Maintenance and Repair Tips

Read these 42 Maintenance and Repair Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Harley tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I drain excess oil easily?

Oil Remover

Spray bottles work for taking out excess oil, if you use 'em right! Take off the top of the bottle and put its stem into the tank.
Pump the excess oil into the bottle! Get ready to ride.

How can I protect my hands and bike when I´m cleaning it?

Save Old Socks!

Save old socks to place on your hands when you're cleaning your bike. Now you've got some soft rags that will reach those out of the way places!

How can I dry my bike easily?

Blow that Bike Dry

Use your leaf blower or a blow dryer to dry your bike. It's fast and easy.

Do I need a 500 Mile Check Up?


Avoid blowouts! Check tire pressure and inspect tire treads on your bike every 500 miles, at the very least.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Engine Idle Speed

Every 500 miles, check that engine idle speed!

What should I do every 500 miles?

Rear Fork Pivot Nut

Check the rear fork pivot nut every 500 miles. Hey, nuts on the loose can cause a lot of problems!

My tools are magnetized, what do I do?

Demagnetize 'em

Screwdrivers, pliers or other small tools magnetized?
Easy to fix!
Get a soldering gun, with the dual tips that connect, and pass the tools through the two tips, while the gun is on.
This will demagnetize your tools!

Where can I find Solid chrome rear wheels for a 95 Softail Custom?

Where can I Solid chrome rear wheels for a 95 Softail Custom

Cut and paste this link into your browser! I'll list some more in this section's link area for you. Hope this helps add a little sparkle into your life! Shine on,you crazy diamonds!

What should I do every 500 miles?


Inspect your bike's oil lines and brake system for leaks every 500 miles.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Test Ride

Road test your bike after every 500 mile maintenance session. Take it slow and easy and be sure everything is running the way you want it to be... safely.

How can I get my bike to stop shocking me?

Turn static shocks into sparks!

Ever gotten a static charge from your bike? Well, try
connecting to the lower framerails a small piece of chain that drags on the ground. This discharges the static electricity. It also makes sparks fly on the pavement.

I have a 2000 883 Custom, are the torque specs critical?

Torque specs

In response to whether the torque specs on your bike are critical:Yes, they're critical. Follow the factory manual procedure for sequence and torque specs.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Brake Hand Levers, Throttle Cables, Clutch Control Cables

Lubricate your bike's front brake hand lever, throttle control cables and the clutch control cable every 500 miles.

How can I maintain my bike´s tool kit?

Tool Kit Tips

As you perform your routine maintenance on your bike, use the tools from your bike's tool kit. This way, if you don't have the tool you need in your kit as you go through a repair at home, then you know to get it. When you're on the road and you have an
emergency, you know your bike's tool kit is up to speed.

What should I do every 500 miles?


Lubricate the springer steering head bearings on your bike every 500 miles.

Do I need a 500 Mile Check Up?

Fuel Valve Lines

Inspect the bike's fuel valve lines and fittings for leaks every 500 miles.

Do I need a 500 Mile Check Up?

Shock Absorbers

Check your rear shock absorbers at 500 miles and every 500 miles thereafter. Better to err on the side of caution, dudes. Frequent checks mean that you are aware of your bike's condition.

Do brain buckets need cleaning?

Brain Buckets need cleaning, too!

It's easy to clean a helmet! Take a spray bottle and mix a bit of your favorite shampoo in with some warm water. Spray your helmet, inside and out. Use a warm wet rag to give it a good scrubbing. Spray as needed with the shampoo mixture. Now, rinse it completely. Let dry in a warm place. Your brain bucket not only looks good, it smells good!

Where can I find a good parts site for the Twin Cam 88b 2001 FXST?

Where can I find a parts site for the Twin Cam 88b 2001 FXST?

Twin Cam 88b 2001 FXST
The most complete online parts site for a bike as new as the Twin Cam 88b 2001 FXST is the Harley Davidson Roadstore. You enter via the Harley-Davidson home page and then go to the products index at the bottom of the page. Click on the Roadstore. You could also try The folks there are friendly and willing to match prices with other companies (excluding shipping costs).

What should I do every 500 miles?

Air suspension

Check the air suspension for correct operation and leakage at 500 miles. Check it every 500 miles, after that, as well.

How can I baby my battery?

Baby Your Battery

Baby your battery and you might just double its life. All you need to do is check its water level regularly. 2,500 miles is a good guideline to use. If you live in one of those hot weather states, check it more often.

How do I make a funnel, if I need one for an oil change?

Easy Funnels

Adding oil is easy, right? Sure, it is, but to avoid the spillage problems that aren't so easy to deal with you should use a funnel.
Don't have one? Here's how to make 2! Cut off the bottom half of a plastic oil bottle. Insert the spout into your oil tank.
The second one is for when you're on the road and in need of a funnel: Most gas stations have water coolers. Most water coolers have those white pointy cups. Cut the tip off one of those cups and you have a quick easy funnel.

How do I winterize my bike?

Winter Maintenance

A Hog that will not be ridden regularly over the cold, damp, and icy months of winter needs preparation. Fresh oil, fuel stabilizer, a battery tender and a dust cover are among the things that assure a successful storage period for your motorcycle. No one likes to do this, but it makes good sense to tuck your hog in properly for the long winter months.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Brake Fluid

Another check that should take place every 500 miles is your check of the brake fluid reservoir levels and condition.

How do I get the battery out of my lowrider?

Lowrider Battery Removal

Here's a helpful tip for removing batteries out of lowriders:
Take a rubber tie-down strap, hook one end through the positive battery terminal and the other through the negative.
Then, lift up and save your fingers. You're done! Cool, huh?

Can I use hand cleaner to remove grease and oil from hoses?

Cleaning those plugs and hoses

Hand cleaner is actually great for removing grease and oil from plug wires and hoses.
Place a small amount of cleaner on a rag and wipe.
Try this and see, your plugs and hoses will look clean as new!

What should I do every 500 miles?

Links and Mounts

At 500 miles and every 500 miles after that you should check the stabilizer links and the engine mounts.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Air cleaner check

Inspect your bike's air cleaner and service it, as required at 500 miles.

What should I do every 500 miles?


Check the operation of your Harley's electrical equipment and switches every 500 miles. This just makes good sense. Don't jury rig something that could cost you your life, and don't skimp on or just plain overlook your electrical equipment.

How can I make my battery last longer?

Batteries Blues

Sediment can build up in the bottom of a battery as a result of chemical reactions inside of it. This sediment can build up until it grounds out the plates inside.
To clean sediment out:
1. drain the acid
2. wash out several times with water to remove all the sediment
3. refill with electrolyte
4. hook the battery up to a trickle charger no larger than 2 amps and bring it up slowly over a 24-hour period
5. check it with a gauge or meter
6. stick it back in the bike. You're ready to ride again.

My harley won´t turn over, what do I do?

Turnover Trouble

There is no response at all or a series of rapid fire clicks coming from the battery when you push the start button? Go easy. Troubleshoot the easiest fixes first and work your way up the scale to the complicated fixes. Don't jump the gun. It might just be a ground wire that needs cleaning.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Cruise Control

Check the cruise control/disengage switch every 500 miles and be sure all systems are functioning. You sure don't want to find out in a clutch that you can't accelerate if you need to, cause you can't shut off your cruise control.

How can I make my engine last longer?

Be cool, you're air cooled

If you are stuck in traffic and sitting at a standstill, don't rev up your engine for no reason.
Harleys are air-cooled. When you're not moving, they get no air. By revving up the motor, you increase the engine heat and break down your oil. Just idle while you sit there and stay cool! Do more-frequent oil changes in the hot months.

Why is my bike spitting and farting?

Carb Problem

Your bike's making weird noises... what's up? Check your carb. It's more than likely the source of your problems.

How can I find parts online?

Finding Parts

With the Internet at your disposal, tracking down bike parts should be a breeze. Just pick your search engine and type in the name of the part you want and click! You should find a variety of sites to choose from...and of course, you can always ask me for help!

What should I do every 500 miles?

Brake Pads

500 miles? It's time to inspect brake pad linings and discs for wear. This could save your life, so take the time to do it.

What should I do every 500 miles?

500 mile check

Replace your oil filter at 500 miles. Whether you think you need it or not, your bike will appreciate it and run better for it.

What should I do every 500 miles?


Change transmission lubricant and clean magnetic drain plug every 500 miles. You'll thank yourself, and your bike will thank you, too.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Primary Chaincase

Check your primary chaincase and lubricate & clean the magnetic drain plug every 500 miles.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Wheel Spoke Tightness

Check the bike's wheel spoke tightness for safety's sake, every 500 miles.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Jiffy Stand

Lubricate the jiffy stand every 500 miles.

What should I do every 500 miles?

Every 500 Miles

Change your oil and oil filters every 500 miles. Check those brake pads and linings for wear. While you're at it, give the bike a thorough once over. If you aren't sure how to do it, go see your Harley Service Department, your fav mechanic, or another reputable wrench monkey. Ask to have a 500 mile maintenance check done on your bike- Don't leave! Arrange to hang out,watch,and learn, as the pro checks out your bike. You can learn a lot from a grease monkey. Just be nice! Monkeys have been known to throw their own...well, you know, at people that aggravate them!

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Guru Spotlight
Sherril Steele-Carlin