Harley-Davidson Files Patent for New V-Twin Engine with VVT

Harley-Davidson has filed a patent for a new engine design that uses variable valve timing. Officially, the patent is not specifically for a VVT system but rather for a modular engine balancer that mounts on either side of a crankshaft. The patent does however describe how the VVT phase timing is incorporated into the balancer module.

The patent uses a rough drawing of a Fat Bob, but only as a general example of a motorcycle. The engine details, however, show clear differences from existing Harley-Davidson engines. The new engine design still uses overhead valves, but with pushrods running on opposite sides of each cylinder, which matches a design in a separate patent we uncovered last August. Both patents were originally filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in early 2019, with Harley-Davidson engineer Johann Voges as the only credited inventor, making it likely they’re for the same engine.

The drawings show air-cooling fins, though the fins have uneven contours, curving in and out at at different spots around the cylinder. There’s also no oil filter at the front of the engine. It’s difficult to get a sense of proportion in these patent illustrations, but it’s possible we’re looking at the replacement for the ancient Sportster engine.

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