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Variable Valve Timing Patents Could Bring the Harley-Davidson V-Twin Into This Century

These patent filings also depict pushrods relocated to the opposing sides of each cylinder, matching a change first noted in a Harley patent unearthed in August 2019. Both patents are speculated to be for a new generation of V-twin to replace the dated Evolution, which is still in use after 34 years on the Sportster line, but could be forced out of some markets later this year by tightening emissions regulations. If Harley is indeed fast-tracking a new, future-proofed engine, said engine’s arrival could be delayed by the company’s recent emergency downsizing, which resulted in some 700 layoffs worldwide.

The introduction of a VVT V-twin would make Harley one of, if not the last of the motorcycle manufacturers to add the tech to its engines. Honda pioneered the system in 1983 with the CBR400F, and with the help of its Japanese competitors, VVT gradually became commonplace on motorcycles throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Its arrival on a Harley V-twin is long overdue and should be welcomed by anyone fond of the unmistakable Harley brap.

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