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Old 10-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Remove Cats or get true duals?

So I've just purchased a 2011 Ultra Limited and it's bone stock, so of course I just can't leave it that way for long. So is it better to keep the stock header and remove the cat and add new slip-on and a breather, or better to just remove the whole thing and go with true duals and a breather???

I want what will give me the best set up for fuel economy, power, etc. Cost is important but not the driving force, if I have to pay more for the right set up then so be it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoDA View Post
So I've just purchased a 2011 Ultra Limited and it's bone stock, so of course I just can't leave it that way for long. So is it better to keep the stock header and remove the cat and add new slip-on and a breather, or better to just remove the whole thing and go with true duals and a breather???

I want what will give me the best set up for fuel economy, power, etc. Cost is important but not the driving force, if I have to pay more for the right set up then so be it.
I've got two good friends with 2012 bikes. Both of them just removed the cats, highflow breather, new slip-ons and new tune via FuelPak. Both say they are perfectly happy with this setup. I'm sure going with true duals will give you better/smoother exhaust flow. However, i highly doubt you'd be able to tell any difference in perfromance in a blind test.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've got two friends with 12 bikes also, they both did stage 1 breather kit, The x-pipe headers, Rhineheart 3 inch (I think), the SE Racing tuner and dyno'd. Both run fantastic, performance is fantastic, fuel economy is about 45 mpg and they sound awesome. I would say for sure loose the cat, and get a full system.. Of course, when it comes to tuning you can get a Power commander (Model of your choice) and go with that. However, I would ask whoever is going to dyno it and respect their opinion. They will tell you what they have had the most experience, and prefer to work with. If you get the part they know best, they will be able to tune your ride better. make sense. You might consult with them on the whole system. They probably know what will give the best results for your bike and riding style.

Remember that it is almost always personal preference.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Get rid of the Cat, to restrictive. I went with V&H Dresser Duals, SE Stage I, CFR slip-ons and TTS Race Tuner. 96/84 to the rear wheel. I am happy with the results. 2012 Street Glide.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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get rid of the cat,It's cheap and quick and an improvement.when funds allow,get a system of your choosing.

I de-catted mine,ran it with the stock ECM until I got my T-header and S&S tuned induction.Then I went with the Thundermax ecm.Bike runs great and I don't have to ever dyno.

very happy with the performance and economy of my 2012.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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2011 FLHR with a gutted cat/Vance/Hines V02 breather and Nightrider Vied. Had this setup 5kmiles here in flat ol' Fl. Just got back from 1800 mile trip up to the Smokies and bike ran flawless. Whatever you choose, GET RID OF THE CAT!!!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Gut it!

http://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/ha...ml#post2156121
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments, and yes I plan to "gut my cats" as soon as I can, but my initial question still hasn't really been answered. The question wasn't about whether I should remove the cats or not, to me that's a given, what I really want to know is whether it's better to go with cat-less headers and slip-on, or better for true duals--cost not being a factor.

I guess what I'm really trying to determine is whether the additional cost for true duals is worth it compared to (the less expensive) cat-less headers and slips ons. Is it one of those times where it's a "Wow, I can't believe the difference" thing with true duals, or is the comparision between the two pretty similar, cosmetics and cost being really he only difference. I hear people say all the time, I'll remove the cats until I can get a better set up... is there really THAT much difference???
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Wild One Chubby Apes with internal wiring
Arlen Ness heavy breather
Quick release tour pak
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MGS True Duals

Last edited by YoDA; 10-14-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoDA View Post
Thanks for the comments, and yes I plan to "gut my cats" as soon as I can, but my initial question still hasn't really been answered. The question wasn't about whether I should remove the cats or not, to me that's a given, what I really want to know is whether it's better to go with cat-less headers and slip-on, or better for true duals--cost not being a factor.

I guess what I'm really trying to determine is whether the additional cost for true duals is worth it compared to (the less expensive) cat-less headers and slips ons. Is it one of those times where it's a "Wow, I can't believe the difference" thing with true duals, or is the comparision between the two pretty similar, cosmetics and cost being really he only difference. I hear people say all the time, I'll remove the cats until I can get a better set up... is there really THAT much difference???
I'm not sure you'll see much in the way of power gains going to a true dual setup.I think the major difference is sound.I personally prefer the low end gains of a 2 into 1.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've done it both ways on two similar bikes. Here's my reasoning for going with new headers:
Harley stock pipes are thinner walled than a good aftermarket set. More importantly, is that the new style Harley header 2010 and on, places the catalytic converter in the collector at the bottom junction of the two pipes. They changed the location of the O2 sensors, from up near the exhaust outlets to down just in front of the catalyst. When you add a quality tuner, it will come with two replacement O2 sensors. Harley now uses NARROW BAND sensors, while an aftermarket tuner uses WIDE BAND sensors. Their is a huge difference in the tuning ability and all around performance with the Wide Band sensors. Plus keep in mind; the location differences. Stock O2 sensors (2010 and newer) are self heating where as aftermarket Wide Band O2 sensors aren't. Wide Band sensors are placed up at the exhaust outlet on both pipes, cause they need heat to work. The length of the sensor wiring is set for them to be placed up high. If you simply gut the cat, which isn't that easy of a job for a DIY backyard mechanic, you'll need to close off the stock bung holes (what the O2 sensors mount into) and then have new, larger bung holes welded in place up at the outlet on each tube to put the wide band O2 sensors into, as they're bigger than the stock ones. That's the most important difference between new headers and gutting the stock header. I used Rinehart Xtreme True Dual Headers $575.00, with 4" slip-ons, and a Thunder Max Tuner with Auto Tune. The Thunder Max is not cheap at $1,000.00 or so, but it replaces the stock ECU and doesn't need to be dyno tuned. It automatically tunes as you ride. I installed it myself and then dyno'd it a week later to check and it was set perfectly. You can save money by using a less expensive tuning system, however keep in mind, for the long term, the best way to tune 2010 and newer Harley's is to remove the cat, and install a quality open air cleaner, less restrictive exhaust system, and use a quality tuning system. Your engine will run cooler and produce more torque and horsepower and you can customize your engine sound, power band and it's looks, based on what products you choose. Any good quality open air cleaner/filter system will work. Non-catalytic headers with the exhaust cans (slip-on's) of your choice (sound, loudness, looks) and a tuning system. You need to decide what your long term goal is, and build from there. Most add-onto stock ECU tuners need to be dyno tuned in order to run properly. If you later make any changes to your powertrain system, you most likely will need to re-dyno tune it. So my best advice is plan out fully where you want your bike to end up, and start customizing from there.

Last edited by EJP777; 10-15-2012 at 01:33 AM. Reason: Misspelling, added words
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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+1 with what EJP777 said,plus check the price of the T-max with directharleyparts.com.I got mine for way less than 1k.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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EJP thanks for all he great info, it was exactly what I was looking for especially the bit about the narrow/wide sensors and locations. Based on what you've said I will replace the headers rather than just remove the cats, especially since I had plan on putting in a Thunder Max because eventually I want to upgrade the cams. So basically, by the time I get new headers, pipes, and a Thunder Max I'm looking in the neighborhood of $2000 +/-. OUCH!!
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Wild One Chubby Apes with internal wiring
Arlen Ness heavy breather
Quick release tour pak
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Danglide, so tell me a little more about the 2 into 1 option. I'm not a huge fan of a single pipe look, but I know there are 'ghost pipes' that can be used as a dummy pipe of the opposing side. From the little I know, the 2-1 option gives more low end torque, but I thought it was just more for people who want to race around not really for touring bikes. I really don't know much about 2-1, can you take a sec and tell me why it's your preference, or just send me a PM or email. Thanks.
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Wild One Chubby Apes with internal wiring
Arlen Ness heavy breather
Quick release tour pak
PowerCommander V
MGS True Duals
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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more low end makes a lot of sense on a touring rig,cause that's where it spends most of it's time.you're pushing a 900 pound bike with your weight + a passenger,so you want to make the most of the bottom end of the engine.
one of the things I like about the thunderheader,is it works as well with stock cams and motor as it does if you do more later.

a lot of the pipes out there work great with a stock engine and cams,but if you do more to the engine later,you end up replacing the pipe,and I like to buy things just once.I don't like to spend money and then have a part end up sitting on a shelf.

ten years ago,when I was working on my FXD,the T-header was about the only option for a 2 into 1.these days there are quite a few others,D&D,dragula,etc come to mind.I prefer the sound of the thunderheader,so that's what I went with.If you do go that way,you NEED the heat shields.

Personally,I'm a form follows function guy,and many systems out there are more for looks or sound than they are for performance.when you improve the efficiency of an engine,especially with better breathing,you're going to tend to increase both power and fuel economy.I've put headers and better air cleaner on every vehicle I've owned for years and this has been my results.Stock on most vehicle has always been a compromise,and has to meet a lot of standards to please everyone that we individuals don't have to.

I guess to me,extra power isn't necessarily for racing around,just feels really good to have the bike respond really well at like 1/4 throttle,and really feel the torque.
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Last edited by Danglide; 10-16-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I scored a headpipe and Bassani mufflers from a 2009 for $350 that gave me the benefits of no cat and the O2 sensor ports in the correct spots for the wideband sensors. The heat shield for my '13 were an exact fit. The Bassani slip-ons sound perfect. I'm still waiting for the power commander to arrive, but I've already got the auto tune from a previous bike installed and ready for the PC-V. I'll report back tomorrow with how she drives.
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