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I’ve noticed on here a few posts warning about lugging the 111 thunder stroke. Most talk about piston damage, I’m supposing thinking they are going to shatter. I’m also trying to interpret what people are calling lugging. The engine IS a lugging engine, it’s bottom heavy and doesn’t rev far. More torque then horsepower. I double shift my Springfield dark horse most times and take off in second a lot of times. The engine was designed to grunt, once it hits 3000 rpm it’s hit the ceiling and after that you are simply making noise and creating more friction inside of the engine then what’s necessary. Lugging sometimes wears clutches out quicker, they get put under more pressure, but the engine itself lugged and rolling on throttle is not a wear inducing habit that I’ve ever experienced in any motorcycle. I’m shocked to see some people riding at 3k before they shift, seems a waste of fuel to me but I would like to hear people’s opinions, no bashing or ill will, just experiences with blown engines and such from lugging
 

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As stated above,lugging any engine is NOT really good for it.Over the years I have seen broken connecting rods, broken pistons,and a couple of broken crank shafts caused from this,but NOT on a motorcycle.But I will NOT lug my bike or any motor vehicle because if ya do break something,the price to repair it IS QUITE EXPENSIVE.I mean,if you're one of these guys who has more money then brains,then,by all means,lug away!! lol But then again,these big twins can handle it,as long as ya don't go over board.Experience is a great teacher and the more you drive your bike,the more familar you get with it,meaning,you should be able to feel the motor when it's being over taxed,or lugged,and when it's running freely.There is a torque curve on all motors and as long as you stay just above it ,and DO NOT over tax it,you should be fine.
 

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My motors power curve is around 3000 -4000RPM and loves it. I believe working all the gears is better. When I am racing I launch off the start gate in 2nd and at 3/4 revs this is much quick followed with flat changes. But riding my girlfriend ( RM) she prefers to not lug and preserves clutch plates etc. This beast motor will handle most styles of riding though, this motor is like the Victory nearly impossible to kill.
Ride hard 😆🙂
 

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It seems to me that the term "lugging the engine" may not be universally understood.
Do a Google search "engine lugging definition" and you'll get plenty of good info.
Lugging is not just cruising along at low RPMs. It's being in too low of a gear and feeding the engine a lot or even full throttle. If the engine struggles to gain RPMs, while audibly working HARD, it is being lugged and, yes, it can damage the engine and/or overheat it. Lugging will often cause detonation, which can destroy the pistons, collapse piston ring grooves down onto the rings and/or damage the cylinder walls. Prolonged lugging can bend connecting rods and it can shorten the life of the main and big end bearings.
The Thunder Stroke engine can happily cruise along at quite low RPMs. But if you make a habit of giving it full throttle at 1500 RPMs and wait until it struggles up to speed, you're not doing it any favors.

Captain Kirk had a habit of asking Scotty to do miracles with the warp drive and when Scotty started whining about his "poor dilithium crystals", it was time to freakin' downshift!
Think of your pistons as dilithium crystals.
 

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The engine was designed to grunt, once it hits 3000 rpm it’s hit the ceiling and after that you are simply making noise and creating more friction inside of the engine then what’s necessary
I disagree with this statement. My 116 with tune pulls all the way to redline, my buddies stg 2 with tune pulls all the way to redline, my brothers stg 1 with tune does not fall flat at 3000 or 4000 but pulls well into the 5000s. I have ridden all 3 none fall flat and just make noise if yours does may I suggest getting it fixed.

As for lugging or what I call grunting low rpm full throttle riding is tuff on a motor as stated before by others. Believe it or not, these V-twins are made for higher rpm. When I had my HD my mechanic told me HD hates low rpm and love higher. He told me the bike likes 3000 rpm more than 2000 rpm. I have not researched the 111/116 but would think the same to be true. when riding mellow I shift at about 2500 rpm I get the smoothest transition from gear to gear there.
I will also double or triple shift my bike depending on what I am doing. Leaving a stop, for instance, a buddy and I run hard to highway speeds I might be in second gear and when reaching the speed I will shift from second to 6th which actually would be a quad shift. Jumping or bypassing gears make no difference but just don't twist full throttle at lower rpms and expect to get anything from it but maybe some headaches.
 

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I’ve had the mechanics at the shop talk about this. If you are shifting before 3K, you are cheating yourself. I shift up around 3800-4K And run the bike around 3400-3600. I’m rarely in 6th gear unless I’m at 90m-h or better. I don’t see any difference in mpg with regards to rpm At the higher ranges. Speed is another thing. These bikes aren’t hitting hard until about 4K. I believe the limiter is about 5400-5600. Don’t cheat yourself son!
 

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Well im shoooo confused now... I thought Lugging was cruising in too high of a gear??
At too low of an rpm yes you are right and that's what we are saying. Well mostly if you are in a higher gear but not pushing the motor with more throttle it won't be lugging. But add more throttle without downshifting and that's where the lugging comes in. Even when cruising at 60-65 if I am passing I always at least downshift one gear. I have had cars floor it when I get beside them and hold me in the passing lane and in fact, one time an oncoming car was coming at me and the car driver did not let up so I had to do the evasive maneuver.

EDIT: even small amounts of the throttle in to high a gear at to low of an rpm will lug an engine.
 

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Well im shoooo confused now... I thought Lugging was cruising in too high of a gear??
No mainly labouring, motors love to pull not push ha ha once over 3000 your scooter is happy , this apply to the big cruisers not the scout. The scout loves higher revs, speed, corners and under cutting hogs on corners ha ha .....go hard or go home 🤪
 

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No mainly labouring, motors love to pull not push ha ha once over 3000 your scooter is happy , this apply to the big cruisers not the scout. The scout loves higher revs, speed, corners and under cutting hogs on corners ha ha .....go hard or go home 🤪
I think this is where many get confused. The Scout engine and the 111 engine are two completely different beast. But don't over analyze things. If what you are doing works for you, do it. Like we tell all new riders, ride your own ride. Same for this I think. I'm pretty sure you'll recognize the signs of lugging if you are indeed lugging. Chances are good you aren't so don't go getting confused. Very few will ride their bike for 100,000+ miles anyway. They trade or just outright sell before that. So your chances of seeing negative results of lugging a slim. Just ride and enjoy.
 

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Anyone lug-lug? Or lug the lug of the lug?? I hear you essentially get automatic transmission this way. ??

lug ..lug ..luggity ...lug ..lug ..lug.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe I need to get this bike to the dealer and have them look it over, at 3200 rpm there is no more power to the wheels. It’s just making noise.
To be clear, I’ve been a motorcycle mechanic for 30 years and have never seen this damage people speak of from lugging. I also race motocross and since the shift to four strokes this “lugging” warning has came through many mouths to me, I’ve not yet seen any sort of proof.
As for the 2018 Springfield, with 111 thunder stroke, at 3200 the engine is not happy. Maybe they have remapped since then, seems the ignition could be retarded a bit right at 3200, but stock it’s out of juice.
Obviously I’m not speaking of being in 4th taking off from a stop, surely you will detonate making it work like that, but the torque is pretty robust and starting in second gear, no throttle, the bike will take off and idle down the road.
I didn’t know these engines were so fragile. I will keep an eye on things, maybe send the oil out for analysis a few times riding different ways and see what they are finding.
 

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at 3200 rpm there is no more power to the wheels.
That ain't right. I have power up to and a bit passed 5,000rpms. Now I do have a 016 Roadmaster but that just sounds wrong with your limit.
I didn’t know these engines were so fragile. They aren't. Period. Sure, there may be a lemon or two but generally they are strong robust machines.
 

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My shift points are right around the 2000 rpm mark,[plus or minus a couple rpm],as I just poke along these days.And I do not crowd the motor ,nor do I take on all comers.Those days are looooooooooooooong gone and all I do now a days is enjoy what ever time I have left to continue riding while listening to my tunes.So carry on all you young wipper snappers!! ;) :rolleyes::giggle::giggle: Dave!!!
 

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Something in not right. Mine makes power all the way through the gears. It loves cruising along at 95mph in 6th. No vibration, nothing.

As many have stated, I usually shift at 3,400-3,600. Bike pulls great. I do find the torque curve doesn't pull as hard when I hit around 3,800 and does drop off in the lower gears, but only slightly.

I also routinely run mine for about 8-10 miles at 100-105. And again she just rolls along like nothing. But the wind resistance and vibration increase quite a bit at that speed so I drop it back after that as my upper body starts getting beat to pieces at that speed...
 

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Leaving in 2nd??? Run er up to 4 or 5 K to shift???
Jap Bike Tactics. Been riding Harleys exclusively since the late '70's. Ride my 111 the same...basically..
Scout???? Completely Different critter... more Revs than a Sportster... More like the V-Rod...
I leave in 1st gear... Just like I do with my DragBike BTW
Shift whenever I feel Like it... the 111 is very forgiving, so I ride it like a geezer... Mine, so I will do as I please
y'all should do the same...
 
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