Harley-Davidson Evo vs. Twin Cams: Which Is The Best Cam?

Since the late 90s, Harley Evo and Twin Cam have been waging a constant battle. As a basic matter of fact, the two engines have very different characteristics and perks. Because of this, we wish to explain to you which one would be best for you.

Davidson Evo Vs. Twin cam – how does it differ? When it comes to buying one of the best bikes, many people ask this question. Before settling on your valuable decision, you should consider the similarities and differences between the two models.

Let’s compare the Harley-Davidson Evo with the twin-cam model and examine the characteristics of each! Take a closer look at several noteworthy factors to find out more about the differences in-depth.

Harley Evo Vs. Twin Cam Engine: In-Short Discussion

Let’s look at what else makes this a head-to-head comparison.

Harley- Evo EngineHarley- Twin Cam Engine
Old-style        Modern style
Single gear driven cam        Dual chain driven cams
Compression ratio:- 8.5:19:1
Engine power:- 1340 CC (80ci)      1801 CC (110ci)
It’s not friendly to the environment          Friendly to environment
Poor fuel injectionMuch better fuel injection
Bore:- 3.5 inchesBore:- 3.75 inches (95 mm)
Stoke:- 3.8 inchesStroke:- 4.00 inches (102 mm)

In-Depth Discussion Between Harley Evo Vs. Twin Cams:

Engines differ primarily based on their displacements, mileages, performance, etc. For several reasons, this comparison is very close. Let’s check the battle:

Introduction To The Harley-Davidson EVO Engine

Evo engines: what do they do? Evo engines have been around since 1999 and are variations on twin-cam designs. Aluminum metal is used for Evo’s head and cylinder structures. This weight reduction allows a motorbike to be lighter than a machine built of cast iron.

Therefore, using it is very easy, with little effort required on your part. Evo was designed to reduce vibration, noise, and harshness. Softail models that have this feature are: the Heritage Softail Classic, Deuce, Fat Boy, and FXS Softail Blackline.

Introduction To The Harley-Davidson Twin Cam Engine

Due to the shortcomings of Evolution engines, Harley-Davidson decided to design a more powerful engine. In the first stage, a chain-driven system replaced the gear-driven system with a single camshaft. The intake valves are controlled by one camshaft and the exhaust valves by the other.

Within the Twin- Cam brand, there is a high degree of respect. These engines are used in models such as the Dynas, Sportster, Softails, and Touring. In addition, this unit continues to be revised to fit newly released models.

Engine Power

Evolution engines started appearing in Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 1984, usually referred to as Evo engines, which were extremely rebuildable. Versions available today include:

  • 883 cc
  • 1100 cc
  • 1200 cc
  • 1337 cc

Since 1999, Twin Cam has been available. You can choose from 4 displacement options today:

  • 88 cubic (1450 cc)
  • 96 cubic (1584 cc)
  • 103 cubic (1690 cc)
  • 110 cubic (1801 cc)


This engine has two valves per cylinder and is rubber-mounted liquid-cooled. In terms of displacement, it is 69 cubic inches (cubic centimeters), which means the compression ratio is just over 10:1 – significantly lower than the standard evolution. A high compression ratio increases the torque of the Evo engine and makes it ride smoothly.

Compared to previous models, the crankshaft of the Evo is lighter, which helps improve efficiency. Twin Cam engines perform better than Evos. The displacement rating of TC is 88ci (1450) versus 80ci (1340) for Evo. Furthermore, it has a higher torque, which makes it more reliable. Because of this, it’s the strongest Harley ever.


Namely, there is a difference. Twin cam engines have two cams, one for each cylinder. They have two lobes each. A silent chain drives the cams.

In the Evo, the cam is driven by gears, and there is only one cam with four lobes. All the power you demand is available silently and without any interruptions. The cam drive ensures everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.


During the 1980s, Harley discovered that the Evolution engine was highly rebuildable, hence the name Evo engine. At present, they are available in 883 cc, 1100 cc, 1200 cc, and 1337 cc sizes.

Twin Cams were created in 1999. The current market offers models with displacements of 88 ci (1450 cc); 96 ci (1584 cc); 103 ci (1690 cc); and 110 ci (1801 cc) respectively.

Pushrod Angle

Pushrod angles increase as the cam size decreases. Because Evo engines only have one cam, they have higher pushrod angles. On the other hand, Twin Cams feature a smaller pushrod angle than single Cams.

More cam lift is possible with a smaller pushrod angle. Introducing more powerful and more powerful engines was made possible by Harley’s two-cam system. To make this improvement, the engine’s reliability wasn’t even compromised.

Combustion Chamber And Oil System

Harley added significant changes to their oil in the late 90s, which were meant to improve stability. This is because the oil requires quick reaction time, an extreme mechanical load, and higher temperatures. The pumps on EVO engines are external, and their routes run through gears and filters.

The tank sits underneath the saddle, next to the battery. It’s a D-shaped combustion chamber. An oil pump in a Twin-Cam engine is internally located (twin-gerotor) and drives the pinion directly. Below the transmission assembly is the oil tank. Bathtub-shaped combustion chambers have higher compression numbers.


This engine features Evo heads and Evo crankcases derived from the twin-cam design. Piston cooling is done via oil squirters, hydraulic tappets, an Evo balancer unit, Evo pushrods, a tensioner for the cam chain, and roller rockers. A Harley Davidson plant in Kansas City assembles the bikes after being shipped to the United States.

As with the other models, the engine was redesigned to improve performance. The dual chain gear drive mechanism meets EPA specifications with its dual chain gear drive mechanism. Therefore, the superior design of this motor makes it the most environmentally friendly among its predecessors.

Transmission And Vibration

Evo transmissions are displaced from motors. The vibrations they produce give the feel of something rugged and muscular. It feels exciting and enjoyable. You shouldn’t use Twin Cams if you find softer vibrations boring.

With Twin Cams, the transmission casing is attached directly to the rubber mount.

Mechanical Reliability

Twin Cam engines are indeed less complicated mechanically than Evo engines. If you don’t like working on your bike with a wrench and are not too mechanically inclined, go for Twin Cams. Because of the dual coil ignition system, there is no waste of sparks. Whereas, if you occasionally put your mechanical skills to good use, you may prefer the Evo.

The Differences In Cooling

Cooling efficiency is lower on the Evo than the Twin-Cam, which doesn’t pose a problem for weekend rides, but can be a problem on long rides. On a hot day, you may never stop your bike since you don’t want to stop.

As a result of a lack of air circulation, it will heat up quickly in traffic. Consequently, the Twin-Cams, which have a smaller surface area, may have an issue.

Harley Evo Vs. Twin Cam Engine: Which is the better engine?

Compared with Evo and Twin Cam, both bikes are reliable. They have both been designed by Harley to be fail-safe and reliable. It is important to be aware of the Evo vibration as you plan long rides on your bike.

This vibration may become more noticeable over time as you ride. In the future, both engines will be able to perform at an exceptional level due to their virtually identical torque. Take into account your budget and time limitations when choosing a bike for yourself. Once you have done so, make your choice!


Are all Harley Evo motors the same?

There is no forward oil filter mount on the pre-92 models; the motor mounts are the same. There is a rear adapter plate for mounting a TC engine to an EVO frame.

How long does an Evo engine last?

It will last 150,000 easily if you keep it stock as far as bore goes. Keep it maintained, and it will last for that long.

Is Twin Cam better than Single Cam?

There are many differences between SOHC and DOHC engines, primarily their performance. Newer cars are often equipped with dual camshafts because they produce more horsepower. In contrast to SOHC engines, DOHC engines typically have 4 valves per cylinder instead of just one exhaust and one intake.

What are the benefits of a twin-cam engine?

The DOHC or twin cam engines are generally more powerful and offer better acceleration since they have improved airflow through the cylinders. Moreover, they can increase efficiency, resulting in a reduction in gas prices.

Finale Thoughts

The Harley Evo Vs. Twin Cam engines are popular engine brands. Riders can adjust valve lash without removing the cams when the Evo is equipped with an extendable pushrod system featuring rocker arms. Alternatively, hydraulic lifters adjust clearance automatically when operated by the Twin- Cam.

Lastly, it depends on your personal taste and preference. Make sure that you run both engines a few times before deciding which engine will work best for you. It is never a mistake to use either engine.

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