New Pipes? Are You Getting Everything You Wanted?

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February 7, 2013 | By: Mike McGuire

544-460_AEditor’s Note: Mike McGuire is a tech chatter in the Destination Daytona SuperStore. He’s been with J&P since December 2010, where he started as a phone tech. A Harley-Davidson tech, Mike has a master of chassis certification from Harley-Davidson. Originally from Michigan, he graduated cum laude from Walsh College in Michigan, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is also a graduate of the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. Before joining the motorcycle industry, Mike worked in design and building of tooling and fixtures for the automotive industry.

Married to Kelly, the two like to travel to the Caribbean and take road trips on their 2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic. He’s currently in the market for another motocross bike because he raced motocross for years and is looking to get back into it. Outside of working and riding, Mike’s big fan of Detroit sports teams as well as University of Michigan football. He’s also been attempting to learn to surf – with limited success.

Your bike may sound great with new pipes, but are you really getting everything you wanted? An exhaust system is only one part of your engine’s breathing system. One of the most common tech questions we get asked is “Do I need to remap my exhaust if I add slip-on mufflers?” The honest answer, no matter what scare tactics your dealer tries to tell you, is no assuming you don’t make any other changes. The modern Delphi fuel injection system is a very advanced electronic device that can compensate for the slight change in flow as well as changes in altitude and temperature. Many people reading this would probably say the bike is lean from the factory, and while this is true, mufflers will not put your engine in danger. That only answers half of the question though. Consider this an engine is only an air pump.  The more air you move through it, the more power you will make. Now, if all you do is add a less restrictive exhaust, you will still be limited on how much air the air pump can move as a result of the restrictive stock intake. That said, a set of slip-on mufflers on your new Harley-Davidson may sound like you are making a lot more power when in reality you are leaving a lot of untapped potential.

402-903_AThe question becomes, “How do I tap this hidden potential?” The single best way is a complete stage 1 kit. This includes a set of free flowing exhaust pipes, hi-flow air filter and a fuel management unit. Vance & Hines makes all three components for most modern Harley-Davidson motorcycles. One of the best ways to shop items from a single manufacturer is to use the “Shop by motorcycle” feature on the J&P website, and then narrow the search by manufacturer. This will ensure that you get components that not only will fit your motorcycle, but those that were designed to work together as a system.

You can pick the exhaust that you choose whether it is a set of slip-on mufflers or a complete system including head pipes. In most instances, a stock head pipe will flow just fine for a stage 1 set up. Keep in mind; however, that after the 2010 model year Harley Touring bikes come with a catalyst in the head pipe. This catalyst will not only negatively affect flow, but will diminish the sound level that your new slip-on mufflers would otherwise provide. V&H has many different styles and finishes of pipes to suit your personal preference. If you have a touring bike and would like to replace the head pipes, you can mix and match these with your choice of mufflers and get the style that appeals to you the most.

The next component after the exhaust is the hi-flow air filter. V&H offers two different choices to suit your needs. The first is the VO2 naked that replaces the stock backing plate adds a low restriction filter and maintains the stock air cleaner cover for a stealthy look. They also offer a VO2 intake kit with the DRAK cover. This distinctive cover, in either black or chrome let’s everybody know you mean business.

450-998_AFinally to complete the system you will need a fuel management unit. In terms of ease of use, flexibility, and cost, the V&H FuelPak is tough to beat. This unit will plug into your factory connectors with no slicing or cutting of wires and is truly plug and play. V&H has provided numerous settings for different combinations of intake, exhaust and engine size. This unit will allow the fuel injection system to compensate for the extra air that your engine now has the ability to pump through itself.

These suggestions are by no means a one size fits all solution. If you plan on increasing the displacement of your engine, adding cams or making other radical changes in the future, these upgrades should be taken into consideration when you plan your stage 1 kit accordingly.

 

Comments (14)

William need to remap? If I change my exhaust with no baffles? And a stage one air intake.

Hi Mike: I have a 2008 Ultra that I converted to true duals and am running 2 stock Ultra mufflers, both fom the right side ( I think or was it left?)of an Ultra. As you know they are two different mufflers with different stock numbers. I have made no other changes to the bike. I’m assuming from your article that I can convert to Thunderheader slip on mufflers without a problem. Please tell me this is true. Many thanks!

For all the people commenting on this post, USE SPELL CHECK!!!!!
While your points are valid, credibility is lost when you can’t use the proper spelling for “write” or “knew.”

If you know what you’re talking about(and it makes sense to me), take the time to look good doing it so people will take you seriously!!!

I have a 2008 Night Train. I installed Vance and Hines Staggered Short Shots, a MoFlo high flow air filter, and a Vance and Hines Fuel Pak. Let’s just say the Fuel Pak was the easiest part. Plug it in, calibrate it to Vance and Hines settings, and ride!!!

I have noticed an increase in power and a little in fuel consumption, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the way my bike sounds and drives.

Thanks J&P Cycles.

Great timing for me!! Just bought my first fuel injected bagger and my dealer is trying to get me to buy a super tuner to go with the new pipes i bought and that i need to have it dyno tuned at $90 an hour. I’d rather put a fuel pack on myself and spend that money traveling. In my opinion I always know I’m dealing with straight shooters st J&P.

I have a 2011 Sportster Nightster 1200,I have changed the mufflers to a set of Rush Slip-ONs no problems there.I have added a V&H Fuel management system,I went by the stock settings they gave for.Do I need to adjust any of the settings in the programing ? The only issue it just pops (backfires) between shifts,runs great on the highway.It gets around 55MPG on 93 octane,no problem with the idle.I tried a couple passes on the local track first 2 passes the bike just barely me I was still hanging on when we went thru the traps.I tried slipping or pedaling the clutch dropped my launch RPM’ guesstamate no tach 2500.By the end I was having to ride the clutch about half track to keep from chasing it.Everything Ihave done to the bike is above the rest is stone stock down to the tires. Any suggestions ? Except stay away from the strip,I used to run an B/FD alcohol rail.Iam retired now I still like alittle excitement.Thanks Paul

Paul, go to the url shown below to find the correct settings for the Rush slip-ons.

http://www.fuelpakfi.com/fplookup_new_revb.php

Interesting information, as it stands the exhaust on my 2012 FLTRU runs very hot in Las Vegas and Death Valleys where I ride. I am wiling to remove the head pipe, cats included in an effort to reduce that heat. My major concern is from a warranty aspect. I rode 36,200 miles last year in 11 months. I paid for a 7 year unlimited warranty and feel it could be a problem adding a fuel mapping device when there is an engine related problem down the road.

Harley can’t void your warranty simply for having aftermarket parts installed. In the event of a failure, they need to prove that it was a direct result of those parts.

I HAVE A 2003 1200 HARLEY SPORTSTER NOT FUEL INJECTION OF COURSE . CAN FUEL INJECTION BE INSTALLED ON IT AND IF NOT WHAT CAN BE USED IN PLACE OF THE V&H FUEL PAK TO ASSIST THAT PART OF MY SYSTEM . I HAVE A FREE FLOW AIR CLEANER AND STRAIGHT THROUGH MUFFLERS .
HELP & THANKS , JAY

Jay, the FuelPak is basically a jet kit for fuel-injected models. If you didn’t re-jet your carburetor when you installed the air cleaner and pipes, you’re not reaping the benefits of these modifications.

Now you’re getting into some real legal areas when you start talking about replacing the catalysts with non-catalyst headpipes. You could get J & P in serious trouble just by recommending changing the headpipes due to a little Federal law that prohibits removing them if it came equipped with it. My 2009 FXDF came with a cat, and it will stay in place until somebody gets a high-flow model for it (I can still change the slip-ons when they get ground down enough). Even the car guys are leaving the cats in place these days, using special free-flowing cats.

I would have to agree. You say that the ECM will compensate, but that will just bring it right back to 14.7:1 Which is still way too lean. If you are going to right a blog, why dont you do it from a tech stand point and not as a salesmen.

WRONG! I REMEMBER WHEN YALL HAD REAL MECHANICS THAT NEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKIN BOUT AND COULD HELP KEEP A BROTHER ON THE ROAD. NOW YA GOT THESE SO CALLED TECHS THAT DON’T KNOW THERE ASS FROM THERE ELBOW. IS THIS A TECH ARTICLE OR A VANCE AN HINES AD.

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