Harley unveils new engine for 2017 models

Other updates also announced

Assembled Milwaukee-Eight engines at Harley-Davidson's Powertrain Operations factory in Menomonee Falls, Wis., await shipment for final vehicle assembly. (PRNewsFoto/Harley-Davidson)

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. announced a new engine for its 2017 model year touring motorcycles.

Assembled Milwaukee-Eight engines at Harley-Davidson's Powertrain Operations factory in Menomonee Falls, Wis., await shipment for final vehicle assembly. (PRNewsFoto/Harley-Davidson)
Assembled Milwaukee-Eight engines at Harley-Davidson’s Powertrain Operations factory in Menomonee Falls await shipment for final vehicle assembly. (PRNewsFoto/Harley-Davidson)

The Milwaukee-Eight engine is designed to retain the classic look and feel for Harley Big Twin engines while also improving performance, comfort and control, the company said in announcing the new design. The engine produces 10 percent more torque than previous models. It is counterbalanced to reduce vibration and a new heat management strategy is intended to improve rider comfort.

The company also announced new front and rear suspension components for touring models, along with a line of aftermarket parts.

Harley has come under increasing pressure to maintain its market share in recent years. To counteract that, the company last year announced a $70 million increase in spending on marketing and product development. That included a 65 percent increase in customer-facing marketing and a 35 percent increase in spending on product development.

The company is combining those two elements with a Facebook Live event to take customers behind-the-scenes at its Menomonee Falls powertrain facility. The event is set for 12:30 p.m. today.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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