Guide Debunking The Most Common Harley Davidson Maintenance Myths

July 15, 2016

If you own a Harley Davidson bike or planning to buy one and worried about its expensive maintenance, then you have come to the right place. Truth to be told, people who ride their bike regularly can easily maintain their bike at very low cost by having a little mechanical knowledge and few basic tools.

First step is it to read the Harley Davidson service and repair manuals and follow the recommended maintenance guidelines. You should also keep track of service records for claiming warranty and resale purposes.

In this article, we are revealing some of the common HD maintenance myths.

One Price Fits All

The biggest scam of all is that you have to pay the same price for mere “inspection” as for “adjustment”. It takes just a few minutes to inspect the primary chain or drive belt for tension specification, but you still have to pay the full amount for adjustment even if those parts do not need any adjustment.

In most of the cases, the primary chain will not need any adjustment till first 20,000 miles. Drive belt also unlikely need any adjustment between bike rear tire changes.

Unnecessary Fuel Change

Many shops suggest three system oil change with every 2500 miles, but service Harley Davidson manuals recommend oil changes at every service of 5000 miles. So, you are the paying double price for oil changes as per your bike requirements.

Harley Davidson three-bag oil system requires specific oil to perform specific duties and reduces the breakdown, wear and tear of oil. Plus, the bike is designed to store engine oil separately from the engine itself to avoid excess heat or pressure to the oil chamber. Also, engine works using separate oil, it doesn’t need oil pulverized by transmission gears or seared by clutch plates. As everything uses their separate oil, oil stays cleaner and works for a longer duration.


One of the most expensive sections with the maintenance is the high price of swingarm and neck bearing servicing. In most models, there is a service schedule for neck and swingarm, when there is a need to disassemble and repack these parts. Bikes hardly have swingarm bearing failures. Also, the cost of new bearing is relatively less than the labor cost to replace them. So, it would be cheaper if you to have a penalty on the warranty of bearing replacement than to pay unnecessarily for disassembly and repacking of bearings.

Tranny Oil

You can save your oil consumption and service cost easily if you have little knowledge about oil condition. Even after 10,000 miles your oil will smell and look completely alright. There is no requirement to change it every 2,500 or 5,000 miles. To be on safer side, it is good practice to change tranny oil after every 1000 miles to decrease the accumulated moisture content.

Over-maintenance is as harmful as low maintenance. If your bike is working flawlessly, why risk the damage to open the bike for servicing. If you need a manual for your bike, you can download the expert servicing and maintenance manual