Harley Evo Vs Twin Cams: Which Is The Best Cam Engine For Me?

The Twin Cam and Evo engines have some similarities like they both have hydraulic lifters and four valves per cylinder. But there are a lot of differences as well. If the discussion is about the differences between Twin Cam and Evo, here’s a brief.

Evo is a simple and minimalist design engine that has gear-driven cams and an external oil pump. On the other hand, Harley Twin Cams are modern engines and they’re designed with power in mind. They have internal oil pumps and chain-driven cams.

This is not the full picture, of course. You must know about their durability, longevity, performance, and fuel mileage to decide which one is better. Let’s go through the piece to know all of it.

The Harley Evo Vs Twin Cams: Which Is The Best:

Knowing the difference between evo and twin cam is crucial to pick one camshaft which is ideal for Harley. For that, I’ll describe each differential point based on experience by presenting the reasons.

Before that, here’s the Harley Evo camshaft comparison table on visible traits!

Comparison PointsHarley Evo EngineHarley Twin Cams Engine
Displacement883 cc, 1100 cc, 1200 cc, and 1337 cc1450 cc, 1550 cc, 1584 cc, 1690 cc, and 1801 cc
Driven CamGear-driven camChain-driven cam
Released Year1984 – 20001994 – 2017
Cam StyleSingle with 4 lobesDouble with 2 lobes
Oil Pump PositionExternalInternal
Spark Plug FirePlugs fire in pair (wasted spark)Not wasted spark
Oil Temperature200° F (93.33° C) or more200° F – 250 ° F (93.33° C – 121.11° C)
Shape Of Combustion CamberLetter ‘D’ Shape‘Oval’ shape
Harley Evo vs Twin Cams

Efficiency & Power

If talking about Evo vs Twin Cam, they both offer different levels of power to work. The TC (Twin Cam) is a lot more powerful and efficient than the Evo.

Not only the TC can ensure more torque power to operate but also provide better horsepower so that engine runs fast. It’s all thanks to the weight and valve train inertia.

Then again, the Evo fails to produce more HP, but it ensures stable power and torque speed to get the job done.

Winner: Twin Cam.

Heat Tolerance

The heat efficiency of Evo and TC is a lot diverse which you can notice if used on Harley. To make matters clear, the Twin Cam gets pretty hot when operating.

The Evo engine is equipped with an aluminum head that distributes heat more evenly compared to the Twin Cam’s cast iron design. Moreover, there are two valves in the Evo engine per cylinder that offer improved combustion.

These are the reasons why the Evo engine is superior to Twin Cam when it comes to heat dissipation.

Speaking of the supremacy of the Harley Evo, you may ask, “What’s the best cam for 1340 Evo?” While there could be a couple of answers, Andrews EV27 Cam would perform best for 1340 Evo.

Winner: Evo.


When it comes to the performance of Twin Cam vs Evo, both Evo and Twin Cam are reliable and powerful engines. Still, acceleration and fuel economy differ the engines in terms of performance. You’ll get more torque from the Twin Cam at lower RPMs.

This feature helps the Twin Cam to easily and quickly pull away your bike from stops. Also, it makes climbing hills easier.

On the contrary, the Evo engines speed up at higher RPMs but they produce more horsepower as well. Consequently, you can expect top-end speed from Evo engines at those higher RPMs.

However, the presence of two cams in one cylinder allows you to get increased performance from the Twin Cam engine. Performance is related to reliability, and if you ask about the evo vs twin cam reliability, both cams are reliable.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Fuel Mileage

Being operating engine, both uses fuel and oil to run a long mile. But one gives more fuel economy than another. 

When it’s about Evo vs Twin cam differences in fuel mileage, the Evo runs cool and doesn’t get hot which causes the engine to eat more fuel. As a rule of thumb, the hot engine takes less fuel.

Then again, the TC runs hot by offering more HP which causes the engine to use less fuel. That means it will ensure fuel economy.

Winner: Twin Cam.


Comparing the Evo vs Twin Cam sound will show a slight difference due to the spark plug firing. The Harley Evo camshaft sadly makes noise however it will not knock your head by making a terrible cracking sound due to a wasted spark. Which is a relief!

In comparison, the TC doesn’t make a brain-shaking sound as the spark plugs fire up one after another, unlike the Evo.

Winner: Twin Cam.

Travel Distance

As you already know that the Harley Evo cam gives more power when speeding up, this is the perfect option for you if you want to travel long distances.

As Harley Evo cams offer higher speed limits and they’re simple and lighter in construction, you can expect both agility and comfort from the Evo engine when traveling long distances.

Winner: Evo.

Lasting Ability

To explain the longevity of both engines, the Evo will stand longer due to its strong construction and inner gears. It will last for more than 200k miles (around 3 to 4 years).

In contrast, the Twin Cam is made to stand more than 100k – 150k miles (approximately 1 to 2 years). You can see the gap!

 Andrews EV27 Cam, Andrews EV23 Cam, and S&S Cycle 600 Cam are some of the answers if you ask for the best cam for Harley Evo.

Winner: Evo.

Benefits & Drawback Of Harley Evo Vs Twin Cams!

Although you’ve known a lot about the single cam vs twin cam by now, the comparison might not be enough to understand the right pick unless you know their positive and negative sides.

If you are interested to learn about Harley twin cam vs evo, take a look at the given details.

Evolution (SOHC) Engine


  • Gives less experience of wear. 
  • More reliable and dependable for Harley trucks. 
  • It is affordable and solid.
  • Less weight and perform great. 
  • Adds heat transfer to the cooling system.


  • A bit noisy.

If you ask about the best-year harley evo motor, the 2014 Harley XL 883N and the 2010 Harley CRD XR 1200 would be the answers.

Twin Cams (DOHC) Engine


  • More efficient and powerful to work fast.
  • It doesn’t make loud sounds. 
  • Runs pretty smoothly.
  • Ensure better airflow with no blockage.
  • Saves fuel from extra consumption.


  • Gets hot pretty easily.

Regarding the best-year Harley twin cam engine, you can go for the Harley-Davidson 2009 FXDF Dyna Fat Bob, the 2006 FXSTS Springer Softail, or the 2008 FXSTC Softail Custom. But try to avoid the 2005 Harley Softail Deluxe or the 2005 FXSTB Night Train as there are problems like oil leakage risk, use of cheap plastic shoes in the chain cam engine, etc.

The Harley Evo Vs Twin Cams

Wrapping Up

Still, wondering about Harley Evo vs Twin Cams which is the best cam? After seeing an in-depth comparison guide like this? Hope not!

The debate is on fire as both stay strong at their individual level to offer something great their opponent lacks. 

But I suggest you choose the Twin Cam for Harley if you need a silent working, powerful, fuel economy, and efficient engine. Or pick the Evo if your major requirements are longevity, less maintenance, and any weather usable engine.

Hope this detailed and explained comparison guide helps your buying journey! 

Bye For Now!

Leave a Comment

Written By

Photo of author

William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at Autoglobes.com with a passion for the automotive industry.