Speed’s Spot­light

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That new Mil­wau­kee-eight sure got pop­u­lar fast.” That’s what Jamie Hanson at Speed’s Per­for­mance Plus has no­ticed. The lineup of rid­ers rolling up to the SPP mo­bile shop with those new-for-2017 en­gines has been im­pres­sive. And of course ev­ery­one has the same re­quest.

As pow­er­ful and torquey as that OE multi-valve mo­tor is, Har­ley rid­ers be­ing Har­ley rid­ers, they want more. “And at first there wasn’t a whole lot we could offer,” Jamie says. A per­for­mance dyno­tune was an ob­vi­ous first step, a cus­tom map to re­place the fac­tory’s con­ser­va­tive en­gine-man­age­ment plan. That’s al­ways a big help. Slip-on muf­flers and free-flow­ing air fil­ters for the 107-inch ver­sion be­came avail­able fairly quickly too (the CVO 114 al­ready had an open, for­ward-fac­ing air in­take). But that was pretty much it.

“And those few changes made no­tice­able im­prove­ments,” Jamie ex­plains. Plenty of those rid­ers took full ad­van­tage of the Dyno­jet Tune Li­cense Pro­gram Speed’s of­fers too. A cus­tom tune with­out the ex­pense of the Power Vi­sion unit it­self is a sweet deal. “That Li­cense Pro­gram has got­ten pop­u­lar with ev­ery­one,” Jamie adds. “It isn’t just for the Mil­wau­kee-eight.”

But back to those Mil­wau­kee-eights and that lineup of rid­ers. It didn’t take the af­ter­mar­ket long to be­gin of­fer­ing more than just slip-ons and air fil­ters for that new­est Har­ley en­gine, and just as quickly the techs at Speed’s Per­for­mance be­gan in­cor­po­rat­ing it all into their bag of tricks. So along with per­for­mance muf­flers, per­for­mance head pipes are now avail­able to go with them, com­plet­ing a full-flow­ing true dual setup. There are now full 2-into-1 sys­tems for the M-8 bag­gers as well. And more to the point here, the af­ter­mar­ket’s at­ten­tion has also turned to that new mo­tor’s in­ter­nals. There’s a nice se­lec­tion of camshafts and full cam kits now. “And we’ve al­ready done a hand­ful of these Mil­wau­kee-eight cam swaps,” Jamie says. The re­sults have been eye-open­ing.


A lit­tle back­ground to put things in per­spec­tive: Stock bikes—with the ex­cep­tion of some of new slip-ons and free-flow air fil­ters—with the stan­dard 107-inch M-8 en­gine rou­tinely show horse­power in the 74 to 78 range on the SPP dyno. Torque is gen­er­ally 95 to 97 pound-feet. Not a bad start. But now “start” can in­clude more of that newly avail­able hard­ware, specif­i­cally the per­for­mance cams. One of the re­cent jobs, com­pleted at the past Sturgis event on a 114-inch CVO Mil­wau­kee-eight, tells the tale. And it’s a happy one.

“That par­tic­u­lar bike al­ready had per­for­mance slip-ons in place,” Jamie says, and with its stock CVO air fil­ter, the ad­di­tion of new head pipes and a Li­cense Tune it now pulled 85 hp and right around 117 pound-feet of torque. Im­pres­sive num­bers on a ba­si­cally stock en­gine, es­pe­cially that torque num­ber. Nat­u­rally, the owner wanted more.

Back up on the work ta­ble, the guys broke out the wrenches for a camshaft swap, and with this par­tic­u­lar bike they stayed with the chain drive and used a .475-lift cam. Re­tuned with its new camshaft, the bike then de­liv­ered 107 hp and torque went up to 123 pound­feet of torque. Com­pare that be­fore and after, pre-cam swap and after. Now, this par­tic­u­lar cam was a T-man grind, but that’s by no means the only op­tion out there now. Some of the other M-8 pos­si­bil­i­ties are the 465, 475, and 550s from S&S, all avail­able in choices of chain or gear drive (the first two are straight bolt-ins; the 550 re­quires new valve springs), and there’s an equally wide as­sort­ment from Feul­ing Parts, with Feul­ing also of­fer­ing new cam plates, high-vol­ume oil pumps, and more. And that’s just part of the list. The point be­ing, Mil­wau­kee-eight cams and cam kits are out there, and with eight valves to play with they work.

And con­sider this. “We’ve had a Screamin’ Ea­gle Stage III Mil­wau­keeeight on the dyno too,” Jamie says. That’s Har­ley-david­son’s hopped-up 114 with spe­cial heads, higher com­pres­sion, and a 2-into-1 exhaust. That bike pulled 109 hp and 125 pound-feet of torque. “Com­pare that with what we just got with the bolt-in 475 cam,” Jamie men­tions. “The num­bers, and over­all per­for­mance, is right there.”

Got an M-8? Lucky you, you’ve got a heck of a mo­tor there. But if you want more—and who doesn’t?—it’s there. The guys at Speed’s Per­for­mance Plus can tell you all about it. HB

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