The V-twin engine has a long and distinguished history. Early V-twins such as the 810.8 cc engine made by Harley-Davidson were innovations that gave better performance than other engine models of the day.
Over the years V-twin engines have kept up with the times with manufactures like Harley Davidson, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha continually updating the engines to get more power and improved reliability while keeping the classic design of the original engine.
Depending on the engine designer, the angle of the V in the engine can range from 45- to 90-degrees. Some may comment that the engine vibrates too much; in today’s engines, vibrations have been greatly reduced allowing the rider to extend the ride. But few will argue the fact that the V-twin engine has a sound that will get your blood pumping.
The V twin engine has great characteristics such as high torque over the full rpm range and simplicity in the overall design. This simplicity allows for many ways to add upgrades to your motorcycle.
Some simple upgrades? Adding a muffler or exhaust will allow the engine to breathe better, improving performance. Usually when an exhaust is replaced the air cleaner is also replaced with an after market model.
Ready to take the next step and get some more grunt out of your V-twin? The next path in search of more horsepower is to install a new set of bolt-in cams. Now depending on your preference for where and when you want your new power to kick in, there is a large selection of cams for you to choose from. You can get a set of cams for street or touring use with more mid-range and upper end power or mild street cams that produce more torque and horsepower for all-around riding.
The fine-tuning that can be done seems almost endless but be sure to check with your vender after you perform these upgrades because your motorcycle may require re-jetting if your using carburetors, or a new map uploaded to the ECU if you have fuel injection..
If you have made it this far with your engine you are well on your way to a major addiction, more horsepower. So embrace your V-twin; get to know what can be done with your motor. Enjoy your motorcycle and make it yours.