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Oils and Other Chemical Products
Oil and Lubricants

Oil and Lubricants

Oils and other lubricants

"It runs like clockwork" is the saying when something runs well. In order for the Harley-Davidson to run like the said clockwork - whether Flathead, Knucklehead, Shovel or Pan, Evo, Twin Cam and M8 - it needs lubrication in the form of oil and - yes, that still, too - grease. Oil is preferably used in the engine and gearbox, i.e. wherever gears turn quickly or pistons and valves whiz back and forth. Grease or other lubricants tend to be used for rather slow movements in bearings on the steering head, on the swing arm and in the wheels, on the shock absorber eyelets. In recent motorcycles - unfortunately also Harleys - such lubrication points are rather hidden and you tend to have to dismantle half the bike to lubricate certain bearings. The rider of a classic Harley has an easier time of it: there's a grease nipple everywhere where highly viscous lubricant has to be applied.

What should you buy for oiling and lubricating?

The good and proven PanAm SAE 50 monograde oil is sufficient as basic equipment for the older Harley. According to the workshop manuals for the models up to the mid-1970s, oil of this specification was the standard filling for the oil tank, transmission (with primary on the Sportster) and even the front fork. The two chains are also lubricated by the engine breather. Plus a good quality grease for bearing points: Pan-A-Grease. That's it.

For all later Harleys, you choose special oils for engine, transmission, primary and front fork. (Of course, you can do this for the Knucklehead or the Panhead, too, provided that the engine, gearbox etc. have been carefully overhauled to modern specs). A high-quality spray for the rear wheel chain and the good Pan-A-Grease for bearings and bushes on the chassis. For cleaning and surface protection, use a multi-purpose oil for all Harleys, whether young or vintage. Pan-A-Lube is a good choice, others may swear by WD-40 or Ballistol.

How often should you, how often do you have to change the lubricants in your Harley?

There is only one general guide line for everything: look up the manual. All lubrication points are listed there, from the front to the rear axle, with the correct lubricant and lubrication interval. Our Tech Tips are also available for oil quantities and oil types.

Have any questions?

Our service team will be glad to help out: Mondays - Thursdays 08:00-17:00 CET, Fridays 08:00-16:00 CET, Phone: +49 / 931 250 61 16, eMail: service@wwag.com