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I have a 2018 Chieftain Limited with many upgrades. It looks like a Road Master at this point, minus the lowers. Recently, when the Indian demo truck was at my local dealer, I took the Harley vs Challenger demo ride. I was impressed by how much power both bikes had compared to my Chieftain. I had never thought it was really slow, but it did always seem sluggish to me.

I have read many threads in these forums. I thought I understood what I wanted when I started researching, but it has resulted in me being more lost than ever. I am not a hard/fast rider looking for the most possible HP from my bike. I am also not mechanical and cannot do the work myself. I write software for a living, not fix/repair bikes. I literally do not know what a cam does, what a header is for, etc. I accept my ignorance and I hope you can too.

I am asking for input and assistance from the incredibly giving and knowledgeable people on this forum. I will list the items I would like to upgrade to, with the hopes of getting advice that it is a good upgrade, or maybe good but needs something else, or avoid completely. I am in California though I hope to change that in 1-2 years -- Florida is waiting for me.

The current motor, exhaust, and air intake are stock.

Exhaust
The first upgrade I wanted to start with is to get Rinehart exhaust pipes. I found the 4" slip-ons for $700 (Chrome with black merge end caps). But, then I found the Slimline Duals Header Kit for an additional $750.

  • Do I need both?
  • I have read in some message that slip-ons are not good. If not, then what is?
Air Intake
Since the exhaust is going to be changed, I have read that the air intake is also an important change to make to free up some hidden horse power. So, after reading a number of threads, I am considering getting the OTB Prototypes Voodoo Air Intake for $600. Most people seem to agree this is one of the best air intakes while everyone agrees it is likely too expensive. At their site, I click on "Buy Online Westcoast" and then I see "Not for sale in California". Not the first time I will see that for my upgrade list...

  • Beyond the standard "Because its California" and similar responses, can someone tell me why it is not for sale here? Is there a work-around? Can I have it sent to someone outside of CA, then sent to me? Would a dealer refuse to install it?
Engine
Having been confused enough by reading about air intakes, I researched engine upgrades. The two most popular seem to be the Indian 116 and the Lloydz 121. One thread on here indicated that the Lloydz was much more expensive than the Indian. Pricing the two seems to indicate the opposite, so clearly there is something I am missing. The Indian 116 is $$2750 while the Lloydz 121 is $1725.

  • I'm not even sure what to ask here. Seems like I need to ship the bike or motor to Lloydz or find someone who knows what they are doing. Seeking advice! Is the 116 good enough or do I need to strongly consider the 121?
  • Do I even need an upgrade or would exhaust, cam, air intake give me the boost I am looking for?
Tuning
Everything I read said if you are going to start changing exhaust, air, and/or engine then you will also need a new tuning. The forums gave me information about Fuel Moto. I see it listed for $400, but then I see "This product cannot ship to California".

  • Same question as the air intake -- is there a way around this?
  • Surely there are riders in CA who have changed their Indians to use 3rd party exhaust and air intakes. What is everyone using instead of Fuel Moto?
Other
And just in case all of the above did not leave me baffled and exhausted (double pun!), I find information about needing better cams (Lloydz 585), valve springs and possibly a heavy duty clutch.

  • Most forum threads have high praise for the Lloydz 585 cam, however some report problems/concerns and indicate they are using something else. I don't know what to do here.
  • What benefit does the Indian or Barnett clutch offer?
Conclusion
WTF... I am just a simple rider looking to upgrade the performance of my bike. I did not expect to need to attend the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute just to be able to tell someone else what I want them to order and install for me. I am also NOT wealthy. If so, I would just tell the dealer what I am looking for and to call me when it is done. I never pay retail price for anything, unless there is no other option. It is how I have been able to make the upgrades that I have done. I saved about $4000.

So, I humbly submit my "wish list" to this forum and ask for some feedback. What I originally guessed would be about $2K to $4K in upgrades seems to have taken a rather large detour into the $10K+ range. Thank you in advance for your help with my bike.

Here is a picture of my ride.
594064
 

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I have a 2018 Chieftain Limited with many upgrades. It looks like a Road Master at this point, minus the lowers. Recently, when the Indian demo truck was at my local dealer, I took the Harley vs Challenger demo ride. I was impressed by how much power both bikes had compared to my Chieftain. I had never thought it was really slow, but it did always seem sluggish to me.

I have read many threads in these forums. I thought I understood what I wanted when I started researching, but it has resulted in me being more lost than ever. I am not a hard/fast rider looking for the most possible HP from my bike. I am also not mechanical and cannot do the work myself. I write software for a living, not fix/repair bikes. I literally do not know what a cam does, what a header is for, etc. I accept my ignorance and I hope you can too.

I am asking for input and assistance from the incredibly giving and knowledgeable people on this forum. I will list the items I would like to upgrade to, with the hopes of getting advice that it is a good upgrade, or maybe good but needs something else, or avoid completely. I am in California though I hope to change that in 1-2 years -- Florida is waiting for me.

The current motor, exhaust, and air intake are stock.

Exhaust
The first upgrade I wanted to start with is to get Rinehart exhaust pipes. I found the 4" slip-ons for $700 (Chrome with black merge end caps). But, then I found the Slimline Duals Header Kit for an additional $750.

  • Do I need both?
  • I have read in some message that slip-ons are not good. If not, then what is?
Air Intake
Since the exhaust is going to be changed, I have read that the air intake is also an important change to make to free up some hidden horse power. So, after reading a number of threads, I am considering getting the OTB Prototypes Voodoo Air Intake for $600. Most people seem to agree this is one of the best air intakes while everyone agrees it is likely too expensive. At their site, I click on "Buy Online Westcoast" and then I see "Not for sale in California". Not the first time I will see that for my upgrade list...

  • Beyond the standard "Because its California" and similar responses, can someone tell me why it is not for sale here? Is there a work-around? Can I have it sent to someone outside of CA, then sent to me? Would a dealer refuse to install it?
Engine
Having been confused enough by reading about air intakes, I researched engine upgrades. The two most popular seem to be the Indian 116 and the Lloydz 121. One thread on here indicated that the Lloydz was much more expensive than the Indian. Pricing the two seems to indicate the opposite, so clearly there is something I am missing. The Indian 116 is $$2750 while the Lloydz 121 is $1725.

  • I'm not even sure what to ask here. Seems like I need to ship the bike or motor to Lloydz or find someone who knows what they are doing. Seeking advice! Is the 116 good enough or do I need to strongly consider the 121?
  • Do I even need an upgrade or would exhaust, cam, air intake give me the boost I am looking for?
Tuning
Everything I read said if you are going to start changing exhaust, air, and/or engine then you will also need a new tuning. The forums gave me information about Fuel Moto. I see it listed for $400, but then I see "This product cannot ship to California".

  • Same question as the air intake -- is there a way around this?
  • Surely there are riders in CA who have changed their Indians to use 3rd party exhaust and air intakes. What is everyone using instead of Fuel Moto?
Other
And just in case all of the above did not leave me baffled and exhausted (double pun!), I find information about needing better cams (Lloydz 585), valve springs and possibly a heavy duty clutch.

  • Most forum threads have high praise for the Lloydz 585 cam, however some report problems/concerns and indicate they are using something else. I don't know what to do here.
  • What benefit does the Indian or Barnett clutch offer?
Conclusion
WTF... I am just a simple rider looking to upgrade the performance of my bike. I did not expect to need to attend the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute just to be able to tell someone else what I want them to order and install for me. I am also NOT wealthy. If so, I would just tell the dealer what I am looking for and to call me when it is done. I never pay retail price for anything, unless there is no other option. It is how I have been able to make the upgrades that I have done. I saved about $4000.

So, I humbly submit my "wish list" to this forum and ask for some feedback. What I originally guessed would be about $2K to $4K in upgrades seems to have taken a rather large detour into the $10K+ range. Thank you in advance for your help with my bike.

Here is a picture of my ride.
View attachment 594064

The easiest way to get more performance is get a PV3 unit from Fuel Moto and get a improved stock tune. Intake and exhaust will not do anything for performance on a stock bike. Those on a stock bike are for looks and sound.
 

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I personally have Indian stage 1 intake, Indian stage 2 cams, Rineharts 4" slip ons and a power commander from Fuel Moto with their tune. Runs amazing and will be all you'll need my friend in my opinion.
 

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A bike is a money pit toy. The more you spend the more power you get so decide how much is enough for you. Extensive power upgrade may decrease reliability. You will loose all the money on trade or sale so the money is spent for enjoyment. I have two bikes with stage two Indian parts and one 116 kit bike. No doubt the last one is the most fun to ride but a lot more money.

Set your max budget and do it all at one time to get the best result, good luck.
 
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It made a world of difference on mine simply by adding the Stage 1 High Flow air cleaner, stage one pipes for a better rumble. Rhinehart or other would suffice, and a PVCX tune (now the PV3).

Start there ride it for a while and see how you like it. You could then consider bigger cams, etc.

As someone already stated, reliability wise this is the best bang for your buck...
 
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Kudos to @Baron58 - The best Bang-for-Buck power increase, hands down, nothing else even comes close, and proven so with real data, is to buy the Fuel Moto PV3 and use it to flash the Fuel Moto "improved stock" tune.

If you must do "other stuff" at the same time, enhance the new tunes' capabilities by knocking out the slipons' plugs and slipping the K&N filter into the stock air cleaner housing.

The power increase is substantial AND occurs over the ENTIRE rpm range. It'll be a "whole new bike" to ride..

All that other crap can add power, if it is chosen very carefully, installed, and then tuned properly - All of which is a discussion for another time, after you've done the above and determined that you still want more.

Even you can knock out your slipon plugs ( but doing so IS optional) - How to remove exhaust plugs. (Punch the plugs) For...
 

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If you are serious about maximizing the HP and torque, but don't know exactly how to accomplish it. You may be money ahead to take the bike to someone who specializes in this. Someone like Lloyd's Motor Works or the Vic Shop for instance. You can give them a budget and see what they can do for that price.

I guess that I've seen too many people blindly head down that rabbit hole before. I'm just trying to save you a few bucks.
 

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The first upgrade I wanted to start with is to get Rinehart exhaust pipes. I found the 4" slip-ons for $700 (Chrome with black merge end caps). But, then I found the Slimline Duals Header Kit for an additional $750.

Do I need both?
Slipons and headers are two parts that make up the exhaust, so they are different pieces. The header is basically the front half, goes from the engine cylinders to pretty much directly below your butt on the bike. The slip ons are the back half of the exhaust, the two tail pipes sticking out the back. The slipons are just the mufflers. The Rhinehart slipons will work without changing the header, and the Rhinehart header should work with any slipon pipes. So you don’t need both unless you want both; but they are different parts(you don’t get the slipons when you buy the header and vice versa, so about $1400 for the full system). From what I can tell the biggest benefit of changing the header is removing the catalytic converter, which is supposed to remove a lot of heat that rises up under your right leg.

As for your california shipping questions, there’s various reasons why things are restricted from shipping to California. Typically if something like a vehicle parts says it can’t ship to California is usually because it’s not a CARB compliant part, or at least hasn’t been tested/approved. But it could also be related to California’s proposition 65, something as simple as their product label doesn’t meet California requirements so california bans them from selling there. The PV3 and really any other tuner fall under the non CARB compliant bit. Basically anything aftermarket that alters emissions on a vehicle(which any kind of tuning and most add on parts will do) is illegal in California. If you have them ship it to an address not in California and then get it shipped to yourself on your own then there isn’t anything they can do about it, what you do after you’ve bought something is on you. Whether or not a dealer would then install these parts is up to the dealer. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, but like anything else every dealer is different, some are mod friendly some are not. California does also have a “Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act” that does specially say you can’t change the exhaust on a motorcycle to something that doesn’t meet noise and emission standards, and you could potentially get a ticket for it. In short, you’re “because it’s california” bit is entirely accurate. Of course all this doesn’t stop a lot of people from modding in California, it just becomes a do at your own risk sorta thing cause basically any mod in California can technically get you a ticket. So if you figure out a way to get the parts and find someone to install them then have at it. But if you do happen to be extremely unlucky and get a ticket for it, then it’s just “because it’s california.” If you don’t want to risk it for whatever reason then an Indian installed 116 upgrade should net you plenty of performance and should still be California legal as it’s all OEM parts and what not. But I’m sure plenty of people in California have done plenty of modding and not had any issues(other than actually getting the parts of course)
 

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True duals will not enhance performance. If that’s what you’re after, you’d be better off with a cat delete pipe and slip-ons.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you to everyone for your replies. I will be heading to my dealer today for an oil change and shift position recall fix. I will ask them about these upgrades as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you to everyone for your replies. I will be heading to my dealer today for an oil change and shift position recall fix. I will ask them about these upgrades as well.
I went to the dealer yesterday and ended up disappointed. I am not saying I was lied to, but I am fairly certain I was not getting the truth either. I asked them if I could acquire a Fuel Moto CV3, would they install it. Instead of getting an actual answer, he asked me why I wanted one. I recapped my adventures of reading information in these forums and that ultimately I was looking to get some extra performance. He said using any device like the Fuel Moto 3 will do nothing for the bike. He said all it does is trick the on-board computer into using a different fuel mapping.

He went on to say that the only way to increase performance was to use Indian's Stage 1, then Stage 2, then Stage 3. My lack of ability and experience in being able to work on my own bike should never be mistaken for me being a dumb, or gullible, person. I tend to do as much research as I can before making decisions, especially when I am spending money. What I believe he was trying to do is get me to choose the Indian-approved methods for increasing performance.

I am curious what some of your reactions are to this. As this is the only dealer in the area, it makes it difficult to go to another.
 

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I'm in the same boat your in my friend. What I did was install the 116 BBK HP air intake, kept my 585 cams, installed the Rinehart true dual headers with the pipes for the full system, power commander, auto tune, quick shifter and will dyno my bike for a proper tune and I should be good to go.
If its not enough well then I will buy a harley CVO with the 131 and call it a day.
 

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My personal philosophy: Why would I spend $2-4k upgrading my motorcycle when I could spend that same amount of money taking a very comfortable 2-3 week trip on my motorcycle staying in nice hotels, eating quality meals, and seeing unique parts of the country I haven't seen before. It makes no sense. If you enjoy the bike then stop the jones-ing and just enjoy the bike for what it is. You have a gorgeous motorcycle. The truth is, "better" is relative. This forum and every HD forum is littered with posts from owners of bikes that had problems that started only after Stage upgrades were performed. If your bike is reliable then leave it that way and ride it. My $0.02.
 

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I went to the dealer yesterday and ended up disappointed. I am not saying I was lied to, but I am fairly certain I was not getting the truth either. I asked them if I could acquire a Fuel Moto CV3, would they install it. Instead of getting an actual answer, he asked me why I wanted one. I recapped my adventures of reading information in these forums and that ultimately I was looking to get some extra performance. He said using any device like the Fuel Moto 3 will do nothing for the bike. He said all it does is trick the on-board computer into using a different fuel mapping.

He went on to say that the only way to increase performance was to use Indian's Stage 1, then Stage 2, then Stage 3. My lack of ability and experience in being able to work on my own bike should never be mistaken for me being a dumb, or gullible, person. I tend to do as much research as I can before making decisions, especially when I am spending money. What I believe he was trying to do is get me to choose the Indian-approved methods for increasing performance.

I am curious what some of your reactions are to this. As this is the only dealer in the area, it makes it difficult to go to another.
A far as dealer install goes, they all say the same thing. "within the limitations of Indian" we cannot install those parts.
I had to have all my stuff shipped outta state and then shipped to me via family member.
I did however find a dealer close to me with several master tech's who have lots of experience with these mods. My work order only says stage 3 BBK install and the rest is under the table. These guys were happy to do the mods for me. They said they love doing this type of work.

Tip: Order your items and pay with PayPal. That way you can ship it to an out of state address different from your billing address if your already out of California then your good.
 

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California has CARB laws that state you cannot alter the emissions of a vehicle nor are you allowed to have too much fun. Exhausts, intakes, fuel computers, and aftermarket MAPS are illegal. A work around is to have it shipped to an out of state address and then pick it up or have a friend send it to you. It is still illegal to use but it gets the product to you and protects the vendor. At www.IndianAftermarket.com we offer the Thunder Works "Ripper" This has an extremely high flow rate and only costs $349.95 You run the risk of getting caught and fined so do not order one and have it shipped to another address.
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I went to the dealer yesterday and ended up disappointed. I am not saying I was lied to, but I am fairly certain I was not getting the truth either. .... He said using any device like the Fuel Moto 3 will do nothing for the bike. He said all it does is trick the on-board computer into using a different fuel mapping.
That is the truth. However, remapping the computer is what gets the results you want.


He went on to say that the only way to increase performance was to use Indian's Stage 1, then Stage 2, then Stage 3. My lack of ability and experience in being able to work on my own bike should never be mistaken for me being a dumb, or gullible, person. I tend to do as much research as I can before making decisions, especially when I am spending money. What I believe he was trying to do is get me to choose the Indian-approved methods for increasing performance.

I am curious what some of your reactions are to this. As this is the only dealer in the area, it makes it difficult to go to another.
That is the lie,,, er... sales pitch.

Being budget conscious.
Buy the PV3 from Fuelmoto. I cannot advise you how to get it to California. I can tell you it is a very easy installation, requires no tools, only a computer with a USB port and an email account. And, you don't need the computer within reach of the bike.

If you want to spend more $, follow the instructions listed above by @Indianster

If you must do "other stuff" at the same time, enhance the new tunes' capabilities by knocking out the slipons' plugs and slipping the K&N filter into the stock air cleaner housing.
 

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@MikeV , this is gonna hurt..

You got (from your dealer) exactly what you deserved. I guess all of us missed it when you said you were going to talk to your dealership "about these upgrades as well"... Asking them (but not all dealerships) to install and operate a PV3 on your bike - which violates numerous Polaris tenets and policies - is a very bad idea (unless you know the person you are asking and know he/she has done-up performance mods on Indians for other customers..)

Since they are the only dealer in your area, I think your options are now quite limited if you intend to use only that dealership for warranty work and maintain a good relationship with them.

But never fear, the "best bang for the buck" option is still available to you. But YOU are going to have to read the directions and do the temporary PV3 hookup to your bike, flash the Fuel Moto tune onto your bikes' ECM, and then disconnect the PV3 (and put it in a drawer)... Each time you take your bike to the dealership for any work, you are first going to have to reconnect your PV3, and flash your bikes stock tune back onto it... Then reflash the FM tune once your bike is out of the shop.. Knock out your plugs and install the K&N air filter or get a neighbor to do it..

If the above "PV3 stuff" ain't gonna work for you, you will need to save your pennies for the "official Indian" Stages done at that dealership.

Another option could be the membership - If any of us live close enough to you, I'm sure any of us would help you out..
 

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My personal philosophy: Why would I spend $2-4k upgrading my motorcycle when I could spend that same amount of money taking a very comfortable 2-3 week trip on my motorcycle staying in nice hotels, eating quality meals, and seeing unique parts of the country I haven't seen before. It makes no sense. If you enjoy the bike then stop the jones-ing and just enjoy the bike for what it is. You have a gorgeous motorcycle. The truth is, "better" is relative. This forum and every HD forum is littered with posts from owners of bikes that had problems that started only after Stage upgrades were performed. If your bike is reliable then leave it that way and ride it. My $0.02.
I have a riding buddy that (he claims) over the past 3 years has spent 25k to improve performance of his STREET GLIDE...i agree it is FAST!! but its also NOISY i ride well ahead or way behind him..and its like who really cares?? we are all going to the same place arriving at the same time and i still have my 25K in my right hip pocket!! RIDE IT!! ENJOY IT!! ITS YOUR BIKE AND YOUR $$$ and if spending over 10K to alter it is your decision OK!! But if you're as analytical about spending your $$$ as you are about researching performance upgrades i'm certain you realize how poor of an investment that is in my opinion.. BUT TO EACH HIS OWN!! GOOD LUCK!
 

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Mike,

Best advise I can offer is set goals (what are you looking for in performance?) I wanted more torque and power for touring the Mountains and Continental Divides here in Montana for my 2016 Chieftain.

Then set a budget and stick to it regardless of emotions or the 'I want just a little more' syndrome.

I installed many of the parts on your list, (put in some NGK Iridium spark plugs no matter what), final bill was approximately $3,700, so I hit my $3,500 budget..labor or shipping may have pushed it over. This particular Chieftain runs extremely strong, smooth, and cool...I'm not going to add any more since I'm more than happy how it's performance is with keeping the reliability intact...be aware you can spend many more thousands...my Chieftain is a heavyweight performance bagger, not a race bike...

My very first pieces would be a PV3 from fuelmotousa.com, and a set of NGK Iridium spark plugs.

Best wishes in your quest for more Thunder Stroke power! =)
 
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