New Engine, New Suspension - Harley's Historic Announcement

The latest news from Harley-Davidson has the American motorcycle manufacturer looking to take back several two-wheeled crowns. New engine, new suspension systems and a live tour of its factory floor on Facebook.

Today, Harley-Davidson unveiled the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine, the ninth Big Twin in its history as well as all-new front and rear suspension for its Model Year 2017 Touring motorcycle lineup. Under the promise of keeping it to ourselves, the motorcycle media were given hints about a month ago of the news-breaking details being released today. Its fair to say, the details could be called game-changing.

“These are the most powerful, most responsive and most comfortable Touring motorcycles ever offered by Harley-Davidson,” said Scott Miller, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Product Development Strategy. “You truly have to ride one to feel the difference, so we’re inviting all riders to visit a Harley-Davidson dealer and take a test ride.”

In its efforts to grab the crown of the ultimate motorcycle ride, Harley-Davidson is also looking to stake its claim on social media. In a brand first, a virtual tour will be conducted from the floor of a Harley-Davidson factory in a to watch the making of its newest Big Twin engine today at 12:30 p.m. CST on Facebook Live.

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Harley-Davidson's new Milwaukee-Eight 107 Engine - Source Harley-Davidson

“We’re excited to open our doors to allow the world to see our newest Big Twin engine come to life in our state-of-the-art factory,” said Randy Christianson, General Manager of Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “With an all-new design, the new Milwaukee-Eight engine offers quicker throttle response, more passing power, purer sound, a smoother ride and more of the feeling riders want from a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle.”

Power. Comfort. Control.

The new Milwaukee-Eight engine is a ground-up design that combines the classic look, sound and feel of Harley-Davidson Big Twin engines with improvements in performance, comfort and control. According to Harley, the new engine was developed and proven over countless miles and millions of hours, every single part is new, engineered to give riders more performance.

Harley-Davidson says the new engine is the most powerful, coolest-running motors they’ve ever built, promising to be smoother, stronger and more durable. Offering crisper throttle response and truer, cleaner sound, the Milwaukee-Eight engine has four valves per cylinder, single chain-driven cam, and dual spark plugs, counterbalanced and rubber-mounted.

Retaining the classic 45-degree V-Twin cylinder angle, the Milwaukee-Eight engine produces 10 percent more torque and features four-valve cylinder heads that offer 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow capacity than previous year models.

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Harley-Davidson's new Milwaukee-Eight 107 Engine - Source Harley-Davidson

The Milwaukee-Eight engine is counter-balanced to cancel 75 percent of primary vibration at idle, retaining the classic feel of a Harley V-Twin engine while being very smooth at highway speeds. A new heat management strategy improves rider and passenger comfort.

Harley details the talking points of the new Milwaukee-Eight engine as the follows;

  • More Power - Larger displacement, 4-valve heads and higher compression ratio produce 10% more torque
  • Quicker Acceleration - 2-3 bike lengths faster from 0-60 mph; 1-2 bike lengths faster from 60-80 mph in top gear
  • Heat Management - Improved rider and passenger comfort, thanks to reduced heat absorption, increased heat rejection and redesigned exhaust system
  • Improved Fit - Thanks to a narrow primary and optimized air cleaner shape
  • Reduced Vibration - New internal single counter-balancer, provides a smoother, more refined feel at idle
  • Richer Exhaust Note - Less mechanical powertrain noise allows more iconic V-Twin rumble due to lighter valves, optimized cover designs and driveline improvements
  • Lower Idle Speed - Creates a better sound and less heat
  • Improved Charging - 50% more output to meet increased touring accessory needs

But wait! There’s more!

Along with the Milwaukee-Eight engine unveiling, Harley-Davidson also announced a new touring suspension. These all-new front and rear suspension components promise to enhance the comfort, control and performance of all 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring models.

New dual bending valve front suspension technology provides the performance of a racing-style cartridge fork with linear damping characteristics and reduced weight. New emulsion-technology rear shocks offer 15 to 30 percent more pre-load adjustment than previous standard Touring shocks, with a single, hand-adjustable knob to hydraulically dial in pre-load.

An idea of what this new beast looks like in the upcoming touring models - Source Harely-Davidson

The American motorcycle manufacturer is also showing its love for performance with its Screamin’ Eagle line offering a full selection of street-legal performance components for the Milwaukee-Eight engines, including Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight engine Stage kits that deliver up to a 24-percent increase in torque over the stock engine. Availability will vary by market.

The new engines and handling will find their way to Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models, combining prestige and performance in three limited-edition factory-custom motorcycles for 2017. The CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide models feature the refined performance of the new Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, while the CVO Pro Street Breakout motorcycle is powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B air-cooled V-Twin engine.

Looking at every part of its line-up, Harley-Davidson’s 2017 Street 500 and 750 motorcycles are now available with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System with hands-free, proximity-based security fob, each as a factory-installed option.

Harley-Davidson’s cruisers are becoming its most powerful ever seen in the manufacturer’s history. With the High Output Twin Cam 103 coming standard for all 2017 Softail models and Dyna models.

“We want all riders to save the date of Sept. 23,” said Dino Bernacchi, Director of U.S. Marketing at Harley-Davidson. “That weekend, Harley-Davidson dealers across the country will host open house events so riders can throw a leg over our Model Year 2017 touring motorcycles and feel the difference of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine for themselves.”

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