MENOMONEE FALLS, Wisc.--To Harley-Davidson riders, the Powertrain Operations facility here just north of Milwaukee is hallowed ground. It's where the hearts of their favorite bikes start beating.
Engines for most of the Harley-Davidson line come alive here before they head to bike assembly plants in Pennsylvania and Missouri. To help promote Harley-Davidson's emerging Dark Custom line, CNET was invited to stroll through the plant as part of its Steel Toe Tour this past weekend to see how the company's V-Twin engines come together.
Harley-Davidson began offering the Powertrain Operations tour in 2010, escorting a small number of motorcycle lovers through the factory floor to see the various stages of V-Twin engine construction. The tour builds chronologically from the construction, refinement, and inspection of engine components, including cam heads and pistons, to the fly wheel assemblies and overall engine build. About 100 employees work in two shifts at Powertrain Operations alongside Swedish-made industrial robots that perform assembly and inspection. … Read more