Question about Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster Motorcycles

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87 sportster oil tank foam level 1/2 in. What is the cause?

When riding, oil pressure goes away and foam is 1/2 in deep on top of oil in tank.

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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Hi Tamnmal, you have water in you oil or your oil pump needs bleeding or is in the process of failing. Good luck.

Posted on Jun 17, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1989 sportster building pressure in oil tank

A little pressure is normal on the sportster. I have seen where if the oil tank is over full it can blow the dip stick out. Most of us who ride sportsters keep the level showing on the dip stick about midway between the low and full line. Doing this will also help with oil blow by out the air cleaner.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009

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SOURCE: Can you help with a 2006 heritage springer, 88c, I

Did you turn engine over coupla times to completely drain bike whilst emptying with drain plug out and lid off tank? If not you run risk of partial retainment in oil cooler and engine. While refilling it pays to half fill then turn engine over few times to flush oil through before topping off. How much oil came out when you drained? Yes, your bike should take about 3 1/4 Litres to fill from completely drained.

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

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1 Answer

Check oil level


Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on Softail and Sportster models is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck

Oct 06, 2013 | 2003 Harley Davidson FXSTDI Softail Deuce

1 Answer

1999 HD Softail standard was leaking oil from the side oil tank opening on the side of the bike, what could the cause be ?


Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on Softail and Sportster models is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck

Oct 03, 2013 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer

Oil level check


Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on Softail and Sportster models is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck

Jul 11, 2013 | Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide...

1 Answer

How do i put oit in a 2005 harley sportster 1200


Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on Softail and Sportster models is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck

Sep 28, 2012 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Check oil on 2002 Sportster


Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on later models unscrews, on earlier models it just pulls out with moderate force, on Softail and Sportster models the dipstick is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck and have nice day.

May 23, 2012 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer

Oil light comes on and off periadictly oil level is fine


OK, a common problem that causes that is incorrect viscosity of oil and/or a clogged oil filter if it has one.

I had this problem in a 1997 Cadillac Deville Limousine I bought (even after topping it off), and the problem went away with an oil and filter change.

If the problem does not go away with an oil and filter change, I would consider replacing or checking the operation of the ol pressure sensor.



Aug 08, 2010 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883...

1 Answer

Top end chattering sounds like rockers bike only has 11000 miles seems early to be the rockers chattering


This is not good. The sportsters, and Big Twins, all have hydraulic tappets and there should be no chattering coming from the rocker arms. The hydraulic tappets are designed to keep the rocker arms at zero backlash.

Oil pressure, keeps the tappets pumped up prevents the rockers from clattering loudly. If you have a major problem you will have a clearly audible clatter that you won't have to "try" to hear. You can hear them clatter from ten feet away. If you have to get your head down beside the rocker box to hear any "chattering" the rockers are making, this is normal. You simply can't have that much mechanical movement going on in there and not hear anything.

With the engine running, pull the oil filler plug out of the oil tank. Shine a flashlight into the tank and rev the engine up a bit. You should see oil squirting back into the tank from the return back towards the rear of the tank. If you don't see it, look for small foamy bubbles on top of the oil. If you see the oil returning to the tank or the surface of the oil is foamy looking and moving around, your oil system is operating properly. If you oil tank gets hot when you are riding the bike, your oil system is working fine. Harley engines employ a high volume low pressure oil system. The Sportster engine is probably the toughest engine Harley has ever invented.

Apr 28, 2010 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Engine starts & then stalls after 5-10 minutes


Start with the simple... Check for a fuel restriction:
Trash in tank
Clogged/Dirty Fuel filter
Poor tank ventilation (remove gas cap and see if problem goes away)

If fuel supply is good, check fuel solenoid (if eqquipped) this should have a constant 12 volts when key is at the run posistion. If it doesent, the charging system needs to be troubleshooted.

This could also be caused by a low oil sensor (normally located at the top end of the engine. If this is the cause, verify proper oil level & oil pressure at the sensor. If all else fails, remove wire and see if that clears up the issue. may just need a new one.

Oct 24, 2009 | Briggs & Stratton Garden

1 Answer

1989 sportster building pressure in oil tank


A little pressure is normal on the sportster. I have seen where if the oil tank is over full it can blow the dip stick out. Most of us who ride sportsters keep the level showing on the dip stick about midway between the low and full line. Doing this will also help with oil blow by out the air cleaner.

Mar 27, 2009 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

7 Answers

Oil blow out the breather


This is a common problem on all sportsters, they have an oil blow by that dumps it into the air filter. I have found that if I run about a half quart low the problem goes away.

Nov 10, 2008 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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