We Explained Harley Davidson Fork Oil Chart with Oil Types!

If you want to avoid stiffness while riding your Harley Davidson fork motorbike, then changing the fork oil is a must. According to Harley Davidson, it is recommended to change the fork oil after riding 20,000 of mileage to enjoy top riding performance and enjoyment.

You may find different types of motorcycles by Harley Davidson and for this reason, knowing about different fork oil types is a matter of fact. However, if you are a busy biker or just a new fork owner, our Harley Davidson fork oil chart could be a great relief, especially regarding oil changes.

Without further ado, let’s know more about fork motorbike oil.

Harley Davidson Fork Oil Chart for Different Years & Models

The fork size and its oil capacity are always linear. However, you can refill the chosen fork oil in two ways. Here we will give oil capacity for wet and dry techniques based on HD forum information.

Harley Davidson Fork SeriesYearOil capacity in Oz
Fork SportsterThrough 19726.55.5
Fork Sportster1972-19836.05.0
Fork Sportster1984-19876.55.4
Fork Sportster1988-200310.2 
Fork Sportster2004-200811.610.5
Fork Xl 883 HuggerThrough 199110.29.0
Fork XL Hugger1992-199912.110.7
Fork Dyna (Low Rider)1991-200510.29.2
Fork Dyna (Wide Glide)1991-200511.210.2

Now you must be wondering what type of fork oil you need to use for Harley Davidson fork models as nothing about the viscosity of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) grade is mentioned in the fork oil chart.

It is because standard type E fork oil is suitable for each fork model of Harley Davidson and the fork tubes are filled with type E 20W fork oils. You can migrate to 15W or 30W, depending on your riding condition.

Here is the HD fork oil viscosity chart for choosing the best fork oil for your needs according to spectro-oils.

Fork Oil TypesProductWeight (Winter)Viscosity @ 100°CSAE GradeRecommended For Hot or Cold Temperature
Type BHarley10wt5.510Regular rides at cold temp.
  Type EHarley20wt7.95  20Regular/Harsh rides For Both Cold and Hot temp
  HeavySpectro40wt13.640Hiking/Heavy rides at hot temp
Screaming Eagle20wt8.620Hiking/Heavy rides at cold temp
Extra HeavyScreaming Eagle60wt24.4960Hiking and racing at hot temp


1. Read the manufacturer’s manual to select the best fork oil for your bike.

2. Updated versions of HD bikes don’t have a plug under the fork oil tube. You can use a syringe to suck out burnt fork oil to avoid disassembling.

3. Change the fork oil at least once a year, depending on how often you ride your Harley Davidson bike.


  1. Don’t overload the fork. Use as mentioned in the manual.
  2. Choose the right and appropriate fork oil. If you use thicker oil than you actually need, the fork will become stiff. Stiffness can easily ruin the pleasure of riding a dream Harley Davidson.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why and when should I change my Harley Davidson fork oil?

There is nothing comparable to fork oil for better suspension performance and a smooth riding experience. Most manufacturers suggest fork oil change after every 15,000-20,000 miles ride. But HD fork oils can easily survive 30,000-50,000 miles of riding.

Why can the same Harley Davidson fork model take a variable amount of fork oil?

The fork oil consumption, power, and capacity of each Harley Davidson are actually variable. The atmospheric temperature, how you ride, and facts like these affect the consumption rates.
But an HD fork’s oil capacity can only be determined depending on whether you are just refilling or disassembling the fork. The residue of the used fork oil clings to the fork frame, that is why it requires more oil to clean dry Harley Davidson forks conveniently. But the forks only can be cleaned perfectly if they are disassembled.
When you just unplug the fork plug from the tube and let the fork oil drain out, this wet technique can remove the bigger portion of the burnt oil. But the fork will not be cleaned appropriately. As burnt oil will be left in the fork tube, it can add up less oil than the dry technique.

Why is the viscosity of Harley Davidson fork oil considered?

The viscosity determines the abrasion stability of liquids. Suspension compliance and action dramatically change when you change your fork oil viscosity.
Lower-viscosity oils are better for the Northern parts due to the extremely cold weather. On the other hand, higher-viscosity fork oil should be chosen for warmer areas.
Another important fact is that if you are a harsh rider and ride through mountains or uneven roads, higher viscosity oil is just your choice. It is because only heavier fork oil can balance the enormous stress of racing and tracking mountains as it takes more heat and movement to flow the heavier fork oil.

Recommended Harley Davidson fork oil for you?

The best choice for fork oil is 20W standard type E, which is the type of oil filled in the Davidson forks when attached to the motorbike body for shipments.
20W is a better performer in almost every condition. But the choice of fork oil cannot be determined in general because every rider’s driving style, route, and location is unique.
According to your personalized needs, you should pick the right fork oil for your Harley Davison.

Note: Just remember, the higher the fork oil weight and viscosity, the better it will perform in harsh rides and warm atmospheric temperatures.


Many riders complain about their Harley Davidson motorbike’s smooth performance. In most cases, they fix and service their bikes by themselves. It is a tricky decision because, as a rider, you can’t know details about the automobile parts like the experts. It becomes more complicated when it comes to changing the fork oil and choosing the right one.

After going through the Harley Davidson fork oil chart, viscosity, and SAE grade, you may find it easier to choose and change the fork oil. But if you don’t want to take any chances, you better go to a renowned bike service center and meet the experts.

Enjoy the smooth suspension after migrating to a more efficient fork oil for Harley Davidson!

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