2009 Iron 883 stage 1 experience

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by richy1bravo, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. richy1bravo

    richy1bravo New Member

    Let me first say that I am a new Harley owner and member and I have followed these posts with great interest over the last few months. The information I have found here has been very helpful to me in making informed decisions about minor modifications to my bike.

    There are numerous posts about what modifications to make and how exactly they affect the performance of the bike, so I thought I would take a moment and share what I have learned in the last few months during my Stage one upgrade in hopes that it may shed some light on the matter for another new Harley owner. My story may be a bit wordy, but I know what I wanted to learn when I first started my search, so I am going off of that.

    I have a 2009 Iron 883. My first modification was to install Vance and Hines straight shot slip ons that I purchased through Easter Performance Cycle for 250 including shipping. The install was easy by following the directions that came in the box, and I was done in approximately 1 hour from the time I opened the box, to the time I put away the last tool. With all the debate about ECMs and modifications I was anxious to see how the bike would respond. I rode out of the driveway and the bike did pop very slightly one time on deceleration within the first 2 miles of the ride and it never happened again. I wound up the engine in every gear and let out the throttle to decelerate in first through fifth gear and could not make it pop no matter how hard I tried. The bike sounded great and I rode it with no download or module for about 400 miles. Although the bike sounded great, it was still a bit stuffy in the performance department. As I was running through the gears I was noticing the bike would fall off as the revs got higher in each gear, like the engine was running out of steam and pulling less. The bike would run eagerly up to 70mph but it would start to feel like it was working awfully hard to get over that. I figured it was just the way the Sportster ran.

    After a month, I installed a Screaming Eagle stage one air cleaner I bought through Surdyke for 123 with shipping. That install took about an hour and a half because it took me a minute to realize that I had to pull the entire stock back plate off. Once I got over that small hurdle, it was a breeze just by following the directions that were in the box. I knew from my readings that the bike would be running very lean at this point so my test ride was only about 3 miles. I noticed a difference in the bike immediately after I started it. It seemed to idle smoother than before and kicked out of the high idle at warm up earlier as well. The throttle response on the test ride was an immediate improvement. One minor twist of the throttle and the bike was lunging forward. The starved sensation was still evident as I was reaching the high end of the rev range for each gear.

    My final upgrade took place about 3 days ago when I installed a Dobeck TFI. If there are Military members on this forum, I highly recommend you consider the TFI. I paid 157 with shipping after their considerable discount for Armed Forces members! The TFI install was way easier than I thought it was going to be. The directions say to raise the fuel tank to gain access to the injectors but I have small hands so that was not necessary for me. The snap plugs came right off the injectors without any hassle. Having the tank raised did help route the wires though. I snapped in the TFI injector plugs to my injectors, snapped in the OEM plugs to the male plugs on the TFI harness and tucked all the excess up above the fuel hose and zipped it off. It looks quite clean. I installed the O2 sensor overrides and mounted the unit on the battery just above the fuse and zipped the excess ground wire. Tuning was super easy by following the directions. I used the factory settings for aftermarket air cleaner, exhaust and no download that was on the instruction sheet. I tuned the Green pot per the instructions and it ended up on the factory setting anyway! The test ride was an eye opener! What a tremendous difference in the bike. The bike pulls really strong through all the gears all the way up to the rev limit for each gear. The idle is super smooth and the exhaust note while cruising is lower and way smoother than before. When cruising at 70mph the bike feels much better. When I crank the throttle now at 70mph, I hit 80 in no time. The choked and starved sensation is gone. When cruising uphill with a steady throttle position I noticed that I do not bog down or have to increase throttle to maintain a steady speed, and when I do crank it up a hill it shoots through the speedo with no problems. Since I am happy with the bike the way it is and I do not normally ride hard, I did not see any need to mess with the settings anymore. Overall it is a different bike. The engine is running much smoother at every speed and it sounds different as well. The exhaust note is deeper and smoother and even, dare I say, quieter to an extent. I have not noticed any heat issues with the bike before or after the upgrades.

    I know it was a long explanation but I wanted to share exactly what I experienced so that maybe some other newbies can get an idea of what to expect during a stage one upgrade.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Thanks for a great, in depth post!
  3. bikermoses

    bikermoses Banned

    Nice in depth story:)
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Well done great post hopefully it'll be good advice and inspiration for other sporty riders


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Richy1bravo, welcome to HDTalking and what an excellent first post to share with us. Very good to take on the DIYeR challenge...it gets easier and if you have the service and parts manual you are going to be an MOCO fan for life...! Plenty of years to develop the V-Twin art and plenty of enthusiasts and aftermarket support to raise the performance bar to a very high level. Enjoy, and keep us informed of your latest travails...!
  6. Steve_Benoit

    Steve_Benoit Member

    Richy1bravo - great post - thanks for all the information. I'm new to the forum and HDs as well and have an 883 - albeit an '07. I picked up the 07 used with very little miles on it and the couple of accessories I needed already installed. Once my pocket book recovers I'll start down the same path as you did - pipes, cleaner, and computer .... thank you for a great success story


    Richy1bravo - any chance you have a before and after sound or movie clip you could post ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2009
  7. ngjandm

    ngjandm Active Member

    I did the exact same, v+h ss slips, se air filter and rejet. maybe once a week i might hear a pop, i commute about 16mi every day, so get to ride it pretty often. what can an occasional pop mean?
  8. Romain

    Romain Active Member

    Thanks for sharing and welcome to HDTalking.

    I have just started staging with V&H Straightshots and the fact that you rode for a month before the TFI has put my mind at rest as to postponing the rest of the staging for a short while.
    I have a 07 1200C and I do get some popping on deceleration, sounds good though.
  9. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    Hey Richie1Bravo,

    Welcome to the forum and congrats on an inspirational first post and project.
    I'm about to do the same to my sporty 883 once my TFI arrives across the Atlantic - but I'm going to be getting some expert help with the job :D.

    Enjoy your time here - it's a treasure trove of information and friendly constructive advice.

    Keep the rubber side down :D