The Sportster has been around since 1957, making it the longest continually produced model in the Harley stable. They’re great for customization because you can take them in just about any direction you want to and can usually pick one up on the cheap if you look hard enough. (Check out our How to Build a Harley-Davidson Café Racer on a Budget and our How to Build a Harley-Davidson Tracker on a $2,000 Budget articles)

That means there’s thousands and thousands of Sportster Evolution engines out there who’ll keep on chugging if you stay on top of changing the oil. It’s quick and simple, so there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. We walk you through the steps in our Oil Change: Harley-Davidson Evo Sportster video, so follow along, do it yourself, and save a few bucks.

Tools -

Flathead screwdriver

Oil filter wrench

Oil catch pan

Oil filter: We used a Twin Power Black Oil Filter with Nut

3 quarts oil: We used Motul RSD V-Twin Synthetic 20W50 Motor Oil


1.       Secure motorcycle so it’s straight up and down, not on its sidestand.

2.       Place oil catch pan beneath back of engine.

3.       Loosen clamp on L-shaped tube that bends around the lower left-side frame tube.

4.       Pull dipstick out. Air pressure from above helps oil drain easier.

5.       Pull tube off and drain oil.

6.       Plug tube back on and tighten clamp.

7.       Move oil catch pan forward so it’s below oil filter.

8.      Remove oil filter with filter wrench.

9.      Lube O-ring on new filter.

10.   Pour approximately four ounces into new filter.

11.   Put new filter on. Hand tighten about ¾ turn.

12.   Pour fresh oil into oil tank.

13.   Replace dipstick.

14.   Fire bike up and let warm up a little.

15.   Check oil level on dipstick. Bike must still be straight up and down.

Note: For 2004 and later Sportsters the oil is checked on the sidestand.