How to Replace the Oil Filler Cap on a Harley Sportster


Many new Harley-Davidson Sportster owners, especially those who are converting from another motorcycle brand, may not be able to find their motorcycle's oil filler cap since it is not located in the customary place along the side of the engine. Instead, the Sportster relies on an external oil tank to feed its V-twin engine. The oil tank is re-filled through a pop-up flush-mounted filler cap under the right side of the rider's seat. Removing and replacing a damaged oil filler cap, or simply removing the cap to check the oil level, is a simple task that can be accomplished by any Sportster owner.

Things You'll Need

  • Lint-free shop towel
  • Park your Sportster on its side stand.

  • Locate the flush-mounted chrome oil filler cap head at the front of the oil tank, under the right side of the rider's seat. Push the chromed cap head down until it pops up from the oil tank.

  • Twist the raised portion of the filler cap counterclockwise until the entire cap can be pulled out of the oil tank. Hold the chromed portion of the cap with a non-slip grip pad for additional grip, if the oil cap refuses to turn.

  • Wipe the oil filler cap's attached dipstick clean, using a lint-free shop towel.

  • Screw the oil filler cap, or its replacement, into the oil tank until the cap is tight. Rotate the cap until the contour of of the chromed portion of the cap is aligned with the recess in the top of the oil tank.

  • Push the top of the cap down until it locks into place and is flush with the top of the oil tank.

Tips & Warnings

  • The oil filler cap can be difficult to remove from a new Sportster. Use a non-slip grip pad to improve your grip on the cap until it can be unscrewed completely. The cap will be easier to remove and re-install as it "breaks in" over time.
  • Do not use pliers or other tools to provide additional leverage when removing a tight oil filler cap. These tools have sharp edges that will mar the chromed finish of the oil filler cap and may promote flaking or corrosion in the chrome.

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  • 2006 Harley-Davidson Owner's Manual: Sportster Models
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