Harley Davidson is a legendary brand of motorcycles that has been in existence for over a century.
With its unmistakable sound and iconic design, Harley Davidson is synonymous with the American motorcycle culture.
One of the most popular engines produced by Harley Davidson is the Harley 96 engine.
In this article, we will explore whether the Harley 96 engine is a good choice for motorcycle enthusiasts looking for a powerful and reliable engine.
is the Harley 96 a good engine
Yes, the Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 96 engine is generally considered to be a good engine. It was introduced in 2007 and was used in various Harley-Davidson models until it was replaced by the Milwaukee-Eight engine in 2017.
Here is a table of some of the key specifications of the Harley Twin Cam 96 engine:
|Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96 V-Twin
|1584 cc (96 cubic inches)
|67.6 hp @ 5500 rpm
|73.8 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm
|Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Pros and cons of the Harley 96 engine
The Twin Cam 96 is a solid engine that delivers a smooth and reliable ride, but it may not be the best choice for those seeking the most power or fuel efficiency.
Here are some pros and cons of the Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 96 engine:
Reliable: The Twin Cam 96 engine is known for its durability and long lifespan.
Smooth performance: The engine delivers smooth power and torque, making for a comfortable ride.
Customizability: There are a lot of aftermarket parts and accessories available for the Twin Cam 96, allowing for customization to fit individual preferences.
Classic Harley sound: The V-twin engine produces a distinct, classic Harley-Davidson sound that many riders love.
Not the most powerful engine: While the Twin Cam 96 is a good engine, it doesn’t have the most impressive horsepower and torque numbers, especially when compared to newer Harley-Davidson engines.
Heat: The air-cooled engine can run hot, especially in stop-and-go traffic or on hot days.
Maintenance: The engine requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Fuel efficiency: The Twin Cam 96 isn’t the most fuel-efficient engine, which can be a concern for some riders.
Comparison of the Harley 96 engine to other Harley engines
Harley 96 engine has a larger displacement of 1584cc and produces more power and torque. Here’s a table comparing the Harley 96 engine to other popular Harley engines:
Cost of the Harley 96 engine
The cost of the Harley 96 engine can depend on various factors such as the motorcycle model, dealer pricing, and availability.
Here’s a table with estimated costs for the Harley 96 engine for different motorcycle models:
|Estimated Cost of Harley 96 Engine
|$3,500 to $4,500
|$3,500 to $4,500
|$3,500 to $4,500
|$2,500 to $3,500
Maintenance and upkeep of the Harley 96 engine
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of a Harley 96 engine, regular maintenance, and upkeep are essential. Here are some steps to keep in mind:
Regular oil changes:
The engine oil should be changed every 5,000 miles. Use high-quality oil and filters to keep the engine running smoothly.
First, warm up the engine for a few minutes to help the oil flow better. Turn off the engine, and remove the drain plug from the oil pan using a socket wrench.
Let the old oil drain out into an oil pan. Replace the drain plug and remove the old oil filter using an oil filter wrench.
Put a thin layer of new oil on the rubber gasket of the new filter and install it.
Fill the engine with new oil as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and check the oil level with the dipstick.
Check And Maintain The Cooling System:
The Harley 96 engine can run hot, keep an eye on the cooling system. Make sure the coolant levels are topped up, and the radiator is free of debris.
Let the engine cool down and remove the radiator cap. The coolant should be at the recommended level marked on the overflow tank.
If it’s low, add a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Check the radiator fins for any debris, and clean them if necessary.
Maintain the drive belt:
The drive belt should be checked regularly for wear and proper tension. Replace it if it’s worn or damaged.
To check the tension, push down on the belt midway between the pulleys with a force of 10 pounds.
The deflection should be between 5/16 to 3/8 inches. Adjust the tension if necessary using the tensioner mechanism.
Keep the air filter clean:
The air filter should be checked and cleaned regularly to ensure optimal airflow to the engine.
To clean the air filter, remove the air cleaner cover using a screwdriver.
Take out the filter element and clean it using compressed air or mild detergent and water. Let it dry completely before reinstalling it.
Check the spark plugs:
The spark plugs should be checked and replaced as needed to ensure proper combustion.
To check the spark plugs, remove the spark plug wires using a spark plug wire puller. Use a spark plug socket to remove the plugs.
Check the plugs for signs of wear or fouling. If they’re dirty or worn, replace them with new ones. Make sure to tighten the spark plugs to the recommended torque.
Keep the battery charged:
The battery should be charged regularly to prevent it from discharging and potentially causing starting issues.
Use a battery charger to charge the battery fully before storing the motorcycle.
If the motorcycle is in regular use, make sure the battery is charged and maintained using a battery tender.
Have a qualified mechanic inspect the engine and other components regularly to catch any potential issues before they become bigger problems.
A mechanic can check the engine compression, valve clearance, and other vital components to ensure they’re in good condition.
They can also perform a visual inspection of the engine, wiring, and other components to check for signs of wear or damage.
Modifications for the Harley 96 engine
Owners of this engine may want to modify it to improve its performance, sound, or appearance. Know some of these common modifications for the Harley 96 engine:
Upgrading the exhaust system is one of the most popular modifications for the Harley 96 engine.
A high-performance exhaust system can improve the engine’s performance and sound.
There are several types of exhaust systems available, including slip-on mufflers, full systems, and 2-into-1 systems.
Upgrading the air intake can also improve the engine’s performance.
A high-flow air intake system can increase the amount of air that reaches the engine, resulting in more power.
There are several types of air intake systems available, including high-flow air filters and complete air intake kits.
Fuel management system:
To ensure that the engine runs properly with the upgraded exhaust and air intake systems, a fuel management system may be needed.
These systems adjust the fuel delivery to match the engine’s needs and can improve performance and throttle response.
Upgrading the camshaft can improve the engine’s performance by increasing the lift and duration of the valves.
A high-performance camshaft can improve throttle response and low-end torque.
Porting and polishing the cylinder heads can improve the engine’s flow, resulting in more power.
A qualified mechanic can perform this modification to ensure that the engine runs smoothly.
Upgrading the ignition system can improve the engine’s performance by providing a stronger spark.
There are several types of ignition systems available, including high-performance coils and programmable ignition systems.
Upgrading the suspension can improve the bike’s handling and comfort. Upgraded suspension components can provide better ride quality and control.
Is The Harley 96 Engine Suitable For Long-Distance Touring?
Yes, the Harley 96 engine is suitable for long-distance touring.
The comfort of the motorcycle will depend on other factors such as suspension and seating.
What Is The Lifespan Of The Harley 96 Engine?
The lifespan of the Harley 96 engine can vary depending on the level of maintenance and usage.
With proper maintenance, the engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Is The Harley 96 Engine Noisy?
The noise level of the Harley 96 engine can vary depending on the exhaust system and other modifications.
It is generally considered to have a distinctive and desirable sound.
How Does The Harley 96 Engine Compare To Other Harley Engines?
The Harley 96 engine is a popular engine used in many Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Compared to other engines, it is known for its reliability, smoothness, and low-end torque.
Does The Harley 96 Engine Require Special Maintenance?
No, the Harley 96 engine does not require special maintenance.
Regular oil changes and other routine maintenance tasks are necessary to keep the engine running smoothly.
Can The Harley 96 Engine Handle Aggressive Riding?
Yes, the Harley 96 engine can handle aggressive riding.
Modifications such as upgraded suspension and brakes may be necessary for optimal performance.
Is The Harley 96 Engine A Good Choice For A Beginner Rider?
The Harley 96 engine can be a good choice for beginner riders, depending on their comfort level and experience.
Choose a motorcycle that is appropriate for the rider’s skill level and take appropriate safety precautions.
The Harley 96 engine is a popular and reliable engine used in many Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
With proper maintenance, it can last for hundreds of thousands of miles and is suitable for long-distance touring.
The engine can also be modified for increased performance and power, but research and chooses compatible parts.
The Harley 96 engine is a good choice for riders who value reliability, smoothness, and low-end torque.