Harley-Davidson’s recent trademark filing for “Milwaukee-Eight” set off all the alarm bells here at MO HQ, and our crew hypothesized about what this new name might mean for Harley. This morning Chief MO Investigative Reporter Dennis Chung has uncovered Top Secret engineering drawings that reveal interesting new technology.

The US Patent and Trademark Office asked Harley for more information, specifically asking if “Milwaukee” or “Eight” hold any meaning or significance in regards to engines. Harley’s response was that Milwaukee only happens to be where the company is based, and that “the number eight, and other numbers, are sometimes used in the automotive and motorcycle industries to indicate the number of valves or cylinders in an engine.”

Yeah right. Further investigation reveals that Milwaukee Eight in fact refers to a group of eight early 20th-century American artists now on exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, whose collective style was all heavily influenced by the beer that made Milwaukee famous, Schlitz. “They were some of the biggest hopheads on the American art landscape at the time,” says Museum Curator Aimee Knotgood, “and I mean literally on the landscape. They were usually all napping in public by lunchtime.”


Placing the coolant inside the pistons is a genius move possibly inspired by the sodium-filled exhaust valves first seen in the Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12s used in the P-51 Mustang fighter plane of WW2.

As part of Project Rushmore two years ago, Harley introduced the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103, which used a pair of small radiators and introduced liquid cooling to that motor. It was easy enough to conceal that plumbing on a touring bike with lowers, but how would H-D bring liquid cooling to its unfaired machines? Now we have the answer, and it’s rumored to be called Project Swillmore.

We’re pretty certain it will work like this: In addition to a special cloisonne key fob, one-year pass to the H-D Museum and a T-shirt from the new H-D Rally Point in Sturgis, each buyer of a Project Swillmore bike will receive a twelver of Schlitz. While the buyer consumes eight of the Schlitzes and wanders through the Parts and Accessories and Motorclothes departments, the other four will be dealer-installed into his engine: Rather than routing coolant to the hottest parts of the engine, the genius of the new design is that the coolant will already be inside the pistons, eliminating the need for radiators or hoses, which it appears will remain on all the Project Swillmore bikes anyway because market research seems to have revealed that many H-D target consumers thought that stuff looks pretty cool after all. Beer cans really are a classic American design motif. While the two external Schlitzes are only for show, having a spare set of pistons along is never a bad idea.

Wild Bill Gelbke wasn’t the first guy to mount beer cans on his machine, but he was probably the coolest. Will the Project Swillmore machines draw other cues from his “Roaddog”?

Wild Bill Gelbke wasn’t the first guy to mount beer cans on his machine, but he was probably the coolest. Will the Project Swillmore machines draw other cues from his “Roaddog”?

From a marketing standpoint, the tie-in with Schlitz couldn’t be more perfect. Rumors leaking from the brewery indicate that a completely new formulation designed to reduce foaming and taste great while being less filling has been in the works for some time, but that a special forged “controlled expansion” can was needed to keep the Schlitz pistons (we believe H-D has filed a trademark for the term “schlitstons”) from expanding too rapidly.

While other factories experiment with variable valve timing, we hear that H-D may indeed be on the edge of inventing Fully Adjustable Compression-Ratio Technology (FACRT): As the Schlitz heats up and the schlitstons expand, compression rises, increasing power and torque up to the point at which it’s all released in one big, gaseous cloud of beer steam — the sound of which Harley is also reportedly attempting to trademark along with its bikes’ distinctive exhaust note. At that point, the rider can either install the spare “schlitstons” from the “cooling system” or stop at a convenience store for a fresh twelve-pack.


Two additional Schlitstons can be stored in the fairing lowers.

It’s all conjecture at this point, but rest assured you’ll read it here first as new information becomes available. We’re already delving more deeply into the current Schlitz formulation here at MO HQ to get to the bottom of things, and we may find out more after our morning nap. Stay tuned for further details.


Free Insurance Quote

Enter your ZIP code below to get a free insurance quote.

Harley-Davidson Dealer Price Quote

Get price quotes for Harley-Davidson from local motorcycle dealers.

Harley-Davidson Communities

  • Old MOron

    Bravo, MO!

    Of course Japanese wannabe cruisers are going to copy this.
    They’ll probably use some inferior saké coolant.

  • CB

    Will this impact their ability to remain as the world’s greatest t-shirt maker? Too bad April 2 will return to business as usual.

  • Daimyo

    project swillmore!

    I hate to admit it but this article made me laugh like a loon at several points, well done.

  • Gary Latessa

    After doing some fact checking, it seems you guys are correct on all counts but one. The company that is doing the pistons is in fact Kool-aid. Drink up all yee faithful. LMAO

  • john burns

    awesome illos by MO’s own Dennis Chung, master sleuth, computer genius, etc…

  • I think you made this up!

    • john burns

      it’s based on a true story.

      • Gee S

        Yeah, Loosely. 😉

      • Colonel Matumbo

        so am I. : )

    • malcolm66

      They did, they’re full of shit.

  • Timothy Youngblood

    Love it. LOL If that is the case I will by two of them.
    LOL Can’t stop laughing.

  • ADB

    Shame on you John Burns. I’m reading this in the office, and trying my absolute best not to break out in uncontrollable laughter. Reading this in the middle of the day is sure to get someone fired….

  • Bruce Allen

    If they banned April Fool’s Day it would save me a lot of time and head scratching.

  • John A. Stockman

    Burns, another great piece! I’m laughing all the way through, but if folks look past the “swill” and that one Kool-Aid reference from Gary Latessa (also good!), more truth than some would admit.

  • dan holm

    Harleys, lmao.. overpriced status POS…loud pipes save your life not mine, if you cant ride that POS quiet dont ride at all

  • frankfan42

    What a bunch of “Schlitz”

  • malcolm66

    Your website is BULLSHIT now!

    You’re putting down the biggest motorcycle company on the map, if it wasn’t for Harley Davidson the Japanese would have never made any money selling motorcycles. That’s right Harley Davidson, after WWII and the bombings, made a contribution to Japan to help them rebuild by providing them with blue-prints of their motorcycles. What other company does that?
    I’m sure HD is run now by a bunch of fuckin assholes like you, but at least they’ll be in business long after this shitty website goes away!

    • Carl Beherrell

      Check the publish date April 1st.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Well, the Milwaukee 8 is the new powerplant from HD. There you have it

    • denchung

      What, did people think we made ALL of this up? Okay, maybe most of it , but yes, there is some nugget of truth buried in this.