An In-Depth Look at the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Engine

Introduced in 2017, the Milwaukee-Eight has since been a star player in the world of heavyweight Harley Davidson motorcycles. Despite some early speedbumps, it's remained a popular choice among Harley enthusiasts due to its high power output and smooth torque delivery. Let's explore why.

The Milwaukee-Eight engine comes in three variants: the 107, the 114 and the 117. The former is an oil-cooled system that powers earlier Harley models like the Street Glide, Electra Glide, Road Glide, and the Harley Road King, while the latter, a 114 cu in liquid-cooled engine, breathes life as a standard in newer model years. The 117 is an absolute beast which powers high-end Harley CVO™ models as well as special editions.

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The Downside & Early Issues

Like any engine, the Milwaukee-Eight isn't without its quirks. Owners of 2017-2019 models have reported several issues, including oil sumping. This problem arises due to a faulty oil pump, leading to accumulation of oil in the crankcase instead of returning it to the tank. A clear symptom is the presence of smoke from the exhaust pipes. To rectify this issue, you'll need a new oil pump installation, which might set you back anywhere between $300-$700. It's worth noting, however, that models from 2020 onward have significantly mitigated this problem.

Additionally, issues such as low gear oil level and cold-start problems have been noted. Regular Harley Davidson service and maintenance, including routine oil checks, can prevent gear oil issues. Cold-start problems often arise from a faulty battery or incompatible engine oil and can be resolved by adhering to the motorcycle owner's manual or consulting a professional mechanic.

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Updating & Pressing Into the Future

Despite these hiccups, the Milwaukee-Eight has plenty to offer. It's a torque monster, delivering power smoothly and effortlessly, making it perfect for both casual rides and tearing through the canyons. The suspension is another worthy mention, providing enhanced ride quality and overall performance.

The Milwaukee-Eight engine shines in its efficiency, too, thanks to its eight-valve design, which facilitates improved airflow and fuel usage. Its performance enhancement is complemented by a quieter operation and reduced vibrations, resulting in a smooth Harley Davidson ride.

While we've highlighted the engine's issues, it's critical to note that many have been addressed through recalls and further model improvements. The Milwaukee-Eight engine has proved its mettle in the Harley Davidson lineup, providing exceptional performance, acceleration, and a soul-satisfying exhaust note that Harley fans have come to love.

If you're considering a Harley Davidson with a Milwaukee-Eight engine, remember to check the model year and ensure regular maintenance for a seamless ride. Buying a Harley Davidson not only opens the door to an unmatched ride experience but loan options direct from Harley Davidson Financial, to get you on the road with the bike of your dreams. For more insights, be sure to keep an eye on our motorcycle blog, your one-stop reading resource for all things riding!