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.