Question about Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom Motorcycles

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Have a 2007, 1200 custom xl. i started it up during 26 degree weather and developed a very slow oil leak. It is on rear case, rear left corner of the head, about 1/2 inch above the gasket line on what appears to be a seam running around the head. Any thoughts

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Sounds like you have a leak on the rocker box lower plate that has the rocker arms in it or the cover that goes over it. Usually it's the cover. Look here for a drawing of that area.

Good Luck

Posted on Mar 31, 2011


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What sort of oil does my harley rocker c take

You do not mention engine or primary or transmission. HD SYN3 can be used in any or all. I believe for the engine the best is Harley-Davidson 360 (20/50) in most operating temperatures I am operating in. If you know how HD tested, developed and otherwise came up with this oil it is quite impressive. You could use synthetic (SYN3) but I don't I just use the regular HD 360 motorcycle oil. You do need motorcycle oil because it has necessary, very beneficial additives that are not in automotive oils. Unless you are running in very hot outside temperatures I do not see the benefit to SYN3 but if one has money to throw around it is very good oil also. Thing is to change it always before it gets a chance to break down and or turn dirty. HD recommends changing the oil and filter at 5000 miles or 8000 km intervals and I would recommend that or sooner in very hot or dusty conditions. Using synthetic oil does not extend these mileages between changes. If you have been using one type of oil for an extended time it is usually not recommended to change to a different type i.e. HD 360 to SYN3 or vice versa. If you do not know what was used before pick a type now and stick with it. SYN3 is all 20W50. (The W stands for winter.) The oil has a viscosity of 20 cold and will not thin out more than a 50 weight would when it is hot.

Harley recommends HD 360 engine oil as follows:

H.D. Multi-Grade SAE 10W40 as excellent for cold weather starts below 50 degrees F and for use with lowest ambient temperature below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C).
H.D. Multi-Grade SAE 20W50 as good for cold weather starts below 50 degrees F and for use with lowest ambient temperature above 40 degrees F (4 degrees C).

H.D. Multi-Grade SAE 50 as poor for cold weather starts below 50 degrees F and for use with lowest ambient temperature above 60degrees F (16 degrees C).

H.D. Multi-Grade SAE 60 as poor for cold weather starts below 50 degrees F and for use with lowest ambient temperature above 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).

For transmission and/or primary use SYN3 or FORMULA+ TRANSMISSION AND PRIMARY CHAINCASE LUBRICANT (Part No. 99851-05, US quart size).

I won't deal with fork oil at all.

Whatever you do, NEVER use anything but DOT 4 Brake a DOT 4 system. Also be careful with it as it will eat away any and all painted surfaces and even the black powder coated brake fluid reservoir coatings.
If DOT 5 goes into a DOT4 system or DOT 4 goes into a DOT5 system all rubber brake system components will be destroyed.


Aug 23, 2014 | 2007 Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard

1 Answer

My sportster runs hot

Hi Anonymous, and the usual suspects are:
1. Insufficient oil supply or oil not circulating.
2. Insufficient air flow over the engine.
3. Heavy carbon deposit in combustion chamber.
4. Ignition timing retarded due to faulty MAP, CKP and/or CMP sensors.
5. Leaking intake or exhaust valve.
6. No oil cooler.
7. Normal engine oil tempurature 180-220 degrees.
Good luck

Jan 31, 2013 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

AC does not blow cold air.

Hello, all the refrigerant most likely leaked out. To fix a leak it might be a bit expensive, sometimes to repair a leak will cost more than to buy a new unit.

Jun 20, 2012 | Friedrich XQ10L10A Air Conditioner

1 Answer

Where is the oil drain and how do you refill tranie fluid

The oil drain on your Sportster should be on left side of the bike below the battery around the rear of the primary case. It'll be a short piece of hose with a metal plug in it or a hose that appears to plug onto the frame. Simple pull the plug or take the hose loose and the oil tank will drain.

On the transmission, you remove the top inspection cover of the primary case to add the oil to it. The primary and the transmission share the same oil.

Good Luck

Apr 25, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster...

1 Answer

Engine oil capacity & type


Visco 2000 or mobil oil, use the dipstick to check do not let it be too full.

The type specified by the vehicle manufacturer in your owner's manual. For most passenger car and light truck gasoline engines today, it's any oil that meets the American Petroleum Institutes "SH" rating.
As for the viscosity of oil to use, most new engines today require a multiviscosity 5W-30 oil for all-round driving. The lighter 5W-30 oils contain friction reducing additives that help improve fuel economy, and also allow the oil to quickly reach critical upper valvetrain components when a cold engine is first started. Most engine wear occurs immediately after a cold start, so it's important to have oil that is thin enough to circulate easily -- especially at cold temperatures.
For older engines and ones that are driven at sustained highways speeds during hot weather, 10W-30 or 10W-40 is a good choice. Heavier multiviscosity oils such as 20W-40 are for high rpm, high-load applications primarily and are not recommended for cold weather driving.
Straight weight 30W and 40W oils aren't very popular anymore, but some diehards insist on using them. They say the thicker oil holds up better under high temperature (which it does), increases oil pressure and reduces oil consumption in high mileage engines. But straight 30W and 40W oils are too thick for cold weather and may make an engine hard to start. They may also be too thick to provide adequate start-up lubrication to critical upper valvetrain components during cold weather. So switching to a straight 20W oil would be necessary for cold weather driving. Straight 10W oil can also improve cold starting, but is very thin and should only be used in sub-zero climates. A multiviscosity 10W-30 or 10W-40 will provide the same cold starting benefits of a 10W oil and the high temperature protection of a 30W or 40W oil.
For the ultimate in high temperature protection, durability and all-round performance, synthetic oils are the way to go. Unfortunately, most synthetic oils cost up to three times as much as ordinary petroleum-based oils. They cost more because synthetics are manmade rather than refined from petroleum. But this improves their performance in virtually every aspect:
  • Superior temperature resistance. Synthetics can safely handle higher operating temperatures without oxidizing (burning) or breaking down. The upper limit for most mineral based oils is about 250 to 300 degrees F. Synthetics can take up to 450 degrees F. or higher. This makes synthetics well-suited for turbo applications as well as high rpm and high output engine applications.
  • Better low temperature performance. Synthetics flow freely at subzero temperatures, pouring easily at -40 or -50 degrees F. where ordinary oils turn to molasses. This makes for easier cold starts and provides faster upper valvetrain lubrication during the first critical moments when most engine wear occurs.
  • Better engine performance. Synthetics tend to be more slippery than their petroleum-based counterparts, which improves fuel economy, cuts frictional horsepower losses and helps the engine run cooler. The difference isn't great, but it can make a noticeable difference.
  • Longer oil change intervals. Because synthetics resist oxidation and viscosity breakdown better than ordinary motor oils, some suppliers say oil change intervals can be safely extended -- in some cases stretched to as much as 25,000 miles. Such claims are justified by the fact that synthetics don't break down or sludge up as fast as ordinary mineral-based oils do in use. CAUTION: For vehicles under warranty, extending the normal change interval is not recommended because failing to follow the OEM's maintenance schedule can void your warranty.
    Synthetics are available in the same grades as ordinary motor oils (5W-30, 5W-20 and 10W-30) as well as "extended" grades such as 15W-50 and even 5W-50.
    There are also lower-cost synthetic "blends" that combine synthetic and petroleum-based oils in the same container. But you can do your own blend to save money by simply substituting a quart or two of synthetic oil for conventional oil when you change oil. Synthetics are compatible with conventional motor oils.
    Who should use a synthetic oil? The premium-priced oil is best for:
    • Turbocharged or supercharged engines
    • Performance or high output engines
    • Vehicles used for towing (especially during hot weather)
    • Vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates
    • Anyone who wants the ultimate in lubrication and protection

Take care and good luck

Dec 03, 2010 | 2008 Nissan Xterra

1 Answer

I need to change the oil in my 2001 harley davidson sporster, i cant find the oil drain plug, for the engine oil, i found the oil drain plug for the crank case but not for the engine oil

It's on the left hand side just below the battery or just behind the primary cover of the engine in the rear. it's either a large diameter hose with a tee in it that has one hose plugged or a short section of hose that is plugged onto a large stud on the frame.

Jul 22, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

2 Answers

Specs and oil capacity

Most owners of the old Ironheads try to use the oils that were used when they were built. They use straight 50 weight when the weather is cold and 60 weight when temps are hot. But, one could use 10W50 oil in them. I would not use synthetic as any oil leaks will intensify with the use of synthetic oil. The XLH, XLX, and XLS tanks hold three quarts with the exception of the XR1000 which hold two quarts.

Jun 20, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

My 1992 isuzu trooper is leaking oil .it appears to be coming from top passenger corner of oil pan.however oil has coated parts to rear and above oil pan.oil leak is slow.could this be oil pump.what are...

clean your engine and look very carefully where the oil leak really come from, the cause why this leak happen, the engine was shutdown while the engine temperature is hot. usually the leak will come from the turbo. the engine must be idle for 3-5min before shutting off.

Jun 30, 2009 | 1992 Isuzu Trooper

1 Answer

I have a 2000 1200 custom sportster. It leaks oil out of a overflow tube under the seat.It leaks on the rear end when riding or on the grnd when parked. One mech replaced trans seal, still leaked. Another...

if the oil tank is above the crank case, inspect the oil pump check valve. go online and study the check valve's functional purpose and see to it that the vale is operating properly. it should not be an expensive fix.
if you reroute hose be carefull of rear tire annnd what does the oil level in the oil tank sit at when full and after the leak happens after -say a day of riding- a week  

Mar 21, 2009 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

3 Answers


the car is bviously too cold to start, when the car is running, turn it off, make sure oil and levels are topped up, try the car first thing below 30 degrees and see if it starts. i need more info to really help you on this subject.

Oct 15, 2008 | 1999 Ford Escort

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