A softail oil change is perhaps the most important maintenance you can do to prolong the life of your V-twin engine. Without regular oil changes, gunk will build up and eventually ruin your engine. The task requires only a few minutes of your time and pays off big in motor reliability. You should change oil every 5,000 miles as recommended by your engine manufacturer.
Before your softail oil change, run the engine so that your motor reaches normal operating temperature. Once you know the bike motor is warm, turn off the ignition and place an oil drain pan under the drain area. Use a big flat head screw driver and remove the drain hose from the bracket. Take the engine oil dipstick out and place it nearby where it will not get dirt on it.
Remove the oil drain plug from the drain hose. It's located on the lower right side of the bike and can be removed with a flat head screwdriver of the appropriate size. Put the end of the drain hose over the oil drain pan and let the oil drain out of the engine.
As you continue with your softail oil change, once all the oil has drained from the engine, replace the drain plug in the drain hose and put the hose back into its clip. Carefully move the oil drain pan so that it is below the oil filter. Loosen the oil filter with the proper filter wrench and let any oil drain out into the pan underneath. Clean the oil filter mount carefully to remove any oil and trash. A good clean shop towel does the job easily.
Just a few more steps on your softail oil change! Place a very small amount of clean oil on the new oil filter gasket and rub it on so the entire gasket is coated. Place the filter on the filter mounting boss and turn it by hand so that it treads on and becomes just slightly snug, keeping your eyes on the gasket at all times. As the gasket begins to contact the mount, turn only another one-half turn and stop.
Next, fill the oil tank with three quarts of the engine oil recommended by your engine manufacturer. Crank the engine and check that the filter and drain hose do not leak at any point. Turn off the motor and check the oil level shown on the dipstick with the motorcycle in a fully upright position. Add any oil needed so that it comes up to the fill line.
That's all it takes to perform a complete softail oil change. Remember, recycle your used oil properly and never pour it into the ground or household trash.