Motorists first love – Harley Davidson – Must know information



The twin-cam engine in Harley Davidson is a major issue that cannot be ignored. This is not based on myth but facts. Some information on the machine is meant to educate Harley lovers to find the best solution. Anything related to the engine is a serious issue that needs to be rectified immediately. Fix the problem and your bike is back in great shape. The latest Harley also has some potential problems that every Harley buff has to get understand. The saddest part is that despite being a Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO), the bike is not devoid of problems. This cannot be taken lightly!

The design of the cam chain system is where the problem lies. The use of plastic shoes on the cam chains is the reason for the quick wear and tear. Despite the company making some changes in the new editions the problem persists. For instance, the new hydraulic tensioning system is a failure. When the plastic shoes rub the chains, the shoes wear out. What makes it a cause for concern is the contact between the metals that causes grinding resulting in engine failure. If the problem is not identified soon, it can result in complete destruction of the engine including pistons, cams, crankshaft and engine case.

What makes this alarming is that the engine can fail as early as touching 15,000 miles. The new hydraulic system is no exception, and it can also fail in less than 50,000 miles. Check out the service manual for more information about cam chain tensioners in twin cam engine. The biggest irony is that the oil pump route may get clogged without any warning. When the pipes are loud the tearing of the engine can be the only warning sound.

What makes it scary is that the new bikes also have Twin cam engine issues. Keep an eye on the engine before it is too late. The bike manufactured between 1999 and 2006 have real problems with Twin cam engines. In many cases, the spring loaded cam chain has failed. The plastic material shreds to disrupt the rotary gear oil flow thereby dampening the engine friction leading to failure. This is not all the rubbing of metal parts in the shoes lead to metal shreds that can get into the oil before it is filtered. This could be catastrophic as it can lead to buying a new motor completely. Rebuilding the engine may not be possible in this case. This is a realistic situation so beware to understand the engine better.

So if you think that post-2007, the twin cam engine is cleared of these problems, do not be misled. Instead hydraulic cam chain followers are used that can give relief from the stiff spring that was responsible for the pressure caused due to the rubbing of cam chain. But this is of no use as it only delays the process. Instead, of the engine failing at 15,000 miles, it will now fail at 50,000 miles. All that is done is the problem is postponed. Now the owner has to dismantle and check for every 15,000 miles or replace the gear drive system.

There are magazines that talk about how to fix this problem especially if your vehicle fails post warranty period. Now that the problem has been delaying to 50,000 miles it will not be covered under warranty. This makes it important to check for extended warranty especially when it comes to cam chain failure.

Read also Know More About Harley-Davidson Transmissions And Alternatives

Know More About Harley-Davidson Transmissions And Alternatives


The history of Harley-Davidson transmissions has undergone transformation since its time of inception. The inaugurating model OHV 61 cubic inch EL in the year 1936 is a hit model called Knucklehead. The design of the transmission is the amazing factor in this bike. The transmission model was followed until 1986. The bike was running with the same configuration for nearly 50 years. Of course, one cannot deny the fact that there were variations during the initial period. Some of the transformations include 3-speed with reverse, 4-speed and hand and foot shift.

The first design had knuckles and pans in the same case. In the year, 1965 electric start was introduced. The transmission case was enlarged to support the electric start resulting in a quarter inch length in transmission. The case was extended to accommodate all the new ingredients. There was not much of change until the alternator came into existence. Now the alternator again affected the transmission where the primary has to be removed to fit the alternator. The main shaft grew. Changes were in progress until the dead of 4-speed in the year 1986. The four speed was thrown out as everyone wanted another gear.

The year 1980 saw a revolution with the FLT series motorcycle that was introduced by Harley. The change came in the form of a rubber mounted engine that came with 5-speed gearbox. This resulted in a major design transformation. Harley listened to the view of the riders when they wanted a five-speed gearbox instead of a 4 speed. Riders thought that the 5th gear is for overdrive. Though, the final drive ratio is 1:1. It gave the engineers the base to increase the performance of top speed.

It did not stop with that, riders wanted more speed, and therefore, one more gear was added. The 6-speed cruise drive transmission was introduced in the year 2006. This resulted in the upgrade of the Harley gearbox. But the snag is that it is not as good as the aftermarket transmissions found in the market. Make no mistake, this is a serious bike, this is not your average manual treadmill reviews magazine. Some top brands that produce overdrive gearboxes include Rev Tech, Milwaukee Twins, Baker and Jim’s machine. The latest in the transmission arena is the high gear option that is .86 to 1, .80 to 1 that is less than the 1:1 stock. This results in low engine rpm when put at a particular speed or faster speed while at the same rpm.

In the mid-1990s, Harley Softtail came up with an overall ratio of 3.36:1. The number of teeth in every gear or pulley located in the primary or secondary drive is determined by the ratio. Though, a problem in this overdrive system is that if you try to slow down in the overdrive gear, the engine will choke when you try to accelerate the vehicle. This can lead to damage to the engine health. To avoid this, it is advised to downshift if you want to accelerate.

There are alternatives you can try while you add an overdrive to improve the overall ratio of the vehicle by reducing the rpm of the engine at a particular speed. Motorcycles that have a secondary chain drive find it easier. The market is flooded with chains of varied lengths that can fit different sprockets depending on the customization. Belt secondary has made things complicated. With belts fixed in the application, there are certain limitations in how to customize the overall ratio of the bike. Moreover, it makes it difficult to reinstall and remove the components. Lowering the overall engine rpm is fine if you modify the drive ratio. You can also use 6-speed overdrive transmission to lower the engine rpm.Read More Motorists first love – Harley Davidson – Must know information