Tech Tip – Torque or Horsepower?

The bigger the cubic inches the more power your engine is going to have. For example a 103 cubic inch engine will create more power than a 96 cubic inch motor. Thus giving you more throttle to accelerate from the stop light or pass that annoying car on the highway. An engine is just like an air pump, the bigger the displacement the more pumping power. A V-Twin will also run smoother and experience better fuel economy once the airflow is opened up from a basic stage-1 kit (Exhaust, Air-Cleaner, Power Commander).

Frequently we’ll hear riders talk about how much horsepower their motorcycle makes. These claims are sometimes unbelievable. We’ll also hear some riders state that they prefer more torque over horsepower.  Harley-Davidson performance means different things to different riders. To some, it’s just about getting a little extra power and better sound from their Harley. Others want to produce 100HP or more.

Most Harley riders will feel the greatest benefits with torque gains in the low to mid rpm range. When you talk about Harley-Davidson performance, do you mean torque, horsepower or both?
•    Torque is pulling power. It’s this power that gets you moving and pushes you back in the saddle.
•    Horsepower is the higher-end spinning power that keeps you moving and generates top-end speed.

For most Harley-Davidson riders, it makes little sense to try to increase engine performance in the 4,000 to 6,000 rpm range, when most of your riding occurs between 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, especially when doing may negatively affect your torque output.

You can get good low to mid-range performance out of your Harley-Davidson engine without a ton of modifications. If you’re looking for better performance, the first question you need to ask is; “Torque or Horsepower?”


Here are some number that your stock Harley…

Harley-Davidson Twin Cam (1450cc / 88” 45 degree single plug v-twin with F.I.) – 62hp & 77 ft lbs of torque

Harley-Davidson Twin Cam (1584cc / 96” 45 degree single plug v-twin with F.I.) – 66hp & 82 ft lbs of torque

Harley-Davidson Twin Cam (1688cc / 103” 45 degree single plug v-twin with F.I.) – 83hp & 95 ft lbs of torque

Harley-Davidson Twin Cam (1800cc / 110” 45 degree single plug v-twin with F.I.) – 95hp & 110 ft lbs of torque

103 and 110″ Twin Cooled bikes Touring 103″ 76.40HP 90.20TQ  110″ 84.80HP 98.94TQ