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Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Engine, Fuel and Exhaust

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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 07:18 AM     #1
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Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

2010 FLSTC is going in for a stage 1 today (rush slip-ons, SERT).

The whole EFI tuning thing seems too much like a black box to me, especially if you are handing your bike over to the dealer. I hear lots of talk about how hard it is to get it right, few techs do it well, etc. I feel like its easy for the dealer to slap the stock HD map for my combo on it, make sure it doesn't sputter, and declare victory (and charge me 3 hours for dyno time which actually took 1).

My question is this - what should I ask of the dealer so that I can be reasonably sure that some care and expertise were applied to the bike - before/after dyno graphs? Anything else?
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 09:38 AM     #2
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Great question(s). I have been thinking along these lines as well.
Heard nothing but good about the F M stuff,(best bang for the buck) but the dealership(s) does not know anything about their tuners, so if anything goes wrong with your bike and you take it to a dealer with any other tuner on it besides the dealers tuner on it, guess what? There's a good chance that they will not work on it for you. So with that in mind, what's a guy to do?
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 10:54 AM     #3
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Not to side track your thread, i was looking into Rinehart slip ons, but with all the contoversey about manufacturing them i was looking into options. How do the Rush slip ons compare/ sound to the Rineharts?
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 11:47 AM     #4
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

What have you heard about Rinehart slip ons. I feel they are a good muffler.
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 11:53 AM     #5
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

I have zero experience in this field but, if it were me, I'd start by having a long talk with the tech who will be doing the tuning to discuss your goals. Why are you really doing this Stage I? Do you want max performance numbers no matter what it does to your fuel mileage? Are you mainly looking to richen/cool the motor a bit? Do you just want a better sound but are currently happy with the power and gas mileage? Don't just assume that there's one setting for your bike and the tech knows what it is.

Yes, I would definitely ask for before and after charts from the dyno.
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 01:13 AM     #6
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Save some bucks and do it yourself. If you are just wanting your ride to sound better go with the TFI and the SE Breather. Then with the money you will save you can get a set of pipes instead of the slipons.
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 10:01 AM     #7
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

I have Rush slip mufflers on my 05 Ultra Classic, I was told they have a little more bark than the Rineharts, my local dealer told me instead of selling the new Screaming Eagle mufflers they are selling Rush, I would do what I did, call and talk to the techs that do that work, and find one you feel comfortable with and use him, I just did that and was very happy, my tech talked to me on the phone literally breaking every aspect of what he did down to me so I know exactly what he did to my bike, and, he said put a couple thousand miles on it, if I am not happy he will make whatever changes necessary. The thing about mail order stuff is that is exactly what it is. Good luck.
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 11:13 AM     #8
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Smitty is spot on regarding your Stage I tuning options, only wanted to add that doing so adds potential performance of 12-15 HP and TQ while keeping $$$ in perspective and preserving longevity and reliability.

Once you start "cracking" into the cases by doing higher Stages of tune, that balance will change...and your returns are measured more by the $$$ put in and performance numbers, more of a perspective (sounds like gambling), than actual "value" and gains when all is said and done.
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Old Oct 26th, 2009, 07:57 AM     #9
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Just so you know, there is limited hp & torque gain with slip-ons due to catalyst in the head pipes
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Old Oct 26th, 2009, 08:09 AM     #10
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Re: Stage 1 tuning - what to ask/demand of dealer

Thanks for all the replies, I acutally missed a few because I was relying on the email subscription which doesnt always catch every post.

My goals were to richen it up a bit, get a few HP, and better sound.

Looks like I got about 5 HP (8% improvement) out of it and some additional torque.

I went with V&H Big Shot Staggereds and the SERT. These pipes are friggin LOUD, but I'm quite happy with the results. They look and sound great.
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