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Specifications of a Shovelhead 80 Inch Engine

by John Willis

In 1966, Harley-Davidson replaced its V-twin Panhead engine with the V-twin Shovelhead. This would be Harley's motor for the next 18 years until the Panhead yielded to the Evo, or Evolution, engine --- also a Harley signature V-twin configuration.


Shovelheads were twin-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke motors. The V was arranged front-to-back. The cylinders were aligned at 45 degrees around the crankshaft. While the bottom half of the Shovelheads were the same, they were made in two sizes: 75 and 80 cubic inches.

Engine Size

The 80-inch, 1,310-cc engine had a bore diameter of 3.498 inches and a stroke of 4.250 inches or 88.85 x 107.95 mm. Compression remained fairly low at 8:1 and 7.4: 1 on post-1980 models. The larger, 80-inch engine was known also as the FLH from its inception until 1978. The smaller 1,200-cc unit was known as the FL. The FL and FLH designations were dropped in 1978.


Early 80-inch/FLH Shovelheads produced a maximum 66 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. From 1970 to 1984, maximum horsepower dipped slightly to 62, peaking at 5,400 rpm. Horsepower dipped to 60 in 1978 to 1980 models, climbing to 65 in 1981 through 1984 versions.

About the Author

John Willis founded a publishing company in 1993, co-writing and publishing guidebooks in Portland, OR. His articles have appeared in national publications, including the "Wall Street Journal." With expertise in marketing, publishing, advertising and public relations, John has founded four writing-related ventures. He studied economics, art and writing at Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

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