The RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover is a direct replacement for the stock cover with the added benefit of a see-through window so you can visually check your transmission oil levels.
Out with the old, in with the new. The stock Sportster derby cover comes off via six bolts. You’ll need to take off the quad ring, spring and lockplate, too, but hold on to them because they’ll be reused.
Form and function. The RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover gives the right side of our 2004 1200 Custom project bike an edgier, more modern look and lets us peek at our tranny fluid.
While we’re all about form, if something improves function as well, we dig it even more. Case in point – Roland Sands Design Clarity Sportster Derby Cover.
On the form side, it’s a stylish derby cover for Harley XL Sportsters from 2004 – 2013. The RSD Clarity Derby Cover is a combination of a CNC-machined billet aluminum base plate teamed with a see-through polycarbonate window. The window has a specialty coating designed to keep oil and grease from sticking to it. It is also coated with a “proprietary abrasion and UV resistant film to protect surface from yellowing, marring or breakage.” While the body of the cover is primarily black, we ordered the “Contrast Cut” version so some of the raw aluminum is exposed in the design. It is a direct replacement for the stock Sportster derby cover, making installation a snap.
The first thing to do is place an oil pan below the area of the derby cover. RSD defers removal to the H-D service manual and removing the stock clutch inspection cover (derby cover) is as simple as removing six bolts. We had the Sportster leaned over on its jiffy stand, so once the lower bolts are removed, a bit of transmission oil leaked out. Hence the need for the oil pan. Once the cover is off, remove the quad ring, clutch adjustment spring and lockplate and set aside because these will be reused.
Seeing how we didn’t have any service record on our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom, we decided to go ahead and drop the tranny fluid and put in fresh oil. On our ’04 Sporty, the transmission oil lubricates the clutch, primary drive chain and sprockets, so replacing the old broken down fluid was vital. We rode the motorcycle prior to starting the process of dropping the old oil so the fluids were at operating temperature. After that, we parked it but had someone sit in the saddle so the bike sat upright before removing the drain plug. While the old stuff drained out, we inspected the magnetic drain plug for any metal fragments. While the plug was clean, the oil itself was definitely old and discolored. After allowing the transmission oil to drain thoroughly, the plug was replaced and then we funneled 32 ounces of fresh oil in through the small opening. When you’re done, the fluid level should be even with the bottom of the clutch diaphragm spring.
Now that we changed the transmission oil, the quad ring, clutch adjustment spring and lockplate were put back in place and the RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover was bolted down. New bolts are provided with the RSD cover, torqued down by hand in a criss-cross pattern to 95 in-lbs. After that, we fired it up and took the Sportster out for a spin. When we got back, we checked the drain plug and the bolts on the new derby cover for leaks. Installation done.
While the new RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover gives the bike an edgier, more modern look, we love the fact that we can now see the transmission’s fluid level. We’ve made note of where the line should be when it’s filled and can now visibly check its viscosity periodically and this convenience is greatly appreciated. It’s one of those items that makes you wonder why it didn’t come like that from the factory. The little window gives a peek into the inner workings of the motorcycle’s clutch, too, with each pull of the cable. Now the left side of our 1200 Evolution engine sports a fresh cover with a new purpose. Form and function can go hand-in-hand. Now we can’t wait to get our Roland Sands Design Clarity Air Cleaner installed on the other side as well.
RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover - MSRP: $219.95 Available in Black Ops or Chrome
Fitment: 2004 -2013 XL Sportsters