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View Full Version : What is so hot about twin cams?


jwillie
18th January 2005, 16:51
OK...I ride bikes, but I don't know or care how they work. And I want a Sportster. I have been negotiating on a 1200R for a couple of weeks and am getting close to a deal (I think I am...however, this is the second time that I have thought this). Yesterday, I went to the parts department to price the add-ons that I want to get, and started talking simplicity, maintenance, durability, etc., and all three of the guys jumped on me and said that I would be crazy not to spend a little more and get the twin cam engine. No comparison, fewer problems, etc....Go with the "cheapest" Dyna. What in the hell are they talking about? Will somebody please "'splain" (in real non-technical terms) what the deal is with the twin cam that makes it so much better (per the parts guys)?

jwillie

Nightboy
18th January 2005, 17:03
Actually the Sportster XL1200 Evo motor is a better design than the TC88 motor. I am the owner of an 03' TC88B Night Train Softail FI.

With my TC88 I had to actually do alot of replacing to get rid of alot of the inherant weak links of the motor. That included the chain driven cams(converted to gear drive),the oil pump and pressure spring,rocker support plates,cam support plate.Compression releases are also needed for higher CR setups. Once this is done, then the engine will be a much better platform to work on, but I had to spend alot of cash just to prep the motor for the "go fast" parts. There is also alot of clearance work that needs to be done in the rocker covers just to get a decent grind to fit also.

Now with an EVO 1200, especially the new one, its a very durable platform right out of the box. It features 4 seperate cams, which allow for optimal valve angle geometry in the head. Has no inherant leaking spots anymore(due to the new stronger 2 piece rocker boxes and redesigned tappet lifter covers), is designed out of the box to be right side drive(for better weight distribution)obviously too. Working on the EVO XL 1200 is also a snap. Its just such a well though out platform. The TC88 actually takes alot of cues from this motor, but from a "technical" standpoint, the XL is a much cleaner deisgn.

Get your 1200r(you've always wanted a Sportster right?), and then with the thousands saved from an overpriced Dyna, get all the mods done and have a real "sleeper" rocketship.

Also, http://www.haleshd.com always sells HD parts for 20% off retail. So does ChicagoHD(but special order parts takes forever through them), so dont waste your money paying retail for prices through your dealership.

Plus BE AWARE, that you can pick up a 1200r at MSRP at alot of dealerships!!!($8715 in color) You should only be paying MSRP, plus destination charge($195), plus title/documentation fees($50-$100). So total price should be no more than $9000 OUT THE DOOR(before any sales tax)! The supply/damand ratio is now starting to favor the consumer, so dont let them talk you into any more than 9 grand tops. Plus its off season too. Everything will favor you, its your cash. Shop around if you need too.

willprevale
18th January 2005, 17:07
OK, the sprortster is marketed as an entry level bike. That means it's a little cheaper and subsequently a little less profit. A certain amount of sporty riders do upgrade as eveidenced by the new/used ones for sale. However, there's a bunch of harcore Sportster owners like us that won't go that route, for whatever personal reasons.

I suspect you're being moved up sooner than anticipated. As to the tech differences, I don't own one but you'll get your answer soon.

Moved On
18th January 2005, 17:18
Sell Twin Cam = Higher profit for the dealer = Larger year end bonus for all employees.
Sell XL = Lower profit for dealer = Lower year end bonus for all employees.

Gazza

pilot
18th January 2005, 18:46
Yeah, buy the twinkie with fuel injection, then almost no other shops will know how to tune it when you "pay the taxes", except for the stealership. Definately get the sportster. They've made inprovments to that motor since 1957, surely in 47 years they're doin something right. Sounds like they figure you for deep pockets since you're deciding what chrome doo dads you want for a bike you don't even have yet. Good luck, and DON'T pay over MSRP.

willprevale
18th January 2005, 18:55
Good luck, and DON'T pay over MSRP.

You don't have to overpay anymore. Those days are fast (and thankfully) coming to a close.

xena
18th January 2005, 19:02
As others have said, the sales guy is trying to push you to a bike that costs more so he can make more on the sale. Don't let them
bully you. Get the Sportster if that's what you want because they're great bikes and sure to please.
Far as total cost goes, I always calculated "out the door" as including destination charges, title prep, sales tax, and inspection sticker so that would bring the OTD price higher than what Nightboy mentioned. Good luck with your purchase!

Gone
18th January 2005, 19:14
The twin cam reduces some of the inertia in the valve system allowing for higher RPM, Overhead cams can allow for a more optimal combustion chamber when you are designing the heads. Will it affect the way the engine performs? Only if you take advantage of these things. Would it make a difference if the Sportster had a twin cam engine ---NO. Mostly this is a point that is important to the MARKETING department. You could go for the twin cam in a bigger bike but you would gain many pounds of weight; more weight = less nimbleness. Less nimbleness less fun.

Desertfox
19th January 2005, 03:20
Yeah, buy the twinkie with fuel injection, then almost no other shops will know how to tune it when you "pay the taxes", except for the stealership. Definately get the sportster. They've made inprovments to that motor since 1957, surely in 47 years they're doin something right. Sounds like they figure you for deep pockets since you're deciding what chrome doo dads you want for a bike you don't even have yet. Good luck, and DON'T pay over MSRP.


Not only do the twinkies cost more to buy they cost a HELL of a lot more to have anything done to them. To me the Sportster is the most perfectly balanced motorcycle. Best blend of form and function. Hell even my 883 routinely walks away from BT's.

stevo
19th January 2005, 03:30
If ya ride solo most of the time.. sporty is a good choice....

If ya do a LOT of 2 up then the extra room makes it more comfortable....

From a technical point of view the Twinkies is more of an oversized sporty than a newer designed EVO...

It is easier to get biger HP numbers out of a Twinkie but ya pushin a bit more weight..

Havin said that I can buy bolt on parts out of the SE catologue to get a Twinkie to run 11's .. ya still gotta go to the aftermarket to do that with a sporty..
Mind you the $$$ I have to pay for those SE parts would get me running way quicker on a sporty..

Sporty is more sporty......... that's the bottom line

XLinAL
19th January 2005, 03:41
Yeah, buy the twinkie with fuel injection, then almost no other shops will know how to tune it when you "pay the taxes", except for the stealership.

That's if the Moco in your area know how to tune EFI. My local dealer has a dyno that, from talking to them, nobody really knows how to use.



Another thing to consider: insurance on a sportster will be considerably less. When I was looking at bikes I was amazed at the difference in insurance costs between engine sizes.

PS don't even ask about crotch rocket insurance.

wickedsprint
19th January 2005, 05:00
Nightboy...how hard was it to convert the cams to geardrive on your TC88? I admit I know basically nothing about that engine, how are the counterbalancers driven?

stevo
19th January 2005, 05:06
Ya just plonk in a set of gear drive cams instead of the chain ones...

The counterbalancers are driven off the crank..... and are only on the softails...

Dynas and FLH's are rubber mounted and don't have a need for balancers...

Softails are solid mount like pre '04 sporties and HD put balancers in for the yuppie softies..... personally don't like the balanced softails... feels like a bloody sewing machine

Nightboy
19th January 2005, 05:08
Counterbalancers are driven by a chain and run off the crank assembly.They can be reomved with the crank assembly rebanaced, but I dont mind them at all. You cant even hear them in a heavily modified motor. Gear conversion for me was a snap on the TC88B I also replaced the cam support plate with a new billit unit. A few basic specialties are needed for pressing/pulling the bearings and cams. In my case I only pressed new bearings into the new support plate with the new cams(Woods TW 6HG)and their respective gears.

wickedsprint
19th January 2005, 05:12
So you can do this with the engine in the frame I assume? One of the biggest turn offs about the new TC88s to me was the internal chains and the balancers. So does a superglide sport not have balancers??

stevo
19th January 2005, 05:18
No balancers in an FXDX....

and ya can still do all the top end and cams and out to 95" with motor in frame.....

Nightboy
19th January 2005, 05:19
So you can do this with the engine in the frame I assume? One of the biggest turn offs about the new TC88s to me was the internal chains and the balancers. So does a superglide sport not have balancers?? Yep. Doesnt need to be removed. Internal counterbalancers are on the Softails only, and they can be reomved outright if someone wanted to. The big issue with the engine is the sloppy chain driven cams. They need to be replaced if you want to get into good reliable hp and torque numbers IMO.