US gi­ant gives Tour­ing range more per­for­mance and bet­ter econ­omy with all-new Milwaukee-eight V-twin

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

Har­ley-david­son have re­vealed two new engine plat­forms for 2017 – each boast­ing a sig­nif­i­cant boost in power, torque and ef­fi­ciency. The new 107 (1745cc) Milwaukee 8 engine will fea­ture across the range, while the mas­sive new 114 (1870cc) will only be avail­able in the spe­cial CVO mod­els.

Har­ley-david­son have un­veiled the com­plete range of new Tour­ing mod­els which now fea­ture the com­pany’s most­pow­er­ful engine yet – the new Milwaukee-eight V-twin.

The Milwaukee-eight is, slightly con­fus­ingly, the ninth large-ca­pac­ity two-cylin­der engine in the his­tory of the com­pany, and is one of two ma­jor up­dates for 2017 – the other be­ing new sus­pen­sion front and rear.

A new engine for Har­ley-david­son is a big deal. This is a clean sheet de­sign that ac­tu­ally has three vari­ants based around the same engine. There are two 1745cc (107cu.in) mo­tors and they’re joined by a larger, higher-per­for­mance 1870cc (114cu.in), which is used ex­clu­sively in the CVO cus­tom spe­cials.

Scott Miller, Har­ley’s Vice-pres­i­dent of Styling and Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy, said: “These are the most pow­er­ful, most re­spon­sive and most com­fort­able Tour­ing mo­tor­cy­cles ever of­fered by Har­ley-david­son.”

Chief Pow­er­train En­gi­neer Alex Boz­moski added: “While re­spect­ing the es­sen­tial Big Twin char­ac­ter, we’ve cre­ated an all-new mo­tor. Ev­ery as­pect of per­for­mance, dura­bil­ity and styling has been improved as a di­rect re­sponse to the voice of Har­ley-david­son cus­tomers around the world.”

The engine changes

The engine de­liv­ers more power, more torque, larger dis­place­ment, four-valve heads and a higher com­pres­sion ra­tio. Har­ley have tried to give some clue as to how much faster the bikes are by stat­ing they are “two-to-three bike lengths faster from 0-60mph” and “one-to-two bike lengths faster from 60 to 80mph in top gear” which isn’t overly sci­en­tific, but we get the idea.

Fuel econ­omy is claimed to be up to 11% bet­ter thanks to the cleaner-run­ning four-valve and twin spark per cylin­der head de­sign which al­lows for much more eas­ily reg­u­lated and con­trolled fu­elling and com­bus­tion. Com­bined with the liq­uid-cool­ing on two of the vari­ants, it means the engine is much more ef­fi­cient.

Har­ley claim that heat man­age­ment for rider and pil­lion comfort is also improved, thanks to a new ex­haust which has seen the rout­ing changed. The rub­ber-mounted engine is nar­rower and fits into the frame bet­ter with a slim­mer pri­mary drive along with re­duced vi­bra­tion and a lower idle speed. It also fea­tures a sin­gle in­ter­nal counter bal­ancer that cancels 75% of pri­mary vi­bra­tion at idle for a more-re­fined feel.

Milwaukee-eight 107

This is the base model engine which re­tains the clas­sic Har­ley 45° V-twin cylin­der an­gle with oil-cooled cylin­der-heads and will be fit­ted to the Street Glide Spe­cial, Road Glide Spe­cial, Road King and Road King Clas­sic along with the three-wheeled ver­sion, which is called the Free­wheeler.

Twin- Cooled

The Twin- Cooled ver­sion gets liq­uid-cooled cylin­der-heads and while Har­ley never talk about power fig­ures from their en­gines we un­der­stand from doc­u­ments filed in Amer­ica this mo­tor will pro­duce 92bhp; a sig­nif­i­cant improvement over the stan­dard 107 mo­tor. This engine will be go­ing into the Ul­tra Lim­ited/ul­tra Lim­ited Low, Road Glide Ul­tra and three-wheel Tri Glide Ul­tra mod­els.

Milwaukee-eight 114

This is the top of the per­for­mance tree and MCN has dis­cov­ered this 1870cc V-twin is pro­duc­ing 100bhp at 5020rpm – the high­est power level out­side of the V-rod range ever seen from Har­ley. This 114 mo­tor gets liq­uid-cooled cylin­der-heads and has been al­lo­cated to the CVO mod­els in­clud­ing new CVO Lim­ited and CVO Street Glide ma­chines.

Sus­pen­sion over­hauls

Both ends of the tour­ing mod­els have been changed to in­crease comfort as well as keep­ing the ex­tra per­for­mance un­der con­trol. New ‘emul­sion-tech­nol­ogy’ rear shock ab­sorbers of­fer be­tween 15 and 30% more preload ad­just­ment depend­ing on the model with a sin­gle ad­juster knob for changes.

The front sus­pen­sion now fea­tures Showa Dual Bend­ing Valve (SDBV) tech­nol­ogy that has come from rac­ing de­vel­op­ments first seen on the track in car­tridge-style forks of­fer­ing lin­ear damp­ing and re­duced weight.

We ex­pect the range to start ar­riv­ing in UK dealers from Septem­ber 26, 2017.

‘The most pow­er­ful and re­spon­sive tour­ing bikes ever of­fered by Har­ley’

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