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ECM/Fuel Management systems ECM/Fuel Management systems For Road Glides

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Harley ECM Reflash vs. Aftermarket

I don't know if this has ever really been asked or statistics provided, however I'm a numbers guy and curiosity gets the best of me. Are there any dyno comparisons of a dealership "tuned" ECM vs. aftermarkets? I know most dyno's will show a stock motor vs. a tuned motor, but I'm curious to know the difference between the dealership and aftermarket.

I know a lot of guys discuss the improved rideability that you obtain with the aftermarket, but is that ALL you get by going to aftermarket or are you also getting extra horses and torque out of it?

The M8 is a huge improvement over some of the older bikes I've ridden (particularly my 05 Road Glide) and I can't really say I have a NEED to improve rideability at the cost of some dealerships hassling me over warranty issues if I'm away from home base. However, if you're adding rideability AND still gaining noticeable performance over the dealership ECM reflash/tune, that's another story.

Anyone have input?!


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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 03:13 PM
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I agree. I think the M8 is a nice setup in stock form. And I think it's the best Bike I've bought from HD.

With this bike, I'm going to do a fullsac header, S&S mufflers, S&S Stealth intake, and a woods cam. And I'm going to tune it with the TTS. That's it.This bike doesn't really need anything, but I can't leave it alone.

The stage 3 with headwork was ok on my 15. But I think I could have done much better for less with the aftermarket. I wasn't happy with the sound or the performance, for the amount I spent.

I used the HD parts in case I was on the road out of town and needed the dealership to fix it. I'm not worried about that this time.

I had always used aftermarket cams in my bikes before the 15, and was always happy with them.

As far as numbers SE vs Aftermarket, I'm not sure, but I would think you would get better numbers from the aftermarket.

I think with the aftermarket tuners , there is more adjustments the one tuning can make. But from what I hear, it's whichever tuner they are more comfortable using.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 03:28 PM
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All of HD's performance products are now handcuffed by the EPA. You're gonna get better performance all around somewhere else.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I'm aware of this guys.... but you're adding to the point I'm trying to make- we know the performance is there, but WHAT is it.... if you're only getting a few extra HP's and torque figures, You'll never feel that in how the bike rides.... so I'm curious to know if anyone has the true numbers that tell the tale.

I'm not trying to argue that HD is better, but no matter how hard I dig, I'm unable to find actual figures that show all the reasons WHY aftermarket tuning is better than an ECU reflash at the dealership.


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 04:27 PM
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If you are looking for actual, quantifiable, differences in the 2, you should probably head over to HTT or HDF and look at the dyno sheets. That said, a professional aftermarket tune will always yield higher HP and TQ numbers than a canned factory re-flash. How much will depend on the specific bikes due to performance differences in the parts stack and manufacturing differences between each bike. The factory re-flash is nothing more than a canned map built around general performance assumptions based on the factories interpretation of "Stage 1" etc. That said, canned maps for aftermarket tuners are basically the same except that there are more options to choose from which may be closer to the actual parts you have on the bike. In any case, a canned map (regardless of where you get it) will never yield the same results in drivability or performance as a custom tune done by a guy who knows what he's doing.

ETA: Does that mean the investment for a professional tune is worth it? It depends. For most riders with only a stage 1 (or even a stage 2 if using HD parts) probably not. For the guy who wants to get the most out of his investment in parts or who has gone beyond the factory stage 2, definitely.

Last edited by Kabar1; 02-16-2018 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Additional comment
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate that, but I think the majority of buyers aren't going to be modifying tunes on their own.... but they are buying an aftermarket tune because it's "better" than a HD-canned tune.... but I'm just curious to see the results, numbers etc. so future buyers can see what makes them "better".

It may not be an issue at the moment, but I do see H-D drawing a line in the future and completely cutting off ANY warranty issues that arise from tuners... esp. now that they have their own SE tuner AND an Autotune as well. Drivability and performance are both subjective based off who's in the seat... I'm not trying to argue, I'm just pointing out your "gains" are going to be far different than mine. So if those figures are available, future buyers, including myself, can decide if the pros outweigh the cons based off actual data, not just the standard "well, I've had both and can tell ya......." It's like the warranty debate- one guy will tell you no worries and another will tell you his claim was rejected and not to go aftermarket- at the end of the day, it's still not concrete info we can look at and make decisions.

What's HTT or HDF stand for? I'll start there and see if I can find info relating to numbers and I will report back!!

I know Fuel Moto has posted some AMAZING stats on their cams available for the M8 motor- and they reference the stock motor... i'd LOVE to see a dyno of the new HD torque or power cam with a canned HD tune vs. the aftermarket tuner and cam combo.... this way someone can SEE what the difference is when you can open up motor and go past the EPA restrictions imposed on the MotorCo now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabar1 View Post
If you are looking for actual, quantifiable, differences in the 2, you should probably head over to HTT or HDF and look at the dyno sheets. That said, a professional aftermarket tune will always yield higher HP and TQ numbers than a canned factory re-flash. How much will depend on the specific bikes due to performance differences in the parts stack and manufacturing differences between each bike. The factory re-flash is nothing more than a canned map built around general performance assumptions based on the factories interpretation of "Stage 1" etc. That said, canned maps for aftermarket tuners are basically the same except that there are more options to choose from which may be closer to the actual parts you have on the bike. In any case, a canned map (regardless of where you get it) will never yield the same results in drivability or performance as a custom tune done by a guy who knows what he's doing.


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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 05:39 PM
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This is a trick question....right?

The dealer can only flash with tunes from the MoCo, and MoCo tunes are EPA friendly at 14.7:1.

The aftermarket can and does tune considerably richer. For race only use, should anyone ask.


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 05:47 PM
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What's HTT or HDF stand for? I'll start there and see if I can find info relating to numbers and I will report back!!
HarleyTechTalk and HD Forums. Both have dedicated sub-forums for dyno results

Quote:
I know Fuel Moto has posted some AMAZING stats on their cams available for the M8 motor- and they reference the stock motor... i'd LOVE to see a dyno of the new HD torque or power cam with a canned HD tune vs. the aftermarket tuner and cam combo.... this way someone can SEE what the difference is when you can open up motor and go past the EPA restrictions imposed on the MotorCo now.
Just because they say a stock motor doesn't mean they are using HD maps. With an HD canned tune, you cannot get past the EPA restrictions. That was part of the agreement between HD and EPA and why the SE Race Tuner is no longer available. The HD flash will limit you to the EPA mandated AFR and VE tables which means you will still be running lean and no where near the potential for even the Harley cams etc. As far as FM cams, there is not an HD canned map that will work well with those cams so, an aftermarket tune is necessary (that's why their runs always show a PV tune etc.). That said, the HarleyTechTalk forum has some dyno runs of the HD stage# motors posted by Jamie at FM which show what you can expect from the HD parts and and maps. They then go on to show what you can get with their parts and a good Powervision tune in other dyno posts.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadglideinMO View Post
I don't know if this has ever really been asked or statistics provided, however I'm a numbers guy and curiosity gets the best of me. Are there any dyno comparisons of a dealership "tuned" ECM vs. aftermarkets? I know most dyno's will show a stock motor vs. a tuned motor, but I'm curious to know the difference between the dealership and aftermarket.

I know a lot of guys discuss the improved rideability that you obtain with the aftermarket, but is that ALL you get by going to aftermarket or are you also getting extra horses and torque out of it?

The M8 is a huge improvement over some of the older bikes I've ridden (particularly my 05 Road Glide) and I can't really say I have a NEED to improve rideability at the cost of some dealerships hassling me over warranty issues if I'm away from home base. However, if you're adding rideability AND still gaining noticeable performance over the dealership ECM reflash/tune, that's another story.

Anyone have input?!
Generally the LAST place I would go to get my bike tuned is a dealership. There are exceptions of course but by and large most dealer techs that tune aren't expert at it. Lots of turnover at dealerships and there just isnt a ton of experience.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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This is the kind of info I'm looking for..... relatively stock, number wise, you're looking at a minimum gain with an aftermarket tune. Not enough in my opinion to risk loosing a factory warranty over it- now, if you're doing some aftermarket CAM work, you'll have to go with an aftermarket tune and I see those dividends paying off quite nicely. But, just from the little research, for all of those guys doing simple stage 1 kits, I don't see the need to push aftermarket unless I'm missing something?

I get most people don't like giving the dealership any extra money, but is it worth running into a 2 year warranty hassle for the kind of improvements you'd get using an aftermarket tune vs. a canned HD tune with Stage 1?
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