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Posts Tagged ‘EFI’

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  The Super Tuner superseded Harley’s popular Race Tuner program.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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Twin Cam 96

Twin Cam 96

UPDATED: April 24, 2017Added a tab “Engine History” on the blog home page with updated V-Twin engine history including the Milwaukee Eight.

A little over a year ago I wrote about the history of the Harley-Davidson engines.  It’s one of the articles that gets a lot of attention/views from across the blogosphere so I thought it might be appropriate to update the post with some newer information.

The Twin Cam 96 was released for the 2007 model year in August 2006. Although the engine was the successor to the Evolution engine (“Evo”), they share a number of characteristics with nearly all previous HD engines. Both engines are a V-twin configuration at 45 degrees, are air-cooled, and control valve timing with push-rods. The crankshafts have a single pin with a tongue and fork arrangement for the connection rods. These are sandwiched between a pair of flywheels.  The HD Twin Cam 96B engine was released at the same time and is currently used on all softail models.  The TC96 is approximately 1584cc. The motor company has released Screamin’ Eagle models named TC103, a 103-cubic-inch (1,688cc) which is used in the 2009 Tri-Glide Ultra Classic (Trike) and the TC110, a 110-cubic-inch (1,803cc) in the 2009 CVO models (Fat Bob; Softail Springer; Road Glide; Ultra Classic Electra Glide).  The TC110 comes in an upgrade kit for the TC96.

It’s been speculated that the Motor Co. moved to the Twin Cam not because the Evo had reached its power limits as a design, but because HD could not prevent other manufacturers from making clones of the design. With the Twin Cam, HD was able to preempt cloning via the U.S. Patent Office, thereby making it a lot more difficult and expensive for the aftermarket vendors to compete with the Motor Co. in the development and sale of upgrades or complete motors.

In order to comply with the increasingly-stricter EPA standards, all TC96 equipped Harleys come from the factory tuned very lean, which in turn creates a great deal of heat.  All ‘07 and later Big Twins are equipped with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and 02 sensors for closed-loop operation, allowing an extremely lean tune to be safely, and consistently achieved. This has been a topic of much discussion in the Harley world, as many have commented that the excessive heat makes the TC96 too uncomfortable to ride in stop and go traffic, or in the heat of the summer. There are also concerns about heat’s impact on the longevity of the engine. To help combat this many owners re-tune their engines, run synthetic oil or add an oil cooler; and HD developed a “Parade” mode in which one cylinder shuts down on the Twin Cam to prevent damage to the engine.

Sources: Answers; Harley-Davidson; Wikikpedia; Shop Manuals

Photo courtesy AnimatedPiston.

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