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Thread: Why Stage One??

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzlin View Post
    I had a Kitech on a Sporster back in 2010 and when we put it on the Dyno and dialled the front cylinder in, it was shockingly out on the rear as the unit has no ability to set up the cylinders individually. I sent the graphs to Kitech and true to his word he gave me a full refund. I personally would avoid this type of tuner like the plague as it dials in fuel changes to both cylinders with no ability to dial in each cylinder and achieve the optimum tune for your bike.
    Well said Darren. I was trying to be polite - they're shite.

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Thanks guys this is really interesting. i am sure there are many like me who just don't know this stuff. Most Harleys are probably not set up with the brakes and suspension to handle the sort of power that is available out of the motor. Is there a good and comprehensive process for gradually upgrading the overall perfomance? Point being that most can't just chuck money at the thing infinitum. dealers are expensive and tend to be overly brand loyal, independents are sometimes a bit tech-y and both can baffle with BS. I think most of us want to get to a point where we enjoy our riding with a perfofmance which just stretches our skills. I find that each improvement opens up a new world of riding and there is a lot of pleasure in those discoveries and a desire for more. I know for myself when I do things to my bike that improve it (not always the case!) it is immensely satisfying and that is why I am on this site.
    anyway, I'm going on too much, my question (lost in the mists of waffle) is what is a good process for performnace improvemnets (ie fueling, cams, brakes, big bore etc) and anyone saying 'Stage I , stage II' or 'get another bike' gets a big errrh errrh

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S View Post
    independents are sometimes a bit tech-y and both can baffle with BS
    Any knowledgable independent should be able to explain anything you want to know ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S View Post
    what is a good process for performance improvements (ie fueling, cams, brakes, big bore etc) and anyone saying 'Stage I , stage II' or 'get another bike' gets a big errrh errrh
    The first thing to be aware of is that any performance increase description containing the word 'Stage' will net you the smallest increase for the most financial lay out. The MoCo puts together these 'Stage' kits so that they can sell a collection of parts - none of which are matched. How can the same 'Stage 2' kit fulfil the performance requirements of a 10 stone rider on a Softail and also 2 x 20 stone riders on a loaded up Glide? It can't. The torque and horsepower requirements are completely different. The 'Stage 1, 2, 3 etc' kits are all exactly the same despite the application which is nonsense. Secondly the parts used are nothing special and all of the cams in these kits are emission compliant and not performance oriented.

    The only process for a successful performance project is this - first identify how much static compression you have avalable. Compression is power. With this in mind the logical route is to have as much compression available as possible which usually means a displacement increase. This is the foundation of any performance engine. There's no point in fitting cams that need 10:1 and doing head work in a 8.5:1 engine - you're wasting money and the results will be negligable. So if you have an 88" or 96" engine, bore the original seasoned cylinders to accept 3.875" pistons and you'll now have a 95" or a 103" engine. Talking about Twin Cams here, the M8's can be taken out to 124" or 128". This will be a noticable improvement even if you do nothing else. Once you know how much compression you have you can now select a cam profile - this will be different if you're planning head work. All cams have an optimum compression area where they function at their most efficient and there's no magic cam out there that comes on at 1500 RPM and lasts until 6000 RPM. Look at your riding style and what the bike will carry and then make a choice. The stock head castings and valves stop increasing in air flow at about 0.400" inches of valve lift. If you're keeping the heads stock then don't go for a 0.600" lift cam. Having the heads ported really expands what the build is capable of doing - more compression becomes available as does a greater choice of cams which allows the performance to be tailored towards more torque, more horsepower or whatever balance the rider wants. Finally the exhaust system has to be recognised for the critical component that it is. I've seen bikes pick up 12 ft/lbs on the dyno just with an exhaust change. As we touched on earlier it goes without saying that any major changes to compression or air flow characteristics bring about the need to re tune the engine. A competent dyno session is the best way to do this - it's the icing on the cake and any changes made will never be realised to their full potential without a dyno tune - no exceptions.

    The limit to any performance build is of course the finances available. Stick to the steps mentioned to avoid wasting money - compression first then a dyno tune. Or, compression and a cam change then a dyno tune. If you want to spend more and get more results then go for head work to optimise what the cams can do. Horsepower builds may need a bigger throttle body and injectors. Pulleys can be changed to achieve different drive ratios. The parts combinations are endless. Just avoid any of the 'Stage whatever' builds ...
    Last edited by Fast Lane; 09-09-2019 at 09:49 AM.

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    So if I have bought a bike with the MoCo Stage One kit what is the recommendation to get optimum performance from it. Mainly for laid back cruising and easy riding?

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fostlongstrider View Post
    laid back cruising and easy riding?
    Not sure what you mean Ian by optimum performance. What exactly do you want to improve and at which RPM range?

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Lane View Post
    Any knowledgable independent should be able to explain anything you want to know ...



    The first thing to be aware of is that any performance increase description containing the word 'Stage' will net you the smallest increase for the most financial lay out. The MoCo puts together these 'Stage' kits so that they can sell a collection of parts - none of which are matched. How can the same 'Stage 2' kit fulfil the performance requirements of a 10 stone rider on a Softail and also 2 x 20 stone riders on a loaded up Glide? It can't. The torque and horsepower requirements are completely different. The 'Stage 1, 2, 3 etc' kits are all exactly the same despite the application which is nonsense. Secondly the parts used are nothing special and all of the cams in these kits are emission compliant and not performance oriented.

    The only process for a successful performance project is this - first identify how much static compression you have avalable. Compression is power. With this in mind the logical route is to have as much compression available as possible which usually means a displacement increase. This is the foundation of any performance engine. There's no point in fitting cams that need 10:1 and doing head work in a 8.5:1 engine - you're wasting money and the results will be negligable. So if you have an 88" or 96" engine, bore the original seasoned cylinders to accept 3.875" pistons and you'll now have a 95" or a 103" engine. Talking about Twin Cams here, the M8's can be taken out to 124" or 128". This will be a noticable improvement even if you do nothing else. Once you know how much compression you have you can now select a cam profile - this will be different if you're planning head work. All cams have an optimum compression area where they function at their most efficient and there's no magic cam out there that comes on at 1500 RPM and lasts until 6000 RPM. Look at your riding style and what the bike will carry and then make a choice. The stock head castings and valves stop increasing in air flow at about 0.400" inches of valve lift. If you're keeping the heads stock then don't go for a 0.600" lift cam. Having the heads ported really expands what the build is capable of doing - more compression becomes available as does a greater choice of cams which allows the performance to be tailored towards more torque, more horsepower or whatever balance the rider wants. Finally the exhaust system has to be recognised for the critical component that it is. I've seen bikes pick up 12 ft/lbs on the dyno just with an exhaust change. As we touched on earlier it goes without saying that any major changes to compression or air flow characteristics bring about the need to re tune the engine. A competent dyno session is the best way to do this - it's the icing on the cake and any changes made will never be realised to their full potential without a dyno tune - no exceptions.

    The limit to any performance build is of course the finances available. Stick to the steps mentioned to avoid wasting money - compression first then a dyno tune. Or, compression and a cam change then a dyno tune. If you want to spend more and get more results then go for head work to optimise what the cams can do. Horsepower builds may need a bigger throttle body and injectors. Pulleys can be changed to achieve different drive ratios. The parts combinations are endless. Just avoid any of the 'Stage whatever' builds ...
    thanks Fastlane for taking the time to go through that, i reckon that is going to be helpful to alot of people. It doesn't take long when looking into the 'Stage' options to realise it is a manufacturers marketing ploy but actually finding a good route through performance mods is another kettle of red herrings. Everything you went through makes sense, however I am like a lot of people at the stage 1 point and you pointed out earlier that the Dobleck/Revtech DFOs are fairly crap, so I am initially looking for a tuner that can take me through any power mods for the future as well as leeting me self tune my present set up.
    I am also guessing that a.510" cam like the S&S or Andrews 37 are a waste of time in stock heads despite manufacturer saying they fit

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Actually I'm quite happy with the way it is, seems a lot more tractable,i.e. Smoother,quieter and I can hold the gears down lower than before which makes riding less of an up and down changing.

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    Re: Why Stage One??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S View Post
    I am initially looking for a tuner that can take me through any power mods for the future as well as letting me self tune my present set up.
    Dynojet Power Vision - nothing else comes close. Most of my customers buy a license then I use my PV to tune their bikes. Any PV dealer has access to the licensing scheme. Some do buy their own PV (wrong side of £500) and keep the unit mounted permanently on the bike. This allows them to monitor all of the relevent engine parameters in real time as they ride. There is a wide band auto tune function available but as I mentioned earlier on you're never going to get a complete tune due to limiting road conditions. It's pretty good though, just not as comprehensive as a dyno tune. A narrow band auto tune is in my opinion pretty pointless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S View Post
    I am also guessing that a.510" cam like the S&S or Andrews 37 are a waste of time in stock heads despite manufacturer saying they fit
    There are many cams that have a valve lift of 0.510" or just below - these are referred to as 'bolt in' cams for the 99-04 Twin Cam heads. For the later 2005-2016 heads a bolt in cam can be up to about 0.590" in lift due to the better valve spring design. However as you suggest just because they will operate within the limits of the valve springs, that doesn't mean that you'll get the full benefit of the timing events. For instance the Andrews 37 likes 9.8:1 static compression ratio. The Andrews 26 is at home at 9.6:1 and the Andrews 21 at 9.4:1 - all of which are out of reach for a stock engine running stock pistons, heads and gaskets. There will be an increase in performance as the valve duration is much longer on any aftermarket cam than the emission compliant stock cams. Similarly the intake valve opening point is earlier which allows more fuel and air into the combustion chamber before the limitations of the stock head casting and valves take over and stop the air flow through the system increasing as the valve opens to it's peak lift.
    Last edited by Fast Lane; 10-09-2019 at 10:18 AM.

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