Best And Worst Years For Harley Evo Motor – Things To Know

The Evolution motor of Harley Davidson is one of the best motorcycle engines ever produced. People mostly call it “Evo Motor.” Harley Davidson has been using the Evo motor since 1984. They have mainly used the motor for their famous Sportster motorcycles. Also, you will find it in some big bikes like Dyna, Touring, and Softail models. 

The best year Harley motor includes 2014, 2010, and 2005 mainly when it integrated with the top Harley Sportster. The Evo motor of the Harley Sportster has seen an awesome design of the bike, exceptional engine performance, and reliability. 

However, the Evo engine has also gone through a few problems over the years. The weak points of the Evo engine include overheating issues, low oil pressure, engine smoking, power loss, and shutting off the engine abruptly. 

If you plan to buy a Harley motorcycle with Evo motor, you must know the best years and problems. And here, you will get precisely the same. So, let’s stick with the article. 

Harley Evo Motor

The Best Year Harley Evo Motor List 

The Best Year Harley Evo Motor List 

When we talk about the best years for Harley Evo, we mean the best motorcycles and their production year. It is because the engine is responsible for the performance of the motorcycle. So, which Evo motor integrated Harley motorbike has the best performance? We found the following three Harley Evo motor integrated Sportster models suitable for a superior and reliable recommendation. 

2014 Harley Xl 883n Iron 883

2014 Harley Xl 883n Iron 883

The 2014 XL 883N was a successful Sportster version of Harley Davidson. It used the Evo motor. Also, the motorcycle has seen a complete overhaul of the design. Riders were truly satisfied with the motor’s performance. 

The Evo motor had nice power delivery, a soft start compared to the hard start, and no overheating problems. Naturally, the Evo motor integrated with the 2014 Harley XL 883N became instantly popular among the motorcycle freaks. 

2010 Harley Crd Xr 1200

2010 Harley Crd Xr 1200

The CRD XR 1200 also uses an Evo motor. Interestingly, riders appreciated that this Evo motor of CRD XR 1200 is the best Harley Evo motor ever made. The engine delivered consistent performance without any power drop. So, riders could take it for long rides with confidence.  The engine didn’t showcase the overheating problem. Plus, its speed sensor performed amazingly well, a rare case for the Evo motors. 

2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster

2005 was the 20th anniversary of Evo Motor. So, this year Harley Davidson introduced it with the completely changed design of their Sportster versions. It didn’t have smoking or low oil pressure issues common for the Harley Evo motors. 

Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems 

Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems 

No doubt, Harley’s Evo motor is a piece of brilliant engineering. It is among the top-tier motorcycle engines worldwide. Nonetheless, there’re a few Harley Evo engine weak points. You need to address them if you want a buy a Harley motorcycle with an Evo engine. 

Low Oil Pressure

One of the most common Harley Evo problems is low oil pressure. If you have problems starting your Harley motorbike, it’s mostly for the low oil pressure. So, you must check the oil pressure and the supply line for the oil. 

Mostly, low oil pressure for the Evo engine happens when the recommended period for the oil gets over. As a motorcyclist, you must know when to change the engine oil. When you don’t change the oil within the recommended period, its level decreases. As a result, its pressure reduces, and you will have difficulty starting the motorcycle.  The solution is to change the engine oil within the recommended period. Or else the engine may even stop working. 

Cam Chain Tensioner

The twin-cooled Harley Evo motor is a great engineering piece. However, one of its most common issues is the cam chain tensioner. The problem became acute from 1999 to 2006. During this period, All the Evo engines in Harley Sportster have seen the cam chain tensioner problem. 

Harley addressed the problem and went through complete redesigning to solve it. However, if you have the Sportster with Evo engines from these years, you need to replace the chain system. The problem becomes even more acute since replacing the chain system is incredibly expensive. 

Engine Shutting Off Abruptly

Many Sportster riders with Evo motor complained that their motorcycle shut off irregularly in the middle of the road. The Evo engine shut off randomly in the 1991 to 2003 models. The reason for the problem was a defective temperature sensor. 

As the temperature sensor showed faulty readings, the engine shut off to save it from overheating damages. Thus, you need to change the temperature sensor. If changing the sensor doesn’t help, check the vacuum lines. Sometimes the vacuum line may break down to cause the random shutting off the problem.  Lastly, check the FPR (Fuel Pressure Report) regulator to see if it needs repairing or replacement.

The Smoking Problem Of The Engine

One of the most common and annoying Harley Davidson Evolution engine problems is with the cylinder gasket. Sometimes the gasket will stop working and become leaky. Consequently, you will see white smoke coming out of the engine cylinder. 

The problem starts when you have ridden the motorcycle for at least 60000-65000 miles. As the mileage increases, white smoke will come out of the cylinder. When it happens, you must check the head gasket immediately. 

Tapping And Clicking Sound

The tapping sound coming anywhere from your Harley motorcycle can be terrifying. It is because any unfamiliar sound almost always refers to a bad engine. Luckily, the tapping sound may come from a broker rocker part of the motorcycle in many cases. 

The sound may come for multiple reasons. Firstly, the cover of the air cleaner may have been missing. When the cover of the air cleaner is loose, you will hear a weird noise coming from the engine. Next, the bearing on the motorcycle’s brake lever has worn out or gone missing. When it happens, you will hear a clicking sound. 

Thirdly, the clicking sound may even become more prominent once you have ridden the Evo motor-made motorcycles for 80000 miles. The sound is annoying, but luckily it’s not as dangerous as other Harley Evo engine weak points. 

Problems With Starting The Motorcycle

Problems With Starting The Motorcycle

Hard starting is a common problem for all Harley Davidson motorcycles. The Evo motor is no exception to the hard starting problem either. Unfortunately, it can be truly tough to find the problem when you find it hard to start your Harley Evo motor-based motorcycle.  You must take the motorcycle to a mechanic when you see such a problem. He will inspect the engine and diagnose the problem. 

Loss Of Power Randomly

Even the best year Harley Evo motor faces the power loss problem. It takes place mostly because of the bad ignition problem. You may ask why the ignition coil of the Harley Evo engine causes the loss of unexpected power loss. 

In reality, the ignition coil is responsible for covert the low voltage current into a much higher voltage. It helps fire the engine. The ignition coil wears out after a specific time. Unfortunately, Harley Evo’s ignition coil seems to wear out sooner than an average bike. 

You can check the functionality of the ignition coil with the voltmeter. If you see that the coil fails to convert the voltage at the critical point, you will need to replace the coil. 


Harley Davidson’s Evo motor is a great engine for their motorcycle. They mostly use the engine for Sportster versions and a few big bike models. Also, the best year Harley Evo motor models include 2014, 2010, and 2005 mainly.

On the contrary, the common problems for Harley Evo motor include random shutting down, loss of power, unusual sounds, etc. Thankfully, you can solve most of these problems at home without the mechanic’s help.

3 thoughts on “Best And Worst Years For Harley Evo Motor – Things To Know”

  1. This is a terrible article. Poorly written with poor sentence structure. Suspect it was actually computer-generated by an AI (it’s that bad).

  2. the sportster engine was never known as the evo motor!! The evo was the 1340 engine used from 1984 to 1999,, in big bikes get your facts straight and yer head outta yer ass

  3. The Evo engine Started out as an 883 and 1200 cc engine and trans combo for the Sportster in 1984 So Actually Daniel Get your facts in order the Evo 1340 is the same designed engine just larger than the Sportster engine and instead of the Transmission attached to the
    engine the engine is attached to the inner primary and that also bolts to the tranny and a chain is run between the 2


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