Safe Operating Rules
Before operating your motorcycle, read and follow the operating and maintenance instructions in this manual. Follow these basic rules for your personal safety.
Know and respect the rules of the road. Carefully read and familiarize yourself with the motorcycle safety information provided by your country or state. Read the RIDING TIPS booklet in your owner's kit (in the U.S.) and the MOTORCYCLE HANDBOOK from your state or regional traffic authority. The RIDING TIPS booklet is also available on www.msfusa.org. See Rules of the Road. Before starting engine, check for proper operation of brake, clutch, shifter, throttle controls, correct fuel and oil supply.
When refueling your motorcycle, observe the following rules.
- Refuel in a ventilated area with the engine turned off.
- Remove fuel filler cap slowly.
- Do not smoke or allow open flames or sparks when refueling or servicing the fuel system.
- Do not fill fuel tank above the bottom of the filler neck insert.
- Leave air space to allow for fuel expansion.
- A new motorcycle must be operated according to the special breakin procedure. See Breakin Riding Rules.
- Operate motorcycle at moderate speed and out of traffic until you become thoroughly familiar with its operation and handling characteristics under all conditions.
Harley Davidson recommends that you obtain information and formal training in the correct motorcycle riding technique. In the United States, both the HarleyDavidson Riding Academy (14143434056) and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (18004469227) offer beginning and advanced rider safety courses.
Do not exceed the legal speed limit or drive too fast for existing conditions. Always reduce speed when poor driving conditions exist. High speed increases the influence of any other condition affecting stability and increases the possibility of loss of control.
Pay strict attention to road surfaces and wind conditions. Keep both hands on the handlebar grips when riding the motorcycle. Any twowheeled vehicle may be subject to upsetting forces such as wind blasts from passing trucks, holes in the pavement, rough road surfaces and rider control error. These forces may influence the handling characteristics of your motorcycle. If you experience these conditions, reduce speed and guide the motorcycle with a relaxed grip to a controlled condition. Do not brake abruptly or force the handlebar. This may aggravate an unstable condition.
Keep cargo weight concentrated close to the motorcycle and as low as possible to minimize the change in the motorcycle's center of gravity. Distribute weight evenly on both sides of the vehicle. Do not load bulky items too far behind the rider or add weight to the handlebars or front forks. Do not exceed maximum specified load in each saddlebag.
Operate your motorcycle defensively. Remember, a motorcycle does not afford the same protection as an automobile in an accident. One common risk for an accident occurs when another vehicle turns left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. Operate only with headlamp on. Wear an approved helmet, clothing and foot gear suited for motorcycle riding. Bright or light colors are best for greater visibility in traffic, especially at night. Avoid loose, flowing garments and scarves.
Protect your motorcycle against theft. Using the fork lock immediately after parking your motorcycle will discourage unauthorized use or theft. Safe motorcycle operation requires alert mental judgment combined with a defensive driving attitude. Do not allow fatigue, alcohol or drugs to endanger your safety or that of others.
For vehicles with a sound system, adjust the volume to a nondistracting level before operating vehicle. Proper care and maintenance, including tire pressure, tire condition, tread depth and proper adjustment to steering head bearings are important to the stability and safe operation of the motorcycle. Maintain your motorcycle in proper operating condition. Refer to Regular Service Intervals: 2016 Sportster Models.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
See Typical HarleyDavidson VIN: 2016 Sportster Models. A unique 17digit serial or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is assigned to each motorcycle. Refer to HarleyDavidson VIN Breakdown: 2016 Sportster Models.