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SE heavy breather vs filter

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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 10:49 AM     #1
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SE heavy breather vs filter

My apologies if this was discussed in the past. Searched but still not clear.
While my new 2010 Fat Boy Low is still at the dealship, thinking of getting the stage I upgrade done since I have the SE slipons put on already. What do you recommend getting, the breather or the filter? I see that the breather is bit more expensive. Is it just the look? Also, I read something about the fuuler for the stage I update. Is it necessary? I'd like get your advices before talking to a dealership. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 12:13 PM     #2
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

Not sure what you are trying to ask, but maybe this will help. (Again, based on what I have read from this board):

Stock bike: In order to meet EPA requirements run "lean". This means that the bike has inherently more "power" but you just can't get at it due to how the fuel/air ratio is being controlled my the computer.

Stock bike + "high flow pipes": Generally, again from what I have read, is that this MAY make your bike louder, but generally, won't get you much, if any more power. It may feel different since your are now getting a throaty rumble but you are still burning a relatively lean air/fuel mixture. Additionally, loudness does not necessarily equal performance. This may make you bike a tiny bit more "lean" but it appears to not be detrimental to the life of the motor.

Stock bike + high flow exhaust + high flow air intake: I don't think it much matters over the heavy breather or the SE "standard" style intake. Price and looks are personal. But now you are sucking in more air and have an "easier" pathway for the exhaust gases to exit. The amount of fuel that the computer adds is pretty much the same. This causes a detrimental lean condition. I don't think that the stock fuel control system has the range. SO.....

Then you have to get your computer that controls the fuel remapped with different information. This will get you past the super lean condition, but if this is done at HD they (by EPA mandate, to which they must conform) will bring it back to the "relatively" lean original condition.

This is when people get into having an SE Race tuner installed (which can allow for more tinkering). Or, are other items that do something similar with varying levels of sophisication and control.

I did it kinda backwards. I added a TFI unit to make my fuel more rich with everything stock. That way I could get a "seat of my pants" feel for what the EPA was stealing from me. Then I added pipes and an SE aircleaner to see the boost. I don't plan on doing anything else (like cams or 103") so the TFI is all I need and I did all the work myself with simple tools. ( I would have put the Heavy Breather on my bike, just for looks, but it won't fit with my lowers on.)
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 01:29 PM     #3
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

hdrocks the heavey breather is more open and will breath better. I have taken S/E air breathers of bikes and customers come back and tell me they feel the performance gain by the seat of their pants, I think the heavy breather is a love hate relationship, ether you like or you hate it, your choice. You will need a fueler or tuner to make the bike run right, there is a ton of information in self help and past posts, read on, the choice is a personal one, do your home work and you'll make the right choice for you.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 01:38 PM     #4
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

I'll add to your reading assignment:

Stage 1-2-3-4 Explained - Archive - Harley Davidson Community

EFI Tuner Comparisons - Archive - Harley Davidson Community

Much more good reading in the Self Help Tips - pour yourself a large beverage of your choice abd start browsing!
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 02:25 PM     #5
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Thanks all! I understand better now. I will also need to do some readings.
I am not looking for a big performance improvement. Since I am having the SE slip-ons installed for the look and a bit more rumble than the stock, I was thinking about getting the stage I upgrade as well. Looking the the HD catalogue, I see the SE heavy breather and the SE air cleaner and was wondering if they are much different besides the look and the cost. I understand that if I get do this, I also need to have the EFIP remapped.

Quote: Originally Posted by Chopper View Post
You will need a fueler or tuner to make the bike run right
Apologies but I am not too technical. For the stage I upgrade, do i still need the fueler/tuner? I am assuming you mean an external device. After putting in the SE air cleaner, the dealer just remaps the ECM, correct? Do you mean this is not enough? I am thinking now I will just have the slip-ons since I am particularly looking for performance improvement. But, I will see if I can make a sense out of the reading materials here.

Last edited by Speed; Feb 8th, 2010 at 04:39 AM. Reason: merge
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 03:12 PM     #6
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

Quote: Originally Posted by hdrocks View Post
Apologies but I am not too technical. For the stage I upgrade, do i still need the fueler/tuner? I am assuming you mean an external device. After putting in the SE air cleaner, the dealer just remaps the ECM, correct? Do you mean this is not enough? I am thinking now I will just have the slip-ons since I am particularly looking for performance improvement. But, I will see if I can make a sense out of the reading materials here.
A full Stage 1 is considered to be the pipes, air filter, and tuner so, yes, you will need to choose a new tuner if you want to do the whole package. The dealer remap simply returns the air/fuel ratio to the way it was rolling off the showroom floor - lean to meet EPA requirements.

If you JUST do the pipes or JUST do the air filter, your bike will probably adjust a bit and be fine even without a dealer remap. As soon as you do more than one mod, you get a cumulative effect and your bike will be running too lean, leading to the necessity to add a fuel tuner to richen it back up a bit.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 03:36 PM     #7
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

Quote: Originally Posted by hdrocks View Post
Apologies but I am not too technical. For the stage I upgrade, do i still need the fueler/tuner? I am assuming you mean an external device. After putting in the SE air cleaner, the dealer just remaps the ECM, correct? Do you mean this is not enough? I am thinking now I will just have the slip-ons since I am particularly looking for performance improvement. But, I will see if I can make a sense out of the reading materials here.
Doing the S/E slip-ons and S/E ac the dealer stage 1 download will be fine, that is all you need. Apologies not needed, no one's born knowing this stuff, and no one ever knows everthing, I should have included download in my statement. Have fun.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 04:03 PM     #8
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

thanks chopper and dr.
it's becoming clearer. let me see if i understood this.
by definition, stage I includes the tuner. if i just do the SE slip-on and the air cleaner, even the dealer remap will just make it lean, which adds no real value of spending the extra for the SE ac. so to get the real performance improvement, tuner is required.

beside the performance, will the upgrade make it louder? not looking for any louder than the SE muffler, deeper is ok though.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 04:26 PM     #9
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

Quote: Originally Posted by hdrocks View Post
thanks chopper and dr.
it's becoming clearer. let me see if i understood this.
by definition, stage I includes the tuner. if i just do the SE slip-on and the air cleaner, even the dealer remap will just make it lean, which adds no real value of spending the extra for the SE ac. so to get the real performance improvement, tuner is required.

beside the performance, will the upgrade make it louder? not looking for any louder than the SE muffler, deeper is ok though.
I disagree, god I love America, the stage 1 download from the dealer will be fine, it will give you the performance up grade you're looking for and you will not have anything to fool will, to adjust or go bad on you in the future. The download is a fuel map built by harley for the air cleaner and mufflers you are getting installed, it is the same as a tuner or fueler ecept you can not adjust it, but unless you upgrage to a stage 2 down the road you won't need to, and then you always have the same option as you have now.
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Old Feb 4th, 2010, 04:29 PM     #10
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Re: SE heavy breather vs filter

Let me chime in with what I know about the subject. Modifying the exhaust and air cleaner will increase air flow, the amount of change will not be compensated for by the computer control as its parameters don't allow for it and it will run leaner than the factory setting which is going to fry your motor, so the stage 1 download brings it back to the EPA limit which is still too lean for an air cooled motor. The "fueler" will add fuel to the stock settings without having to remap or download anything. It can be customized to your individual needs and desires to a degree. Typically a cheaper alternative with very similar results, as long as the mods are not in the engine. Sooo, for what your suggesting the TFI or similar product will perform excellent, I think it might be cheaper than a stage1 download too.
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