S&S Cycle is set to trump its top selling T124 engine with a 143" (2,343cc) Long Block as a direct bolt-in fit for stock 2008 and later Harley Tourer frames.
Technically speaking, this isn't quite the largest ever displacement offered by S&S, but it is the largest engine they have offered as a direct modification-free fit in a stock chassis.
Back in 2003, to celebrate 45 years in business and as a tribute to founders George and Marjorie Smith, S&S marked Harley's 100th anniversary with a limited production of 145" engines. However, that engine was 1 1/4" higher than the stock engines of the time, so would not fit Harley frames without modification.
The new T143 recognizes the changes that have taken place in the market, and in Harley-Davidson's production model mix, since the then-revolutionary T124 made its debut at around the same time and became the new standard for large capacity engine swaps.
There's no question that the T143 is a serious contribution to the market, producing a claimed 162hp and 151 ft.lb. of torque! Key features of the new engine include new B3 heads, designed specifically for the T143, that "optimally locate the intake and exhaust ports to fit in the chassis, while providing adequate flow for this large displacement engine.
"The contour of the rocker boxes has been addressed to help clear the frame, and a proprietary 70mm 'Throttle Hog' and 'Stealth' air cleaner have been designed to deliver the air flow."
The B3 heads are CNC machined with two-bolt exhaust flanges. The engine features Super Stock T2 crankcases with reed breather valve, 3 piece flywheels, high flow oil pump and cam cover, 635 Easy Start gear drive cams and S&S 1.75:1 rocker arms for .674in total lift with premium S&S lifters.
The T143 isn't a replacement for the T124 in the S&S Cycle range, but an additional or alternative option for Tourer riders who think "too much is just about right", as S&S Vice President of Product Development Scott Sjovall eloquently put it "at double the hp of a stock engine, the power of the T143 clearly isn't going to be to every rider's taste, but there is no question that there is now demand for a larger displacement option."
"As always, S&S Cycle is tracking the market and proud to be able to offer our dealers access to a performance package that opens the door to a new generation of power."
The T143 Long Block does not include a fuel system, but an intake kit is available that includes a special 70mm 'Throttle Hog' throttle body with the special ports that mate to the new S&S B3 cylinder heads. S&S recommends high flow injectors with a flow rate of 12.15 g/sec for optimal performance.
The T143 is available in Wrinkle Black or Stone Gray powder coat finish.
Work on the engine has been underway at S&S Cycle's Viola, Wisconsin "skunk works" for some time, with the project internally being referred to as the "Big Shorty". The company is acutely aware that the T143 is a high performance offering, but provided the installer is experienced and that tuning is handled appropriately, the engine will exploit the improved capability of Harley's 2008 and later Tourer frames.
Being promoted as the "Biggest, Baddest Bolt-In", it is not thought likely that the T143 will be the first shot in a displacement arms race of the kind that was seen from the mid-1990s to around 2006, but instead as a recognition of the realities of contemporary heavyweight touring.
S&S say that the horsepower and torque claims are at the rear wheel measurements. The S&S facebook page shows a teaser video of an upcoming project bike dubbed "Project Dragon", featuring a H-D Road Glide equipped with the T143, and mentions project sponsors including Ohlins, Brock's Performance, T-Man Performance, Pingel and Rivera Primo. Motorcycle.com says that "this most certainly points to a tricked-out Road Glide dragster that may even be capable of a 9-second quarter mile."
Social media initial reaction to the T143 has been almost universally positive with petrol heads the world over, with many riders pointing to a displacement deficit in the market where Harley's Touring models are concerned.