Hello. I'm new to the forum and to Harley Davidson. A friend of mine gave me his 2003 VRSCA V-Rod. The bike was sitting out in the elements for over a year. After washing away some of the dirt and debris, I've cleaned the air filter and replaced the battery. To my surprise, she fired up on the first try on that old gas! The bike is rough and has 57,000 miles on it. Planning to change the oil and filter next. Suggestions on what type to use for high mileage? Also, suggestions on checking and filling the cooling system?
These bikes are bombproof and will pretty much run forever with minimal care. 57K is just breaking it in! For oil, Amsoil 20W-50 has a pretty good following here. I've used in in an A, an R and an F with great results. The other option is the H-D synthetic. The Amsoil oil filter is P/N EaOM136C. It only comes in chrome, but don't worry about it-- you can't see it when its installed.
There's a trick to changing the oil. If you block the bike so it sits straight up and down (a wheel chock works well), you can see two bolts holding the radiator assembly to the cross-frame if you look closely (very bottom/forward part of the bike). Unbolt them. The entire radiator assembly will pivot forward a few inches. Those two inches are HUGE when trying to access the oil filter. Don't bother removing the shrouds-- they'll rotate as well.
You can use other coolants, but it's tricky. There are some old threads on it here about it by guys who've done the research on which coolants have the proper additives. The easy solution is just to get the H-D coolant. It's overpriced, but it works fine.
You'll probably want to flush & replace the brake and clutch fluid (the rear brake fluid reservoir is under the right radiator shroud on your bike I believe). It's something that should be done every year or two since it's hydroscopic. Clutch fluid especially gets gunky. A power/speed bleeder is all you need. I don't remember the type fluid of your bike off the top of my head, but just look on the reservoir covers-- it's listed there.
I might also recommend running the better part of a can of SeaFoam through the bike-- it's more or less a wonder fix for a lot of fuel issues. Any car parts store will have it.
Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
And that's a GREAT friend you have-- giving you a "classic" A!
I think I got you beat. Last year I picked up a $1000 '04B that was parked by the side of the road for 2 years, exposed to salt and buried in a snow bank, and pelted with whatever kids hurled at it. It too fired right up with a new battery and sounded fine, but the bike itself is a mess. Besides paint scratches, every bit of exposed aluminum was corroded and pitted. The rear axle was seized leaving no choice but cut it.
Once this restoration project is finished, I plan to sell my RG.