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'05 Road King Classic
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I have a 2005 Road King Classic that I bought new and every winter I've changed the engine oil before I put it down for the season. On one hand you'd think, well, that makes sense, nice fresh oil sitting there waiting to fire up in the spring. On the other hand, even the best oil change doesn't get out all the old oil anyway so aren't we just having oil that is less "contaminated" then if we just left the old stuff alone?

I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth my while to go out and change the oil in a cold garage before I cover it up. :hmmm:

Peace,
Ike1518
 

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how many miles are on that tank of oil?
If you do change it, put on a new filter then take the bike out for 1 last spin to let the filter do it's thing.
 

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You should change the oil before you put her up for the winter. There are a lot of nasty chemicals and water that gets into your oil that makes it turn black. And during the long sit, they get released from the oil and bind onto your crank bearings.
 

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My winter storage procedure is a battery tender. At least once or twice a month (sometimes even more) through the winter there are days where I can get out for an hour or two. Probably could even get away without the battery tender but I like the fully charged battery. The bike always seems to fire off quicker when the battery is up there.:chopper:
 

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My opinion; If you want to lay the bike up for the winter, ditch the oil completely if it worrys you. Every other oil change I do, I use a flushing oil which drives out any crap that could be lying in the oilways.
Changing oil is one of the cheapest maintainence jobs you can do for an engine. Although HD say 5,000 miles between oil change I normally do every 2,500 miles. There's been a lot written about filters on here which mention flow rate, particle size. To me that becomes almost irrelevent if you change your oil frequently. Imo, a fast flow rate filter and regular oil change will make your engine last well beyond it's sell by date.
I had a car that did over 400,000 miles with the original engine using this philosophy,
I believe that same car has put on another 100,000 miles and is still running as sweet as a nut.
I forgot to mention; every oil change there is a new filter to go on. They are so cheap, no need to skimp.
 

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Changing oil is one of the cheapest maintainence jobs you can do for an engine. Although HD say 5,000 miles between oil change I normally do every 2,500 miles. There's been a lot written about filters on here which mention flow rate, particle size. To me that becomes almost irrelevent if you change your oil frequently. Imo, a fast flow rate filter and regular oil change will make your engine last well beyond it's sell by date.
I had a car that did over 400,000 miles with the original engine using this philosophy,
I believe that same car has put on another 100,000 miles and is still running as sweet as a nut.
I forgot to mention; every oil change there is a new filter to go on. They are so cheap, no need to skimp.
My work van gets an oil change evry 5,000 miles, we sell them when they get to 100,000 miles. Still have great compression and sells at a good price.
Oil is different now than it was 20 years ago, there is no need to throw it away so soon. One day we will run out of it....
If you want to make sure your oil is good....send it off for testing, and use it until the tests come back saying it's going bad.
 

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If you have the cash to waist change it.I change mine before going into service in the spring.Harley dry sump system has very little oil in the cases and it wont hurt a thing in the oil tank.
My bottom end has over 90k on it since rebuild with no problems.
 

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If you have the cash to waist change it.I change mine before going into service in the spring.Harley dry sump system has very little oil in the cases and it wont hurt a thing in the oil tank.
My bottom end has over 90k on it since rebuild with no problems.
Greetings,
I may or may not change before storage but here is Texas, storage usually consists of 4 weeks max without a spin around the block....and my block is about 11 miles!
If you do store it over winter, it probably would be a good idea to change it before putting it into service in Spring.
The reason I say this is as the bike sits all winter, the temperature goes up and down repeatedly. As the temps go up, then down, condensation takes place inside and outside the metal parts. Oil is lighter than water so the water goes to the bottom of the oil tank which is where the oil pickup is located.
It's still probably not enough to worry about but if you just gotta change the oil, I would vote for Spring on breakout.

These are merely my opinions and worth exactly what you paid for them.
 

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My $.02-Fresh synthetic and decent filter, 1/2 tank of gas with recommended amount of stablizer mixtue in gas, battery tender, wash n wax with carnauba wax, up on lift (tires off ground), and covered up away from traffic. Wish I had a heated garage, but not yet. I have read it is harmful to start the bike periodically while it is in storage, so I refrain. At the beginning of the next riding season, I fill up the tank (1/2 half full) with fresh gas and try to run all of the gas in the tank out on the first ride of the season. I hear that batteries only last about 5 years and should be replaced at that time, but hassle with the tender anyway.
 

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'05 Road King Classic
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all for the comments. I will bite the bullet and change the oil as I have faithfully done for the last number of years.

Cheers,
Ike1518
 

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Come on it's still riding weather here let's go for another 3 months.
 

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My work van gets an oil change evry 5,000 miles, we sell them when they get to 100,000 miles. Still have great compression and sells at a good price.
Oil is different now than it was 20 years ago, there is no need to throw it away so soon. One day we will run out of it....
If you want to make sure your oil is good....send it off for testing, and use it until the tests come back saying it's going bad.
:laugh: Sure, paying for lab tests sound a really good idea. Used oil is not thrown away where I live. There's a recycling facility that puts it back into use again (not sure what though)?
 

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I don't change my oil before putting the bike away but that's because I run it every month and let it warm to operating temps. Do the same thing with my 79 Trans Am and have never had a problem riding/driving them the first nice day
 

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155" R&R TwinCam
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Always always! change oil before winter storage,otherwise acids over time could raise havoc with certain bushings especially in cooler climates.
 

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WideGlide Rider
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I don't change my oil before putting the bike away but that's because I run it every month and let it warm to operating temps. Do the same thing with my 79 Trans Am and have never had a problem riding/driving them the first nice day
That'll cause condensation
 

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This site just ate yet another of my posts --
 

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From the H-D shop mechanics, and a class on "Winterization" :

Sulpur in fuel creates deposits in the oil. Water in condensate creates sufuric acid. You don't want your engine sitting in sulfuric acid.

Get the engine thoroughly warmed up, drain oil. Let the pan drain thoroughly. New oil. New filter. Crank it up and go for a ride -- get the engine up to running temps.

Cold engine just moves the condensate around. Hot engine evaporates the moisture and drives it off.

Worse thing you can do is start your bike, crank it over a minute or two and then shut it off. This just moves the sludge into your engine -- along with the acid.

New battery for the H-D runs about $175 these days. Battery tender can be had for about $25. Do the math.

Put the Jiffy Stand on an insulated "coaster" -- H-D sells one, but a piece of wood, floor mat, carpet works too. The stand will ground the battery w/ the floor and discharge it. Crud between battery terminals can create a circuit and discharge the battery. Clean is good mechanics.

Top off the fuel tank, leave no room for condensation. Add a stabilizer specific for H-D. The same reason you want diesel class oil for the bike. H-D dealer has stabilizers / octane booster for the bike. Service Manual warns against using non specific stabilizers.

Wash and wax. Dirt deteriorates paint, corrodes alum, chrome. Of course H-D sells polishes, finishers for chrome and alum.

Don't store the bike around fertilizers, cement, pool chemicals, (your meth lab . . . :redrolf:) -- chemicals create corrosive atmospheres.

You can put the bike on blocks to get off the tires. But the tires will round out after storage from about 30 miles of easy riding. They're stable materials, get warmed up and come back together.

The other option besides blocks, is to roll the bike forward and back to move the tires off one spot -- every couple weeks. I purchased a "wheel cleaner" from Harbor Freight, which allows me to rotate the wheels.

Cover is nice. Get one that doesn't trap condensate. Personally, I like to tinker over the winter, have access without a cover. Still, I might look into a cover.

Finally, take the bike off the insurance policy. No point in paying for insurance when you're not riding. Keep the comprehensive in case it gets stolen or the garage catches fire, something falls on the bike.

When the bike is off the insurance rolls, then you're not tempted to take the winterized machine out for a spin because the weather allows. You want clean oil and a topped off fuel tank for storage.

-- This is the word from Certified H-D mechanics. Paradise H-D in Tigard OR, October 15, 2011.
 
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