What Oil Filter Should I Use on my Harley-Davidson?


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What Oil Filter Should I Use On My Harley Davidson

Are you looking for the perfect oil filter for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle? The right oil filter is essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your bike. In this article, you’ll find out which oil filter works best for your Harley-Davidson and why. From the type of oil filter to the benefits of certain brands, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision. So if you’re in the market for a great oil filter for your Harley-Davidson, read on to learn more!

What is the purpose of an oil filter in a Harley-Davidson bike?

In the world of motorcycles, very few names evoke as much power and prestige as Harley-Davidson. Behind the iconic thunderous roars of these powerful machines lie numerous components that work in conjunction to ensure smooth operation and longevity. One of those components is an oil filter.

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At its core, an oil filter is a device designed to purify the engine oil by removing contaminants and impurities that can accumulate during the engine’s operation. The engine of a Harley-Davidson bike comprises various moving parts that require proper lubrication to reduce friction and dissipate heat. The oil filter plays a key role in maintaining the quality of the engine oil, ensuring that it remains clean and efficient in its lubrication duties.

As the engine runs, minute particles like dust, metal fragments, and carbon residues can end up infiltrating the engine oil. If left unfiltered, these contaminants can result in premature engine wear, reduced performance, and potential damage to critical engine components.

To combat these potential problems, the oil filter is placed strategically along the oil circuit. As the engine oil circulates through the engine, it’ll be directed through the filter. Within the filter lies a porous medium, typically made using paper, synthetic fibers, or metal mesh. This medium captures and traps the harmful particles, preventing them from circulating back into the engine.

To maintain the health and optimal performance of your bike’s engine, regular oil and oil filter changes will be important. Follow the maintenance schedule specified in the owner’s manual. It will outline the recommended intervals for both oil and filter replacement.

Routine filter replacement will ensure that the engine oil remains clean and free from harmful particles, providing effective lubricant and safeguarding the engine against wear. Neglecting to replace the oil filter at appropriate intervals will compromise engine performance and longevity, resulting in potential damage and costly repairs.

What Oil Filter Should I Use On My Harley Davidson

Different types of oil filters for Harley-Davidson bikes

Harley-Davidson bikes are synonymous with style, power, and the freedom of the open road. Ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of these powerful machines requires meticulous maintenance, including regular oil changes and choosing the right oil filter. Harley-Davidson motorcycles make use of different types of oil filters, each designed to cater to specific needs. Here are the different types of oil filters used in Harley-Davidson bikes.

Disposable spin-on filters

The most commonly used oil filters in Harley-Davidson motorcycles are disposable spin-on filters. These filters consist of a metal canister with a replaceable filter element inside. The entire filter assembly, including the canister and filter element, is replaced during routine oil changes.

There are many benefits to using disposable spin-on filters. For instance, they are quite convenient and easy to install. They are ideal for most riding conditions and average usage. Typically, they are more cost-effective compared to other filter types.

Cartridge filters

Some Harley-Davidson bikes come equipped with cartridge-style oil filers. These filters feature a replaceable filter element but instead of replacing the entire canister, only the filter element gets swapped during oil changes.

These oil filters are environmentally friendly as they reduce waste by reusing the canister. Sometimes, they might offer improved filtration efficiency because of a larger filter area. Their compact design allows for easy storage and disposal of used filter elements.

High-Performance Oil Filters

For bikers looking for enhanced engine protection and performance, Harley-Davidson offers high-performance oil filters. These filters are designed for handling more demanding riding conditions and provide more filtration capabilities.

These oil filters offer increased filtration capacity to trap finer particles and contaminants. Moreover, they also offer enhanced oil flow for better lubrication, especially during high-performance riding. You can also expect greater protection for critical engine components under extreme conditions.

Reusable Stainless Steel Filters

An alternative option available for Harley-Davidson bikers is the reusable stainless steel oil filter. These oil filters are constructed with stainless steel mesh elements that can be cleaned and reused, eliminating the need for filter replacements.

These oil filters are durable and long-lasting, which saves costs in the long run. They’re environmentally friendly due to reduced waste from disposable filter elements. Moreover, they provide excellent filtration and flow characteristics.

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What oil filter should I use on my Harley-Davidson?

If you’re a beginner or a novice Harley-Davidson rider, it is common to wonder what oil filter should I use on my Harley-Davidson bike. The answer to that is simpler than you may think. For Harley-Davidson bikes, it is recommended that you should always use a genuine oil filter from Harley-Davidson itself. The oil filters sold by Harley-Davidson are specifically designed and tested to meet the high-quality standards set by the brand. They’re engineered to fit your Harley’s engine perfectly, ensuring proper filtration and protection.

Using a genuine oil filter by Harley-Davidson will help maintain your bike’s warranty and ensure that you’re using an oil filter that is compatible with your motorcycle’s specific model and year. These oil filters undergo extensive testing to provide optimal performance and filtration efficiency.

If you’re after alternatives, there are numerous aftermarket options available. There are many brands that produce high-quality air filters designed to meet OEM specifications. When choosing an aftermarket filter, you must consider factors like an anti-drain back valve, filtration efficiency, bypass valve, and more. Here are some of the top alternatives aftermarket options you can go for.

#1. K&N Engineering

K&N Engineering is a well-respected brand known for its high-performance filters and air intake systems. These oil filters are designed to meet the demands of riders who are looking for enhanced engine protection and improved filtration efficiency.

K&N oil filters come with a durable construction and advanced filtration media that captures a wide range of contaminants while maintaining amazing oil flow. Their Pro Series oil filters offer amazing performance for both stock and high-performance engines, making them one of the best options for Harley-Davidson riders who value reliability and performance.

#2. Fram

Fram is a company with a long history of offering high-quality oil filters to various automotive applications. Fram’s Extra Guard and Tough Guard oil filters are suited for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, offering reliable filtration and engine protection.

Fram’s oil filters come with a blend of cellulose and synthetic media that efficiently capture contaminants and maintain the proper oil flow. With a focus on durability and efficiency, Fram has become a trusted choice for bikers looking for dependable oil filters.

#3. Bosch

Bosch is a renowned name in the automotive engineering scene and its oil filters are quite popular. Bosch oil filters are designed to be able to withstand extreme conditions and offer top-notch engine protection.

Bosch’s premium oil filters make use of advanced filtration that traps even the finest particles, providing clean and efficient oil flow. Bosch’s commitment to engineering excellence and precision makes them a favored brand among Harley-Davidson bikers who prioritize quality and performance.

#4. Mobil 1

Mobil 1 is a brand synonymous with synthetic motor oils. It also offers an impressive range of oil filters. Designed to complement its premium motor oils, Mobil 1 oil filters provide maximum engine protection and oil flow.

These oil filters make use of advanced synthetic features that can capture and hold more contaminants compared to conventional filters. Their durable design and superior filtration make them a great choice for Harley-Davidson riders who want to optimize their bike’s performance.

#5. Purolator

Purolator is another trusted brand that has been manufacturing oil filters for almost a century. Its oil filters can efficiently capture contaminants, ensuring clean oil flows through the engine.

Purolator’s PUREONE oil filters can provide exceptional engine protection and are perfect for Harley-Davidson riders looking for impressive filtration performance. Their durable construction and commitment to quality make the brand one of the best choices for Harley-Davidson riders.

Benefits of using an oil filter in a Harley

Harley-Davidson bikes have robust engines and offer unparalleled freedom that is loved by riders around the world. To keep your bike running smoothly and efficiently, regular maintenance of all components is important, including the oil filter. It plays a key role in maintaining the health of the engine and offers numerous benefits that contribute to the optimal performance and longevity of the bike. Here are some of the benefits of using oil filters in a Harley-Davidson bike.

#1. Effective contaminant removal

The primary benefit of an oil filter is that it removes contaminants from the engine oil, ensuring that only clean and properly lubricated oil reaches critical engine components. Over time, microscopic particles such as dirt, dust, metal fragments, and carbon residues can find their way into the engine oil.

Without an oil filter, these contaminants can result in accelerated engine wear, reduced performance, and potential damage to vital engine parts. By effectively removing these harmful particles, the oil filter will prevent premature engine wear and extend the overall life of the engine. This translates to a more durable and reliable Harley-Davidson bike capable of enduring countless miles of riding enjoyment.

#2. Enhanced engine lubrication

Proper engine lubrication is important for ensuring that moving parts function smoothly and efficiently. The oil filter’s role in removing contaminants will help maintain the quality of the engine oil, allowing it to flow freely and deliver optimal lubrication to critical components.

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With clean and adequately lubricated engine parts, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can perform at its best, delivering smoother acceleration, improving power output, and a responsive throttle. Moreover, enhanced engine lubrication helps in reducing friction and heat, contributing to better fuel efficiency and potentially extending the time between oil changes.

#3. Protection against engine damage

The engine of a Harley is a finely tuned masterpiece. Any damage to its components can be quite disruptive and expensive to your riding experience. The oil filter acts as a barrier between contaminants and the engine, effectively protecting it from potential harm.

By preventing harmful particles from circulating through the engine, the oil filter reduces the risk of damage to critical engine parts, such as bearings, pistons, and camshafts. This added layer of protection will enhance the overall reliability of the motorcycle, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.

#4. Improved fuel efficiency

A well-maintained engine with clean oil and an efficient oil filter greatly contributes to improved fuel efficiency in a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. When the engine operates smoothly and experiences minimal friction, it will require less energy to perform at its best.

Enhanced fuel efficiency will mean fewer stops at the gas station, saving you money on operating costs in the long run. This financial benefit, combined with the overall engine protection offered by the oil filter will make it a cost-effective investment over time.

What Oil Filter Should I Use On My Harley Davidson

How to install a new oil filter on your Harley-Davidson bike?

As a Harley-Davidson rider, sometimes, you might have to change the oil filter. This is an important part of maintaining the health and performance of your Harley-Davidson bike. Replacing the oil filter is a rather straightforward process that can be performed at home as long as you’ve got the tools and step-by-step instructions. In this guide, you will get to know how to install a new oil filter on your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Step 1: Gain access to the oil filter

Before you start the process, you should make sure that your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is parked on a level surface. Further, ensure that the engine is cool to touch.

After that, you need to remove the old oil. Place an oil drain pan under the bike’s oil drain plug, located at the bottom of the engine. Use a socket or wrench to loosen the drain plug. Now, allow the old oil to drain completely into the pan.

Now, you need to locate the oil filter. The oil filter will typically be located on the front side of the engine, depending on the model of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. You might need to use an oil filter wrench or scrap wrench for loosening and removing the old filter. Make sure that the oil drain pan is positioned to catch any oil that might spill during the removal process.

Step 2: Prepare the oil filter

Before you can install the new oil filter, you should inspect the filter housing for any remnants of the old filter’s rubber gasket. Clean the housing and make sure that it is free from debris.

Then, you should apply new oil to the gasket. Before you can install the new oil filter, you might lightly coat the rubber gasket on the new filter with fresh oil. This will help create a better seal and prevent the gasket from sticking during future oil changes.

Step 3: Install the oil filter

Start by hand-tightening the new oil filter. Carefully screw the new oil filter into place with your hands. Begin by turning it clockwise until the gasket makes contact with the filter housing. After that, tighten it an additional Âľ to 1 full turn. Avoid over-tightening as it might damage the filter or cause leaks.

Then, reinstall the oil drain plug. Once the new oil filter is securely in place, you must reinstall the oil drain plug. Tighten it to the recommended torque specified in your bike’s owner’s manual.

Step 4: Add fresh oil

Consult your owner’s manual and determine the appropriate type and quality of oil for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Choose a high-quality motorcycle-specific oil to ensure proper engine lubrication and performance.

Using a funnel, you should now pour the recommended amount of fresh oil into the oil fill port, typically located on the top of the engine. Take care that you do not overfill the oil as it can result in engine damage.

After adding new oil, you must let your bike sit for a few minutes to allow the oil to settle. Then, carefully check the oil level using a dipstick. Adjust as needed to ensure the oil levels fall within the range recommended.

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Step 5: Final checks and clean up

You must inspect for leaks. Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes. Check for any signs of potential leaks around the oil filter and drain plug. If you notice any leaks, you must stop the engine immediately and recheck the installation of the oil filter and drain plug. Lastly, you must dispose of the old oil and oil filter in accordance with local regulations.

What Oil Filter Should I Use On My Harley Davidson

Factors to consider when choosing an oil filter

Selecting the right oil filter for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is an important task. It plays a key role in preserving the health of your motorcycle’s engine. With a wide variety of options to choose from, it’ll be important to consider different factors to make a smarter choice. Here are some of the factors you must keep in mind when choosing an oil filter for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

#1. Model of the bike

The first step in choosing the right oil filter for your bike will be ensuring that it is compatible with your specific Harley-Davidson model. Different Harley-Davidson motorcycles might have varying engine configurations and the oil filter need to fit the engine’s oil filter housing precisely.

You must refer to the owner’s manual or consult with a certified technician to determine the correct oil filter option for your motorcycle. Using an incompatible oil filter can result in leaks, inadequate filtration, and potential engine damage.

#2. Size of the oil filter

Oil filters come in different sizes and the size is directly related to the oil filter’s surface area and filtration capacity. A large filter with a greater surface area is able to capture more contaminants, providing improved filtration and better engine protection.

While the size of the oil filter must ideally match the specifications recommended by the manufacturer, you should also consider high-performance filters with larger sizes for enhanced filtration in challenging riding conditions.

#3. Quality of the oil filter

The quality of the oil filter is very important when it comes to protecting your bike’s engine. Choosing a reputable and trusted oil filter brand will ensure that the oil filter is constructed with high-quality materials and designed to meet stringent industry standards.

Investing in a high-quality oil filter might come with a comparatively higher price tag but it offers superior filtration capacities, longer service life, and enhanced engine protection. Ultimately, the added protection will be well worth the investment to safeguard your prized asset.

#4. Price of the oil filter

While quality is important, it is important to strike a balance between cost and performance when selecting an oil filter. Consider the long-term benefits of investing in a reliable and high-quality filter that offers better engine protection and potentially extends oil change intervals.

Compare prices and performance capabilities of different oil filters. It will help you make a smarter decision that suits your budget and ensures the well-being of your motorcycle’s engine.

#5. Oil filter design

The design of the oil filter will influence its durability and efficiency. Filters with advanced designs might incorporate innovative filtration features that enhance oil flow and reduce pressure drop.

You should look for filters that have features like anti-drain back valves, which prevent oil from draining back into the crankcase when the engine is off. This will ensure quick oil pressure buildup upon startup, resulting in reduced engine wear.

Moreover, oil filters having a durable construction, such as heavy-duty canisters and high-quality gaskets contribute to the oil filter’s reliability and leak resistance.


What oil filter should I use on my Harley-Davidson?

The best oil filter for your Harley-Davidson depends on the model and year of the bike. Generally, it is recommended to use an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) oil filter for your Harley-Davidson. However, there are also aftermarket oil filters available that may provide better performance and longer life.

What are the benefits of using an OEM oil filter?

Using an OEM oil filter offers several benefits, such as reliable performance and compatibility with your Harley-Davidson. OEM oil filters are designed specifically for your bike and are tested to meet the manufacturer’s exact specifications. As a result, they provide a high level of performance and reliability.

What should I consider when choosing an oil filter for my Harley-Davidson?

When choosing an oil filter for your Harley-Davidson, you should consider the model and year of the bike, the type of oil filter available (OEM or aftermarket), and the level of performance and reliability you expect from the oil filter. It’s important to find the right balance of these factors to ensure you get an oil filter that meets your needs and provides the best possible performance.

>>> Read more about Oil for Harley-Davidson <<<

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White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

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