The Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight: A Revolution in American Motorcycle Engineering

The Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight: A Revolution in American Motorcycle Engineering


The Milwaukee-Eight engine marked a significant milestone in the storied history of Harley-Davidson, representing the company's commitment to innovation and performance. As the ninth Big Twin engine produced by the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, the Milwaukee-Eight has redefined the riding experience for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will delve into the history of the Milwaukee-Eight, exploring its development, unique features, and impact on the Harley-Davidson lineup.

The Genesis of the Milwaukee-Eight

The Milwaukee-Eight engine was introduced in 2016 as the successor to the long-running Twin Cam engine, which had been in production since 1999. The new engine was designed to address the evolving needs and preferences of modern motorcycle riders while maintaining the signature look and feel of a Harley-Davidson Big Twin.

The Development Process

The development of the Milwaukee-Eight engine was a collaborative effort between Harley-Davidson's engineering team and its passionate community of riders. Through extensive research and feedback from riders, the company identified several key areas for improvement, including power, torque, cooling, and overall refinement.

The result of this collaboration was a new engine that maintained the classic Harley-Davidson aesthetic while incorporating significant advancements in technology and performance. The Milwaukee-Eight became the first new Big Twin engine from Harley-Davidson in nearly two decades, marking a new chapter in the company's history.

Features and Innovations

The Milwaukee-Eight engine brought several innovations and improvements to the Harley-Davidson lineup:

  1. Increased Power and Torque: The Milwaukee-Eight engine offers up to 10% more torque compared to the Twin Cam engine, providing a more responsive and exhilarating riding experience.

  2. Improved Cooling: The Milwaukee-Eight is available in both air-cooled and precision liquid-cooled versions, allowing for better heat management and reduced engine temperatures.

  3. Reduced Vibrations: While maintaining the signature Harley-Davidson "potato-potato" exhaust note, the Milwaukee-Eight engine features a counter-balancer that reduces primary vibrations, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride.

  4. Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: The Milwaukee-Eight engine's advanced combustion system and four-valve cylinder heads improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

  5. Simplified Maintenance: The Milwaukee-Eight's single-cam design reduces complexity and simplifies maintenance, making it easier for riders to perform routine service.

The Impact on the Harley-Davidson Lineup

The introduction of the Milwaukee-Eight engine had a significant impact on the Harley-Davidson lineup, leading to the redesign and consolidation of several models. In 2018, the Softail and Dyna families were merged into a single lineup featuring the Milwaukee-Eight engine. The engine has also been incorporated into the Touring and Trike models, offering riders across the Harley-Davidson range the opportunity to experience the improved performance and comfort of the Milwaukee-Eight.


The history of the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight engine is a testament to the company's dedication to continuous improvement and evolution. By incorporating cutting-edge technology and engineering advancements while staying true to the brand's heritage, the Milwaukee-Eight has ushered in a new era of performance, comfort, and style for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. As the latest in a long line of iconic American motorcycle engines, the Milwaukee-Eight is poised to leave a lasting legacy in the world of motorcycling.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.