July 24, 2006 -- Harley-Davidson is introducing a new Big Twin engine in 2007, the Twin Cam 96, which will replace the Twin Cam 88 to power all models in Harley's Dyna, Softail and Touring lines. Each of these bikes also will offer a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission.
Bill Davidson, the company's director of motorcycle product development, stated: "The V-Twin engine has always been the centerpiece of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It's integral not only to the performance of the motorcycle, but also to its styling, to its sound, and to the way it feels to the rider. The new Twin Cam 96 and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission offer enhanced performance, while maintaining the traditional aesthetics of the Harley-Davidson Big Twin."
Along with the Dyna, Softail, and Touring lines, Harley is adding two new VRSC models in 2007, as well as a new FXSTC Softail Custom. In addition, a limited-edition, 50th anniversary edition of the Sportster model will be offered.
Harley says the combination of the Twin Cam 96 engine and six-speed transmission delivers up to 17% percent more torque than the Twin Cam 88 (varying according to model.) The new engine also incorporates a series of design changes that enhance performance and reliability, and it will be offered only with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI).
The six-speed transmission features quieter helical-cut gears in ratios optimized to match the torque curve of the Twin Cam 96. A sixth gear reduces engine rpm by 11% at highway speeds, and new mufflers have been tuned to enhance the lower sound frequencies for a more commanding exhaust tone.