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Author Topic: Why Harley's Leak  (Read 3213 times)

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December 21, 2016, 04:06:02 PM
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A good website that I subscribe to that has a decent newsletter is RevZilla. Their newsletter is called Common Tread. Recently they sent out a newsletter with one of the articles titled "Why things are the way they are: Why Harleys Leak (All Harleys Leak Oil)". Well that title caught my eye and since the author was a writer that I enjoy reading (Lemmy) I clicked on the link.

This article is worth reading as it gives a motor timeline and how lubrication was handled over the years on the various designs that Harley Davidson put out the door. Lemmy explains how and why over the years there was actually a planned amount of oil loss designed into the H-D designs. He does a good job of briefly covering...
- total loss systems
- breather systems designed to lube the primary chain and the final drive
- scavenge pump primary oilers
- breathers routed to the air cleaner and wet sump issues (on your dry sump design)

As said, all Harleys leak but some thought goes into it.

HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families

December 22, 2016, 10:36:05 AM
Reply #1


Good newsletter. I like the stuff that Lemmy writes.
Smoke em if you got em

December 23, 2016, 10:41:39 AM
Reply #2


Supporting Member
Now I have a story to tell when my riding buddies tell me that my Harley leaks oil.  :P
Two Lane Highway

December 25, 2016, 04:23:23 AM
Reply #3


Great read...

Sent from my SM-N910G using the HDBitchin Harley Forum mobile app

December 28, 2016, 09:07:03 PM
Reply #4


Global Moderator
Good info nicely written.

March 06, 2017, 06:23:08 PM
Reply #5


Global Moderator
Most people don't believe me when I tell them that my Panhead actually had an adjustment to regulate the size of the oil puddle under the bike after riding.

I did get tired of oil all over the floor of my garage - but it's part of the deal.



March 07, 2017, 02:20:24 AM
Reply #6


Nice article. Its a Harley and it is what it is. Did not know about all that Pan and Shovel head info so maybe how I can share this knowledge with friends I ride with.Thanks Larry for sharing this. 8)
Take care and ride safe eh!!!

December 04, 2020, 10:25:26 PM
Reply #7


Great info.

Funny when you try to explain the original total loss oiling system to a non-rider.   {=

My 1979 Electra Glide FLH King of the Highway
has the primary isolated and chain oiler shut off.

O-ring chain.

And MY Shovelhead DOES NOT LEAK!  I 😎
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December 05, 2020, 08:29:09 AM
Reply #8


Global Moderator
My 55 pan leaks and I'm proud and I know it has oil in the bag
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