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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Throttle Progressivity - Why???

(Background stuff) Okay, so a few years back when I was (over half serious) pondering getting a new/newer bike I stopped at a the dealer over on Crystal River. After a brief chat with one of their staff, I decided to take a test ride on a 2012 Police model FL. The point of this was that I'd been happily riding a 1987 FLHTP for the past 20 years ... So I thought - WTF - lets try an apples-2-apples comparison of what I might be missing...

The first thing I noticed was while trying to launch the damn thing was that it appeared to have absolutely no low-end torque/power/anything what-so-ever. It kept trying to stall every time I let the clutch out...and no amount of throttle twisting seemed to get it to stop acting like a Kawasaki with varnish in the tank..

Now this was much apposed to the bike I'd just rode in. My 87 was "double tall" in that I'd gone up two teeth on the front pulley as well as going with a Rev-Tech close ratio tranny...yet it would happily launch off idle two up without any sigh of strain or hesitation.

After almost stalling the damn thing about 9 time, I finally got it to - half heartedly - crawl off its own ass and get me out of the parking lot. And once I got it above 2,000RPMs it started to act like it just might not be a totally gutless POS ... But the behavior seriously bugged the shit out of me.

A week later, we were at Destination Daytona when I first laid eyes on Trixie. Now while she too exhibited some of the bizarre limp throttle shenanigans...it wasn't nearly as bad as the police model 12 ... So I allowed for the learning curve, bid my old dragon farewell, signed the papers, and rode her home.

So now that she was in the garage on my turf, I got the SEPST connected and commenced to diving in and having my wicked way with her... (yes I am having just a little bit too much fun with this - Sue me...).

(More on point - end of background stuff) The first of the screen shots -(hopefully)- attached below is the Stock Throttle Progressivity map that goes a long way towards explaining why the new school FBW throttle is such a Japanese style PITA. Because until the engine somehow manages to wander up to 2,000RPMs the riders throttle input is virtually irrelevant.

Engine speed 1,000 RPMs
Rider throttle input WFO
Throttle plate position: 23% ??????????????

You gotta be shitting me right? ...Nope.

While I'm tempted to wonder why many folks say these TC engines are "happier" above 2,500-3,000RPM ... Looking at the TP map - to me - makes for more than just a bit of a 'Well Duh!' moment ... because that right where the stock map finally turns the poor damn thing loose to run properly wild..

The second screen shot is what I did to eliminate this nonsense...and I gotta say the (basically) stock 96" TC is perfectly happy - even two up - from 1,500RPMs on.

Sure it'll lunge forward from 3,000RPMs much harder for "spirited" riding...but I have no problems passing in 6th from 2,000RPM with the flattened TP map that actually gives me what I ask for...when I ask for it.

So what I'd really love to know, is WTF is this horribly performance hobbling Throttle Progressivity nonsense actually intended to do??? I've sarcastically referred to its behavior as 'Traction Control' in the past ... Primarily as I'd found it virtually impossible to get the thing to spin the tire - without getting completely ridiculous - even in the rain. But the flattened TP map fixed that "problem" rather quickly.

Is TP just a sad attempt at making these beasts Squid Safe ... Or is there a quasi more practical reason for its (annoying) existence??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Throttle Progressivity Stock.jpg (52.1 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Throttle Progressivity Mine.jpg (46.7 KB, 67 views)

Scarlet Red 2010 Road Glide Custom named Trixie - She's a flashy little minx..
Basic black 1981 Tour Glide Classic named Alice - She's a sleeper project.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 04:15 PM
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No idea...was wondering the same about traction control...very tempted to rewrite the map like that!!! Just did the stage 1 and fp3 put a different laid than stock and I have not gone through the entire thing yet
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoic Joker View Post
(Background stuff) Okay, so a few years back when I was (over half serious) pondering getting a new/newer bike I stopped at a the dealer over on Crystal River. After a brief chat with one of their staff, I decided to take a test ride on a 2012 Police model FL. The point of this was that I'd been happily riding a 1987 FLHTP for the past 20 years ... So I thought - WTF - lets try an apples-2-apples comparison of what I might be missing...

The first thing I noticed was while trying to launch the damn thing was that it appeared to have absolutely no low-end torque/power/anything what-so-ever. It kept trying to stall every time I let the clutch out...and no amount of throttle twisting seemed to get it to stop acting like a Kawasaki with varnish in the tank..

Now this was much apposed to the bike I'd just rode in. My 87 was "double tall" in that I'd gone up two teeth on the front pulley as well as going with a Rev-Tech close ratio tranny...yet it would happily launch off idle two up without any sigh of strain or hesitation.

After almost stalling the damn thing about 9 time, I finally got it to - half heartedly - crawl off its own ass and get me out of the parking lot. And once I got it above 2,000RPMs it started to act like it just might not be a totally gutless POS ... But the behavior seriously bugged the shit out of me.

A week later, we were at Destination Daytona when I first laid eyes on Trixie. Now while she too exhibited some of the bizarre limp throttle shenanigans...it wasn't nearly as bad as the police model 12 ... So I allowed for the learning curve, bid my old dragon farewell, signed the papers, and rode her home.

So now that she was in the garage on my turf, I got the SEPST connected and commenced to diving in and having my wicked way with her... (yes I am having just a little bit too much fun with this - Sue me...).

(More on point - end of background stuff) The first of the screen shots -(hopefully)- attached below is the Stock Throttle Progressivity map that goes a long way towards explaining why the new school FBW throttle is such a Japanese style PITA. Because until the engine somehow manages to wander up to 2,000RPMs the riders throttle input is virtually irrelevant.

Engine speed 1,000 RPMs
Rider throttle input WFO
Throttle plate position: 23% ??????????????

You gotta be shitting me right? ...Nope.

While I'm tempted to wonder why many folks say these TC engines are "happier" above 2,500-3,000RPM ... Looking at the TP map - to me - makes for more than just a bit of a 'Well Duh!' moment ... because that right where the stock map finally turns the poor damn thing loose to run properly wild..

The second screen shot is what I did to eliminate this nonsense...and I gotta say the (basically) stock 96" TC is perfectly happy - even two up - from 1,500RPMs on.

Sure it'll lunge forward from 3,000RPMs much harder for "spirited" riding...but I have no problems passing in 6th from 2,000RPM with the flattened TP map that actually gives me what I ask for...when I ask for it.

So what I'd really love to know, is WTF is this horribly performance hobbling Throttle Progressivity nonsense actually intended to do??? I've sarcastically referred to its behavior as 'Traction Control' in the past ... Primarily as I'd found it virtually impossible to get the thing to spin the tire - without getting completely ridiculous - even in the rain. But the flattened TP map fixed that "problem" rather quickly.

Is TP just a sad attempt at making these beasts Squid Safe ... Or is there a quasi more practical reason for its (annoying) existence??
If you continue to operate your HD in this manner, my suggestion is to purchase an extended warranty... you're going to need it...

Just because modern engine management will allow the TC to operate at lower RPMs does not mean it's good for the drivetrain...

JMHO, your results may vary...

"I've read dozens of books about heros and crooks, and learned much from both of their styles"

'09 SERG 117/DD7 "THE SHORT BUS"
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 05:09 PM
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It makes the throttle much less twitchy. I did something similar to what you've done back in 2010 with my FLHTK, and it made the bike a bastard to ride smoothly.

But I'm not understanding your complaint. Idle speed is 1000rpm. If you're pulling away from a stop you're at less than 2000rpm and less than 30% throttle. Everything in that area's only stepped down a percent or so. I've changed my table a bit, but I still retain some progressivity.

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Last edited by '05Train; 07-04-2016 at 05:12 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
It makes the throttle much less twitchy. I did something similar to what you've done back in 2010 with my FLHTK, and it made the bike a bastard to ride smoothly.
While I truly do understand what you mean by "twitchy". I also have found that applying the techniques from Jerry Paladino's Ride like a [cop] pro videos and live presentations quite handily make the low speed maneuvers twitch a complete non issue (which hurts a bit to admit..). Doing two up U-turns - with his technique - on a narrow two lane road is stupid easy while dragging metal and being perfectly safe at the same time..! Shit even the wife laughs every time I do it.

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Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
But I'm not understanding your complaint. Idle speed is 1000rpm. If you're pulling away from a stop you're at less than 2000rpm and less than 30% throttle. Everything in that area's only stepped down a percent or so. I've changed my table a bit, but I still retain some progressivity.
I'm just a [fossil] huge fan of the low end torque inherent to the design. I let out the clutch to the friction point where the idle begins to drop, and then scoop it up with the throttle. So if the throttle decides to sag on me (look at the 750RPM 30% numbers) like a limp dick ... Well that just doesn't work for me. If I didn't want X throttle...I wouldn't have twisted it to there. so god damn it stop this shrinking violet nonsense and get them knees popped open FFS.

Bottom line really is that I flatly detest anything that purports to protect me from myself - That's my Job ... And I've been doing it just fine for over half a century. So the proverbial wick is to do what I tell it, when I tell it, and precisely to the degree that I tell it ... not second guess me based on what it thinks I should probably need according to its calculated assumptions.

But since as you state you've found reason to tweak the map a bit...I'll have to guess were at least in the same chapter...if not page. I'm really just trying to find out if anyone knows what the point of this hobbling behavior is. Just to protect yuppies from (learning) twitchies .... I'd just hate to think we've sunk that far.



@HeatWave - The drivetrain on my last Harley stayed under me just fine for a few weeks shy of 20 years. So maybe take pause before correcting a gray haired old "fool".

Scarlet Red 2010 Road Glide Custom named Trixie - She's a flashy little minx..
Basic black 1981 Tour Glide Classic named Alice - She's a sleeper project.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 09:31 PM
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I do parking lot rodeo stuff quite a bit. No "technique" can completely overcome a hair-trigger throttle. And out on the roads is a different story.

Bottom line is that you can do whatever you want to your bike....It's yours. Harley does it to keep the throttle from being jumpy and to as closely as possible resemble a cable throttle.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoic Joker View Post
While I truly do understand what you mean by "twitchy". I also have found that applying the techniques from Jerry Paladino's Ride like a [cop] pro videos and live presentations quite handily make the low speed maneuvers twitch a complete non issue (which hurts a bit to admit..). Doing two up U-turns - with his technique - on a narrow two lane road is stupid easy while dragging metal and being perfectly safe at the same time..! Shit even the wife laughs every time I do it.



I'm just a [fossil] huge fan of the low end torque inherent to the design. I let out the clutch to the friction point where the idle begins to drop, and then scoop it up with the throttle. So if the throttle decides to sag on me (look at the 750RPM 30% numbers) like a limp dick ... Well that just doesn't work for me. If I didn't want X throttle...I wouldn't have twisted it to there. so god damn it stop this shrinking violet nonsense and get them knees popped open FFS.

Bottom line really is that I flatly detest anything that purports to protect me from myself - That's my Job ... And I've been doing it just fine for over half a century. So the proverbial wick is to do what I tell it, when I tell it, and precisely to the degree that I tell it ... not second guess me based on what it thinks I should probably need according to its calculated assumptions.

But since as you state you've found reason to tweak the map a bit...I'll have to guess were at least in the same chapter...if not page. I'm really just trying to find out if anyone knows what the point of this hobbling behavior is. Just to protect yuppies from (learning) twitchies .... I'd just hate to think we've sunk that far.



@HeatWave - The drivetrain on my last Harley stayed under me just fine for a few weeks shy of 20 years. So maybe take pause before correcting a gray haired old "fool".
It's not an electronic "nanny", it's just trying to replicate a cable, it's adjustable and you've adjusted it... "The Short Bus" is an early "09, I didn't care at all for the TBW combined with the tall 1st gear of the CruiseDrive, after some wear-in and adjustments, I like the TBW much better, the DD7 cured the tall 1st gear...

Not correcting let's just say the TwinCam CruiseDrive drivetrain has some "unique frailties"...

"I've read dozens of books about heros and crooks, and learned much from both of their styles"

'09 SERG 117/DD7 "THE SHORT BUS"
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
I do parking lot rodeo stuff quite a bit. No "technique" can completely overcome a hair-trigger throttle. And out on the roads is a different story.
Maybe I'm just used to it... *Shrug* ...But the ultra soft -(read complete lack of)- response on the 12 I test rode that day just drove me bonkers. The 10 was okay - hell I bought the damn thing... - but it soon became annoying enough to "fix" after I got used enough to the bike to start exploring her limits..

I like it crisp in the response to input department.



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Originally Posted by HeatWave View Post
Not correcting let's just say the TwinCam CruiseDrive drivetrain has some "unique frailties"...
Understood (I've heard), the - basically shit - stock compensator was toast when I bought the bike, so starting it sounded like clapping anvils. I replaced it with the SE comp and that's been doing fine for going on 3 years now.

I suspect the main bearing gremlin was addressed before I got her, but I do check the tranny fluid color from time to time.

I like to push the bike to the edge...but I don't beat on it there's a difference. And historically I've always had less downtime than any of the other folks I rode with.

Scarlet Red 2010 Road Glide Custom named Trixie - She's a flashy little minx..
Basic black 1981 Tour Glide Classic named Alice - She's a sleeper project.
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