How to Change Oil & Filter in a Harley-Davidson Sportster by J&P Cycles

How to Change Oil & Filter in a Harley-Davidson Sportster by J&P Cycles

Save money at the shop and learn the correct way to change your own motorcycle oil. This oil change was performed on a 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster, and would be similar on other rubber mount Sportsters from 2004 and up.

Tools needed:
Flat blade screwdriver
Oil filter wrench

Purchase your motor oil online at and all of the tools you’ll need for the job at

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About Craig Ballantyne 18760 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.


  1. Im planing to buy an 2017 sportster 883 this year, i hope the oil change is the same on the new models… Bikes are so much easier and much much cheaper to maintain than cars and in spring and summer its more fun on a bike than in a car.

  2. So a 2005 has a hose like that? not a bolt that screws into the pan?
    — also I read somewhere the bike should be warm and on the kickstand right? When oil is warm, it expands right? Also does it need to be running while you check the level? All these different vehicles have their own idiosyncrasies. I had a 90 C2 Carrera.. It had to be on a flat surface and running while you check it and the dipstick was at the top right of the motor, so you'd better no be warin anything that hangs down like a chain, loose clothes, long hair etc. it was a bit sketchy — but the sportster has to be on the stand so its on a bit of an angle right? Just confrirmin. Thanks man. Nice video.

  3. Hi, my understanding of this is that you've done this incorrect. I've been informed that it's critical to prime the engine oil waste pipe, this is critical because air that builds up after emptying the oil is about the size of an egg. If not primed this air bubble can cause issues when it reaches the oil pump and tried to circulate around engine.

  4. Hello my name is Arthur I ride a Harley 883 Sportster 2007 I live in Australia I was watching your clip on U tub how to change the oil .. thanks for the hints … I over filed my bike . And I have oil every were … The top of the oil pop out …. I have two Q.. No. 1When you check oil did you have the bike strait or leaning on the rest … No 2Also when you pulled out the plug out to drain the oil do you need to put an o ring ? Because the guy that sold me the oil and the filter gave me this little O ring … Regards Arthur 
    Sent from my iPad

  5. I just bought a 2004 XL1200 C.. Do you check the oil level with the bike leaned on the kick stand? Looks that way in your video… Thanks..

  6. Nice Hand Tattoo – Being underneath a vehicle & thinking "which way is Left / Right" can be a task. No joke!

  7. I thought you had to bleed the tank from old oil until new oil ran through before starting up the bike? is this necessary?

  8. Just bought a 2006 sportster 1200 custom from a friend. Would the process and the amount of oi be similar to this?

  9. I bought my 2009 used and am about to do an oil change. How do I know if the oil was synthetic or not and does it matter what I put back in?

  10. Hey J and P Cycles, those pipes sound radical on that sportster. What'd she got on there? Are the pipes available on your site for purchase?

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