If you’re a fan of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, you probably know that the Twin Cam engine has been a staple in Harley’s lineup since 1999.
Over the years, this iconic engine has undergone several changes and improvements, making it one of the most beloved engines in the motorcycle world.
As with any engine, there have been some model years that are considered better than others.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the best-year Harley Twin Cam engine and what makes it stand out from the rest.
The Best Year Harley Twin Cam Engine
The Harley Twin Cam engine is an iconic piece of machinery that has been in production for over two decades.
With its classic design and powerful performance, it has become a staple of the Harley-Davidson brand.
But, when it comes to choosing the “best year” for the Twin Cam engine, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Twin Cam 88 (1999-2006)
The first version of the Twin Cam engine was introduced in 1999 and ran until 2006. It was an 88-cubic-inch engine that produced impressive torque and horsepower.
This engine was well-received by the Harley community, and it quickly became a favorite among riders.
However, it had a few issues with its cam chain tensioners, which caused premature wear and required replacement.
2. Twin Cam 96 (2007-2016)
In 2007, the Twin Cam 96 was introduced, which was an upgrade from the previous version.
This engine had a larger displacement of 96 cubic inches and featured a more robust cam chain tensioner system.
It also had a higher compression ratio, which led to increased power and better overall performance.
This engine was considered to be a significant improvement over the previous version, and it was widely popular among riders.
3. Twin Cam 103 (2012-2017)
The Twin Cam 103 was introduced in 2012 and ran until 2017. It had a larger displacement of 103 cubic inches, which led to increased power and torque.
It also featured an improved cooling system, which helped to prevent overheating.
This engine was well-regarded among Harley enthusiasts, and it was considered to be one of the best engines ever produced by the company.
4. Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 (2014-2016)
In 2014, Harley introduced the Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 engine, which was a step up from the previous versions.
This engine had a larger displacement of 110 cubic inches and featured a liquid-cooled cylinder head.
It also had an improved oil cooling system, which helped to prevent overheating.
This engine was only produced for a few years, but it was considered to be one of the best engines ever produced by the company.
What are the Differences Between Model Years?
Over the years, Harley has made various changes and upgrades to these engines, resulting in different Twin Cam engine models.
Here are the main differences between the different Twin Cam engine models:
|Model Year Range||Engine Size||Valve Train||Upgrades/Changes|
|Twin Cam 88||1999-2006||88 cubic inches (1,450 cc)||Pushrod-operated, two valves per cylinder|
|Twin Cam 96||2007-2016||96 cubic inches (1,584 cc)||Pushrod-operated, two valves per cylinder|
|Twin Cam 103||2012-2017||103 cubic inches (1,690 cc)||Pushrod-operated, two valves per cylinder|
|Twin Cam 110||2007-2017||110 cubic inches (1,803 cc)||Pushrod-operated, two valves per cylinder|
|Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110||2014-2016||110 cubic inches (1,803 cc)||Liquid-cooled cylinder heads and exhaust|
As you can see from the table, the main differences between the different Twin Cam engine models are in their engine size, valve train, and upgrades/changes over the years.
The Twin Cam 88 was the first model, while the Twin Cam 96, 103, and 110 were introduced later with increased displacement and improved cam chain tensioners.
The Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 was a unique model with liquid-cooled cylinder heads and exhaust, available only in CVO models and discontinued after 2016.
All Twin Cam engines are pushrod-operated and have two valves per cylinder, and were available in Softail, Dyna, and Touring models.
Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Year for Harley Twin Cam Engine
When it comes to choosing the best year for a Harley Twin Cam engine, there are several factors that riders should consider. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Model Year:
Harley Davidson first introduced the Twin Cam engine in 1999, so it’s important to consider the model year of the bike you’re interested in.
Each year, Harley made improvements and updates to the Twin Cam engine, so newer models may have better performance and reliability.
2. Engine Size:
Twin Cam engines come in a range of sizes, from 88 cubic inches (ci) to 110ci.
The larger engines typically have more power and torque, but they also consume more fuel and generate more heat.
Riders should consider their riding style and preferences when choosing an engine size.
3. Power and Torque:
The amount of power and torque generated by a Twin Cam engine can vary depending on the year and model.
Riders should consider how much power they need for their riding style and whether they want a bike that’s quick off the line or has better top-end speed.
4. Fuel Injection:
In 2001, Harley introduced electronic fuel injection (EFI) on some Twin Cam models, which improved fuel efficiency and performance.
Riders may want to consider a newer model with EFI if they’re concerned about fuel economy.
5. Cooling System:
Twin Cam engines come with either air-cooled or liquid-cooled options.
Air-cooled engines are simpler and require less maintenance, but they can also run hotter in certain conditions.
Liquid-cooled engines provide better heat management and can offer more consistent performance, but they may be more complex and expensive to maintain.
Like any engine, Twin Cam engines require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
Riders should consider the ease of maintenance and availability of parts when choosing a model year.
Some newer models may have more complex systems that require more specialized maintenance.
Finally, riders should consider the price of the bike when choosing a model year.
Newer models with more features and improvements will typically cost more, while older models may be more affordable but may require more maintenance or have less advanced features.
How to Maintain and Upgrade Harley Twin Cam Engine?
Maintaining and upgrading your Harley Twin Cam engine is important to ensure that your motorcycle runs smoothly and reliably. Here are some tips and points to consider:
1. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your Harley Twin Cam engine in good condition.
You should follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and have your bike serviced by a qualified mechanic.
Some key maintenance tasks include oil changes, spark plug replacement, and air filter cleaning/replacement.
2. Upgrading your Harley Twin Cam engine can improve its performance and power.
Some popular upgrades include installing a high-performance air intake, upgrading the exhaust system, and installing a performance camshaft.
However, it’s important to note that these upgrades may require modifications to other parts of your bike, so it’s best to consult with a mechanic before making any major changes.
3. Keep your Harley Twin Cam engine clean and free of debris. Dirt and debris can accumulate in the engine and cause damage over time. Regular cleaning and inspection can help prevent this.
4. Check the oil level and condition regularly. Low or dirty oil can cause engine damage, so it’s important to keep an eye on this.
Also, make sure to use the recommended oil type for your specific Harley Twin Cam model.
5. Check the battery regularly and replace it as needed. A dead battery can cause starting problems and other issues with your motorcycle.
It’s a good idea to test your battery periodically and replace it if it’s not holding a charge.
6. Pay attention to any unusual sounds or performance issues with your Harley Twin Cam engine.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s best to have it inspected by a mechanic to identify any potential problems before they become more serious.
1. What Is The Harley Twin Cam Engine?
The Harley Twin Cam engine is a V-twin engine used in Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
It was first introduced in 1999 as a replacement for the Evo engine.
2. What Makes The Harley Twin Cam Engine Special?
The Harley Twin Cam engine is known for its reliability and power.
It’s a very durable engine that’s built to last, and it’s also relatively easy to work on, which makes it a popular choice for customization.
3. What Is The Best Year For The Harley Twin Cam Engine?
The best year for the Harley Twin Cam engine really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want the most power and performance, the later models (2007-2017) are generally considered the best.
However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, the earlier models (1999-2006) can still provide plenty of power and performance at a lower cost.
4. What Are Some Common Issues With The Harley Twin Cam Engine?
Some common issues with the Harley Twin Cam engine include oil leaks, cam chain tensioner problems, and transmission issues.
However, these issues can often be addressed through proper maintenance and upgrades.
5. Can The Harley Twin Cam Engine Be Customized?
Yes, the Harley Twin Cam engine is a popular choice for customization.
There are many aftermarket parts and upgrades available to improve performance and customize the look of your bike.
After considering all the factors, it’s safe to say that the Harley Twin Cam engine had its best year in 2007.
This model addressed the various issues found in previous versions of the engine, including cam chain tensioners and oil leaks, resulting in a more reliable and efficient engine.
In addition, 2007 was the last year the engine was produced before being replaced by the newer Milwaukee-Eight engine in 2017.
Therefore, for those who want a classic Harley with a reliable engine, the 2007 Twin Cam is a great option to consider.