allow you to drive around 6,000 to 10,000 miles.

Should I oil dipstick when the oil is cold?

You should run your engine for some time to warm your engine oil. Warm oil will show the real measurement of engine oil.

How often should I check my motorcycle’s engine oil?

You should definitely check in every week. But if you can do it after 4 to 5 days, that is better.


Every machine or engine needs maintenance after some days. So motorcycles need also. But the owner must know the way of taking care of his motorcycle. A routine checkup is also required to understand your vehicle’s condition every day. You should check your oil level regularly.

Checking bike oil and reading the bike oil dipstick isn’t a hard job. But the owner must know how to do it. In this article, we have discussed, How to read Harley Davidson oil dipstick? It’s easy if you follow the steps properly.

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