Change Your Own Motorcycle Oil

My wife is the proud owner of a 2008 Harley-Davidson Super Glide and teaches algebra. It’s not like she is Joe mechanic. She is a math teacher. But she can change the oil on her motorcycle. So if there are any guys (or gals) out there who are timid about changing their own fluids, know this… my wife can do it. Most any intelligent person can do this task.

You can save big bucks! The oil and filter are going to cost you about $60. Now if you compare that to the dealer prices or even a private shop you are going to save huge! Lets just say the dealer is going to charge you about $200. Yes, they will do a lot more than just change the fluids… or at least they are supposed to. But do the math! It’s not algebra. You can save well over a $100 each time you do it yourself.

Fix My Hog Banner 4

Yes, you do need to invest in a little training if you don’t have someone to show you the ropes. Fortunately we benefited from both a friend showing us the way and a great training DVD called Fix My Hog.

Yes, you need to invest in a few tools and the model and year specific service manual if you don’t already have them. The satisfaction of doing it yourself and knowing it was done right is priceless!

The training you need is in the Fix My Hog DVD set. Very easy to follow demonstrations in the comfort of your own living room that will save you money. You can do this and more! 

Click here now for more info on the DVD’s that can save you big money.

CB Radio Install Step 7

Just have to tidy some things up here. Used platic tie wraps to keep all the wires nice and close together. I put a self adhesive clip on the fender to hold the wires centered. I mounted the passenger headset plug on the right side of the rear fender using a self adhesive mount that came with the radio. When the seat is put back on you just see a little bit of wire going to the antenna. I could do better but let’s face it… this isn’t Biker Build Off and I’m not Jesse James.

Rear Fender Wiring

Passenger headset plug

Not Biker Build Off Wiring

Up front I used the Harley-Davidson mirror extension kit #91907-87 to raise the mirrors up because the CB radio was interfering with my Harley-Davidson Split View mirrors. Again I am not 100% happy with these round extensions mating to the square mirror stems, but I have to remind myself I am not a professional bike builder and I’m not entering any contests. It’s good enough!

Mirror Extensions

Now I just hope the radio works well and that I can tighten these mirror extensions so they don’t vibrate loose and the mirrors don’t spin in the wind like propellors. How do you tighten a round chrome mirror extension? Or rather how do you get a grip on it without damaging the finish?

I also hope getting the motorcycle out the front door works better than my entrance through the back door!

CB Radio Install Step 5

I didn’t take pictures while doing what I dub as step 5 - routing the cables. The below pictures were taken today, well after completion of the project. The radio is mounted up front on the handle bar. The antenna at the rear on the license plate. All the wires meet under the seat near the battery. How to route the wires/cables from the front and the back to the center is left up to the installer. I think the natural inclination is to go down and under and there is plenty of wire to do that. Our friend who installed Diana’s CB routed the cables/wires from the radio down the front tube of the frame and back up and under the tank. They are not tucked up under the tank and are partly in contact with the engine. I always pictured my install as removing the tank and routing the wires up under it.

I loosened the tank and routed the wires under it but wasn’t happy with that. Instead I removed the chrome console that runs down the top of my tank and ran the 5 cables under the console. Two wires come out of the radio and I tie wrapped them to the wires already coming out of the left hand control. They nest up with a bunch of wires which I bundled and tucked up under the handlebar riser.

From the radio

 Up Under The Riser 1

Front End Done

From that junction 5 wires travel under the instrument console. Two go around the left side of the speedometer and tachometer. Three go around the right side. They are the antenna cable, the radio’s main cable and 3 leads. Two leads for the rider and passenger headsets and one little lead for the passenger push to talk button. I routed them through the gas tank mount so they flow under the end of the tank, under the seat and along the frame. The wiring on the front half of the bike is almost invisable when the seat is on.

Coming Out Under The Tank 1

Coming Out Under The Tank 2

Along the frame 1

Along the frame 2

When the job was complete I came back and neatened everything up with the tie wraps.

CB Radio Install Step 6

I’m going from step 4 to step 6 and then will come back to step 5… don’t ask me why.  

wiring picture

There are three wires that the CB Radio installer needs to connect to the motorcycle. You can see them all in this picture. Two are ground wires (upper right corner). There is a beefy ground wire coming off the antena from step 2 that should attach to the frame. The CB wiring harness has a black ground wire and a positive red wire that needs to be wired to a power source. My red wire at the bottom of the above picture looks black because it has a piece of black shrink tube around it. It is recommended this wire be connected to a source that is “switched”. That means it should not connect to a power source that is always “hot” or always on. One reason is that if you forget to turn the radio off when the motorcycle is unattended it will drain the battery. So you are supposed to attach it to a power supply that is on only when the ignition key is on.

I hope I don’t sound like I know what I am doing. Finding the right place to connect this one little red wire was the most stressful and most educational part of this project for me. I broke out in a sweat just thinking about it. After calling two different Harley-Davidson dealer service managers and studying the wireing schematic in my service manual I ended up copying exactly the way a friend wired Diana’s CB to her motorcycle.

I found out quite a few things during this ordeal…

I found out my motorcycle does have a fuse in the fuse box that is meant for the customer to add accesories but according to one of the Service Managers I spoke to I would have to remove the fuse box to access that circuit from behind the fuse box. Too much of a challenge for me.

I found out there is one or two wires inside my motorcycle with a very elaborate mechanism on the end of it to keep it covered. This is specifically for the customer to wire accesories to, but it is always hot. It is not switched.

I found out there is a big gray rubber recepticle that is also for the customer to add accesories too but if you were to use it it was obviously meant to be used with a specific male plug to fit into this recepticle. If I am reading the wiring schematic correctly this is wired to the “accesory” position of the ignition. It is switched. Our friend had pulled one of the wires out of this recepticle to wire to Diana’s radio. I couldn’t pull the wire, so I snipped it. Then I cut the thick plastic conduit to acces the wire. See above picture.

I stripped the end of the wire, twisted the two wires together and then conducted my first soldering job! Also shown above. I remembered to put some black shrink tube on the wire before connecting them and then shrank it over the connections after the job was done. I think I did a pretty good job!

Then I went back to my ground wires. I had ground off the powder coating on my frame with a dremel where I attached them… but something was bothering me. I determined the seat would be resting on the wires after I put the motorcycle back together so I didn’t like where they were (pictured above). I decided to relocate them. I snipped a factory installed plastic tie wrap that was holding the tail light wiring harness in place in order to use the hole it was going through. I drilled the hole out slightly… probably just the powder coating inside the hole and not actually frame metal. Then I got the Dremel out again and ground off the paint to expose bare frame metal. I found a nut and bolt and attached the ground wire to this hole with the bolt. The downside being that the nut had to go up underneath an awkward place inside the frame that would not not be easy to remove at a later time.

I straightened out all my wires, used plastic tie wraps tidy things up and the wiring was done!

Note of apology - sorry blog universe for not writing sooner. Have had some family issues to contend with. I drafted this post back in January. At some point I got more involved in my family and my brain put some things on hold like blogging. Over the past month or so I found a new home for my parents, packed them up and moved them from Frederick, Maryland to my neighborhood here in Newark, Delaware. I am just starting to get back to some of my own personal routines. Man it feels good to blog! My fingers are happily tapping away at the keys! Thank you for reading.

CB Radio Install Step 4

I installed the bracket that holds the radio on the handlebar… and then realized I could not attach the radio to the bracket with it in place. The radio attaches to the bracket with three screws from underneath the bracket. I had to undo the bracket to attach the radio and then reattach the bracket.

cb radio bracket

cb radio

You can see the radio interfares with my left mirror.

CB Radio Install Step 3

This video shows you how the antenna attaches to the bracket and how to adjust the SWR.