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Hey everyone. I am a beginner rider, and just got my first bike today, a 2004 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom. Very excited about it.

I'm trying to do everything as proper as possible. Took motorcycle safety class. Bought retro-reflective gear. Doing a lot of research online about how to maintain /ride a bike well, but I still have a few beginner questions. Some questions might be dumb...

1) I know that the fuel reserve and main tank are actually the same tank. Besides the case when the main tank is out, is there any reason to switch the petcock to Reserve every now and then for maintenance reasons?

2) Online it seems that people are suggesting changing oil every 3000 miles / every 6 months. For a 2004 Sportster 1200, is that a good rule to follow?

3) Bike was well maintained by previous owner, has 7000 miles on it. I know that I'll need to replace the front tire soon. What are some of the key things I should expect to replace within the next 3000 miles or so?

4) Again, the bike was well maintained, assuming I ride the bike easy, usually when should I have to start worrying about tuning the carburetor, clutch, batteries, etc.?

Really excited about riding, and I want to take good care of the bike. Appreciate any expert advice. Thanks a lot!
 

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Welcome to the forum

You will find that managing you fuel might be difficult without that safety reminder. I always reset my odometer trip meter when I refueled to keep track of miles travelled.

3000 miles is a good interval.
 

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Harley recommends 1000 mile then service at every 5000 mile interval.

I'm not sure if that is true for Sportsters but it sounds good.

What kind of tires do you have as long as they are not Baldinis you should be ok.

Welcome!
 

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Welcome to the forum

You will find that managing you fuel might be difficult without that safety reminder. I always reset my odometer trip meter when I refueled to keep track of miles travelled.

3000 miles is a good interval.
WoWWWWWWWWWWWW you get 3000 miles to a tank . :thumbsup
 

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Welcome from Kentucky. You need a HD service manual (not any non HD manual) and for a 2004 you might find one on flea bay. And I hope you also got the owner's manual but the service manual has lots more info.
 

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1) No.

2) 3000 mi for dino, 5000 for synthetic.

3) Service manual will list everything to check during 10,000 mile service.

4) Carb: once it has been jetted for your particular altitude, no need for further "tuning".
Clutch: Read threads about "Barnett extra plate clutch"
Battery: Get a "Battery Tender", with proper care a battery will last upwards of 5 years.
Over there, good brands would be OEM and the Yuasa "GYZ" line.
 

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Welcome from New Hampshire. Service manual is a must.
 

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Welcome from Mi. The advice here is solid, and best of all was the that about getting a Harley Davidson service manual. The best money you can spend. Back in the day, my first one cost $5 from the Harley dealer! Can you believe that? "Enjoy the ride".
Bob
 

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Welcome from Indiana.
 

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Note how many miles you can go before you have to switch on reserve . Sportster's don't usually have a very large reserve so after you figure your fuel mileage you will have some idea of how much farther you can go before looking for a gas station . Do the complete 10,000 mile maintenance schedule . Check air pressure every couple of rides .
Now start personalizing that beautiful Sportster .

Ride Safe & Ride Righteous !
 

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Welcome to the forum from Waco, TX.
 
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