Motorcycle Engine Service

Tuning V Twin motorcycle engines, including adjustments to the fuel injection system and ignition timing, is crucial for optimizing the performance of custom V Twins and performance Harley Davidson motorcycles.

A compression test can identify issues with the engine's internal components, such as pistons, rings, and valves, ensuring the engine's power and performance.

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Motorcycle Engine Service

Harley Davidson Maintenance

This includes checking all oil levels and quality, replacing the oil and oil filter at recommended intervals, and inspecting the engine for any leaks or unusual noises. Regular maintenance ensures the engine runs smoothly and helps identify issues before they become major problems.

Air Filter

Maintaining a clean and efficient air filter is vital for optimal engine performance. It ensures the best fuel-air mixture and prevents power reduction due to clogging.

Spark Plug

Regular inspection and replacement of spark plugs are essential for efficient combustion and optimal engine performance, ensuring a smooth-running engine.

Engine Fasteners Check

Regularly checking and tightening engine fasteners are vital to prevent them from loosening due to vibrations and maintaining engine integrity.

Cooling System Service

For Harley Davidson service for liquid cooling systems, engine service includes checking the coolant level, replacing old coolant, and inspecting the radiator, hoses, and connections for leaks or damage. For air-cooled engines, it involves cleaning the fins and ensuring there's no debris blocking airflow.

Engine Timing

V Twin motorcycle engines with timing belts or chains, checking the timing system's condition is crucial. This includes inspecting the belt or chain for wear, checking tension, and ensuring the engine's timing is set correctly.

Fuel System Service

This involves cleaning or replacing the air filter, inspecting the fuel lines for cracks or leaks, and servicing the carburetor or fuel injection system to ensure proper air-fuel mixture and Harley Davidson engine performance.

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Valve Adjustment

Over time, the engine's valves may need adjustment to maintain proper clearances. Incorrect valve clearances can lead to poor engine performance, starting difficulties, and increased engine wear.

Compression Test

This test helps assess the engine's health by measuring the pressure inside the cylinders. Low compression can indicate worn rings, valves, or cylinder walls.

V Twin Engine Rebuilds

In cases where the engine has severe issues, such as significant loss of power, excessive oil consumption, or major internal noise, a complete engine rebuild may be necessary. This involves disassembling the engine, inspecting all components, replacing worn or damaged parts, and reassembling the engine.

Diagnostic Checks

With modern Harley Davidson engines featuring electronic control units (ECU), engine service might also include diagnostic checks using specialized equipment to read and interpret error codes from the ECU, helping to identify issues with the engine or related systems.

Belt or Chain Inspection

Inspecting and adjusting the drive belt or chain is necessary for Harley Davidson service, as their condition can significantly affect the engine's efficiency and power output.

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What is a Motorcycle Ignition System?

The ignition system is at the heart of a V Twin engine. Without a fully functional ignition system, a motorcycle simply won't run, making technicians' expertise in diagnosing and fixing these systems invaluable.

But what is a motorcycle ignition system, and what role does it play? Let's dive into the essentials of ignition systems and uncover how they generate the vital spark needed for your engine's performance.

At its core, the ignition system's mission is to ignite the air/fuel mixture within the engine. This spark must be precisely timed to coincide with the piston reaching the pinnacle of the compression stroke, ensuring efficient combustion and driving the piston downward with force and that distinctive V Twin engine sound. It's not just about creating a high-voltage spark; timing is everything. The sparkplug needs to fire at the precise moment for optimal engine power.

This system doesn't work in isolation—it's part of a trio of interconnected electrical systems within your motorcycle. Alongside the ignition system, you'll find the starting system, which includes the battery, ignition switch, and starter motor, and the charging system, which comprises the stator, rectifier/regulator, and battery. Each plays a distinct role in the fine-tuning of V Twin engines, and the ignition system is the conductor, ensuring every performance is perfect.


Group I, II, and III petroleum-based lubricants are derived from oil pumped from the ground, whereas Group IV and V synthetic lubricants are chemically produced in a lab. Petroleum-based lubricants inherit physical components of the source crude oil in the refining process. Meanwhile, synthetic lubricants are custom-formulated to have desired properties for specific purposes, meaning that engineers have complete control of the lubricant from start to finish—down to the molecular level.

Petroleum lubricants have been around for a long time and are effective at lubricating in most conditions. Still, mineral oil often can’t compete with the purity of synthetic lubricants—especially in extreme conditions. Synthetic oil does a better job of reducing wear and resisting breakdown under a broader range of operating temperatures.


Harley Davidson engine oil and oil filter should initially be changed at the 1,000-mile service interval, followed by every subsequent 5,000-mile service interval. However, if your riding conditions are harsh—like frequent hard riding, dusty environments, or cold weather—the oil and filter may need more frequent changes. Additionally, it's crucial to replace the engine oil and filter before putting your motorcycle into winter storage (or any prolonged storage) to ensure the oil remains clean and devoid of contaminants. The clean oil will protect the internal engine during a longer storage duration.

If your V Twin engine has been idle for an extended period, particularly at the onset of the riding season, changing the oil is advisable—even if it was replaced before storage. Oil can deteriorate over time, irrespective of usage. An oil change is also recommended when riding in extreme conditions, such as severe temperatures or dusty areas, to maintain optimal lubrication and ensure your motorcycle operates smoothly.