Harley-Davison has kept fans waiting 17 long years for a new engine. Now their patience has been rewarded with the impending release of the Milwaukee Eight, the latest incarnation of Harley’s iconic Twin Cam. Discover more about the new motor set to blow motorcycle lovers away.
Developing the Milwaukee Eight
Harley-Davidson’s engineering team, headed up by Alex Bozmoski, was tasked with creating a new motor that outperformed the marque’s Twin Cam without compromising rider comfort and the sound, feel, and appearance that makes Harley-Davidson such a revered brand.
It was no small order, but Bozmoski’s team found 3D-printing prototyping was the key. This technology helped Harley-Davison create lighter engines which enhanced the rider experience. They also require less maintenance than previous motors.
Harley-Davidson’s new engine has a four-valve cylinder head and a single-cam set valve train which sets it apart from the two-valve head and twin-cam set-up of the motor it replaces. It’s available in all the new Harley-Davidson Touring bikes.
Milwaukee Eight by the Numbers
The Milwaukee Eight 107 replaces the 103 while the 114 takes over from the 110. A new big-bore cylinder package converts the 114 to a 117. All motors are 10 percent torquier than the engines they replace. Harley-Davidson claims the base 107 motor reaches 60 mph from zero 11 percent faster than the 103. It also goes from 60 to 80 mph 11 percent more rapidly.
The engines are already mighty, but Stage I, II, and II kits can increase power by as much as 24 percent. Charging capacity has also expanded by 50 percent to handle all the energy-sapping add-ons modern-day motorcyclists love. The engine exhaust also runs 100 degrees cooler, making for a much more comfortable ride. Naysayers have long claimed Harley-Davidson engines vibrated too much, while fans celebrated this quirk. The marque has found the right balance to keep both camps happy, reducing vibrations by around 25 percent.
The Milwaukee Eight’s new Assist and Slip clutch reduces the level pull effort by roughly 7 percent. Its gearbox has a spring-loaded first gear which makes it a bit quieter, especially once the engine warms up. Motorcyclists will also have an easier job maintaining their Harley-Davidson’s between services with the Milwaukee Eight. The valves never need adjusting, and suspension tweaks can be performed without tools.
The Milwaukee Eight in the Real World
Any major new release is bound to come with a lot of marketing spin, but it seems Harley-Davidson isn’t the only one singing the Milwaukee Eight’s praises. A number of journalists tested several bikes featuring the Milwaukee Eight under challenging conditions in Tacoma, Washington. Rennie Scaysbrook of CycleNews praised the significantly reduced vibrations and responsive throttle.
“They feel fantastic. Riders will benefit from the new suspension, fantastic fueling, and impressive torque,” gushed Chris Force, a motorcycle journalist writing for Business Insider. “When it’s time to hit the twistys they handle surprisingly well and are still plenty fun. I had the chance to push these close to the limit and they didn’t disappoint. Grins all around.”
With a range of high-tech advantages, Harley-Davidson’s new Milwaukee Eight motor sets a new standard in the motorcycle industry.