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This guide will show you how to change the oil in the transmission of the Evolution motor of the Harley-Davidson Sportster.

The Evolution Sportsters have wet clutch and primary drives. It is recommended to change the oil at 1,000 miles, then every 10,000 miles after that.

The manufacturer recommends using 20w50 oil. Make sure that the oil you use is approved for wet clutches. Many automotive oils are not, so we recommend purchasing an oil that specifically states it's formulated for use in motorcycle transmissions. 75w90 gear oil is often substituted for 20w50 motor oil in this application.

  1. For the best access to the transmission drain plug, optimal draining, and accurate re-filling, we recommend working with the bike secured in an upright position. For the best access to the transmission drain plug, optimal draining, and accurate re-filling, we recommend working with the bike secured in an upright position.
    • For the best access to the transmission drain plug, optimal draining, and accurate re-filling, we recommend working with the bike secured in an upright position.

  2. Using a 5/32 Hex or Allen screwdriver, unscrew the two screws from the primary chain inspection cover. Your inspection cover may not be round, depending on the year. However, it will be in the same location and secured by similar screws. Remove the primary chain inspection cover from the transmission housing.
    • Using a 5/32 Hex or Allen screwdriver, unscrew the two screws from the primary chain inspection cover.

    • Your inspection cover may not be round, depending on the year. However, it will be in the same location and secured by similar screws.

    • Remove the primary chain inspection cover from the transmission housing.

    How do I get these off if they're real tight? I've already broken a few Allan keys trying and almost striped one of them

    Cameron lambert - Ответить

    I have same problem cannot move the inspection cover bolts -

    Skull - Ответить

    Use an impact screwdriver.

    Peter - Ответить

    Lightly tap the Allen wrench ( like driving a nail)with a rubber mallet due to aluminum corrosion. This helps free the Allen bolt

    Edmund Lincoln - Ответить

  3. The transmission drain plug is located on the underside of the transmission on the left side of the bike, near the kickstand bumper. Place a drain pan underneath the drain plug. Using a wrench, unscrew the transmission drain plug and remove it.
    • The transmission drain plug is located on the underside of the transmission on the left side of the bike, near the kickstand bumper.

    • Place a drain pan underneath the drain plug.

    • Using a wrench, unscrew the transmission drain plug and remove it.

    • Your drain plug may be 5/8" or 3/4" depending on the year.

    • Allow all the oil to drain out of the transmission. It should take about five minutes.

  4. While the oil is draining from the transmission, clean the transmission drain plug. Using a spare rag or paper towel, clean the drain plug, removing excess oil and metal shavings.
    • While the oil is draining from the transmission, clean the transmission drain plug.

    • Using a spare rag or paper towel, clean the drain plug, removing excess oil and metal shavings.

    • There is a magnet on the end of the drain plug to capture any ferrous metal residue.

  5. Using a T27 screwdriver bit, remove the four screws holding the clutch inspection cover in place. Using a T27 screwdriver bit, remove the four screws holding the clutch inspection cover in place.
    • Using a T27 screwdriver bit, remove the four screws holding the clutch inspection cover in place.

    With this cover off, do I check anything or is this just to make sure all the oil has drained?

    Don - Ответить

    I saw somewhere it said to remove and replace these screws in sync, in a certain order? Why? And does it matter? I only have 4 screws on my '01 sportster. And how do you get the large O ring to stay in place when putting cap back on?

    Lori Parr - Ответить

    And how do you get the large O ring to stay in place when putting cap back on?

    Lori, I have the same question. Did you figure it out? My first attempt it slipped down and then the cover leaked when I tried to start it up. The ring is slightly stretched so I’m going to purchase a new one and see if it will stay in place any better. I will report back if it is any easier for the new one to stay in place.

    John Pile -

    Update: The new o’ring was much easier to install and get it to stay in place. $2 from Harley shop.

    John Pile -

    Interestingly, on my 1200 Sportster Custom (1996), I needed to use a T30 bit. My service manual also says T27, but they were definitely T30 for me.

    John Pile - Ответить

  6. Insert a heavy duty spudger or similar prying tool into the gap between the clutch inspection cover and the transmission housing  near where clutch cable enters the housing. Gently pry the clutch inspection cover away from the transmission housing.
    • Insert a heavy duty spudger or similar prying tool into the gap between the clutch inspection cover and the transmission housing near where clutch cable enters the housing.

    • Gently pry the clutch inspection cover away from the transmission housing.

    • The clutch cover spring may fall out. Be sure to keep track of this and re-install it before replacing the clutch inspection cover.

    What should I look for while it's open?

    Marty Glynn - Ответить

    Not to mention that's where you check ur oil level for the trans but also ur clutch adjustment is be hind that cover. ( type in clutch adjustment for more info)

    Up N coming screwdriver - Ответить

  7. Re-insert the transmission drain plug into the transmission housing and hand tighten. Using a 3/4" wrench, tighten down the transmission drain plug.
    • Re-insert the transmission drain plug into the transmission housing and hand tighten.

    • Using a 3/4" wrench, tighten down the transmission drain plug.

    • It is important to not over-tighten the drain plug. Tightening the plug too much can strip the threads on the aluminum housing. The plug should be tight, but not too tight. The correct torque specification is 14 - 21 ft-lbs (168 - 252 in-lbs).

    Why not just fill through the top of the oil tank????

    D penglase - Ответить

    That's not the same. The oil bag is the crankcase oil and this is showing

    The trans oil. The oil is the same(20w50) but it's two different compartments.

    Up N coming screwdriver - Ответить

    The oil is not necessarily the same depending on the bike, make sure you check your manual.

    I have a 2011 Iron 883 and the transmission requires GL-5 certified GEAR OIL (75w90).

    Derek -

    Make sure rubber o ring is in good condition, mine was smashed out and my oil leaked out. Bike ok. Thanks this site was very helpful. Like the steps and the information.

    mascavrone - Ответить

  8. Insert the nozzle of a funnel into the primary chain inspection hole. Pouring slowly, pour approximately 1 qt of oil into the transmission.
    • Insert the nozzle of a funnel into the primary chain inspection hole.

    • Pouring slowly, pour approximately 1 qt of oil into the transmission.

    • As you pour, watch the clutch inspection hole. Make sure that the oil level stays below the edge of the clutch inspection hole.

    • This may require less than the entire quart of oil.

    You need to use a motorcycle gear oil.. DO NOT put regular motorcycle motor oil in the transmission. Which is what I almost did after reading this because up top it says 20/50 motor oil. I went to motorcycle shop and asked what kind of transmission oil to use. He said that some people say u r supposed to b able to use the motor oil, but NOT to, as it is bad for the bike. Use gear oil meant for motorcycle transmissions

    JWag - Ответить

    They say not to use 20w-50 for transmission.

    They recommend 75w-90. Gear oil.

    Make sure its says GEAR OIL.

    Thats what I run on mine.

    Alex Flotte - Ответить

    SAE 20w50 Motorcycle oil is what is recommended by Harley Davidson. Engine and gear oil are measured on different scales. SAE 20w50 is the same as 75w90 gear oil. Some modern synthetic automotive oils are not compatible with wet clutches. 20w50 is still the correct oil recommended by the manufacturer, just make sure not to buy an oil not approved for use with motorcycle clutches. http://www.harley-davidson.com/store/syn...

    Eric Essen - Ответить

    Amsoil 20w 50 is specifically for Harley motor oil and wet clutch, it is also the best.

    Dirk - Ответить

    Thanks very useful info for beginners

    henryaburchett58 -

    I poured a quart of primary oil and I still cannot feel the oil when I put my finger in there does it need another one

    garciacowboys73 - Ответить

    There's also a weep hole located on the back of the primary towards the bottom of the rear curve. You can pull that and put oil into primary until you see it coming out of said weep hole.

    Michael C - Ответить

  9. Before re-installing the primary chain inspection cover, make sure the rubber O-ring on the inside of the primary chain inspection hole is clean and properly seated. Also make sure that the rubber o-rings are clean and in proper condition before replacing the screws in the primary chain inspection cover. Using a 5/32" Hex or Allen screw head, re-install the primary chain inspection cover.
    • Before re-installing the primary chain inspection cover, make sure the rubber O-ring on the inside of the primary chain inspection hole is clean and properly seated.

    • Also make sure that the rubber o-rings are clean and in proper condition before replacing the screws in the primary chain inspection cover.

    • Using a 5/32" Hex or Allen screw head, re-install the primary chain inspection cover.

    What is the purpose of the inspection hole? Doesn't show oil level

    Doug - Ответить

    The inspection hole is used to set the timing.

    johnsonwjoseph - Ответить

    What if the shift linkage don't come back like it should

    jamescaleb2000 - Ответить

  10. Using a T27 Screwdriver head, reinstall the clutch inspection cover. Install the screws in the following order: Top
    • Using a T27 Screwdriver head, reinstall the clutch inspection cover. Install the screws in the following order:

    • Top

    • Bottom

    • Left

    • Right

    • Once all of the screws have been lightly hand-tightened, use a torque wrench to tighten them to their proper specification of 7 - 12 ft-lbs (84 - 108 in-lbs). Tighten the screws in the same order as before.

    The 1991 Sportster has the small derby cover like the chain inspection cover and I am sure being a trans / primary I had to by two qts of sport trans and it's the 1st year of the 5 speed trans and belt drive on the xlh1200

    Tcorson - Ответить

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Комментариев: 23

but you CANT use gear oil for cluthc!!!

car motor oil CANT be used for bike cluthc!!! Motorcycle motoroil CAN!

Maicol - Ответить

Is synthetic 20w50 ok to use?

Jordan -

What the !&&* is a cluthc?

redin575 -

I change my my transmission oil exactly how it showed and yes the spring with the nut on the end came off and I put it right back. Now I have no tension at all in my clutch basically I have no clutch anymore. This is the first time I've taken the inspection plate off during a transmission fluid change. I usually drain it and automatically just put one quart in. What could I have done wrong?

Argyle - Ответить

Did you ever figure out what happened?

Jordan -

Tighten the screw will tighten. Clutch.clockwise or counter clock

James Burch -

Author neglected to say the first numbers on the torque specs are metric (Nm) not ft-lbs as written

Dfh - Ответить

Why is the primary chain inspection cover removed?

robin - Ответить

Derby cover is removed to insure the primary isn't overfilled.

Chris Moders -

is there not a screw that will drip when filled?

paulposey1997 - Ответить

Is Formula + okay to use in primary that shares stator coils? Does it have sulfur additives that can degrade red metals like copper in the stator?

Greg - Ответить

does motorcycle stand in vertical position or on its leg stand during oil level inspection ???

irakli ratiani - Ответить

Perfectly level in vertical position!Not leaning on jiffy stand.Have someone help you hold it perfectly level.

curtis mozack -

also youre not supposed to use the full quart it WILL puke out.

general rule is 28-29oz

donald ruddell - Ответить

What kind of washers are you using in the bolts where the mid controls used to be? My sportster is leaking from those two fixations.

xtremo_1989 - Ответить

Do I need two separate oils for transmission and engine?

chrisweidinger - Ответить

My 08 Sportster custom takes the same fluid for transmission as it does primary fluid because it shares the same cavity but ENGINE OIL CANNOT BE SHARED…

In the words of my local Harley Dealer

Anthony Torres Jr. -

You can use the same 20w50 oil in the engine and primary, as long as its jaso ma-2 which is for wet clutch. Also they are 2 separate cavitys thats why u have 2 separate drain plugs. Engine oil is held in the oil tank and primary is in the case.

Dillon Kiddle -

20w-50 vtwin oil DUH. Come on dont be dumb

Dillon Kiddle - Ответить

Did my regular oil n changed oil filter in my 2008 xl883l sporty the did the timing chain case with synthetic. 1 week later redid it with hd regular timing chain oil. That synthetic had me hearing everything.

Jason Lilley - Ответить

Después de hacer el cambio de aceite de primaria, colocar la tapa y arrancar la moto la zona de transmidion a comenzado hacer un sólido molesto que chirría y las marchas van algo más de duras, incluso cuesta de colocar el punto muerto esto sucede en marchas cortas pero alargando tercera y cuarta el sonido apfnas se percibe. Alguien podría decirme que sucede, es posible que el embrague este demasiado tenso.

caballerolopezmiguelangel - Ответить

very helpful.i have an 88 1200 sportster i’m changing oil on. the manual just says use h-d sport tranny fluid, ok, never heard of it. every sportster i’ve had uses 75w90 gear oil,or 20w50 V-TWIN formula oil. different than 20w50 auto oil,which doesn’t work with the wet clutch as a bike has. and don’t use 75w90 gear oil for trucks and cars because it may have special additives to reduce friction,which will cause your clutches to slip as those additives are for making slippery. my current oil in it stunk like only gear oil does. so i guess u can use gear oil or 20w50 bike oil in the primary.primary and tranny both use same fluid on a sportster.

shelbster - Ответить

hey guys question is anyone knows the diameter for the splined shifter shaft that goes thru the primary cover for a

2004-2005 sportster 883-1200xl custom or point me in the direction of where i can find the specs i read some where that the diameter the bushing goes into is .485in or roughly a 1/2in

my email is ratrod420@yahoo.com

thank you kindly to whom ever has the information

C Counti - Ответить

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