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A motorcycle even as good and reliable as a Harley needs regular maintenance. After all, that’s the nature of machines – they require regular service to work properly.
But some people don’t take this seriously. You have to be very strict with the maintenance schedule and follow it to the tee. Even a single day of deliberation and missing the schedule deadlines could hurt the bike. On top of that, you could end up creating a habit, which would ultimately reduce the bike’s life.
The end result would be a trip to the salvage yard.
We are sure you want to avoid such an ordeal, so to ensure you don’t have to experience such a thing, we have prepared a general Harley Davidson maintenance guideline for you to follow.
You can find the same schedule outlined in the user’s manual. But if you have lost the book, you can always look here for guidance.
Recommended Service Schedule
All Harley bikes require maintenance at the same interval, regardless of the model. The intervals are calculated in miles and not in time because some people are frequent riders while others go out only on the weekends.
In other words, it all depends on how much you ride your motorcycle. The touring bikes, for example, can rack up approximately 10,000 miles or so in a year. They will go through the initial intervals much faster than other types of motorbikes.
Apart from the difference in time, the checks are always the same for all bikes. The filters, fluids, and tires must all be changed at the right time.
The first few maintenance schedule dates start at 500, 1,000, and 2,500 miles. After that, you have to perform regular inspections every 2,500 miles. There is also a special service at 10,000 and 20,000 miles.
Here they are in perfect order:
The 500-mile service is not for all Harley models but only for a specific model category. The Heritage Springer models require a slight adjustment on the front end after running for 500 miles. It says so in the user manual hence you shouldn’t ignore it at any cost.
A front-end adjustment like this on a Harley Davidson motorcycle might not cost you anything if you have a warranty. But, if you are unable to visit the dealer, you should expect to pay around $100 at your local Harley workshop.
The first in-depth service for all Harley Davidson motorcycles is set at 1,000 miles. It involves checking all the fluids, the filters, and the tires, while also taking note of any irregularities or wear. If something is out of the ordinary you can immediately use the dealer’s warranty card to get a quick fix.
Here is what a mechanic will do in a 1,000-mile service:
- Change the engine oil based on the dealer’s recommendation
- Change the transmission fluid
- Refresh the chain-case lubricant for a smoother ride
- Lubricate the following using general-purpose oil or grease: front brake hand lever, throttle control cables, throttle, clutch control cable/hand lever, and jiffy stand
- Inspect the air filter and change it if required
- Replace the oil filter
- Inspect the brake pads and discs for deterioration
- Check brake fluid levels
- Inspect oil lines and the entire brake system for possible leaks
- Check the primary chain and adjust if necessary
- Check the clutch and remove any extra play
- Inspect the rear-drive belt and adjust it if necessary
- Examine the stabilizer bar, links, and bushings along with the engine mounts
- Inspect the exhaust pipes and manifold for leaks, cracks, and missing parts
- Tighten the hand controls, brake system nuts, axle nuts, front fork components, riser, and handlebar fasteners
- Inspect all the electrical equipment and switches
- Check rear fork pivot nut tightness
- Check engine idle speed adjustment
- Check the front fork bearing adjustment
- Check and clean battery connections
- Inspect fuel valves, lines, and fittings for leaks
- Examine the pressure in the tires, inspect the tread pattern and ensure the wheel spokes are properly tightened
Once all that is done, a road test must be conducted to ensure the bike’s perfect health. Also, you must keep in mind that it is not unusual to change any parts or make any major adjustments to the motorbike at this interval.
After all the motorcycle is fairly new and free of any wear or tear. But the mechanics will check everything just in case.
The maintenance cost for each model varies from one workshop to another. But you should expect to pay the following for a 1k service:
Touring: $320 to $400
Softail: $320 to $400
Dyna: $320 to $350
Sportster: $260 to $320
|Note: These prices are exclusive of tax and shop supplies but include Syn3 oil. In other words, you only have to pay extra for replacement parts.|
- Replace the engine lubricant & the accompanying oil filter
- Inspect the rear belt
- Inspect the transmission lubricant
- Inspect brake pads and discs for wear
- Inspect fuel valves, lines, and fittings for leaks
- Inspect tire pressure and inspect the tread
- Inspect the operation of throttle and enriching controls
- Inspect the operation of all electrical equipment and switches
- Inspect battery connections
- Examine air filteration system and clean if required
- Examine the brake fluid lines and the enitrety of the brake system for possible leaks
- Road test
The 2500-mile service should only include the engine oil and filter change, but it doesn’t hurt to inspect every vital part while you are at the workshop. If you want, you can do all these inspections yourself, but when time is an issue and money isn’t, it is best to leave that job to professionals.
So, for a 2,500-mile service, you should expect to pay $160 to $280.
The 5000-mile service is another important milestone in your bike’s life. Therefore, you should not skip it at any cost.
Interestingly, a lot of the same procedures are conducted at the 5000-mile service that you have already experienced at the 1000-mile maintenance. Only a few extra processes are added to maintain the bike’s integrity.
Similar to 1,000-mile Service
The mechanic will change the oil and filters, inspect the lubricants, and check the brakes, fluid levels, and tires among other things. It is all the same as the 1,000-mile service as mentioned before.
- Check ignition timing and vacuum hose
The only thing different is checking the ignition timing, the condition of the timing belt, and the vacuum hose. If all of these things are in perfect condition, it means you are looking after your motorcycle.
The costs are similar as well. The addition of a new part in the inspection doesn’t change the overall cost. You should still be paying around $320 to $400 for most Harley models.
The 7500-mile service is also a precautionary maintenance schedule in between the major 5000 and 10,000-mile services. Same as 2,500 Miles Service. It is exactly like the 2500-mile service.
The 10,000-mile mark is another important milestone, and it should not be taken lightly. Whenever your Harley nears the 10,000-mile mark you should book an appointment at the nearest Harley service station.
Once again the 10,000-mile maintenance will involve all the checks and replacements that we outlined in the initial 1,000-mile service. However, a few extra procedures will extend that list.
Here is the extra work the mechanic will do at the 10,000-mile mark:
- Lubricate and adjust steering head bearings
- Change spark plugs
- Check tire pressure and inspect the tread
The costs will also stay the same for this milestone. However, you are going to add new spark plugs and perhaps the tires, which will cost a bit extra. The tires alone could add a few hundred dollars to the bill, and let’s not forget the spark plugs.
In total, you should expect to pay over $200 to $300 over the base service cost of $400.
The Harley mechanic will inspect the entire vehicle and complete all the previous mileage checkpoints. But on top of that, the mechanic will also replace the front fork oil to ensure a smooth and trouble-free ride.
The 20,000-mile service could cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. But this price will again be subject to buying extra parts for replacement. If your bike is fit and healthy, a simple oil change, and whole body inspection should suffice.