Throttle Jockey: Harley Rolled out New V-Twin Engine, so We Asked Bill Davidson all about it

first_img 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now Editors’ Recommendations Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Scout Lineup Pays Homage to Its 100-Year Legacy 1. Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 2. Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 3. Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 4. Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 5. Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 6. Bill Davidson The New Land Rover Defender Is Just as Glorious as We Expected center_img What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types Few motorcycle companies are as tied to a single engine configuration as Harley-Davidson. The iconic V-Twin engine that powers every bike in the lineup has a lineage that reaches back over a century, and any deviations from the V’s status quo through Harley’s history are rare and brief.So when Harley-Davidson rolls out an entirely new iteration of their brand’s mechanical heart and soul, as they have now done with the new Milwaukee-Eight motor, it’s big news and you’d better believe they took the time to make it work right.The new plant, so named because it features heavy-breathing four-valve heads (for a total of “eight” valves), will be available in 107 and 114 cubic-inch variants (1750cc/1870cc), with the bigger models more likely to be found in the big-rig touring bikes like the Ultra Classic, where it will also receive H-D’s “Twin Cooled” air/liquid cooling system to keep the heat down. Models using the 107ci version will use either the water/air or an oil/air cooling system depending on the model.The new motor will come in 107 and 114 cubic inch variantsIn a nutshell, the new motor makes 10 percent more torque than the Twin Cam power plant it replaces, and while Harley didn’t (and usually doesn’t) give any horsepower figures, it’d be fair to expect a bump in ponies as well. But after riding the hopped-up hot rod 110ci Twin Cam Low Rider S recently, I’d have to say more of either is going to work just fine for long-time Harley riders and anyone else who decides they want to get in on the fun.Harley-Davidson was kind enough to give The Manual some time to chat with H-D Museum VP Bill Davidson, great-grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, about the new engine and the bikes it will be found in for the 2017 model year (lightly edited for brevity).The Manual: How long has the engine been in development?Bill Davidson: Well it started several years ago and our process is very thorough, obviously, to produce the world’s best motorcycle engine, the Milwaukee Eight. What we start with is gathering a lot of customer and dealer input as to what they would like to see in the next-generation V Twin from Harley-Davidson. And once we get that information, our experts in engineering, manufacturing, styling, they go to work to make a motor that truly delivers – exceeds, actually – our customers expectations. And I have to tell you, I’ve had the opportunity to ride the Milwaukee Eight and it truly delvers the most power, the responsiveness of the motorcycle is fantastic, it’s very comfortable from a heat management perspective, it’s truly the most advanced motor that we have ever produced.Traditionally, when going from a two-valve head to a four-valve head, a engine can take a hit to the torque output, but you’re claiming a torque boost. How is that accomplished?If you think of the V Twin as an air pump, when we went from two valves to four valves, it allows us to increase the amount of air on the intake stroke and with the four-valve exhaust, to get that burnt gas out of the engine much more efficiently. So you’re enhancing the overall “workability,” if you will, of the engine and that produces about ten percent more torque. And in some of the other designs of the motor, it’s actually mechanically more quiet, and that has allowed us to enhance the exhaust note – that “potato-potato” – that V-Twin sound Harley is known for all over the world. And so the overall package truly is phenomenal… I rode it and it truly delivers.Is the fuel management system upstream air mix injection, or are you using direct injection now?We’ve been using direct injection on our Twin Cam and the Milwaukee-Eight is direct injection.One of the things I was impressed with last year when Harley had their press ride in Portland was that there is a lot of tech in the bikes now – the ABS system built into the hubs, the Twin Cooling system and so on. But the tech is very well hidden, so the bikes retain a clean, even vintage look. How important is that to your customers? What have they been telling you?That is something we work very very hard at. You know, my dad Willie [Willie G. Davidson] once coined a phrase: “form follows function, but both form and function report to emotion.” And when you think of a motorcycle, a motorcycle is a very emotional piece of art. Nothing on a motorcycle can be covered up. On a car, you’ve got space to hide things. But on a motorcycle, everything is exposed, so you work very hard on making sure that the function of the motorcycle is spot-on, but the form of those components that create function is a beautiful piece – no matter what it is – to look at. When you take a step back from the motorcycle and see it from a distance, it’s balanced throughout, front to rear and rear to front. We truly have a following around the world of our iconic look, our iconic sound, and our iconic feel, and the Milwaukee-Eight just enhances those ingredients to the next level.Which models did you ride and which model did you enjoy the most?We were at a test track with a whole array of touring motorcycles that the new motor is in, and I rode the Road King, the Street Glide, the Ultra Limited, and I was speechless. I gave our chief engineer a bear hug (laughs).Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Limited for 2017What’s the status of Project Livewire (Harley’s electric motorcycle project)?Livewire is alive and well, no pun intended. We’re very very excited about that motorcycle, we continue to develop it. We’re following a little bit different path on that bike. We actually had about 30 (!) prototypes which we toured around North America and then Europe for our customers and our dealers. We have a list of items that we are putting into process, if you will, that we need to develop or change, to ensure that we create a phenomenal motorcycle called Livewire.Do you think it will ever become a Harley-Davidson product, or is it just a project?The Livewire is a motorcycle that we’re going to continue to develop. We don’t have a specific launch time but we are developing it and it is an important project for Harley-Davidson.We are hoping to have riding reviews of some of the new bikes here on TheManual.com in the near future. All photos courtesy of Harley-Davidson. The 200-Horsepower Vanquish Vanqraft VQ16 Is a Boat-Sized Jet Skilast_img read more


Tsunami devastation in Indonesia truly staggering UN teams find

Video of press briefing [13mins] “In some areas fatality rates top 75 per cent with 100 per cent of all homes and dwellings destroyed,” Kevin M. Kennedy, Director of the Coordination and Response Division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said of the teams who had finally been able to assess the true dimensions of the disaster in the largely inaccessible Aceh province.In one area “they’ve lost in excess of 90 per cent of the population. That’s 6,500 people out of a pre-tsunami population of about 7,300,” he told a news briefing in New York. The survivors are receiving assistance but are “in dire straits,” he added. In another area, 24 of the 28 villages were completely destroyed.The overall death toll from the tsunami, which struck a dozen countries on 26 December, now stands at more than 165,000, 118,000 of them in Indonesia. There are hundreds of thousands still missing there, though much of this could be due to double counting or people in emergency camps who are just missing from their home sites.But “it could be, at the end of the day we could have another 10,000 or 20,000 deaths in Indonesia,” Mr. Kennedy said. “And we could have a lot more than that, too.”Mr. Kennedy said there were some 700,000 uprooted people in 100 sites in Aceh and he praised the work of the Indonesian Government and the UN’s non-governmental partners, noting that the vast majority of those needing assistance have now received it.”We are still seeking out to find isolated pockets of people, which we continue to find on a daily basis, but those numbers are decreasing,” he added. “So I think we’re reaching the point where we’ll be able to say in a few days that we have basically reached everybody with at least an initial distribution assistance.”Of the nearly $1 billion UN flash appeal launched earlier this month, $739 million have already been pledged, of which $199 million are already in the bank, he noted.The General Assembly’s plenary session was set to adopt a resolution calling for the urgent establishment of an early warning system that could save scores of thousands of lives in a similar future disaster and requesting that Secretary-General Kofi Annan explore ways to further strengthen rapid response capacities for immediate humanitarian relief efforts by the international community.”I have seen mile after mile of desolation, where once vibrant communities have suddenly ceased to exist,” Mr. Annan, who visited the region earlier this month, told the session. “I have looked into the eyes of fishermen whose silence expressed their loss as no words could. I have seen families torn asunder, mothers inconsolable, livelihoods gone.”But I have also seen examples of the best that humanity has to offer,” he added. “Governments of the affected countries moved quickly to do their part, with civil society and the private sector joining forces with them. Communities organized themselves spontaneously, reaching out to their neighbours, without waiting to be told what to do.”He noted that the UN mobilized itself early and quickly, thanked “our men and women in the field for the wonderful job they are doing in difficult circumstances,” and praised the “unprecedented response worldwide” from the general public and the private sector.”The generosity and support we have seen over the past few weeks have set a new standard for our global community,” he declared. “It is my hope that we will find a way of capturing this moment, nurturing this spirit, and bringing it to bear in other crises around the world.”I hope we will unite around it to heal old wounds and long-running conflicts. I hope we will seize it as an opportunity and a reminder to address other emergencies. I hope we will hold to it as a measure of our humanity,” he concluded. read more