Sportster and BigTwin Evo (Dyna,Softail) Engines...any difference? [Archive] - The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum (2022)

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Blow-by

21st July 2014, 03:26

Hey guys,

I have always been attracted to a few particular models outside the sportster range, including many inside of it. but one thing that has bothered me is the twin cam engine, i dont like the chain driven cam and i was wondering do the different "big twins" of the 90's to early 00's (pre 04/06-ish) using the "Big twin evo" use a 100% equal engine aside from displacement (ceteris parabus)?

If so, do they have combined primary and tranny such as ours?

and lastly which year was the last carb'd EVO big twins in any of these particular models:

Dyna
Softail Springer Classic/Deluxe/Fatboy

If you have any insight into any of this please feel free to drop some K i've been trying to do some research here but this topic is not well written about in the different WIKI articles/around the web

rider61

21st July 2014, 03:32

http://http://www.american-v.co.uk/ORIGINAL/interface/logo_rev.jpg

ReddTigger

21st July 2014, 03:32

Only the Sportster has the Combined primary/trans.
The last year for carbs was 06.. 07 and later all EFI..
The EVO big twins are different beasts entirely from the Twin Cam.. So they're very little shared between them..

rider61

21st July 2014, 03:33

American v history has a lot of info on this matter

sportytrash

21st July 2014, 04:43

(Video) TUTO MÉCANIQUE MOTO : Changer ses disques d'embrayage

They evo is a good motor. Very similar top end to the evo sportster. Same top end gasket kit. IMO the twin cam came about when it did because everyone cloned the evo and the MoCo essentially no longer had its own unique offering .

Sleeper

21st July 2014, 12:37

The Evo Big Twin is my favorite motor. If I decide to get a BT again it will be an Evo. It was the perfect successor to the Shovelhead with much of the same engine architecture.
I like the big torque of the larger displacement Twin Cams but I'm not a big fan of the engine itself.
My favorite years are early to mid 90's carb'ed models. Around the middle of 1992 Harley got cheap and changed the cam bearing. If you buy an Evo BT built after that time you should make sure the cam bearing was upgraded. I think all Evo BT's should run at least a mild cam to wake up the motor. Changing out the bearing at the same time is cheap and easy. Other then that they are very reliable motors.

Stocker

21st July 2014, 19:03

Big Twin evolution motor was the best one they ever built. Easy to work on, parts are cheap, there are gazillions of them. You can pick up Evo powered bikes cheap. I snag everyone of them I can.

xllent01

21st July 2014, 19:29

To each their own, run whatever you like. I like evos more but I can understand why people like twincams.

It all gets tedious after a while.............

Every time HD brings out a new generation of engines, we go through this same old crap! And fondly remember the "good old days (and engine)" Does anyone else remember the hate that followed the intro of the now revered EVO? Horrendous base gasket leaks, flimsy aluminum cylinders, studs that pulled out of cases, way down on power, and of course, "Don't SOUND like a "real" Harley!

Wait a little longer. The cycle will repeat yet again. HD will introduce the next generation of engine, and we'll hear it all again.
And believe it or not, folks will reminisce about the good old days off the TC. Powerful, easily bored and stroked, reliable, oil tight, and of course, a HUGE aftermarket support!

Why... the new engine? well it's overly complicated, expensive, no parts support aftermarket, and dealer only maintained..plus HD still holds the patent, thus the reason you don't see TC Evo clones like S&S

And so it starts all over.....

SkinnyBill

21st July 2014, 19:41

I remember shirts in the late 80's and early 90's that said:

See no EVO
Hear no EVO
Ride no EVO

ReddTigger

21st July 2014, 19:48

I remember shirts in the late 80's and early 90's that said:

See no EVO
Hear no EVO
Ride no EVO

I think i still have some of them.. :D

cherokee jim

21st July 2014, 21:09

I'm digging my 96 incher(09 dyna).Checked the front tensioner couple days ago and it looks fine.So no worries there.(15k)
The bike runs like a scalded dog- she don't hesitate at all when I'm froggy on the wick.My 07 was a pita to get where she is now but it was worth the coin and time-she likes those new bikes coming out........not too shabby for a bike over 900 pounds.Might be the boys who think their bikes are fast aren't as heavy on the throttle but I am the first to hit the bar usually......unless one of those damn 72's are in the pack.......:D(I tried.....:D).
Not much around here can come close to the dyna pig tho and that is no bullshit.The only thing that really sucks about it(big pig) is the fuel mileage or lack there of.
All in all I got no issues with my twinkie motors,after 09 the gear whine is history in 5th.The ultra(07) howls nasty bad in 5th but so what- its how the gears were cut so I been told.

Really the only bitch I have is how bad the dyna eats tires........not good.Hopefully the comm II's will give me better mileage....if not I'm trying them shinko's my bro told me about.Hell they are cheaper for shits sake.

If I thought for one minute sporty's were less a bike than a BT there wouldn't be lil pig sitting next to my twinkies.
Hey, I like all of them and really it don't mean nothing which one you got-means more if you can keep them rolling.The older the better IMO.

xrayrider

21st July 2014, 21:35

I own a 2003 1200C, and a 1990 Softail Custom . Both are Evo motors. I have had them both apart. The top end design is the same. The main difference is that thetranny is seperate on the big twin, and can be removed without pulling the primary cover, and the cam/push rod set up. The Sportster has one cam for each pushrod, and a drive gear. The pushrods are oriented in a vertical position. The Bigtwin has two pushrods per cam (only two cams) that are angled from verticle so they can share a cam. I haven't had either bottom end apart, or split either case, but I would guess the crank may have differences, do to the tranny being different. The Sporty was the last year with a trap door access to remove the tranny without splitting the case. Not sure if the 2004+ models have any differences in the tranny crank orientation, probably never know. I see no reason to buy a bike with no trapdoor access.

Bone

21st July 2014, 21:39

Hey guys,

I have always been attracted to a few particular models outside the sportster range, including many inside of it. but one thing that has bothered me is the twin cam engine, i dont like the chain driven cam and i was wondering do the different "big twins" of the 90's to early 00's (pre 04/06-ish) using the "Big twin evo" use a 100% equal engine aside from displacement (ceteris parabus)?

If so, do they have combined primary and tranny such as ours?

and lastly which year was the last carb'd EVO big twins in any of these particular models:

Dyna
Softail Springer Classic/Deluxe/Fatboy

The EVO BT remains my favorite BT too. Yes, it makes less power than a 88 or 96 or 103, but really, who cares that's NOT what I buy a BT for.

The basic motor architecture was the same on the various EVO BTs but the primary's, oil pans/bags, and engine mounts varied enough that I believe there were unique cases for some lines.

The Softail line used a solidmounted version while the FXRs (Lowriders), FXDs (Dynas), and FLHs (Touring) models all used rubbermounted versions.

Yes you could (and I believe still can) buy a complete (improved) aftermarket S&S motor to bolt right in too.

Carbs were offered right till the end, though starting with the limited edition (1340 units) FLHTCUI in 1995 EFI became an option for the touring models only. You could get EFI on any of the 96 and later EVO FLH models (I got the first EFI EVO RK at my dealership in 96).

IF memory serves the TC replaced the EVO starting in the 1999 Dynas and FLHs, and then the Softails a year or so after that.

Anyway, I too remember the Shovelhead anti-EVO snobbery and that's got nothing to do with why I might chose an EVO over a TC. I might just do it for the simple "I like it better" factor.

As a matter of fact, I almost bought another low mileage EFI EVO FLH a year or two back. I might start looking again once we're settled again in a few months.

Stairman

21st July 2014, 22:40

I have a 99 Fatboy. To my knowledge this is the last year for the 80 EVO. Mine runs great. It keeps right up with my buddies newer bigger twin cam, no problem.

The first "new" Harley I bought was an 83 FXR. I knew they were going to release the new Evo motor in less than a year but I decide I was going to go with the Shovelhead. Even though they had some trouble over the years I thought I was less likely to have trouble with the Shovelhead. Since when does an American company produce a new product they don't have to get the bugs out of in the first few years. If I would have known then what I know now I would have waited for the Evo. Ten years later I traded in the Shovelhead for an Evo. I was never down on the Evo just skeptical about how it would work out. I knew a lot of guys that hated them for the longest time but finally came around. What aggravated the situation was when the so called yuppies and rubs started buying them. It just pissed off the guys who had put up with Harley's BS over the years that much more and the dealer catered to them more. By that time I had become a pretty good wage earner myself so that part of it didn't bother me so much. After rebuilding the top end three times and the transmission twice, not to mention all the little things that went south I was ready to move on. I still had a love for Harley's motorcycles despite the problems I had but I had lost all my love for the corporation and my local dealer by then.
Whether that's here or there...
The point I would like to make is not only was the Evo Big Twin a better motor and motorcycle at the time. It saved Harley Davidson. The Evo Sportster proved to be a better motor too but without the Evo BT there wouldn't be a Harley Davidson today.

Twin Cams
Yeah the Twin Cam makes more power, it should with all that extra displacement it has. Realistically though the Twin Cam doesn't make any more power per cubic inch than the Evo does. Bone mentioned he really doesn't care about the extra power and larger displacement the Twin Cam has. There are many, many Harley riders that feel the same way he does, it's a nonissue.
Don't forget the Twin Cams weigh more than their predecessors also. Some of us would rather ride a lighter bike.

If you're someone who wants that extra power from an Evo there's a ton of power options available for the Evo including a good selection of aftermaket crate motors.
My 93 Fatboy was running 12.20's ET's for well under $1K in parts and my 96 was running 11.60's with under $2K in parts and headwork. I weighed around 255~260 lbs dressed to ride then too. Not to bad?

My next Big Twin will most likely be a pumped up Evo Road King or a pumped up and stripped down Evo EG Classic.

Though I will say I was at the HD dealership earlier today and had a good look at a Softail Slim. I really did like it... a lot, despite that shitty TC motor. :smoke

xrayrider

22nd July 2014, 01:09

The last owner spent $5,000 building the motor in my Evo Softail, and had thereceipt s to prove it. It has highway gears, so it is a little slow from zero to 50, but it puts 127 horse to the ground, and is a little lighter than the new bikes, so it eats twinkies on the freeway. It will do 130 before I shift into fifth. I haven't ever bothered to top out fifth. It gets a little unstable above 130. Not going to try topping out fifth until I get a Superbrace, and stearing dampeners on it. Point being, if you can get that kind of power out of a 1340 Evo, why would I need more.

Sleeper

22nd July 2014, 01:32

Your right you really don't necessarily need more displacement to reach some very impressive power levels. The advantage of more displacement is you can make more power lower in the rev range. That said a 1340 is all you really need, they respond extremely well to properly done headwork.
I'm not in the market right now for another bike but I've been communicating with someone that has a Evo Road King for sale that was built by Wes Brown.
Waiting to hear back on the particulars.

ReddTigger

22nd July 2014, 01:43

One of the techs at my shop built a big evo softail. Bored stroked and ignorant.. cams had a .750 lift....
This thing would eat anything it came up against. It loved to chew up busas.

He said a twinkie wouldn't hold up to those pressures without thousands spent on machining..

xllent01

22nd July 2014, 01:49

The Evo is indeed a fine engine, it's certainly had it's own set of issues.

None of the issues in either engine series would keep me from buying a bike whether it be Evo, TC, TC88.... I'd look at the individual bike's history and care before buying it, and wouldn't be eliminating it from consideration because it's not an Evo, therefore will surely self-destruct.

Some things the TC has going for it:
1. Machining: The cases go through a total of 5 machine setups compared to 34 for the Evo. This is one of the reasons why the Evo leaks, every time you clamp it down, it distorts what was just machined.
2. The engine and tranny are bolted together as a unit making it stronger than the Evo. If you really hot rod the Evo, you’d better buy a Carlini torque arm.
3. TC has better combustion chamber, porting and piston design (and piston material)…at least on the 88”.
4. The breathing system is a little better but not much.
5. The dual cams gives a better actuation geometry on the rocker arms.
6. Lifters, while the same as the EVO, you no longer have to clean a screen (that many don’t even know exists) to the lifter blocks because of the improved oiling system.
7. Cooling… the TC cools just fine in it’s 88” form.

Sleeper

22nd July 2014, 01:57

One of the techs at my shop built a big evo softail. Bored stroked and ignorant.. cams had a .750 lift....
This thing would eat anything it came up against. It loved to chew up busas.

He said a twinkie wouldn't hold up to those pressures without thousands spent on machining..
Sounds like one hell of a motor.

Sleeper

22nd July 2014, 02:04

The Evo is indeed a fine engine, it's certainly had it's own set of issues.

None of the issues in either engine series would keep me from buying a bike whether it be Evo, TC, TC88.... I'd look at the individual bike's history and care before buying it, and wouldn't be eliminating it from consideration because it's not an Evo, therefore will surely self-destruct.

Some things the TC has going for it:
1. Machining: The cases go through a total of 5 machine setups compared to 34 for the Evo. This is one of the reasons why the Evo leaks, every time you clamp it down, it distorts what was just machined.
2. The engine and tranny are bolted together as a unit making it stronger than the Evo. If you really hot rod the Evo, you’d better buy a Carlini torque arm.
3. TC has better combustion chamber, porting and piston design (and piston material)…at least on the 88”.
4. The breathing system is a little better but not much.
5. The dual cams gives a better actuation geometry on the rocker arms.
6. Lifters, while the same as the EVO, you no longer have to clean a screen (that many don’t even know exists) to the lifter blocks because of the improved oiling system.
7. Cooling… the TC cools just fine in it’s 88” form.

So you're making good money now and you like to show off.
Is the TC your first Big Twin?

Rhetorical question, I'm just messing with you. :p

That Softail Slim I saw earlier today had me thinking. :)

cherokee jim

24th July 2014, 05:25

A riding pal of mine has a 91 heritage running a mikuni,an aftermarket ignition set up(don't remember which)and a set of long shots-she has no problem keeping up with my dyna 96-but to ride that thing is painful to say the least.Like a log truck on 2 wheels.Runs damn good tho and sounds better than my 96 IMO.
Atleast that heritage will lope on idle.......my 96...not so much.I wanted the newer version of a super glide so the 96 it was.
I can remember uncrating the very first Evo that hit Cherokee.....we took turns riding the shit out of that bike.Unreal compared to our old dinosaur shovelheads.It had it's share of problems but man what a huge difference in performance right out of the box.I would not have any problems with owning one-one of my favorites is the Heritage Classic Springer...what a gorgeous machine.

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