Solving Harley Milwaukee 8 Problems: An Ultimate Guide!

Common issues with Harley Milwaukee 8’s include: transmission fluid issues, cold starting, oil sumping issue, power loss, fuel injection and lean mixture problems etc. Since its release in 2016, most of the Milwaukee 8 riders have often faced these issues. 

Although these problems are serious, by following a few procedures, one can easily resolve them and ensure that they don’t recur in the future. So, continue reading to learn more about these in detail.

Troubleshooting and Fix for Milwaukee 8 problems

The Milwaukee Eight was first introduced by Harley-Davidson in 2017. This is a liquid cooled, V-twin engine that is the successor of the Twin Cam engine. 

For a long time, this has been praised for its smooth power delivery, improved fuel economy, and low emissions. However, like any bike, the Milwaukee Eight is not without its problems. 

Here are some of the most common problems that Milwaukee Eight owners often face with their troubleshooting and fixing procedures.

Transmission fluid problems

Transmission Fluid Problems
Transmission Fluid Problems

This is one of the most common problems that Milwaukee-Eight owners often experience. The problem is caused by a faulty push rod, damaged or worn seals, defective primary cover etc. 

The symptoms of this issue: loud noises, low fluid levels, overheating, and difficulty shifting gears. To troubleshoot this issue, first check the level of the transmission fluid. 

If it is found okay then Check the primary for leaks and inspect the push rod in the transmission. Also look for wet spots, drips, or stains, which could suggest a leaky seal or gasket.

To solve this, ensure there is enough transmission fluid. But if you notice any leaks, then repair or replace that part. Also, if the push rod is found to be faulty, you have to replace it. 

If you are not experienced enough, then take it to a mechanic. This might cost you around $500 and $1000

Read Also: Harley Davidson Street 500 Problems: Top 6 Issues to Know

Cold starting problem

This problem mainly occurs when anyone tries to start their bike at a temperature below 10°C. And this happens because of a faulty/weak battery, engine oil issues, or a jammed fuel system.

To troubleshoot this, first check the battery. If it shows proper voltage, then check the engine oil to make sure it’s compatible with the bike. 

Next, inspect the fuel system to ensure it’s not jammed and supply enough fuel to the engine.

To solve this issue, check if the battery is weak, then charge it or replace it if necessary. Next, make sure you are using the correct engine oil. 

Here, you can check the owner’s manual or consult a mechanic to know the exact engine oil type.

This issue is easy to fix, and you can do it yourself. A new battery will cost you around $100 to $150. And a new engine oil might cost about $90 to $160.

Oil sumping issue

Oil sumping issue
Oil sumping issue

Oil sumping, or wet sumping, is a condition where oil builds up in the crankcase and cam gearcase instead of returning to the oil tank. 

Those whose bikes were manufactured between 2017 and 2019 mostly face this problem.

Basically, this issue causes excessive friction and power loss. Smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, overheating, engine failure, etc. are the symptoms of this issue.

This issue typically occurs due to a faulty oil pump. So in the troubleshooting process, first check the oil pump to ensure it’s working perfectly. 

If it is found faulty then replacing the pump is the only solution. This might cost you between $300 and $700.

Read Also: Harley Davidson 5 Speed Transmission Problems: Tips & Fixes!

Power loss issue

This issue can cause the bike to suddenly lose power or have reduced acceleration. In some cases, motorcycles might even stall. 

Basically, this problem arises because of a faulty oil pump or injector, air intake restrictions, and ignition system malfunctions.

In order to troubleshoot and fix this issue, check the oil level first and ensure there is enough oil. 

After that, check the oil pump and injector for damage/blockage and if necessary, repair or replace them. If the issue still persists, then check the fuel system.

And make sure it is clean, and working properly. Besides, inspect the air intake system and make sure it is all working as it should. 

Blockages or restrictions in the air intake system can restrict air entering the engine, which negatively impacts combustion and power generation. 

But, if this method doesn’t work, then take your bike to a mechanic. Depending on the issue, this might cost you around $50 to $300. 

Lean mixture and fuel injection problems

Lean mixture refers to an improper fuel-air ratio in comparison to the required amount for proper combustion. 

It can cause poor idle power, erratic throttle response, slow acceleration, a loss in power output, and low range power. 

This issue mainly occurs because of a faulty fuel injection system, a clogged fuel filter, and a faulty fuel pump.

To troubleshoot this, check the fuel filter, fuel injectors, fuel pump, and engine management system. 

While checking, if you find any issues with them, try to repair or replace that defective part.

Additionally, you can install BoosterPlug. This will help you get smooth acceleration and power output, instant throttle response, and fuel efficiency. And it’ll cost you around $150 to $200.

Read Also: Harley Davidson Rocker Problems with Troubleshooting!

Tips To Prevent Milwaukee 8 Problems

Along with knowing about troubleshooting and fixing methods, you should also have a proper knowledge how to prevent these issues. 

This will not only save you money but also your time. So follow these tips to prevent Milwaukee 8 problems:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and perform routine checks
  • Always use high-quality fuel, engine oil and filters
  • Before riding, allow the engine to warm up properly
  • Avoid excessive revving, especially when it is cold
  • Check the spark plugs regularly
  • When you’re not riding the bike, store it in a dry and cool place
  • Regularly inspect and clean the air intake and exhaust system

Read Also: Harley Davidson Street 750 Problems: Troubleshooting and Fixes

Should You Buy Used Milwaukee 8?

Yes, you should. Because a new motorcycle with this configuration won’t be available for the price you will pay. 

But before purchasing, look over its general condition, mileage, and appearance. Here are 3 reasons you should buy a used Milwaukee 8:

  • You’ll get a premium bike at a low price
  • While selling it later, you won’t lose much money
  • It’ll will help you decide whether to buy a new one or not


Although we have covered most of it in this article, you may still have some unanswered questions in your mind. So to get answers to some of these questions, read this FAQ section.

Is It Possible To Drive A Milwaukee 8 With The Above Mentioned Problems?

Yes. Technically, it’s possible to drive a Milwaukee 8 with these problems. But it’s always recommended not to do so. Because continuously riding in these conditions puts not only your life at risk but also the lives of other people on the road.

How Long Does It Take To Resolve Milwaukee 8 Problems?

Basically, it’s quite hard to say the exact time required to solve Milwaukee 8 problems as it depends on several things. Mostly, it takes 2-3 hours. But any major issue could take days to solve.

Is Harley Milwaukee 8’S Replacement Parts Readily Available?

Yes. You can easily find them in a variety of sources. Such as: Harley Davidson dealerships, online retailers, and aftermarket parts suppliers. But always buy them from a reputable source and ensure that they follow the company’s regulations.

Final Words

The Milwaukee 8 has a powerful and torquey engine that powers Harley touring bikes and CVO™ models

It also has an excellent reputation among motorcycle enthusiasts, especially Harley fans. Still, like any other bike, it can show some issues. 

So you have to care about their condition. Because a well-maintained bike not only lasts longer but also performs better.

Read Also: 4 Major Harley Davidson 103 Engine Problems & Solutions

Similar Posts