Oil and Filters

Oil and Filters


Oil contributes to how a motorbike runs as it should. But not all oils are made with the same quality. Harley-Davidson has its own brand of oil, and this is the one that you should use with your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Harley-Davidson constantly improves and updates its selection of oils and lubricants to keep pace with the company’s latest range of bikes.

Using the wrong type of oil can cause issues with the way the motorcycle functions.


But Why Must You Use Harley-Davidson Oil


It may appear just a marketing ploy, but it is not. Using another type of oil could cause problems with your bike. For example, the new polymer viscosity modifier in branded Harley-Davidson oil maintains viscosity for longer. In plain English, this provides much better engine protection.


Harley-Davidson oil is all about DTP – Development, Testing, and Proven.


DEVELOPMENT– The oil was designed specifically for Harley-Davidson components. It was formulated to meet the temperature ranges of the bike and the various parts used to make it function. It even holds viscosity when the suspension is under heavy loads, such as when you are riding with a passenger.


TESTING– All Harley-Davidson branded oil has been tested in both controlled environments and under real-world conditions. This ensures that your bike performs how it should while contributing to its longevity.


PROVEN– Harley-Davidson oil has helped hundreds of thousands of bikers keep going over thousands of real world miles. Following lab testing, the company takes its oil to the harshest environments in the world – such as to the desert and high altitudes environments – and on test tracks designed to stretch bikes to their absolute limits.


Why does Harley-Davidson oil work better?


·         It reduces friction between moving parts, thus preventing cracking and grinding

·         Soot is suspended to stop it clogging up the bike’s innards

·         Ejects sludge before it can make it to the oil filter

·         Neutralises the natural acids caused by internal combustion.


Why are Harley-Davidson Oils Different?


Harley-Davidson oils have been formulated to be used with Harley-Davidson powertrains. There is nothing more to it than that. Engineers in global Harley-Davidson labs study the powertrains used in the latest bike models. They then run the powertrains over thousands of miles in a range of environments.


Using advanced measuring equipment, they take hard data and use it to determine which oil formulations work best. They tear away the powertrains and examine what condition they are in after each testing cycle. This is how Harley-Davidson oils are made to be unique.


Special additives are included to provide added protection and performance. It is true that other engine oils come with additives, but these are not designed for Harley-Davidson engines or each particular Harley model.


What Are Engine Oil Additives?


Additives are a big part of why Jennings recommends branded Harley-Davidson oils for your motorbike. They contain a balance of anti-wear molecules, metal detergents, dispersants, anti-foamants, corrosion inhibitors, and more. The below list includes all the items just listed, and more, that make engine oil additives so crucial to the success of Harley-Davidson oils.


Viscosity Modifiers


Also known as Viscosity Index Improvers, these are polymer molecules that are longer than the carbon chains found in typical oils. They increase the viscosity of the oil as the temperature gets higher and higher. If the temperature is cold, the viscosity will decrease, but as the temperature of the bike increases, the viscosity will rise. This ensures that parts stay moist and stay slick.




Dispersants are designed to stop the products of internal combustion from creating sludge deposits within the engine. They stop dirt and other harmful molecules from making it into the oil filter. Without these additives, these substances would settle inside the engine.


Not only does it reduce the need for a total cleaning of your bike’s engine, but it also stops parts from wearing away and becoming inefficient later.


Metal Detergents


These stop corrosion of metal parts, which is usually caused by the acid produced by the engine. It prevents the rings from sticking when the oil reaches higher pressures.




Anti-wear reduces the amount of friction caused by the engine’s moving parts. It produces a small liquid layer between moving parts. It doesn’t inhibit the bike’s functions, but it allows the bike to be used for hours without overheating and without any damage caused to moving parts.




Antioxidants combat sludge and eliminate the acids produced when the engine functions. It all happens because when oil and oxygen mix, a natural chemical reaction occurs. The by-product of this reaction is toxic sludge. Antioxidants actively fight against this by-product.




These additives are based on silicon and stop air bubbles from forming. In order for your Harley-Davidson to keep running, the engine has to keep a slick film of oil on all moving parts. Foaming can occur when the bike is running for extended periods, which can then remove this film, thus causing damage to moving parts through friction.


Anti-foamants stop this from happening.


What Products Should You Use?


Now you know some of the reasons Jennings always recommends Harley-Davidson oils, it is time to take a closer look at some of the products on offer.


First of all, why can you not use the same oil as you would in your car?


This issimple. Harley-Davidson bikes run at higher temperatures. Therefore they need protection that you are not going to get from the oil you put in your car. Furthermore, these products were tested by Harley-Davidson for their motorcycles and thus have been designed for them specifically.


Here are the products Jennings recommend to our customers.


All in One: Screamin’ Eagle SYN3 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Lubricant – SAE 201-50


This lubricant has been tested for use with Harley-Davidson engines. It provides full temperature protection against hot engines. Crucially, this protection is present throughout all stages of the engine lifespan. We find it provides excellent anti-wear protection.


Bikes with this lubricant enjoy superior gasket and seal performance.


Formula* Transmission & Primary Chaincase Lubricant


This lubricant has been formulated according to Harley-Davidson specifications. It offers better performance, more viscosity, grip, and works better in the higher temperature ranges. The oils in this formula are designed to dissipate heat. It also extends the lifespan of the clutch friction discs.


Harley-Davidson SuperPremium 5 Oil Filters


Jennings always recommends using branded oil filters for your Harley-Davidson bike. These are designed specifically for the Harley-Davison setup and have been tested across thousands of miles, all over the globe. In addition, the engines for Harley-Davidson bikes have a thinner oil film, meaning you need an oil filter with lower filtration.


Finally, these filters come with anti-drain back valves. What this means for you is that they reduce overall wear and tear, thus making them last for longer.


These oil filters are designed to provide the highest level of protection. They will disperse contaminants, come with a long shelf life, and have superior element strength. You are never going to go wrong when you are using these advanced filters. And you should also bear in mind that off-the-shelf filters just do not offer this level of protection.


What You Need to Know About Oil


Choosing the right oil is about making an informed decision. The only way you can make an informed decision is by knowing what each term stands for. These terms are:


Oxidation – This is when oil reacts with oxygen. It can cause the oil to become more acidic, which can cause corrosion within the engine.


Viscosity – This term describes the state of being thick, sticky, or semi-fluid in consistency, due to internal friction. There are complex equations to measure viscosity, but all you need to know is that the higher the viscosity number, the thicker and more slow-moving the oil is. Harley-Davidson oil viscosity changes with temperature.


In terms ofcooling, there’s almost no difference between oils. What you need to look for in oil is whether it provides a continuous flow over the moving parts in the engine. You do not want any clogging, and you do not want the oil to turn acidic.


Talk to us about the best oil for your specific Harley-Davidson model including the Harley-Davidson Dyna range..