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Archive for June 11th, 2009

Black_HorseI’ve heard of the “Trail of The Black Horse” motorcycle ride in the past, but never had the time to look up the information let alone determine if I could pull some time off work to make the ride.

I recently learned the ride is basically the McKenzie Highway from Sisters, Oregon to McKenzie Bridge on Hwy 242. The folks at Black Horse Saloon in Bend sponsor the ride and it all comes together on August 22nd.  The Black Horse Saloon is a great biker friendly saloon in central Oregon and home to a number of motor head clubs.

The ride is a narrow road which is closed from November thru July every year due to snow pack.  The route crosses a lava flow just west of Sisters and near the 5,325’ summit there is Clear Lake (head waters for the McKenzie River) a renowned location for fresh-water SCUBA diving.

This is one ride to add to the do list!

Photo courtesy of BHS.

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DynoYou always remember your first.  Or so the saying goes.  Whether you hold on to it forever is another question.

I’m talking about the first time you installed engine performance upgrades on your motorcycle and that “first” ride to check out the components.  There’s a moment, be it short-lived, where in your gut you reevaluate the purchase scenario from a pure economic sense then the siren’s song of increased power puts it all into perspective and ridin’ her brings out nothing but good memories…

In 1995, H-D began offering electronic fuel injection (EFI) as either standard or optional equipment and since 2007 all models include EFI.  Like most H-D riders chances are you’ve wanted to improve the engine performance by installing performance upgrades and unlike the carbureted engine days where you could turn a screw or replace a jet in your garage the EFI system is more complex and it’s likely you’ll need to download software fuel maps or install a new “black box” and do some serious dyno tuning to tweek the engine induction system.  Given the cost of today’s EFI tuning equipment such as a dyno, riders typically leave the tuning to engine builders or dyno tuning experts.

tc96dynoSince the internal combustion engine, in simple terms is an air pump, most engine modifications are designed to increase airflow through the engine.  However, as airflow increases, fuel flow must also increase to maintain the correct air/fuel ratio for max performance.  The factory EFI system is intelligent, but it’s also very limited due to EPA requirements and often even minor engine airflow increases are beyond the scope of the factory EFI.  Fortunately there are a wide range of options capable of altering the EFI fuel map for higher performance.  One alternative is the H-D Screamin’ Eagle Super Tuner which is a software map-based reprogrammer that has the ability to reprogram the factory ECM.  The Super Tuner superseded Harley’s popular Race Tuner program.  There are other performance options including replacement of the closed-loop ECM with aftermarket parts from Zippers ThunderMax, Daytona Twin Tech, BC Gerolamy or S&S Cycle.

Speaking of the Super Tuner, during a recent “Train-the-Trainer” session Ed Ramburger (Global Training Mgr– SE) traveled to Europe to provide deep and detail knowledge of the optimized software programs and tuning applications from Harley-Davidson.  They demonstrated the Super Tuner capabilities using dynamometers from Dynostar (TTA International is parent company) who developed advanced communication software specially for the H-D Super Tuner that displays full fuel mapping results within seconds.

It was announced there that H-D plans to introduce Dynostar dynamometers as the worldwide standard for its training centers and dealers.  It wasn’t clear if this is a Worldwide plan or specific to Europe.

“If Harley-Davidson European training centers and official dealers are going to concentrate on tuning motorcycles they will use Dynostar dynamometers,” said Ed Anderson, District After Sales Manager of Harley-Davidson Benelux. “With the software specially written for Harley-Davidson, the Dynostar dynamometer is specifically designed for our motorcycles and meets the very highest of requirements.” 

In addition, the H-D University has decided to organize its European training at the TTA International training location in Belgian Kontich which was quoted as being one of the best equipped training centers in Europe.

Photo courtesy of Dynojet.

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