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Standard Harley downloads and Sportsters.

Discussion in 'EFI Maps and Tuners' started by The Tourist, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    As you guys know, I put my Sportster into storage this weekend. And over the winter I intend to make some minor modifications.

    Most are creature comforts, like my new headlamp and a better seat. But one decision involves a download.

    While my Sportster 48 runs well, it also runs very hot. It got so hot one summer day at a long light that I shut the motor off intentionally. Had the stop been for a train I would have shut her down immediately without a thought.

    I have no desire to buy a super-tuner unless necessary. In speaking with a service writer on heat, he suggested different mufflers. My first inclination was, "Oh, no, here we go again..."

    I don't wish to make noise for the sake of being "kewl." I have a Screaming Beagle exhaust on Betty. But I did do some cursory research on what MoCo has to offer.

    If replaced, I can buy a generic Harley download for these mufflers with the comment that this "should fix" the problem.

    Should fix? The bike runs fine, it just runs hot. There is nothing to fix.

    Additionally, I'm of the opinion that my stock CPU is working fine. The bike never shut down because of heat (I do not know if I have that 'one cylinder' feature some big twins have), and when it's cold I do notice an up-tick in the idle speed as the engine warms up.

    I have 6000 miles on this bike. My guess is that I have already seen the good and the bad. But if necessary I could run the bike on a dyno. However, I keep telling myself that this bike is just a scooter for fun and transportation. Right now I'm thinking of just leaving my bike stock.:eek:

    What's your experience?
  2. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    JMO you can do the download and if you even have SE pipes and Filter that bike went
    a little further lean, ergo, hot.....

    The download JMO won't make it much cooler but it will add much needed fuel and the bike will run better..

    If you want it done correctly you will need a tuner such as a Powercommander

    check with Jamie at Fuel Moto USA see what he has, it would be bolt on

    Most heat is fixed with a little fuel and some timing changes...
  3. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    Thanks for the response.

    My initial guess was that MoCo was leaning out all of their motors to make EPA figures and still have air-cooled bikes.

    No matter what the reasoning, this is not a 'performance issue,' per se. The bike runs well, accelerates like a scalded cat and gets mileage within spec.

    The problem is just me. I do not like this engine heat, and that could just be that this is my first Sportster in quite a long while. Maybe they all run this hot, and have for years. I don't know.

    We had a month here in Wisconsin where the temperature was very hot. I don't think I wore anything but T-shirts and jean jackets for most of the riding season. I could park my bike in the garage, go have dinner and do the dishes and return to wipe down the bike while it still billowed heat.

    No joke here. One night I didn't get home until later and when the temps outside dipped after dusk I warmed myself in front of the engine as I worked.

    Part of me is hoping that this is just a combination of a tight engine and a very warm summer.
  4. cowboy

    cowboy Moderator Staff Member

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    The rear cyl will run a bit hotter then the front , not enough air get to it for cooling like the front , But if it's get to hot then you need to have it check out & like HRK said most heat will be lowered by adding more air & fuel & haveing the timming check /changed , as the moco has them set to keep the EPA happy :banghead:
  5. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    The bike has been checked out, and ridden by a factory trained mechanic. It runs great. Even by my picky standards.

    It's just me. I've ridden previous bikes hard in the summer, and after several hours in the Wisconsin summer they did get hot. And they ticked like a recalcitrant ex-wife when you shut them down.

    But not like this. It has waves of heat permeating up when sitting at a stoplight.

    It has gotten better--but that's faint praise and that improvement isn't by much. Its break-in was by the book, and done at slower speeds on back roads. This was accompanied by short bursts of acceleration, and finally a few miles at a time on the slab after +500 miles.

    In short, this is supposedly how a modern rubber Sportster is to run--I think...
  6. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I'd say "its how a modern sporty runs,"

    If the factory was allowed they would absolutely add more fuel and change timing
    to allow the engine to run at a cooler temperature, make more power (a by product of the above changes) and have less roasted nuts during the summer.

    The bike may be running well, but that doesn't mean it's running as well as it could.
    Factory guy is going to say it runs like it should because it is running like it should,

    Again nothing wrong, but if you want less heat, then you have to have
    it tuned to provide the cooler running engine..
  7. cowboy

    cowboy Moderator Staff Member

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    Not saying all the trained parts changers are good or bad I seen on take my Daughters sporty out & ride it came back & said all is good to go ,for some reason she said she would drive my truck & for me to ride her bike , I got up to speed for the road about 50 mph & the front end had a wobble from hell , the dealer was closing when we picked up the bike , so rode it home & trailed it back the next day & raised the roof with the head service man & the so called H D trained teck they put another teck on it right away & he rode it came back & said thers a problum in the neck some where he was not told anything except to go ride the bike & let us know what he thought , now her bike had a carb , not efi but the rear cyl did'nt get so hot you could warm up next to it & it was the newer rubber mount style
  8. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    Good point. However for this individual bike, I did *ahem* drive it a bit spiritedly one night on the slab. Passing a semi.

    Not only did the bike have enough beans to punch through the rooster-tail of wind, but it did it during acceleration. I never hit the top end. I was the one who shut it down, not the constraints of the motor. Good power, table-top flat torque response. No burps.

    Unless I go power mad this winter, the bike delivers all of the speed and acceleration I need and want. But yikes, the thing gets hot.
  9. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's my point, running fast and passing trucks aside, the engine
    is setup lean from the factory and about the only way to get it in the
    right zone for best performance (meaning, not hot running, no knock, better mileage
    best power) you probably will find you are better off with a tuneable device vs a simple download.

    Do the download, if it doesn't help, then you could move to a tuneable device, not simply for more power but for a cooler running engine, and the by-product is a bit more TQ and HP... Heck you wouldn't give up the extra ponies if you got them with a cooler running bike would you?
  10. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    It's like my mechanic read your mind...:eek:

    I had to drop off a load of knives at the shop today, and while I was sorting them out, the service manager says, "Oh, your bike is about done."

    Not thinking I said, "Betty was done over a week ago, she's in cold storage."

    The manager shakes his head and corrects me, "No, I meant Spinner."

    My first thought was how can the bike be done when I haven't even decided what to do. So I go into the service bays and find my guy, and he's got a big grin. "She's almost done. I haven't done the download yet, but I did a little spin and she runs great..."

    I look over at the bike and I see the new seat. My wrench pushes her out into the aisle and invites me to try it out. It feels great! I even had a kickstand extender added, and I can finally find it.

    I get off of the the bike and we start shooting the breeze. Half-way through some truly great lies and tall tales I happen to look down at the mufflers. I see the Screaming Beagle logo. They look great, but they're already installed. They should still be in the box.

    My wrench smiles. He laughs, "We did the math. With your discounts, your VIP card, your storage credits and our winter labor rates we found it was cheaper to give you the parts and the discounts than just bill you for storage. That will also include a Heavy Breather, your download--and I'm even going to wash her!"

    Man, I was never so happy! All of the things I worried about were all taken care of! He explained that he was even going to make sure that the "timing and fuel" ratio was properly tweaked to make sure the heat issue was addressed and I had no power curve flat spots.

    He winked, "...and I found you a few horses, to boot..."

    Clearly he had been on the phone with someone finding the answers to my questions and concerns. I'd come a few days early and undoubtedly spoiled his surprise, but the news was all good.

    I turned to go and he remarked, "That Heavy Breather comes with a Screaming Beagle air cleaner cover insert--you'll be stylin'..."

    That's the best sheet cake I ever bought!:D
  11. cowboy

    cowboy Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope your happy with her , good luck
  12. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    It's going to be a long winter--I can't wait to take her for a ride!

    I related the story to my wife last night, and she pointed out that I was giddy. I'm getting to the point in life that stressing over an errand or a problem is actually more of a downer than the actual concern might be.

    At the end of today the rest of the work will have been completed, the bike washed and I'll have delivered the battery tender for winter storage. I'm happy these guys found a way to solve problems, even it if meant getting authorization from management and researching pricing and installation procedures.

    We always hear about shops that treat clients poorly. My shop has always delivered more than expected, and they don't even leave 'witness marks' on the bolts...:D
  13. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    good to hear it...

    The long winter wait.... ugh... the main reason I won't move
    back north....
  14. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    My wife's job will keep us in the north for +3 years. During this time period I'll pretty much be the house husband. I work at home anyway. That's the reason why a second smaller bike is needed. If I can get a few hours off on sunny summer day, I jump at the chance.

    However, that's a short term game plan. Her friends are already in the south, and one of them lives in a nice gated community. With housing prices dropping through the floor, we could move into any number of nicer homes.

    My brother already lives and works down there.

    I just saw an op-ed piece on TV a few nights ago on how people are striving to live a simpler life. They are seeking out smaller homes, buying fewer clothes and being happy with what they have.

    I have seen an interesting condition here. Odd as it might sound, I'm getting a lot of very strident comments on buying a smaller, simpler bike. Some guys are downright hostile. To my way of thinking, this is a statement on my machismo, not theirs. But that is not the way this is perceived.

    Looking at all of the factors in making good decisions here, that Sportster and the way it's built is the perfect bike for my life today. My face hurts from grinning. You have no idea just how threatening this seemingly rational choice has become from guys wrestling a 900 pound chrome land-barge into position at the gym. They perceive my bike to be a affront to their choices.

    We all chant about freedom and rugged individuality. Yikes. Go buy a "girlie bike" and start enjoying yourself and find out just how thin that tenet truly is. I already have a jar full of pocket change set aside for next spring's riding, and the bike is now tweaked for my needs.

    I believe lots of guys feel this way, but they are just remaining silent. Our dealership is packed with unsold Electra Glides, but only one new Sportster is on display. It's a 2011 Super-Low that just arrived.
  15. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If someone is giving you crap about your choice
    then just say, "Ya know I didn't get the memo
    that I needed your approval"

    Of course a few of us ride the others about
    purchases, it's just part of the game..
  16. The Tourist

    The Tourist Banned A-Hole

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    Oh, they do get that. That's not the issue. I cannot control their thinking. And lots of them are truly messed up.

    Whether we like it or not, there are lots of guys--who may have ridden for decades--that are so intertwined with the brand they ride that I don't know where the chrome ends and the skin begins. I just know this crap happens.

    Now, I'm not talking about good natured teasing. I have often said that many of my friends made comments about "driving my wife's bike." However, you don't have to look too hard to find Harley forums that devote pages of bandwidth in deriding "girlie bikes."

    This little 48 is a great bike. It needed an upgrade in ride quality and engine management directed at heat output. That's it. But the truth of the matter is that it's the perfect bike at this time, and I'm sorry that lots of folks make comments without having test driven these new rubber Sportsters--or any other Sportster--since the 1970s.

    BTW, over the last few months MoCo had a sweepstakes. The prize was a new Harley and a few hours with Willie G to customize the bike. When I informed the guys I entered the contest and designated I'd like to win a Nightster I got many blank stares. They openly said I should request a Glide if I won.

    What for? That bike would sit and gather dust as an ego toy. I'd have to store it, not to mention pay a premium amount of tax to take possession of that bike or liquidate it in a soft market. The Nightster I could actually use, and I wanted it.

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