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Performance increase or waste of time

2850 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  JoeMaMa
I'm considering purchasing the stage I kit for my '01 Ultra Classic and have been told that I also need to change out the on-board computer chip and my exhaust (although I'm not sure if I have to change both pipes & mufflers or just mufflers?). Can anyone fill me in on the process and if the results are worth the expense? Will I notice any significant increase in performance or is it just hype? :confused:
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You can do it in different ways, but it makes no sense to do one without the other on a 01 (Marelli) bike.
The gain from the free flowing intake is as much or more then the gain from the pipes, and the gain from both is a little more then the added gain from each individually.
These bikes need to be reflashed even just for pipes, but ideally you would use a Power Commander, either instead or in addition to the reflash. It makes no difference what pipes you go with (some make a little more power then others) but make up your mind and do it once, as the PC will possibly have to be remapped for each different pipe.

The difference on these bikes is noticeable if done right, much more so then on a 02 bike.
mewalker, I think Hippo gave ya' some good advise. Now, regarding your slip-on muffler v. pipe question, you'll do just fine with slip-on mufflers rather than changing out the entire pipes. There have been a number of articles in the major bike mag's in the last couple years about the issue of changing the entire pipes v. installing slip-ons. Consensus seems to be that you'll do just fine with slip-ons. A lot depends on personal preference. But slip-ons are very efficient and cost effective. I'd suggest saving the bucks. Oh, I have slip-ons on my 2000 FLHTC.
Thanks to both HIPPO and pasadenajim for their comments.

As you both have already figured out, I only want to do this once. I also want to keep the classic appearance of the bike intact so I'll probably go with the slip-on mufflers, either slash-cut or with turndowns at the ends. Any ideas on which brand of slip-on mufflers are the best match (both performance and looks wise) for a stage I upgrade? Pasadenajim (or anyone else in the So Cal area) do you know of a good dealer or independent shop that I can trust to do this type of work?

Also, HIPPO, I noticed that in another posting, you advised someone to jump directly to a Stage II upgrade (if they intended future 95" internal engine modifications). Although I'm not currently planning to do this, I may change my mind after a few years. Should I go to Stage II now instead of Stage I? Any thoughts?

Thanks for the assist :D
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mewalker, later today I'll check my reference mags' at home and see if I can find the stats' on the slip-ons. I am using SE II's w/slash cut, minor carb work (i.e. breather kit), 6200 rpm S/E ignition mod, with a 95" & no head work. These low level mod's are usually thought of as (Big Bore) Stage I. Stage II would involve a cam and maybe a new carb, rather than the breather kit. (Many riders believe that a new carb is unnecessary unless you are undertaking head work.) If I can find the mag info, I'll post it tonight.

As for a recommendation for a shop, I'll send ya' a private message.

Glad to be able to offer some ideas. :)
On the EFI bikes, every time you change something, you likely have to at least reflash or reprogram, and ideally you would re-dyno. If you are thinking YEARS between changes, it's probably not an issue.
If I recall correctly the other fellow was talking about doing the big bore after break in and a Delphi bike.
I put the SE II slash cuts on my 01 ultra with the Stage 1 breather mod at delivery and have no regrets. Knew I wanted the extra torque on the bagger so when the guys wanted to get cute and run off from the "old guy" I could make it worth their while. Two knowledgable friends agreed that for affordability, reliability and not testing a potential warranty issue this would be the best move for a year or so and then decide on a big bore kit. I'm no expert, but am content with my choice, some may want more right from the start . My .02
Some good points, printer.

Was able to locate a few reference mags' tonight. By the way, my favorite mags are American Iron Magazine and Hot Rod Bikes. Lots of great info.

The May 2001 issue of Hot Rod Bikes was dedicated to exhaust discussions. F/I exhausts. Big Bore exhausts. Evo exhausts!!!!
There was an extensive dyno comparison of several of the top exhaust brands in a Fuel Injected Fat Boy application. I mention the F/I because I know your Ultra is F/I.

The most interesting article began on p 92, big bore exhausts. Significant discussion of big bore exhausts. Interestingly enough, IMHO overall the slip-ons and full exhausts had similar H/P and Torque results. The full exhausts, albeit giving a slight advantage in both areas, were louder and more expensive.

In "surveys" I've seen of TC-88 owners, the most common exhaust system is S/E. Vance & Hines comes in a distant second. But pipes and exhausts are a very personal thing. You'll have to make the call on what appeals to you.
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It sounds like you have some great advice already. I'll just add a little to it. I got the stage 1 kit on my 2001 flhtcu from the dealer on day one so I have nothing to compare it to performance wise except Evos. I knew I didn't like the sound of the stock bike, I wanted it to breath better, I didn't want to void the warranty and since part of the stage 1 kit is the reflash, stage 1 was the obvious choice.

A couple of comments about the Power Commander you can take with a grain of salt. It is a great "idea" because these bikes tend to run lean (read hot) if you change anything. Don't blame Harley, its the government. Anyway the Power Comander remaps the computer and delivers more fuel to match the higher air volumn. This richer mixture makes the bike run cooler. I had almost decided to have one installed when a friend beat me to it. It fried his computer, cost him $900. He got another computer and guess what, it fried the nest one too. Took of the Power Commander and no problem. On a personal note, I chipped my truck with a Hyper Tech and it fried the computer on my truck. So with my admitted limited experience, I'm kind of gun shy about Power Commanders. I'm not saying don't do it but I am saying find someone who specializes in installing them and make sure he has his own Dyno.

Big bore kit? A waste of money without head work or at least SE heads. If you can afford one you can afford the other. I won't go in to a lot of detail except these heads don't breath enough for the larger bore. Check out numerous articles in American Iron, Hot Bike, or go to a tremendously informative site, www.heavydutycycles.com. The site belongs to Donnie Peterson, one of the tech writers for American Iron.

Slip ons? I'm running Hooker Tunables. They are made by the famous Hooker Header and Holley Carburater company. The look good and the are tunable via an allen wrench and simply rotating the baffles to regulate the air. Since you ride a dresser, if you are like me you are having a battle between loudness and being able to hear your radio. These are the only mufflers I know of that give you the choice.

One last thing I didn't notice anyone mention. You change anything on the 2001 or earlier Twin Cams and you need an oil cooler.

I hope this helps.

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I just got my ultra back from a decent dealer in the area, they ran a winter special, 1400.00 out the door for stage II, 95", and since i had stage I on there already, they deducted 130.00 for the air cleaner that came with the stage II kit, so stage II cost me 1270.00, I do have power commander on there, and Im tellin you, having the stage I on there then adding the PC, was like night and day, (firm beleiver in PC) but the dealer left the pc disconnected, said they would like me to do break in on the stage II with the harley ECU. then hook the pc back up, and remap... MAKE SURE IF YOU USE THE PC, THAT THEY BURN THE HARLEY ECU, if the pc goes out on the road, you only have to switch back to the harley one.. i guess its not necessary, because you can get maps that work without the harley ecu being remapped, or replaced.
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stage one with pipes.

correct question should be " will spending 600 to 800 bux for 6 horsepower satisfy me?"

you answer it.
stage 1

mewalker this is phwalker. did the stage 1 and S.E. slip-ons on my '02 road king. lovin' every minute of it
Went to Stage I then II then III just got done with the heads,cams etc....I think I would have been ahead of the game skipping a few stages in the money department. Looking for a 12 stage program I need some help !
Anyone have good or bad experience with Hooker tunable slip on mufflers on a new Dresser??
My first upgrade on 2000 EFI Road King was Stage 1 EFI and Hooker tuned flows, then went to PC II and VH Pro Pipe HS, - now keep in mind that each upgrade gave me a little more HP and Torque, then the 95" with flat tops and Stage II flash and remap of the PCII got 79hp and 91# torque - THEN - finally I woke up, called SBC arranged to have my heads redone *scotsman/with valves* and *cleaned up* to match the 37b's that he installed in my support plate, along with polishing my inner and outter cam chains - SBC supplied all the necessary gaskets,pushrods, hardware and information for me to reassemble *my baby* - after 1000 miles of running with this set up, I had John Golden - Rolling Thunder Dyno do a custom map for the PC II - net results are 88+hp, 99+torque - the torque is above 90# from 2800 rpms to 5200 rpms - or - looking at it slightly differently at 10mph in 1st, 20 mph in 2nd, 30 mph in 3rd, 40 mph in 4th or at 50 mph in 5th, she is sitting right on the base of the *gitty up and go* and will absolutey *jump* when you crack the throttle - I can post dyno for the various upgrades if anyone is interested - And I could not have done it without SBC - Hippo and last but not least my bro "McGrew" esp McGrew who put up with me - thanks to all :D :)
*AND lastly If I were to do it again - SBC would also bore my cylinders and supply the pistons instead of going with the SE stuff ;)
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One last thought on *my baby* - with the exception of the Pro Pipe HS, she looks stock - and when asked, "that's my story and I'm sticking to it"

There were quite a few youngsters at Myrtle Beach last month who thought that they had left the *old fart on the bagger* sitting back at the last red light who *sh*t* and would not even look at me when I passed them and was waiting for them to get to the next light - I got my sleeper - She is stock except for the pipe and.... ahh well you already know the rest of the story :p
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