Change comes slowly in the world of Harley-Davidson. The faithful will say that is a feature, not a bug. Still, change does come, and when any manufacturer introduces a new engine line, it’s a big deal. When Harley introduces a new engine and summarily whisks away the old engine in an entire category of its motorcycle models, it’s a sea change. You can almost feel the earth shifting on its axis. While we’d like to think that the performance of the new engine – which is impressive – could be the cause, the gravitational adjustment is most likely from the sheer number of motojournalists the Motor Company flew from locations around the globe to northwestern Washington state for the Milwaukee-Eight’s riding introduction.
Since the Eight is so important, let’s touch on a couple of changes here. The basic Milwaukee-Eight displacement grew 4%from the Twin Cam’s 103 c.i. to 107 cubes. The former 110 c.i. models bumped their capacity to 114 c.i. The cylinder heads were redesigned to accommodate four valves each. Did you feel it? There was that rumbling again. Additionally, the oil-cooled heads and the Twin Cooled heads were made to run cooler than the previous generation’s. Oh, and the engine vibration at idle was lessened by 74% in an effort to attract fence sitters to the Harley fold.
In addition to placing one of the three versions of the Milwaukee-Eight in the heart of each member of the Harley Touring Line, the engineers also decided to polish the line’s handling with new fork internals and an easily adjustable hydraulic rear preload. The results were listed for those who are textually-inclined in the following reviews which cover each of the three engine variations:
For those of you who’d rather watch a video about the Milwaukee-Eight and the other changes to the Harley-Davidson Touring Line, my boss made me stand in the rain to tell you about the 2017 machinery. Please make my suffering worthwhile and take a look at this video.