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Posts Tagged ‘Performance’

joining metal exhaust line components

Joining metal exhaust line components

In the exhaust business there are tradeoffs between looks and performance.  

We all know that an exhaust system design has a big impact on engine performance.  Header pipe diameter, bend radius, pipe length, muffler volume and design of the baffle all effect performance.

We’re seeing a lot of innovation in fabricating from lightweight stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, chromoly along with coated high temperature ceramic exhaust systems.

There is a French based company (Faurecia) in the small town of Dexter, Missouri that specializes in emission control technology and manufactures exhaust systems for the auto industry.  Through-out the years they’ve also made exhaust components for Harley-Davidson.

Faurecia - Dexter, Missouri

Faurecia – Dexter, Missouri

According to this reportthe company recently won a contract to manufacture exhaust systems for the newly designed Harley-Davidson – 2017 “Slingshot” series – which is currently in the planning stage.  This is an exhaust system for the next generation of Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles and Faurecia works closely with the Harley new product teams to get them industrialized at the Dexter plant.

Faurecia is an innovative company and has developed what amounts to “noise-canceling headphones” for tail pipes.  It’s not clear if H-D is looking to implement this technology on the 2017 products?

Faurecia engineering veteran, Phil LeBeau was quoted in the report saying; “The current series that we’ve been manufacturing for Harley-Davidson in Dexter has remained the same for about seven years,” he explains. “They just went through a re-design. What’s coming is the replacement for Harley’s FL series. 

I’ve seen reports in 2013 about Polaris developing a (side-by-side) trike called the “Slingshot,” but have no more information on the Harley-Davdison 2017 “Slingshot” series.  If I get additional data I’ll update this post.

Photos courtesy of Faurecia. 

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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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The Ducati Superbikes immediately strike you with a no-nonsense attitude.  Performance is first and foremost in every detail.

I’ve made a few motorcycle trips with the “Ducati Boyz” in past years.  It was like the classic children’s book of the Tortoise and the Hare. The “Duc’s” would zoom by us cruisers, but our persistence and patience would win out on long trips as we’d soon meet up with the fast paced Superbikes taking a break to unfold their bodies from the racing frame…often with a lot less speeding tickets!

Recently Ducati Motor Holding shareholders approved a plan to merge with majority owner Performance Motorcycle.  In what I find somewhat ironic is that one of the three new main shareholders of Ducati is the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).  It’s a pension plan for Ontario’s healthcare community where half of the trustees are appointed by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA). 

Maybe we’ll see a new motorcycle bundling program.  A Ducati Monster 1100s with healthcare insurance…?

Photo courtesy of Ducati web site.

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