Spied! Design details of new Harley-Davidson V-twin

Harley-Davidson shocked the motorcycle world last summer when it announced plans to build an adventure bike and a streetfighter, along with other models based on a new V-twin. Details on that powerplant have been scant so far, but now we have some patent drawings of the new engine.

Motorcycle.com found these drawings filed at the European Intellectual Property Office, showing external views of the Motor Company’s soon-to-be-released engine. What do they show? They show a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin. That is a big departure from form for Harley-Davidson, as the MoCo is best-known for air-cooled 45-degree V-twins. However, Harley-Davidson has a history of building 60-degree V-twins when it uses liquid cooling (the V-Rod and and now the Street 500 and Street 750 were built around water-cooled 60-degree V-twins).

Harley-Davidson has indicated at least three, maybe four possible displacements for this engine. The Pan America adventure bike is supposed to run a 1250 cc version of the engine, and the Streetfighter is said to have a 975 cc version. There’s likely a smaller version, maybe a 750, in the works, and maybe a larger version as well.

Supposedly, the first bikes featuring this engine are supposed to hit the market in 2020. Stay tuned, as this is going to be one of the most interesting periods in North American motorcycle history.


Check out all the pics that go with this story!


  1. Is that a conventional counter-shaft sprocket I see and not a pulley? Is Harley (wisely) abandoning belt drive for the new models?

    And what is “JAP SCRAP”?

    • Countershaft sprocket it is, the adventure model prototype as a sprocket with a chain wrapped around it while the streetfighter as a rear pulley (belt wasn’t installed). Being prototypes this could change but not too surprising for the av model to use a chain.

  2. Harley manufactured a great 60-degree bike for a few years: VRSCR Street Rod. Fantastic product!
    (Problem was: nobody bought one.)
    Therefore they pushed the ridiculous, low, faux-dragster VRod which handled… poorly.
    Lots of power to be had from modern L/C V-twins though. Look what Indian has done.

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