Harley Davidson XL1200CX Roadster Maintenance Schedule

This is the maintenance schedule for the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster, including guidelines on oil changes, spark plug changes, filters, brakes, and other fluids, from the owner’s manual as well from a few other online sources.

The XL1200CX Roadster is part of the Sportster line — and it’s an unusually sporty bike in the lineup, somewhat akin to the previous XR1200. While it’s based on the same platform as the other 1200s in the lineup, with a 1200 cc Evolution engine at its core, the Roadster has twin disc brakes, an inverted fork, premium suspension, and sportier geometry.

Being a modern Sportster, the Roadster has a lot in common with other motorcycles in the Sportster 1200 line, like the Iron 1200.

The final drive is still via a 5-speed transmission and belt drive, which is all part of the fun!

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Service Intervals for the XL1200CX Roadster

The XL1200CX is a simple motorcycle with an air/oil-cooled engine and belt drive. On top of that, its engine has self-adjusting hydraulic lifters, which reduces service requirements to really the bare minimum.

Generally, maintenance for the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster can be summarised as

  • 5000 mile / 8000 km maintenance intervals where you have to change the oil and filter, and check everything.
  • Every two services, tighten everything up back to torque spec, and lubricate major bearings.
  • Every 2-4 years replace fluids, or as needed.

Unlike many other motorcycles, the Roadster has no required valve service interval.

What You Need to Service an XL1200CX Roadster

Below is what you need to service your Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster.

PartHarley-Davidson XL1200CX
Engine OilUse Genuine Harley-Davidson H-D 360 Motorcycle Oil 20W50, or another oil certified for a diesel engine with certification CH-4, CI-4, and CJ-4, preferably (in descending order of preference) 20W50, 15W40, and 10W50. One well-recommended option is Mobil 1 20W-50 V-Twin Synthetic.
Oil filterUse a Hiflofiltro HF170RC filter. The oil filter wrench part number is 94686-00.
Transmission lubricantUse Formula+ Transmission and Primary Chaincase Lubricant. Two good alternatives are Red Line Primary Case Oil and Amsoil Primary Chaincase Lubricant.
Brake fluidUse only DOT 4 brake fluid, e.g. Castrol DOT 4. The H-D part number is HD-48497-A.
Spark plugUse an NGK DCPR7E or DCPR7EIX spark plug.
Brake padsUse EBC brake pads for better bite and less fade. You need two pairs of FA640HH on the front, and one pair of FA254HH on the rear.
Maintenance parts for the Harley Davidson XL1200CX

Maintenance schedule for the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster

Below is the service schedule for the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster. This comes from the manual and maintenance schedule for all XL Sportster-based bikes, but has been clarified for legibility.

Notes on the maintenance schedule:

  • (*) Items marked with an asterisk (oil, filters, controls etc.) should be maintained more regularly if you ride in severe conditions (including high temps, dust, rough roads, after storage, short runs, heavy stop/go traffic, or poor fuel quality)
  • See torque specs in the service manual for all items to re-torque
  • When there’s a period (e.g. “every year”), observe the earlier of the two maintenance intervals (time or distance)
mi x 1000151015202530
km x 10001.681624324048Every
Perform standard inspection checklist (see below)XXXXXXXYear
Replace engine oil and filter*XXXXXXXYear
Inspect drive belt and sprockets
(see below)
XXXXXXX
Check drive belt tension, and adjust if necessaryXXXXXXX
Adjust primary chainXXXXXXX
Adjust clutch*XXXXXXX
Replace transmission lubricant*XXXX
Adjust steering head bearingsXXXX
Replace brake fluid (Castrol DOT 4)2 years, or sooner if moisture content greater
Replace spark plugs (DCPR7E)
Torque: 14 lb-ft / 18 Nm
X2 years
Grease steering head bearingsX
Rebuild front forks (Disassemble, inspect, rebuild, replace fork oil)40000 mi / 64000 km
Replace fuel filter*100000 mi (160000 km)
Torque hand control switch housing screwXXXXYear
Torque upper front stabilizer link to engine bracket mounting screwXXXXYear
Torque front isolator mounting bolt and nutXXXXYear
Torque front axle nutXXXXYear
Torque brake banjo boltXXXXYear
Torque rear axle nutXXXXYear
Harley Davidson XL1200CX Roadster Maintenance Schedule

Standard Inspection Checklist

Below is the standard inspection checklist for the XL1200CX Roadster. Do these items according to the schedule above.

Standard inspection checklist for the Harley-Davidson Roadster
Inspect air filter, clean/replace if required*
Inspect brake pads and discs
Inspect front and rear brake fluid level & reservoir cover tightness
Check front and rear brake fluid moisture content
Check front and rear tire pressure and tread
Inspect oil and brake lines (check for leaks/abrasion)
Inspect fuel lines and fittings (check for leaks/abrasion)
Check, Adjust, Lubricate throttle controls
Lubricate jiffy stand
Lubricate brake and clutch controls
Inspect electrical equipment and switches
Inspect exhaust system, fasteners and shields (check for leaks, cracks, loose or missing fasteners/shields)*
Check 12 volt battery – terminal torque, connection cleanness, lubricate terminals with contact lubricant
Check component and system functions (Road test)
Standard Inspection Checklist — Harley-Davidson XL1200CX

Tire sizes and pressures for the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX

The Sportster XL1200CX ships with Dunlop GT502 tires in 19/18 inch configuration.

Below is a table of the recommended tyre sizes and pressures.

WheelTyre sizeTyre pressure (cold)
Front120/70 R 1936 psi / 248 kPa
Rear150/70 R 1842 psi / 290 kPa
Harley-Davidson XL1200CX tire sizes / pressures

Maintaining the Roadster’s Belt

Even though the belt drive on the Roadster is low maintenance compared to a chain, you still do regularly need to check its condition and tension.

Use a belt tension gauge. Harley-Davidson sells one, but they’re generic low-cost items that you can use on any cruiser — all cruisers (well, the vast majority) are measured using the same 10 lb / 4.5 kg of force.

Check deflection often — before rides (especially major ones) and at every service. Many owners like to twist the belt. If you can twist it more than 45 degrees, it’s likely your belt is too loose. (Note: this is not a fool-proof method!)

To check belt deflection, put the motorcycle in neutral and on its kickstand, on a level surface. Use the belt tension tool to press up on the belt, and measure the deflection with a ruler.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Belt Slack Check

Target deflection for the XL1200CX Roadster: 1/4 – 5/16 inches or 6.4-7.9 mm

If the tension is out of spec, you need to adjust it. Follow this procedure

  1. Loosen the axle lock nut. You will probably need a breaker bar and a 1 7/16 inch socket.
  2. Remove the caps on the adjuster nuts (if the cap is still there)
  3. Loosen the adjuster nuts with a wrench by the same amount on both sides carefully, going 1/4 or 1/2 a turn at a time.
  4. Continuously measure the belt tension, seeing if it has reached spec.
  5. When the belt tension is reached, tighten the axle nut to 100-108 Nm / 74-80 lb-ft.

About the Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster

Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster Static RHS in car park

The Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster is an attempt to recapture some of the glory of Harley-Davidson’s sportier days without going “whole hog” like they Harley did for the XR1200 / XR1200X.

The XL1200CX shares the heart of the 1200 Sportsters — the same pushrod-driven Evolution 45-degree air/oil-cooled V-twin.

But Harley-Davidson differentiates the Roadster with a few sporty features, like an inverted (though non-adjustable) fork, double disc brakes (albeitn with two-piston sliding calipers) and low bars.

With the sporty riding position, the Roadster is targeted towards non-traditional cruiser riders who prefer low bars and mid controls. However, there are a few things that get in the way of it being a practical everyday bike.

The wheels aren’t sportbike spec — they’re still a 19/18 inch pair. So it’s not explicitly intended to compete with bikes with 17-inch rubber, and tire options are more limited. But still, considering the general specs of the Roadster, it’s fine.

Similarly, the Roadster lacks a lot of the electronic features that have become almost de rigueur in the modern age. I’m not a huge fan of TFTs, so that’s pleasant. But for everyday bikes, ABS has become almost expected — you don’t know when an oil slick or dirt patch might interrupt your fun. The XL1200CX does come with an option of ABS (default in some markets) — but that’s it.

Like most Harley-Davidsons, the XL1200CX has turn signal switches on both handlebars.

But one distinguishing feature of the Roadster vs most Sporsters is the instrument cluster — it has a tachometer rather than a speedometer as the main feature.

Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster instrument cluster
Harley-Davidson XL1200CX Roadster instrument cluster

This is fine if you want a sporty ride, but the speedometer can be difficult to read in some lighting situations.

Some people also question the footpeg position or that of the air cleaner. They can be awkward, depending on the length of your legs and where you like to place them at a standstill.

But these gripes aside the XL1200CX is a fun, character-filled ride, and already an iconic bike in the now-discontinued Sportster 1200 lineup.

Reference — Manual Screenshots

The above info largely came from the manual for the Sportster in 2016, though some supporting info came from hdforums.com.

You can download manuals from Harley-Davidson directly here (login required).

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