By Greg Drevenstedt Rider Magazine September 08, 2016
For 2017, Harley-Davidson has launched an all-new engine platform. Called the Milwaukee-Eight—a name that pays homage to its birthplace and its number of valves—it’s the ninth generation of Harley’s Big Twin, superseding the Twin Cam 88 engine that debuted way back in 1998 in 1999 models. The 88-cubic-inch Twin Cam has been refined and improved over the years, its displacement ultimately growing to 103ci and 110ci, depending on the model, and it continues to power more than a dozen models in Harley’s lineup.
For now, the Milwaukee-Eight powers all Touring and Trike models, in two displacements and three variations: a 107ci (1,750cc) version with oil-cooled cylinder heads for models without fairing lowers, such as the Street Glide, Road Glide, Electric Glide Ultra Classic, Road King and Freewheeler; a 107ci version with liquid-cooled cylinder heads for models with fairing lowers, such as the Ultra Limited, Road Glide Ultra and Tri Glide Ultra; and a 114ci (1,870cc) version with liquid-cooled cylinder heads for the CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide (the CVO Breakout is powered by the air-cooled Twin Cam 110B).
After spending two days riding more than 400 miles on several 2017 Touring models, with most of my seat time on the Street Glide, I can confidently say that the Milwaukee-Eight is a home run. And even though the new engine gets most of the attention, the new Showa suspension in all Touring (but not Trike) models is just as impressive. The development arc for the Touring line, which started with the new chassis for 2009 and continued through the Project Rushmore campaign, is now complete. Harley has always had the styling part nailed, but in recent years it has put its considerable engineering resources toward creating an integrated package, one that honors the past, embraces the future, offers more performance and makes the rider’s and passenger’s comfort, safety and enjoyment a top priority...