How to Complete a 10,000-Mile Service

How to Complete a 10,000-Mile Service

by Chris Rutter October 01, 2020

As a motorcycle owner, you take great pride in your bike — especially when it's running smoothly on a ride. To keep it running that smoothly, you have to give it the proper maintenance. One of the most important types of maintenance is the 10,000-mile service. 

As the name would suggest, this service is necessary every 10,000 miles or so. You can either do it yourself or have it done by a professional. If you do it yourself, you want to make sure you're familiar with your bike and its service needs. Here we'll lay out a basic Harley-Davidson 10,000-mile service checklist to guide you through the process.

14 Services to Perform on Your Motorcycle

When you perform your 10,000-mile service, refer to your bike manual often. The exact details of each task will depend on the make and model of the motorcycle you have, and certain bike types may need additional kinds of service. Though the list below is thorough, there are always more things you can check or service on your bike depending on its condition and your preferences.

There are a few important services you should definitely make sure to give your bike during this process. Here's a brief overview of each service, in the approximate order they should be performed. 

Inspect Engine Oil and Filter

1. Inspect Engine Oil and Filter

The first thing to do is drain the fluids on your bike and change out the filter. Start by removing the old filter. Then remove the derby cover, drain plugs and dipsticks to begin draining the primary fluid, oil and transmission fluid into a drain tray.

As the fluid drains, get out your new filter and fill it with oil. Replace the O-rings on the drain plugs as well. When the old fluid is done draining, attach the new filter and reattach the drain plugs.

2. Check Throttle and Clutch

The next step in your service is to adjust and lubricate the throttle and clutch. Start with the throttle. Remove the switch housing and spray the lubricant down into the cable hole.

Then move on to the clutch. Break the clutch cable loose, and lubricate it at the top. If the clutch needs adjusting, use a torque wrench to get it to the right tension. Be sure to give the cable a tiny bit of slack so it can move how it's supposed to.

3. Check Primary Chain

Next, make sure the primary chain is adjusted properly. Take off the inspection cover and use your fingers to check the tension of the chain. Adjust as needed. Once the tension is where you want it, put on a new gasket and reinstall the inspection cover.

4. Replace Fluids

At this point, you can replace the fluids you drained earlier. Start with the primary fluid, filling it up to the correct level, then put the derby cover back on with a new gasket. When you replace the oil and transmission fluid, check the levels with the dipsticks to verify that they're where they should be.

You'll want to wait until the end of the service to replace the oil, and then start the engine to get it up to operating temperature so you get an accurate reading.

5. Inspect Air Filter

Check the air filter to see if it needs to be cleaned. If it looks dirty anywhere — even if it doesn't and you want to be safe — take it out and clean it. Then set it aside to dry while you work on other parts of the bike. Once it's finished drying, reinstall it.

6. Check Tires

On the tires, you want to look for two things — pressure and wear. If the tire pressure on either tire is too high or low, adjust it accordingly. Then look at the condition each tire is in. If either of them looks particularly worn down, it's probably time to have it replaced. Make a note to get new tires if that's the case.

7. Check for Leaks

This task is a quick one. Just go over the bike and make sure there aren't any leaks. Specifically, you'll want to focus on the fuel valve, lines and fittings. If you don't see any leaks, you're good to go.

8. Inspect Jiffy Stand

Another simple step is to check the jiffy stand. Apply some lubricant to the top and move it back and forth. If there aren't any problems with it, you're done there.

Check Brake Pads

9. Check Brake Pads

Take a look at the brake pads and discs to see if they're worn down. You can check them first by looking at them and then by testing the brake pedal and seeing how well it works. The brake pads may need to be replaced, but if not, you can move on.

10. Replace Spark Plugs

After a certain amount of time, your spark plugs will need to be replaced. For each one, remove the boot and take out the old plug. Before you put in the new plug, check the gap on it, and adjust as needed. Once you've done that, screw it in and reinstall the boot.

11. Check Critical Fasteners

As you near the end of the service, go over the bike and make sure all critical fasteners — brake calipers, fenders and axles — are as tight as they need to be. Use a torque wrench to verify this.

12. Check Brake Fluid

Take a look at the brake fluid on both the front and the rear of the vehicle. One of two issues can occur — the fluid can be low, or it can be dark and murky. If it's low, fill it up to where it needs to be. In the case of murky fluid, you'll have to replace it altogether.

13. Check All Switches

Once you've done the above steps and any others you need to perform for your bike, you can wrap up the process by checking all the switches. This means testing the lights, turn signals and horn. Make sure they all work as they're supposed to.

14. Perform a Road Test

At this point, the service is essentially done. The only thing left to do is run a road test and make sure everything is in working order. Pay attention to different aspects of the bike as you drive it, making sure to test some of the different elements you changed out or adjusted.

Service Your Motorcycle with Help from Fat Head Cycles

Service Your Motorcycle With Help From Fat Head Cycles

Whether you're servicing your bike yourself or looking for a professional touch, Fat Head Cycles can help you get the 10,000-mile service your Harley-Davidson motorcycle needs. We offer a variety of equipment you need for various parts of the process, so you can count on us to keep you stocked on all the right supplies for the job.

Alternatively, you can take your bike to our shop to have us perform the service for you with the benefit of a professional eye. Whatever the case, we'll do what it takes to get the job done. Just get in touch with us today to get started!

Chris Rutter
Chris Rutter


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