Category Archives: Engines

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Road Test

2018 Softail Fatboy Road Test
The 2018 Softail Fatboy

Today I had the opportunity to road Test a 2018 Harley-Davidson Fatboy featuring the all new mono-shock frame and suspension. The new bike houses a 114 cubic inch Milwaukee 8 motor and six-speed transmission.

Looking over the bike I noticed many changes, some obvious, some not so obvious. Continue reading 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Road Test

Project Knucklehead Frame Repair 

Knucklehead Frame
The 1946 Knucklehead Frame after it was put in the Jig and repairs are about to begin. Notice the sidecar loops have been cut out of the front down tubes and the tool box mount is missing.

It’s been awhile since any sizable progress has been made on Project Knucklehead. However, this week I was fortunate enough to be able to truck the frame to Paper Street Customs for some much needed attention. Continue reading Project Knucklehead Frame Repair 

The Milwaukee Eight Cam Compartment

When Harley’s new motor, the Milwaukee Eight, was released I wrote up an overview of the mechanics HERE.  I mentioned the new motor uses a single cam for both cylinders. Last week I was given a first hand look at the inside of the cam compartment when a stock bike was outfitted with a Screamin’ Eagle Performance cam. The picture below shows the details of the new motor’s cam chest.

Here you can see the single hydraulic cam tensioner, the sprocket on the crankshaft (lower, small sprocket) and the larger sprocket that bolts to the cam itself. While it has more moving parts then gear driven cams, I expect this system to hold up well over time based on the performance of hydraulic cam tensioners used on 2007 and later Twin Cams.

M8 Cam
The new Milwaukee Eight Cam Compartment.

2017 Milwaukee Eight Liquid Cooling and Oiling System Review

(For a Technical Review of the Milwaukee Eight motor CLICK HERE)

The New Milwaukee Eight Engine
The New Milwaukee Eight Engine Offers Multiple Cooling Options

Since the 2017 Harley models were released last week, most of the questions I’ve gotten about them relate to the motor’s cooling systems. Some models are dual liquid cooled, using both coolant and oil while others are only oil cooled. Both also rely on air flow to assist with cooling. This has created some confusion on the matter.

To clear things up let me explain. Any 2017 factory model with fairing lowers is dual cooled. This includes CVO Street Glides, any Ultra model and Tri-Glide Trike models. Continue reading 2017 Milwaukee Eight Liquid Cooling and Oiling System Review

The 1978 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Project

Shovelhead motor rebuild
I’ve been so busy working on Project Knucklehead I’ve ignored my Shovel motor

Someone recently asked me why I wasn’t taking my Knucklehead apart on my table lift. Embarrassed, I had to admit it was because my lift was covered with a half assembled 1978 Shovelhead motor. My ongoing project for the last couple years, the Shovel gets moved around put on the back burner, and at times ignored. Of  course now that the Knucklehead project is stalled until some parts come my way its time to put in some work on the Shovelhead and get it assembled. Continue reading The 1978 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Project

2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Eight Road Test and Review

2017 FLHXS
This is the 2017 FLHXS Street Glide Special I road tested right before it was final assembled.

This afternoon I got the chance to road test a 2017 Harley-Davidson FLHXS Street Glide. The bike is equipped with Harley’s new Milwaukee Eight, 107 inch powertrain. (For a technical guide to the new motor click here)

A couple of notes:

  1. It was almost 100 degrees when I got the bike on the road
  2. My normal bike is a 2012 FLHX Street Glide with a 103 inch Twin Cam motor.

The first thing I noticed when the I started the bike was how quiet the cam side of the motor was. You could faintly hear cam chain noise and Continue reading 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Eight Road Test and Review

A Technical Guide to The New 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee 8 Motor

The All New Milwaukee Eight Motor

Harley-Davidson has officially released a new motor, the Milwaukee Eight™, in their touring models. The standard version of this motor is 107 cubic inches with a 4.4 inch stroke and 3.9 inch bore. The CVO platform boasts 114 cubic inches from a 4.5 inch stroke and 4.0 inch bore. There is also a Screamin’ Eagle Stage 3 kit available to bump the motor up to 117 cubic inches.

Harley’s other Big Twin motor, the Twin Cam, operates using 1, two lobe cam per cylinder requiring a dual chain drive assembly. The Milwaukee Eight™ operates with a single, four lobe, cam driven by Continue reading A Technical Guide to The New 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee 8 Motor

Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 2

If you missed Part I of the Project Knucklehead series or you would like a recap click here.

knuckle PicWith the motor now out of my 1946 Knucklehead the rebuild can begin. I am turning this part of the build over to Tim Willems, an Knuckle2excellent all-around technician with over 20 years of experience. At first glance its easy to see there are no pushrods and several missing fasteners including rocker cover screws, cylinder base nuts and cam cover bolts. One of the motor mounts is also broken off but is repairable. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 2

Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson

You might recognize my 1946 Harley-Davidson as the cover model for The Cycle Blog

For the last three years I’ve had a bike patiently sitting in the corner of my garage. To the untrained eye it probably doesn’t look impressive but underneath the oil and grime, sits a diamond. This bike, a 1946 Harley Knucklehead, has sat leaking oil and gathering dust waiting for me to get the time, money, and vision to get it back on the road.

The story began about 5 years ago. Out of nowhere a guy, about 28, started riding it to my shop on weekends. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson