Tuner Or Not?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by fxdc1951, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. fxdc1951

    fxdc1951 Member

    I've had bikes with Power Commanders III's, SERTS, Power Commander V's, and truthfully, for just a stage one, they didn't do very much at all. Some caused me all kinds of headaches. Some made my bike run much worse. I've been told by several HD techs and independent mechs, one with over 30 years experience, that bypassing the 02 sensors, which most aftermarket tuners do, isn't a good thing to do. My current bike runs great on the simple dealer download. I had all sorts of problems with the "tuners", so I decided to forgo those with this bike. I'm perfectly happy with the download. Works fine for just slipons and airbox. The mechanics I asked said tuners are "overkill" for just a stage one. Everyone I talked to said the download is absolutely working great on their bikes. Everyone except people on internet forums anyway! Maybe, if you plan to do more than that, a tuner might help. But, seriously, I know dozens of people running the download, some for lotsa miles and lotsa years, and they had zero problems and are perfectly happy with their bikes. Who on here has a tuner, and who is running just a download? Happy with what you have or not?
  2. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    I have a strong stage-1, with a Dobeck Gen-3 EJK. It works fine, but I would like to modify the serious amount of advance the ECM has at some areas in the table. The Gen-3 does real good with the fuel side of the equation, and Dobeck has been great, regarding responsiveness to customer support.

    Rich P
  3. NOVA Rider

    NOVA Rider Member

    Thanks for posting. Have been thinking about what I'm going to do, and appreciate the info.
  4. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    Dobeck and a stage 2. No downloads. Runs great. 56k and no problems.

    The thing about a download is the bike will still be lean as per EPA standards. Not to say that it will run bad, just fatten her up a little and she'll love ya for it.
  5. MarkS

    MarkS Member

    Dobec Gen 3 EJK, K & N high flow air filter, Vance & Hines Short Shots and no problems at all. Was a little rich at first and put my mileage down to 32 mpg but just adjusted pod 1 form 3 to 1 and my mileage is back up to 40.38 per gallon from 46 factory. 900 miles on it so far with no issues and she's running great!!! No factory download here, love my Dobec! My bike was so lean from the factory I had a lot of blueing on the exhausts at heads.
  6. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Dobeck GEN 4 with SE pipes and airbox. No HD download. Dobeck products are simple to install and simple to use. Allow you to make adjustments in real time without the need of a computer or special tools as your riding conditions change.

    Overkill? Perhaps, but like Redfish Joe says, the dealer download alone will still have your bike running a bit lean. Why not add a simple, inexpensive product that lets you richen it up a bit (cool it down in other words)?

    I do agree with you that if you're going to go beyond a simple Stage I, you probably need more than the dealer download and perhaps even a more sophisticated tuner.
  7. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

    Dobeck Gen3 with a K&N and Samson slip-ons and I'm very happy. It made a noticable difference on my bike with a stock map. It was definitely too lean with the air filter and exhaust combo and now runs much better and smoother. Mileage is around 41 with mixed driving and I'm liberal with the throttle and don't exactly baby it. No complaints with my tuner. I agree a dealer download could've achieved the same results, but what that would've cost me got me a product that I can continue to tweak for other mods or riding conditions..........for free, JMO.
  8. 1Canuck

    1Canuck Banned

    next time you talk with these techs & mechanics ask them what the download contains. when I asked for the download I was referred to the dyno guy who does downloads. He discussed it with me, I asked what benefit would the SEPST be over a download. He said if I am willing to spend the extra dollars to get SEPST then the disk includes the download for my bike. what is on the disk is the same they download for stage 1. He did say that this is not info they are told, he compared the two one day and saw no difference.
    Then he went on to say that while the download will improve all bikes, it does not necessarily adjust to each bike. The curious thing is identical bikes when tuned do not end up with the identical VE maps. If they did we could all just use the download and be done with it. also the download leaves the AFR at 14.6, leaner than most want it. So this tech who makes no extra pay doing either the download or me buying the SEPST gave it to me straight up. I bought the SEPST and witnessed how the 'download' was changed in the VE map to fit my ride.
    Each to his own tuner or just download, whatever makes you happy, enjoy the ride.
  9. DakotaRob

    DakotaRob Active Member

    I just put on the Dobeck Gen3, SE stage 1 intake/filter and Klockwerks slip ons this past month. I had been back to the dealer a couple times trying to eliminate constant pinging at highway speeds. HD reflashed my ECM and it still didn't solve it. Haven't had much time to ride it yet since winter won't quit around here, but so far it seems to be a huge improvement.
  10. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    I have the stage 1 download because I didn't know any better.:D

    But seriously, my bike runs good..hot, but good.

    I'm hesitant to go with a tuner because of the affect the extra fuel may have on the cats life span (Canadian models in 2009 came with the cat.). That and I'm cheap.:s