How to Change the Front Fork Oil on a Heritage Softail

Updated July 19, 2017

William S. Harley and Aurthur Davidson conceived and built the first concept Harley Davidson motorcycle in a small wooden shed. In 1903, the first motorcycle was made available to the public. In 1906 they opened a new small factory. By this time they had expanded to six full time employees and began to distribute their new catalogue named " Silent Grey Fellow." Changing the fork oil in a Heritage Softail requires 12.4 fluid ounces of Harley fork oil.

Place the floor jack with the block of wood under the engine and raise the bike to the point the front tire is off the ground. Place the drain pan under the front forks.

Open the drain plug located at the bottom of each fork tube using a wrench or, if necessary, vice grips. Remove the large fork nut on the top of each fork tube using a socket and ratchet. Remember, there is a small amount of spring tension under the nut even with the forks extended. Keep a hand over the ratchet as the nut is released. Allow the oil to drain fully from the forks.

Install the fork drain plugs and tighten them securely. Pour 366ml of Harley fork oil into each fork tube from the top of the fork.

Install the large nut on top of each fork tube. Push down on the ratchet to force the nut down against the small amount of spring pressure and turn the nut clockwise to tighten it. Lower the bike to the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Block of wood
  • Set of wrenches
  • Ratchet
  • Set of sockets
  • Vice grips
  • Harley fork oil
  • Drain pan
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About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).