Let me preface this with a couple of suggestions:
1) SERVICE MANUAL!!! Essential. Probably the most important tool in your kit. Make sure it's the Official H-D Service Manual specific to your model/year.
2) Get yourself a quality Motorcycle Lift. Don't be cheap. If you're going to do your own maintenance it's best to have quality equipment. In the long run, the lift will pay for itself. I highly recommend the J&S Big Wheel Motorcycle Lift. I was turned on to this lift by nipplesurfer's thread
regarding the lift. Check out the J&S web site
for more info regarding the lift. It ain't cheap...$359. I also got the T-bar handle which makes moving the lift around a lot easier. Total with shipping came to $455.07.
Make sure you follow the instructions for lifting your class of bike. Softails have the shock absorbers running parallel between the frame rails under the bike. Make damn sure you center the lift so that the rear lift support rail does not make contact with the shock absorbers or you may damage them. The front support rail of the lift should be placed 1/2" to 1" from the bend in the lower front frame.
When lowering your bike with this lift make sure you release the pressure slowly making sure the jiffy stand is completely down and the front tire is pointed fully to the left. It's kinda scary the first couple of times you lower the bike with this lift. You think it's gonna just fall over when it touches down but it settles right down on the jiffy stand without a hitch...pretty cool
3) If you're a newbie to Harley maintenace, I highly recommend getting yourself the "Fix My Hog" DVD series
for your class of bike. I got the 3-disc Softail/Dyna Edition for $54.95 +$4.99 for shipping. They also have Sportster and Touring Editions. The DVDs in conjunction with the Service Manual proved invaluable during my service. It has every step involved in the 10,000 mile service from changing the fluids to performing the steering head bearing adjustment (fall away). I played the DVDs on my laptop while performing each step of my service to make sure I didn't miss a thing.
These are the steps involved for the 10,000 mile service:
* Engine oil and filter: Replace
Take the bike for a spin, approx 5 minutes, to get the bike to operating temp before draining the oil...drains much quicker.
Be very careful when removing the oil filter or you'll end up with a mess. If you're going to use Harley's Oil Catcher Drain Oil Funnel under the oil filter, I suggest it be done while it's on the jiffy stand. You need the angle so that the oil drains down the oil catcher. If you use it while the bike is level on the lift, the oil will just pool near the filter and leak out around the catcher getting on your engine's nice powder coating. You can use brake cleaner to clean up my...errr..your mess
. Same applies when reinstalling your fresh oil filter. Do it while the bike is on the jiffy stand. That way, you'll have no spillage from the 4 ounces of oil you poured into the new filter prior to installing it. Hand-tighten the filter until the seal meets the oil filter mount flange and then give it another 1/2 to 3/4 turn. I'm not going to give step-by-step instructions here...all that is covered in the Service Manual. You don't have to change the o-ring on the drain plug every oil change but for the price of replacements it's a good idea to do it. Use a little Locktite Thread Sealant on the drain plug threads to give it a good seal and torque to specks.
* Oil lines and brake system: Inspect for leaks
No brainer here. No leaks...good to go.
* Air cleaner: Inspect, service as required
Another no brainer. Just make sure the breather hoses are in good condition, no cracks, tears or holes. Use Locktite Blue on the tips of the torx screws when reinstalling the bracket that holds down the filter element. Make sure that the seal ring is in good condition...no cracks, tears. Loctite Blue on the Air Cleaner Cover screw and torque to specks.
* Tires: Check pressure, inspect tread
No brainer. My front was just a tad low...added one pound.
* Primary chaincase lubricant: Replace
Piece of cake. Remove the Torx screws from the clutch inspection cover in order specified in the manual. Remove the drain plug and drain fluid. A little Locktite Thread Sealant on the Primary Drain Plug, reinstall and torque to specks. When refilling with fresh lubricant, Just make sure not to over-fill the Primary. The Service Manual calls for 32 ounces...just fill it to where the lubricant is just touching the bottom of the Clutch Basket and you're good to go.
* Clutch: Check adjustment
I did this step just after changing the Primary Lubricant while the clutch inspection cover was still off. Not a problem. Just follow the intructions in the manual. The "Fix My Hog" DVD really helped visualize this step as well.
* Rear belt and sprockets: Inspect, adjust belt
No problems here. Belt and sprockets were in great shape. You'll need the H-D Belt Tension Guage to perform this step. Just follow the instructions in the Service Manual. My tension fell to within specks.
* Throttle, brake and clutch controls: Check, adjust and lubricate
* Jiffy stand: Inspect and lubricate
grease er up.
* Fuel lines and fittings: Inspect for leaks
Good to go
* Brake fluid: Check levels and condition
Fluid looked good as were levels. Will probably bleed the brakes and change the fluid on my next service. Should be done every 2 years.
* Brake pads and discs: Inspect for wear
Good to go here. I bought new pads prior to this service just in case. I'll have them for the next service.
* Spark plugs: Inspect
Spark plugs looked fine but I changed them anyways. Plugs come pre-gapped from the factory bit I checked them to be sure. Gap was good. A little Locktite Anti-Seize on the treads and torque to specks. Cables and conections were fine.
* Electrical equipment and switches: Check operation
Good to go
* Engine idle speed: Check adjustment
This is one step you can't perform at home unless you just happen to own an H-D Digital Technician.
* Steering head bearings: Adjust/Lubricate
This is the only step, other than the idle speed, that I haven't completed. If you own a Heritage Softail like I do, this step requires the removal of the headlamp housing and front tins in order to get at the fork stem bracket pinch bolts which need to be loosened to do the fall away test and make the adjustment. It was getting kinda late yesterday and I didn't want to get into this step and run out of light since this service was being performed outside in my carport. I'll wait until next Saturday to get this done.
* Windshield bushings: Inspect
They're gettin kinda worn. I'm going to pick some new ones up at the dealer and replace this week.
* Critical fasteners: Check tightness
There's a list of all the critical fasteners on pg 1-52 of the Softail Service Manual so I won't list them all here...about 17 of them with their Torque specifications. I checked em all and had to tighten a few.
* Road Test: Verify component and system functions
Before performing the Road Test, I did one last thing that wasn't part of the 10,000 mile service. I installed Quiet Baffles on my V&H True Duals. I've been riding baffless and let me tell you...straight pipes without baffles are LOUD! It got to the point that I couldn't hear myself think. While they sound cool as hell, they aren't very neighbor friendly and I was just getting tired of having to push my bike out to the street every morning at O'dark-30 to start my bike. Besides...I was getting a ton of decel popping due to the lack of back-pressure, so much so that it sounded like Chinese Freak'n New Years every time I rolled off the throttle.
It was a pretty easy procedure. Remove the heat shields attached to the slip-ons with hose-clamps using either a flat-head screwdriver or a socket wrench. Twist the Quiet Baffles into the exhaust pipes making sure the fiberglass packing material around the baffles doesn't get bunched up. Line up the bolt hole in the exhaust pipe (about 4 inches in from the tip) with the mounting bolt on the Baffle and tap the baffle into the pipe until the holes are lined up. Add a little Locktite Red to the threads of the bolt and screw it in using an allen and tighten it up. Re-attach the heat shields and you're good to go. One thing about the Quiet Baffles on the V&H Softail Duals...they're pretty damn quiet. I'm used to roaring and now I'm meowing. It's definitely going to take some getting used to.
Road Test was good...although Quiet
. No leaks, no codes, all is well with the world...well, my bike anyways.