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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The weather is crap so I spent some time cleaning and detailing the RM. Man this black does show the dust quickly. Looking at that big bedpan they call an air cleaner got me thinking though. This stock air filter is pretty damn big and the air intake above the assy is no dinky thing either. When I changed my stock assy on my Kawi VN 2000 there was a night and day difference. The dual throttle intake ports are huge. One is almost as big as what we have on the TS111. This was fed on the stock intake with a filter box that was ridiculously small. It was simple to see what an aftermarket assy would do to help this motor breath better. I can't say the same when looking at the Big Sucker assy compared to the original assy. I must admit the BS assy looks tons better that the original factory set up but looking at the amount of filtering media (even though it is a different type of filtering media) I can't see a big difference. Is all the performance and response difference just because of the software flash? Has anyone tried just having the ECU flash performed on a stock air box? Makes me wonder if the engine would run better and cooler with the flash on a stock intake system. Just some food for thought. Dean E
 

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Just my .2 cents worth. but a flash will still leave you with an EPA compliant system, lean and hot running. I don't believe the flash will change the A/F ratio to a cooler better performing system. The flash is a money maker, only, for Indian, Harley, or whoever. As far as the ECM "compensating" for a exhaust/air filter change....ain't happening. ECMs 's are changed by data fed directly into them by computer programming, or a piggy back system such as Dyno Jet, cobra, etc. JMHO.
 

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I would say that the less restrictive air flow of the (supposedly) high performance air cleaner would allow the engine to pull in more air, but to some degree you're right, there's not a lot of gain here in JUST the air cleaner. Add a less restrictive exhaust and the combination together will again move more air and increase performance. I agree with Bigiron about the Flash. With Indian/Polaris controlling the parameters you'll no doubt still end up with an EPA lean setting which will do nothing for cooling and minimize performance. My Chieftain is remaining stock. For me the possible gains are minimal and the cost is high AND this engine does not need it, in my opinion.
 
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Not to be too contrarian, but the flash is designed to enrich the mixture since the new A/C will presumably be breathing better and need more fuel. How much as delivered with the flash over stock is apparently a Polaris trade secret. Theoretically the OEM A/C should run a tad richer with the flash only. More power? Dunno. Is the acc A/C EPA compliant? Probably, given the day and age. The point for most of us is simply more power while still being warranty compliant. Sit on a v-twin and you're going to notice the heat no matter how rich you run it. I sincerely doubt the flash + A/C will make it any leaner than it is now. It certainly isn't going to get any cooler doing nothing. Same heat, more power? I'm ok with that as a worst case. As far as the Indian ECU being locked, well, it is. To us. ECUs locked industry-wide in general? No. And certainly not to the mfrs. I had a non-proprietary program called, oddly enough, TuneECU on my Triumph and it does indeed change the way the sensors process the the engine data and formulate instructions. I do not see why this isn't or can't be happening here on ours just with them using their proprietary software. From that standpoint, I don't see it as the rip-off you appear to, just self-protection on the part of the mfr which is why Triumph recently started locking theirs, no doubt. With that much leeway with laymen adjusting the ECU parameters, disaster is never far away. Interestingly, the GM at my Indian dealer said that the ECU does indeed have enough innate swing with an apparently wider band MAF sensor to compensate for aftermarket A/Cs without a flash as some people are doing. True? Dunno. Are they running excessively lean and hot? Dunno. I urge them to post their experiences. I do know that with the flash I won't be, according to the folks who will have to fix it if it craps out.

Yeah, the stock filter has a lot of filter medium but I am very roughly calculating about 32.5 sq in of OEM filter area versus about 46 for the Indian accessory A/C. Nearly half again as much. So it can breathe better. But does it need to? With S1 exhaust like I have, is the OEM A/C the new bottleneck? Probably. Open it up and you will need more gas and you will get more power if you add it. Theoretically. It could be that the OEM A/C is so heavy a breather already that the S1 exh is still the bottleneck but I'm betting $532.99 it isn't.

My shop is no appts on Saturdays, my most convenient day. Not wanting an arctic adventure, I trailered mine down - it was 27* when I left the house for a three hr rounder - figuring not too many would be riding in. Got me right in for the 15 min flash for $33 and conveniently left it trailered up doing it. Took it home and did the A/C installation. About an hour and change to mount it, btw. Fairly easy. Not a big money maker for the dealer compared to the five bills for the A/C unless they do the installation as well. Meh, hour of labor. Shouldn't hurt too bad to have them do it. Nonetheless, a couple days later when it warmed up I tested it, new A/C and flash, and it seemed noticeably more lively but I don't trust the always wishful thinking butt dyno esp over a paltry 100 mi. course. Gas mileage seemed very slightly off (a couple 10ths). I did not run it with the flash with the OEM A/C and it wouldn't matter anyway with the butt dyno caution in mind as you'd never realistically be able to discriminate the two rides. What I'd like to see is someone flash and dyno the stock A/C and then mount the aftermarket A/C and dyno that. With and without S1 exhaust, of course. The question in my mind is, is the engine mechanically set up so that it over-breathes the stock, EPA-compliant configuration and need the new A/C to actually breathe better or can you flash and retain the OEM A/C with much the same result? My guess is the flash and acc A/C will put out better to some degree or other but the only way to know for sure is to dyno it. I suspect it's fairly modest whatever the case. I'm rarely the first one to the party so my guess is that someone, somewhere has already done it and we just need to find the results. If not, some civic minded citizen care to step forward? $300 a pop here x4 and a 3 hr rounder as well to the dyno shop and sorry, I'm just not all that civic minded.

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I am running the Indian stage one pipes and big sucker air kit. It is no longer constipated, does not run hotter, average gas mileage went up by 3. Bike has a nicer rumble than before.

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2015 Blue and Ivory Chieftain
 

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Enzo,

How are your spark plugs looking? Part of my "maintenance course" here has a stretch where I can hit the kill switch at speed and safely coast downhill into a closed up business and pull the plugs. Doing it at idle won't tell you much. Oh, and don't forget your gloves. I'm funny about those steel plugs in Al heads and like to start them back in by hand. I'm here to tell you the fingerless ones don't work so well.

A few other general thoughts re ECUs. Yeah, yeah, can the groans, I know, my boundless prolixity is your pain. I'll be gone when the weather warms up a bit. Anyhow, I went whole hog, so to speak, on my Vic. Power Commander 5, cams, exh, A/C, etc. Though not exactly spot-on accurate to begin with, the mileage readings, instantaneous mileage, miles to empty, etc in your digital readouts start to get unuseably inaccurate without a flash. A Power Commander takes them completely out of the ball park as the ECU is publishing them as it sees them real-time, before the PC spoofs the injectors. I don't even look at them any more. Not a huge loss to some but I miss entertaining myself playing with the figures in my mind on long trips. My Chieftain has proven to be close - within a few percent of reality - that I don't do the fuel pumped per miles traveled any more when I fill up and just take the digital readout pretty much at face value.

Further, these Polaris ECUs and, I think, modern ECUs in general, probably have a bit more flexibility than we give them credit for. I went "half hog" for a bit on my Vic with a set up that should have produced a lean burn, but didn't. They have some defaults built in for loss of sensor input, etc, that just weren't there in past years and have wider-band sensors to accommodate more environmental variability. Which reminds me, the Vics go into a rich default mode with the O2 sensors disconnected. Do both at once and no ck eng light. The ECU knows and doesn't hose up your digital readout. This may be an avenue to pursue in the Indians with the engine-too-hot group. I'll let the young turks work that angle. I'm getting tired and am playing it pretty straight this time around with the Indian. Just riding, little wrenching - what a concept. Ah, sweet progress. Beats the hell out of mucking around with carbs over and over trying to get a decent burn. A rack of six on my old Valkyrie. Don't miss that a bit. Now we get a 15 min ECU reflash and we're golden. We are truly lucky to live in this day and age.

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Too bad all of this is driven by the EPA. If the Polaris/Indian engineers can come up with an AC/ECU products and protocol that improves performance (and cooling?) without sacrificing fuel economy then they would sell like hotcakes. Seems that the stock dog dish and Stage 1 with flash that I use work good enough and I don't mind the look since the big 111 reminds me of the Mopar logos back in the day. I must admit though when I open the throttle wide open on the highway as needed at times the TS111 seems limited. My butt dyno, as old as it is, wants a little more pop at the top.
 

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I installed a Stage One HD Air Cleaner, no-cat headpipe, much less restrictive mufflers, and a PCV programmed by Fuel Moto, and removed the 02 sensors. Noticeable reduction in heat. There will still be a lot of heat when riding in slow traffic, and while at idle, thanks to an air cooled engine. I may have cost myself a few MPG, but I felt that enriching my engine would contribute to longevity, as well as performance. I still get 41-46 MPG on my Ultra Classic. There is room in my garage for a Scout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not to be too contrarian, but the flash is designed to enrich the mixture since the new A/C will presumably be breathing better and need more fuel. How much as delivered with the flash over stock is apparently a Polaris trade secret. Theoretically the OEM A/C should run a tad richer with the flash only. More power? Dunno. Is the acc A/C EPA compliant? Probably, given the day and age. The point for most of us is simply more power while still being warranty compliant. Sit on a v-twin and you're going to notice the heat no matter how rich you run it. I sincerely doubt the flash + A/C will make it any leaner than it is now. It certainly isn't going to get any cooler doing nothing. Same heat, more power? I'm ok with that as a worst case. As far as the Indian ECU being locked, well, it is. To us. ECUs locked industry-wide in general? No. And certainly not to the mfrs. I had a non-proprietary program called, oddly enough, TuneECU on my Triumph and it does indeed change the way the sensors process the the engine data and formulate instructions. I do not see why this isn't or can't be happening here on ours just with them using their proprietary software. From that standpoint, I don't see it as the rip-off you appear to, just self-protection on the part of the mfr which is why Triumph recently started locking theirs, no doubt. With that much leeway with laymen adjusting the ECU parameters, disaster is never far away. Interestingly, the GM at my Indian dealer said that the ECU does indeed have enough innate swing with an apparently wider band MAF sensor to compensate for aftermarket A/Cs without a flash as some people are doing. True? Dunno. Are they running excessively lean and hot? Dunno. I urge them to post their experiences. I do know that with the flash I won't be, according to the folks who will have to fix it if it craps out.

Yeah, the stock filter has a lot of filter medium but I am very roughly calculating about 32.5 sq in of OEM filter area versus about 46 for the Indian accessory A/C. Nearly half again as much. So it can breathe better. But does it need to? With S1 exhaust like I have, is the OEM A/C the new bottleneck? Probably. Open it up and you will need more gas and you will get more power if you add it. Theoretically. It could be that the OEM A/C is so heavy a breather already that the S1 exh is still the bottleneck but I'm betting $532.99 it isn't.

My shop is no appts on Saturdays, my most convenient day. Not wanting an arctic adventure, I trailered mine down - it was 27* when I left the house for a three hr rounder - figuring not too many would be riding in. Got me right in for the 15 min flash for $33 and conveniently left it trailered up doing it. Took it home and did the A/C installation. About an hour and change to mount it, btw. Fairly easy. Not a big money maker for the dealer compared to the five bills for the A/C unless they do the installation as well. Meh, hour of labor. Shouldn't hurt too bad to have them do it. Nonetheless, a couple days later when it warmed up I tested it, new A/C and flash, and it seemed noticeably more lively but I don't trust the always wishful thinking butt dyno esp over a paltry 100 mi. course. Gas mileage seemed very slightly off (a couple 10ths). I did not run it with the flash with the OEM A/C and it wouldn't matter anyway with the butt dyno caution in mind as you'd never realistically be able to discriminate the two rides. What I'd like to see is someone flash and dyno the stock A/C and then mount the aftermarket A/C and dyno that. With and without S1 exhaust, of course. The question in my mind is, is the engine mechanically set up so that it over-breathes the stock, EPA-compliant configuration and need the new A/C to actually breathe better or can you flash and retain the OEM A/C with much the same result? My guess is the flash and acc A/C will put out better to some degree or other but the only way to know for sure is to dyno it. I suspect it's fairly modest whatever the case. I'm rarely the first one to the party so my guess is that someone, somewhere has already done it and we just need to find the results. If not, some civic minded citizen care to step forward? $300 a pop here x4 and a 3 hr rounder as well to the dyno shop and sorry, I'm just not all that civic minded.

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Not sure how your math added up. If you are comparing the overall filtering media I would have a hard time stating the factory intake has less media that the BS. I just don't see it. I do think that Polaris cleaned up the fuel map going to the BS assy. I do feel there is more to be gained adding the new map than in just adding the new intake. On my VN2000 you had to add a new map because the difference between the factory and aftermarket intake was night and day. You might get it started but it would fart and sputter so much you could not ride it. I would love to hear from someone who installed the BS intake then rode it to the dealer to have the map installed to see how it ran before and afterwards. Dean E
 

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I say loose weight big boy and the bike goes faster. Most cost efficient means of doing that is taking your dog for a walk and visit a gym no dyno required (civic minded in all). Just saying lighter is faster I have BAC and Freedom performance duals with the fishyfish, hangon got to unwrap my big mac.It's tuff riding and eating much less adding to the delirium of minutia going on round here.
 

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Dean,

I measured pretty quick and dirty and we can quibble about a sq in or two but the fact is that the Thunderstroke High Flow AC, hereinafter referred to as "HFAC", presents just under 50% more surface area than the stock +/- a little. The math again: OEM: 1.25 in filter ht x ~26 in circumference = ~32.5 sq in for the stock. HFAC: 2 in filter ht x ~23 in circumference = ~46 sq in of surface area filtering (filter is conical so I measured in the middle). If the same filter medium is used, it stands to reason the HFAC would breathe better. In fact, I suspect it has a more permissive medium and does even better than the compared filter surface areas might suggest. Add to that no internal or external baffling and believe you can quite safely assume that it does, in fact, breathe better.

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Dean,

I measured pretty quick and dirty and we can quibble about a sq in or two but the fact is that the Thunderstroke High Flow AC, hereinafter referred to as "HFAC", presents just under 50% more surface area than the stock +/- a little. The math again: OEM: 1.25 in filter ht x ~26 in circumference = ~32.5 sq in for the stock. HFAC: 2 in filter ht x ~23 in circumference = ~46 sq in of surface area filtering (filter is conical so I measured in the middle). If the same filter medium is used, it stands to reason the HFAC would breathe better. In fact, I suspect it has a more permissive medium and does even better than the compared filter surface areas might suggest. Add to that no internal or external baffling and believe you can quite safely assume that it does, in fact, breathe better.

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Going back and comparing pics of the original filter and the HFAC I guess numbers don't lie. The stock looked pretty darn big especially with the base plate there. The HFAC assy looked small next to the exposed cylinders but I have not had the luxury of comparing them in hand side by side. I would still be curious to see the flash on a stock system to see how it runs. I know the factory emission settings are going to be very lean. Dean E
 

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Dean-O,

Thank yourself for that. Your postings got me curious and since I had them both on hand, I measured them. Used the only thing at hand - a metal measuring tape stretched taut, thus my hedging with the approximations. I was kind of surprised as well. Now, absolutely, I agree, I think the flash is critical and, yep, probably EPA compliant but without access to the ECU, what can you do? I, too, would like to see how the flash on an OEM a/c performs and could kick myself for not exposing mine to the butt dyno (BD) before the HFAC went on. Maybe after I get used to the HFAC, I can backfit the OEM and BD it but I don't know what that might accomplish with the BD so unreliable. One has to wonder if the flash without the HFAC being mounted would void the warranty. Again, I say to the adventurous souls, doing nothing changes nothing.

I am always very leery of BD proclamations - including and particularly my own, but it seems to have a very noticeable, newfound liveliness after the flash/HFAC installation. I didn't notice it quite as much down low, but at speed, the roll on did not fail to impress. Night/day? No, but noticeable. Take that for exactly what it cost you to read it. A real dyno run - it's the only way to really sort things out.

KMC Powersports, Lloydz's road show if you will, will be within a nice day trip in May. Maybe I'll take a bullet for the squad and go get this configuration dynoed. Generally, I don't do that unless I need a fuel programmer set, but I am pretty curious how the S1 exh and HFAC combo performs over stock. I wouldn't expect more than a max gain of 5-10% at the very outside. It might also hint at what a fuel programmer might do if we compare with those that have gone that route and if the hp/tq gain is tasty enough to risk your warranty over. Did it on my Vic with no regrets, but others may feel differently. Without cams, though, it may come to pass that a programmer may yield only a couple, almost unnoticeable percent gains and may not be attractive enough for some to abandon their warranties. The "fiddling gene" runs deep in many motorcyclists and I suspect we'll see a lot of this stuff (reconfigs w/dyno graphs) start showing up over the next couple years.

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