A camshaft is an engine device that helps open and close valves at desired timings during combustion. It is one of the critical contributors that increases the performance of a motorcycle by increasing engine power. Your Harley engine will also get an extended lifespan depending on the efficiency and effectiveness of the cam that you choose. Different types of cam exist, but not all are worth your investment. You’ve to pick the one built for your Harley’s engine. Here we bring the best options based on different Harley engines.
Best Cam for 96 Cubic Inch Harley – Feuling Reaper
Best Cam for Stock Twin Cam 88 – S&S Cycle 509G
Best Full Camshaft Kit (88, 96, 103 inch) – S & S Cycle 510G
Why Did We Choose the Cam Upgrades Above?
- These cams have a higher horsepower range.
- Most of these cams are designed for racing engines, so it does great on a 96, 103, 110-inch machine since these engines have been used mostly on hard street riding.
- Some of the cams are designed to work on all three motors with minimal problems.
- The lower end torque of the cams are slightly more minor displacement deviations than stock pistons. A lower compression ratio requirement as well as a more significant increase in horsepower throughout the entire powerband.
- These camshafts provide incredible horsepower across a large percent of the rpm range.
- The open exhaust lobe design helps with compatibility when building your motor.
Best Cam Upgrade for Harley Twin-Cam
Explaining Different Twin Cam Engines
S&S Twin Cam Engine: has 124 cubic inches of displacement with hydraulic lifters that get oil pressure from the pushrods.
Evo Engine: has 113 cubic inches of displacement with hydraulic lifters that get oil pressure from the pushrods.
Ricardo Engine: has 124 cubic inches of displacement with hydraulic lifters that get oil pressure from the pushrods. It is a new design built to replace the old Shovelhead.
Revolution Engine: has 141 cubic inches of displacement with hydraulic lifters that get oil pressure from the pushrods. This engine is lighter, more powerful, and offers better suspension performance.
Milwaukee 8 Engine: has 1641cc displacement with hydraulic lifters that get oil pressure from the pushrods. It has four valves per cylinder, a larger bore size, higher compression ratio, higher rev limit, improved camshaft profiles, reduced vibration levels.
Horsepower Of 110, 103, 96- And 88-Inch Twin-Cams
Horsepower has always been a fascinating subject to hot ridders and race fans. The high rpm revolutions of four, six- and eight-cylinder engines have created some of the most exciting racing machines ever built. Horsepower wars are nothing new in motorsports. The quest for more speed and power has been going on since day one.
1. Harley 103 -has 76 horsepower and 90 ft torque at 3,750 RPM.
2. Harley 96 -has 74 horsepower and 90 ft torque at 4,000 RPM.
3. Harley 88- has 69 horsepower and 80 ft torque at 3,750 RPM.
4. Harley 110 – has 83 horsepower and 90 ft torque at 3,750 RPM.
Harley Cam Comparison Chart
Harley engine components control how much air and fuel your engine can take in at a given time. It would be best if you matched up to your camshafts with your engine’s needs. Harley engines can run with either a high or low-profile camshaft, and each one is slightly different.
If the numbers are between 100 and 105, then you have a high-profile grind. This means that your cams will be designed for top-end power rather than throttle response or torque in lower rpm ranges. If you’ve got numbers between 85 and 100 on your engine, you will use a low-profile cam. Low-profile cams are designed to produce torque and acceleration in the lower rpm ranges, typically around three thousand RPM or more down.
Guide to Buy Cam Upgrades for Harley Twin-Cams 200
The cam you would want to buy should be based on the primary application. For example, if you are looking for a performance upgrade, you need cams to increase your horsepower and torque.
Bike and Engine Combination
Every engine has different needs when you are matching it with the appropriate camshaft profile. It depends upon various factors such as lift amount, duration, etc.
Your bike engine combination must be considered for fitment purposes before you buy the cams. Depending upon your motorcycle, various companies offer many different Cam-Upgrades that will perfectly fit your particular Harley Davidson engine and frame model.
Cam Intake Opening
This is the first point of contact for the cam lobe on the engine’s valve, and it has a significant impact on performance levels. It defines how well your engine will respond to throttle input from your hand and how good mileage, smooth cruising, etc., can be achieved.
Cam Intake Closing
You should check intake closing after considering the primary purpose of upgrading cams, stock setup, and other factors based upon individual needs.
Cam Exhaust Opening
The exhaust opening section of profiles affects the engine’s performance and sound output at idle and under load.
Cam Exhaust Closing
The exhaust closing section has a direct impact on the engine’s power output once. Exhaust gases pass through the respective motor cylinder, thus delivering unmatched performance levels alongside better throttle response time at any rpm level.
The cams for Harley increase in power as RPM rises. More significant engines will perform better with bigger cams and vice versa. Motorcycles with large engines tend to require the best cams with a large number of lobes.
Best Brand for Harley Cam Upgrade
1. Andrews Products
3. S&S Cycle
5. Hell Bent
6. Power Vision
7. Rinehart Racing
Is Cam Essential for Your Harley?
The cam is critically essential for your Harley. This is because it is what makes your engine get rid of the exhaust gasses. Without it, you’d be dumping gas into the crankcase, which would mess up your internals and oil and also pollute the environment. It would be best if you replaced it when it shows any signs of slippage or wears. Otherwise, you risk engine failure and severe injury.
How Do You Tell If Your Harley Is Cammed?
Warm up your Harley’s engine entirely and let it stabilize at operating temperature. Get on and pull in the front brake so that you can put your bike into 1st gear. Finally, take off and pay attention as your speed increases:
If, when going faster than 40mph, the motor begins to stutter or hesitate, then your gearing or valve timing is too low. If, instead, the engine revs freely right out until redline, then it is cammed.
Installing Cam Upgrade on Your Harley – Steps & Tips
1. Gather Tools and Parts required like cam for your exact year, new oil chains, and sprocket
2. Strip the bike down to the frame
3. prepare your engine for the cam upgrade or replacement in case you want a new cam.
4. Take out Camshaft, cam chain tensioner, sprocket, and oil pump assembly
5. clean your engine to remove any carbon build-up.
6. Inspect Cam sprocket and chain tensioner for wear or damage
7. For the new camshaft, you can use special tools to hold your camshaft in place so you can secure the timing sprocket.
8. Camshaft Installation: Slide camshaft into timing sprocket
9. Clean your engine with brake cleaner or carburetor cleaner to remove any grease and oil.
10. Apply High-Temperature Silicone Grease to Camshaft lobes and the cam journals on your engine. Do not grease the cam sprocket part.
Cams are critical parts of a Harley. You should choose carefully according to your budget and requirements. If you spend good cash on buying them, there will be no issues with your motor. It will run smoothly, and your motorcycle will provide good speed. It would be best if you always tried to buy the best product. A bad cam will never offer you any good result, and soon your motorcycle will start showing signs of serious problems.