While blogs all over the world are scammering to talk about the range of new models Harley teased today, it appears that nobody put 2 and 2 together and realized the new Sportster engine was revealed at the same time.
Harley appears committed to encouraging more people to ride by releasing a series of new models to appeal to different demographics. They have been moving in this direction for a while now with models like the Street 500 and 750, the Street Rod that came out last year and a full modernization of their Softail line for 2018.
The video shows a few of the future models Harley is serving up and gives a brief explanation of what their goals are. All the bloggers and journalists out there are gobbling this stuff up so we will keep it brief:
Harley is releasing the Livewire Electric Motorcycle in 2019.
The Pan America-a dual sport 1250cc motorcycle
Future Streetfighter Model
Future Custom Model
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the Sportster. Here is what we already know:
The Sportster Engine is old, like really old. The Evolution Sportster Engine was released in 1986, which means that it’s 32 years old this year. It’s air-cooled and although that’s not really a big deal, unfortunately it is for the EPA and Euro 4 emissions standards. In order to meet these aggressive standards, the easiest and most long-term solution is to go to some type of added cooling. You can see this on the new Milwaukee 8 engine as all of them are either oil cooled or liquid cooled.
What makes a Sportster engine and Sportster engine? Well it uses a unitized construction which means that the engine and transmission share a common case and oil. So no need to check or change the transmission oil as it’s done when you check the engine oil. They also locate all of their engine pushrods on the same plane. The big twin engines use offset or angled pushrods to handle the valve operation where the Sportster’s are straight.
Old does not mean it’s necessarily bad mind you, the Evo Sportster engine is quite possibly the most reliable engine Harley makes. This is primarily due to years and years of continued improvements and updates to that platform to the point of near perfection. Unfortunately the Planet Earth does not care about that, it only cares about how much an engine pollutes and contributes to global warming so reliability be damned for the Evo Sportster engine.
With that it was only a matter of time before they redesigned the Sportster engine. I am honestly surprised it made it as far as it did and if you have one, kudos to you for buying the Cockroach of motorcycle engines as these are probably going to be used to power our Madmax motorcycles after the apocalypse.
I honestly believed that Harley would do a teaser or release of just the engine this August but after last week’s Quarter 2 announcement, it appears they had to answer to their investors with what they were doing to correct the sinking ship so now Harley has released 4 new models, with 2 not even having names yet.
So that’s where we are today. These 3 new models that were teased are all boasting a new 1250cc engine that they show in the pictures but do not discuss at any length. I speculate that the reason for this is that they were not prepared to do that and just want us to all speculate about it until they make things more official. Regardless, it’s a 1250cc liquid cooled, unitized construction engine with all the pushrods on the same plane. Unlike the Milwaukee 8, which only uses liquid or oil to cool the exhaust valves, this bad boy is entirely liquid cooled as can be seen by the lack of fins on the cylinder.
So there you have it folks, you heard it hear first: the new Sportster Engine is liquid cooled.