2017 Motorcycle News From Harley-Davidson

2017 Low Rider S

2017 Low Rider S

More Power. More Comfort. More Control. Today, Harley-Davidson unveils the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine, the ninth Big Twin in its history, plus all-new front and rear suspension for its Model Year 2017 Touring motorcycle lineup.

“These are the most powerful, most responsive and most comfortable Touring motorcycles ever offered by Harley-Davidson,” said Scott Miller, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Product Development Strategy. “You truly have to ride one to feel the difference – so we’re inviting all riders to visit a Harley-Davidson dealer and take a test ride.”

To launch the Milwaukee-Eight 107 and Milwaukee-Eight 114 engines, Harley-Davidson – in a brand first – took fans where they’ve never gone before: The floor of a Harley-Davidson factory in a virtual tour on Facebook Live to watch the making of its newest Big Twin engine.

“We’re excited to open our doors to allow the world to see our newest Big Twin engine come to life in our state-of-the-art factory,” said Randy Christianson, General Manager of Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “With an all-new design, the new Milwaukee-Eight engine offers quicker throttle response, more passing power, purer sound, a smoother ride and more of the feeling riders want from a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle.”

2017 Softail Slim

2017 Softail Slim

Power. Comfort. Control.

The new Milwaukee-Eight engine is a ground-up design that combines the classic look, sound and feel of Harley-Davidson Big Twin engines with improvements in performance, comfort and control.

Retaining the classic 45-degree V-Twin cylinder angle, the Milwaukee-Eight engine produces 10 percent more torque and features four-valve cylinder heads that offer 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow capacity than previous year models.

The Milwaukee-Eight engine is counter-balanced to cancel 75 percent of primary vibration at idle, retaining the classic feel of a Harley V-Twin engine while being very smooth at highway speeds. A new heat management strategy improves rider and passenger comfort.

2017 Heritage Softail Classic

2017 Heritage Softail Classic

New Engine and Much More for Model Year 2017

Along with the Milwaukee-Eight engine unveiling, Harley-Davidson also announced:

  • New Touring Suspension: All-new front and rear suspension components enhance the comfort, control and performance of all 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring models. New dual bending valve front suspension technology provides the performance of a racing-style cartridge fork with linear damping characteristics and reduced weight. New emulsion-technology rear shocks offer 15 to 30 percent more pre-load adjustment than previous standard Touring shocks, with a single, hand-adjustable knob to hydraulically dial in pre-load.
  • Screamin’ Eagle Performance: Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Performance will offer a full selection of street-legal performance components for the Milwaukee-Eight engines, including Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight engine Stage kits that deliver up to a 24-percent increase in torque over the stock engine (availability varies by market).
  • Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations: Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models combine prestige and performance in three limited-edition factory-custom motorcycles for 2017. The CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide models feature the refined performance of the new Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, while the CVO Pro Street Breakout motorcycle is powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B air-cooled V-Twin engine.
2017 Harley CVO Pro Street Breakout

2017 Harley CVO Pro Street Breakout

  • 2017 Harley-Davidson Street 500/750 Motorcycles 2017 Harley-Davidson Street motorcycles are now available with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System with hands-free, proximity-based security fob, each as a factory-installed option.
  • Powerful Cruiser Lineup: With the High Output Twin Cam 103 standard for all 2017 Softail models and Dyna models (U.S. models only) except the Street Bob model and the S Series cruisers with the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, Harley-Davidson continues to offer its most powerful cruisers ever.

“We want all riders to save the date of Sept. 23,” said Dino Bernacchi, Director of U.S. Marketing at Harley-Davidson. “That weekend, Harley-Davidson dealers across the country will host open house events so riders can throw a leg over our Model Year 2017 touring motorcycles and feel the difference of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine for themselves.”

To experience the transformation of the 2017 Harley-Davidson models now, visit h-d.com/testride to schedule a test ride.

2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic

2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic

* All comparisons in this communication are drawn between Harley-Davidson 2017 Touring models and 2016 Touring models.

** Not all models are available in all countries. Please contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer for more information.

Our First Ride Impressions of Harley’s New Milwaukee-Eight

Cornering on the 2017 Milwaukee-Eight-equipped Road King felt more agile than ever.

Cornering on the 2017 Milwaukee-Eight-equipped Road King felt more agile than ever.

American Iron Magazine editor Steve Lita was fortunate enough to get in a day of riding on the new 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring models featuring both versions of the new Milwaukee-Eight engine; standard 107″ and CVO models equipped with the 114″ version.

The first thing you notice when you start up the new Milwaukee-Eight is, well, the precise and consistent starting. Thanks to a new automatic compression release and a more powerful starter motor, the engine comes to life every time without a hitch or a hiccup, which can’t be said for Twin Cam models. Once the engine settles to life at a calm 850 idle rpm, you’ll recognize the traditional Harley rumble, albeit a little smoother. Don’t get me wrong, this engine is not sewing machine-boring, it still has that chugging cadence to it.

The 107" Milwaukee-Eight, staying true to Harley's Big Twin tradition while leaping forward.

The 107″ Milwaukee-Eight, staying true to Harley’s Big Twin tradition while leaping forward.

Click the bike into first gear and release the clutch, and you’ll be pleased with the easier feeling on your left hand. Roll on the throttle easy, the Milwaukee-Eight smoothly pulls this heavyweight up to speed. But gun the throttle, and get ready for an aggressive bark from the stock exhaust. Thanks to less drivetrain noise and the added cubic-inches, the exhaust emanates an aggressive tone. After my first ride I commented to Harley engineers how much I liked the sound of the bike.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to a timed acceleration course, but suffice it to say the seat-of-the-pants-feeling under hard acceleration was that the new bikes pull away from a stop or roll on at speed harder than before. This Milwaukee-Eight pulls hard all the way to the 5500 redline, and I found the rev limiter many times when not judiciously watching the tach. I felt consistent thrust all the way up the tach range without the power petering off. It just pulls, pulls, pulls, and then smack! You’re on the limiter. Step up to the larger 114″ Milwaukee-Eight, which is available only in the CVO models, and get ready for a kick in the butt over the 107″ version; you will definitely feel the difference in power output.

And the 114" Milwaukee-Eight, a CVO-only option that will blow your socks off.

And the 114″ Milwaukee-Eight, a CVO-only option that will blow your socks off.

All of that is great for straight-line riding, but what happens when you throw the new Touring models into a curve? Much improvement has been made to this line of bikes, and the new 2017 models can handle some twisties better than ever before. New front fork updates feature SHOWA Dual Bending valve (SDBV) technology, which is similar to current cartridge fork inserts, but more adept for mass production use. Out back is a hand-adjustable SHOWA emulsion shock. Turn the adjustment knob 23 times to allow for 25mm of total adjustment. No more worrying about blowing out air shocks. Confidence in riding through corners at high speed is greatly increased.

The 114" CVO Touring Model handles better than you could imagine for a Big Twin.

The 114″ CVO Touring Model handles better than you could imagine for a Big Twin.

My overall riding impression of these new Milwaukee-Eight-powered models is that Harley has taken all the right feelings and emotions of the previous engine and refined them, doing so with new high-tech components. The looks of the engine are right. It’s not some foreign, radical departure. Yet under the skin, the internal components work in better harmony than before. I think of this engine as a well-sorted Big Twin. It’s better than you ever thought the Big Twin family could perform.

For the full first ride review of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight Touring models, pick up a copy of Issue #342. In Issue #341, on sale 9/13, we give you everything you need to know about the new engine platforms.