How to Check Primary Oil on a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

When it’s time for a Harley-Davidson oil change, many Bowie riders rely on a certified service center to ensure a job done right. Still, it’s helpful to know how to check the primary oil on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle at home, so you can see if the level gets too low and act accordingly. In this quick guide, Old Glory Harley-Davidson provides everything you need to know about checking primary oil on your motorcycle.

Checking Primary Oil on a Motorcycle: Step-by-Step

There are three main fluid compartments on Harley-Davidson motorcycles: one for engine oil, one for transmission fluid, and one for primary oil. The primary oil in a motorcycle is just as important as the engine oil, but it is often overlooked by owners. Checking the primary oil level can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Place your motorcycle on a level surface so you can get an accurate reading from your Harley-Davidson oil check.
  2. Remove the derby cover. This is a metal plate that is typically made out of sheet metal, covering the clutch of the motorcycle to protect the mechanical workings housed within it from dust, dirt, and other contaminants. Removing the derby cover is as simple as removing the 5 screws that hold it in place.
  3. Once you have the derby cover off, grab a flashlight so you can get a clear view of the primary oil level.
  4. The primary oil level is contained in the bottom of the clutch diaphragm. Shine your flashlight in the area to see where the primary oil level is; it should be level with the bottom of the clutch basket.
  5. If the primary oil in your motorcycle is low, you can bring it up by adding a little oil at a time until it is corrected. To avoid spilling, we recommend a Harley-Davidson primary oil funnel that is designed specifically for this function. Interested readers can inquire with our parts department to learn more.
  6. Replace the derby cover. Using a torque wrench, replace all 5 screws to 90 inch-pounds each.

What Type of Oil Should You Use in the Primary Fluid Compartment?

Also referred to as the “primary drive,” there are two types of primary oil that Pasadena Harley-Davidson owners can use if the level is sitting a little low: Mobil 1 Racing™ 4T 10W-40 motorcycle oil or Mobil 1™ V-Twin 20W-50.

Harley-Davidson Oil Check Frequency

How often should Glen Burnie riders perform a Harley-Davidson oil check? Many Harley-Davidson owners don’t take their motorcycle out on a daily basis, so most professionals will recommend checking the primary oil level before every ride. What about a full-service Harley-Davidson oil change? Your owner’s manual can provide an exact recommendation for your model, but many riders prefer to have the primary oil changed each time they change the engine oil, which would be every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Keep in mind, the interval may vary depending on how often you ride.

Contact Old Glory Harley-Davidson to Learn More

Have additional questions about the primary oil in a motorcycle? Contact the service team at Old Glory Harley-Davidson! We are Laurel’s premier Harley-Davidson resource, here to provide expert motorcycle service and advice you can trust. If it’s about time for a Harley-Davidson oil change, you can schedule an appointment online after consulting our latest service specials.

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11800 Laurel Bowie Road • Laurel, MD 20708

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Old Glory Harley-Davidson

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD

Phone: 301-575-0575,-76.837391,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x24a3d7feef1cb34f?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiXjPaluKToAhWUQc0KHVVzBDAQ_BIwDXoECBAQCA


Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD


Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD


Phone: 301-575-0575

11800 Laurel Bowie Road Laurel, MD
39.051878 -76.837473
Old Glory Harley-Davidson 39.051878, -76.837473.