Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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Need oil fill advise on 97 custom sportster . there are two lines on dipstick one on top & one 3/4 inch from bottom which one is fill line

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The top is the fill line, but most run the oil to around the middle of the two lines to avoid oil blow by out of the air filter.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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1996 sportster oil tank has 3 hose fitting the 1984 got 4 fitting how do you hook up hose ? from 84 to 96

Hi, Onebob yesterday I sent you a free service manual that covered both oil line routing systems but I guess that wasn't good enough and since we are thousands of miles apart I can't hold your hand to open the manual the best I can do is tell you that your Sportster oil tanks have:
1. Feed line from the bottom of the oil tank to the oil pump 3/8"
2. Return line from the oil pump to the top of the oil tank 3/8"
3. Vent line from the top of the oil tank to the gearcase 5/16"
If you have an aftermarket oil tank with 4 ******* I can't help you. You will need to do some R&D on your own.
You are welcomed to send me photo's of your tanks so I may be enlightened to your dilemma.
Good luck and have a wonderful day.
FAQ oil line diagram

May 03, 2017 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

1 Answer

Harley 883 sporster iol capacity

If you are talking about the oil you drain from the hose under the center of the engine and after changing the oil filter, about 3 1/2 quarts max, that's counting the 1/3 to 1/2 quart you put into the new filter before installing. I would start with 3 quarts in the oil tank, put back in and tighten dipstick, start up and run bike until it is warmed to normal operating temp and then shut down. Then with it on the jiffy stand unscrew your dipstick, wipe clean and reinstall stick tighten. Then remove stick again and check level. Ideally you want it about half way between the add and full line.

If you are talking about what they call the transmission oil, the one that you drain by removing the plug on the bottom of the left side cover. It takes 32 oz. and is checked having a friend sit on and hold the bike up straight and removing the cover over the clutch (the big round one on the right side of the left case cover) the oil lever when full should be just a hair above the bottom of the clutch gear.

Dec 03, 2013 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

How do you give a tune up & oil change to motorcycle

Buy oil, oil filter and spark plugs from any auto parts store. Let your bike warm up before draining oil. On the bottom is the oil drain plug. Remove plug and let drain. While draining remove old oil filter. Let it sit for about 10 min to make sure all oil has been drained. Replace plug, apply small amount of oil to filter seal (just run your finger around the seal with oil on it) and tighten. You will need any type of oil filter wrench to tighten up filter. If it doesn't leak it's tight enough. I got a wrench this year for $2 at ace hardware. Then fill with oil. Go by your manual on how much oil your bike recommends. Should be around 3.3 quarts. Once you add the oil and put the cap on, crank your bike and let it run for 30sec-1min. Turn off. Pull out oil dipstick and wipe it off. With bike level place dipstick back and then remove. Oil should be between the 2 lines. Closer to the top line the better but NOT OVER THE LINE. If no dipstick you may have a clear window on the case to see the oil and the fill line. Spark plugs just remove wires (takes a little force) then just use a spark plug socket and remove them. Best is one at a time so you do not cross any plug wires. When installing the new ones HAND TIGHTHEN FIRST. Once you have done that use socket to tighten VERY LITTLE. 1/8 inch once seated. Do not over tighten. Then reapply plug wires. Hope this helps.

Apr 05, 2013 | 2005 Honda VT 750 Shadow Aero

1 Answer


On a Sportster, go all the way in with the dipstick. As long as the oil is between the two lines, don't worry about it. Do not overfill the tank. Never add oil when the bike is cold.

Aug 05, 2011 | 2007 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

1 Answer

My 04 sportster 883 is a converted 1200, seems to leak a quite a bit of oil from the vent tube on the left side of the bike. I get oil residue on my rear rim, belt guard, and unsightly drips and residue...

Unless Harley has changed something, I'm not familiar with a vent tube on the left side of a Sportster. I've always seen the vent tube coming out of the cam chest on the right side of the bike. Even the transmission vent came up and over to just behind the oil tank.

On your Sportster, make sure that you're not overfilling the oil tank. There are two lines on the dipstick. When checking your oil, the top line is 'FULL HOT" and the lower line is 'FULL COLD". Keep the level between the two lines when hot. As long as you can see oil on the dipstick, ride the bike far enough to heat up the oil and then check the level.

Otherwise, trace the hose back to it's source and tell me exactly where it comes from.

Good Luck

Oct 09, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

I just bought 01 sportster 1200 and the oil tank is filled with light brown milky oil that smells like gas 1st harley help please

Light brown milky oil that smells like gas is not good. Drain the oil from the tank and refill it with three quarts of fresh oil. Remove the oil filter and take the spark plugs out of the engine. Using the starter spin the engine over for about 20 seconds without the new filter on the engine. Then wait about five minutes and do it again. The reason for the short spin time and the longer wait is that you don't want to burn up your starter. Keep doing this until you get fresh clean oil coming out of the engine. Put the new filter on and replace the spark plugs. Now,top off the oil tank to the lower line on the dipstick with the bike on it's side stand. The lower line on the stick is "FULL COLD" and the upper line is "FULL HOT". Do not overfill or you'll wind up with a mess. Then fire the engine and let it run for a while. Then turn the engine off and let it sit. If you look in the oil tank immediately after shutting the engine down, the oil will look light brown due to the foaming on top of the oil. Allow the foam to disapate and it should look good.

Now, if gasoline contaminated your engine oil, it may have contaminated your primary oil as well. I'd change that too. Drain the oil and add one quart of specified type of oil.

Good Luck

Aug 01, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

How many quarts of oil does a 1993 harley 883 take which kind is best

hi mate i recomend using silkolene comp 4 10w-40also when filling with oil it should come 1/2-3/4 full on the sight glass or on the dipstick it should hit the top line/it will say full

Aug 26, 2009 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

1 Answer

I have just got a 2005 883 hd sportster please tell me how many quarts of oil and the type of oil i need. How to drain and fill oil

The drain hose attaches to the frame at the bottom rear. Make sure the bike is at running temp before draining the oil. I use 20-50 mobile 1 full syn, 3 quarts. You must put 4 ozs in the filter to prime the system. After you drain the oil make sure you look in the oil tank before you refill it there is a tendency not to drain all of the old oil. If it dosen't all drain use a turkey baster to **** out as much of the old oil as you can. When you refill the tank you want the oil to come about midway between the lines on the dip stick. If you fill it to the top line you will get a lot of blow by out of your air filter.

Apr 04, 2009 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883L Sportster

1 Answer

Oil amount

It's going to hold approx 3 quarts. The dipstick is irrelevant, the level should be just bellow the bottom of the filler tube, about a half inch, so you should be able to see the oil when you remove the cap. I'm not sure why HD even puts the dipstick on the cap.

Aug 29, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

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