When I traded my ’11 Kawasaki Vaquero
for a ’14 Streetglide standard on a long road trip, in Denver, this last August, I knew the Harley had less power and I wouldn’t be able to leave it stock. I had already become a member of Roadglide.org because I was looking at the '15 FLTRX and couldn't get the pricing right at the dealer...was having some valve train noise on the kawi and at 40k miles, when they offered me 2k less than i paid new...i couldn't pass up that trade. The harley was hot and super quiet but handled great! I started doing research…D&D 2 into 1, Freedom Performance 2 into 1, V&H 2 into 1. See I really only care about performance…all the pipes I was looking into would have been louder. Well performance and cost. My brother’s in Compound (a fellowship of sober bikers; compound-dilligaf.com) all told me I would be spending $2k + on pipes, breather, tuner and a tune. That was tough to accept…
My Kawasaki was a 1700cc, single pin crank, 45 degree vtwin with 4 valves per cyl and liquid cooled heads…after slip ons, a heavy breather style intake and a Power Commander 5 with ignition module I was still only at 84hp and 104ft-bls of torque. I figured my Harley was making about 75 horses and probably 90 or so torque.
During my research I ran across Roadglide.org and posts re: Frank Drago and his Dragula 2 into 1 exhaust. I couldn’t believe what people were saying – so positive. I went to his website and it seems there hasn’t been a lot of advertising dollars spent. I decided then and there, no one I know has them…they are cheaper than all the rest and they look awesome. Then I told my buddy about them and he was about to buy a ’15 Roadglide….big mistake – that fool bought the exact pipe I was looking at! It was October by now and me and the ‘ol lady were getting ready for Christmas with the kids, I had a little money to spend but we decided I needed to wait – we’re looking for a house too! Then I saw a post, Frank has created a newer version, and I kept my mouth shut this time.
November and December flew by, on Thanksgiving we found out my father had an inoperable brain tumor. We spent a month or so between two hospitals doing a biopsy, waiting then finally starting Chemo and Radiation, after two weeks of that it had become apparent that we weren’t doing any good. Dad decided to get some Quality of Life, and go out with some dignity, he hadn’t eaten the whole time he was on Chemo – we spent some time at hospice, a few weeks…then he asked to be taken to his friends ranch, so we did. Mom and I took care of him during his last 7 days on this earth. He passed 1/14/15. I had taken the V&H slip-ons off of his ’12 FLHX and put them on my ’14…when he was in the hospital…the bike just wasn’t sounding or running right and I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t being paid while on FMLA but mom offered to supplement my income. My ‘ol lady had been working overtime, saving money and preparing for the worst. I said to her – I have $3,000 dollars from Mom, do we need groceries? I knew I needed to pay down my credit card but also figured we needed household money. She said to me, “I have the house covered, pay down your credit card and get your pipes and air kit and all that stuff, get the bike ready for our honeymoon in March (we’re getting married 3/7 by the way). What a girl!
I called Frank first. He answered the phone! Pretty hard to believe these days. Great guy, easy to talk to, good listener…and they had the pipe I wanted in stock (this was probably a Friday…I had the pipe Tuesday. He recommended I get the bike tuned at The Dyno Difference by Ed. He also recommended several air cleaners.
Now, I never opened the box to check all the parts, but when I got the stock exhaust off I slid the box open and there was no trans. Bracket for the rear jug pipe to mount to…I sent Frank a picture Wednesday and had the bracket at my house Thursday, which was awesome because my appointment with Ed was set for 10:30AM Saturday. I should mention that during my installation I texted and called Frank several times…he didn’t always pick up right away, but he always got back to me same day, and was always helpful…try that with any other manufacturer!
Ed @ Dyno Difference was no different! This guy probably spent 1.5 hours going over my bike before he ever loaded it onto the dyno. Changed spark plugs, told me to always run stock HD plugs and Wires due to the Ion Sensing an recommended oils and lubricants (this is great since this is my first Harley and it’s sitting around 5700 miles). He fixed a heat shield clamp adjusted my air pressure in tires and shocks, checked torque on all my nuts/bolts/connectors, checked oil level, tread on tires – it probably got a better looking over here than it did during my 1000 mile service. Once it got on the dyno, he gave me base numbers about 79HP and 99 ft-lbs of torque and I took off and went to Pappadeaux with my Mom, ‘ol lady and my 8 yr old daughter…Ed didn't know I still had a vehicle...he said " here take my truck"....that's pretty amazing that he would offer use of his truck to a guy he had met only 2 hours earlier....Well we had a great time and when we got back the bike was pulled out and looked to be ready. Ed was cleaning up, and I asked “how’d she do Ed?” he replied “the sheets on the bike” 86.3 HP and 109.8 ft-lbs torque I rode the bike around the industrial park and was pleased…he even trued my speedometer for me. He gave me final instruction, find a way to vent my crank case outside of my air cleaner, put stock spark plug wires back on and bring the bike back if I hear pinging as the weather heats up. Of course Ed helped me load the bike on my trailer (it was 40s and raining by now) and gave me some directions to a gas station and we were on our way about 5 hours after arriving.
I received a copy of my tune file and the dyno sheet within an hour of leaving.
Ed and Frank were great to work with, and I intend to work with them in the future – cams may be my next move. For now I am happier with this bike than I have ever been with any other bike – never thought I would say that about a Harley. And Since I got the Dragula2 for $720 shipped, and the S&S Stealth air cleaner for $90 in the bargain bin, the Directlink key and dyno tune by Ed was 550 I spent a total of $1,360 and got better results than everyone I’ve talked to that has a stock motor. What a bargain! I know bros that spent $1300 on just the pipes….I did all the install labor myself so that’s another savings….