Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Dyno? A big expensive tool! Think of it as a way to ride a motorcycle and diagnose problems without the worry of being run over by a minivan. Air fuel ratios can be recorded and changed as the bike is tested. Horsepower and torque can be measured on a chassis dyno at the rear wheel. An eddy current electro-magnetic brake can be used to vary the load on the engine simulating real life riding conditions.
2. What is the difference between a “canned map” and a custom map? A canned map that is provided by manufacturers who make electronic fuel injected tuners are generic maps that were created with the idea that all bikes are created equal. They may be created for various different parts combination but every bike has different characteristics. Even with the same parts installed. Having a custom map built by a professional tuner will make the bike smoother, cooler, more performance and overall, more fun to ride.
3. Why build a custom fuel injection map? Taste homemade chocolate chip cookies then cookies from a bag. The homemade taste better! The same goes for maps that are custom built for your individual motorcycle. The bike will run cooler, throttle response will be faster, and fuel economy is generally improved as well. Every bike should be properly tuned by a professional tuner. If it’s a Harley, it is even more important because timing changes need proper fueling.
4. Which fuel injection tuning device is best? No one product is the best but several rise to the top of the list. We prefer the Thundermax Auto Tune module over any other tuner on the market. This tuner can handle anything you throw at it and you never out grow it. Our next choice would be the Power Commander V tuner. This tuner performs its best when it has been tuned on a dyno. There are other flash style tuners that are ok if you are only doing a stage 1 upgrade but they are limited in their abilities to tune and you basically out grow it if you are considering a stage 2 camchest upgrade. Trying to tune the stock ECM? With a “Race Tuner” and stock sensors? Forget it!
5. Does the dyno tune the motorcycle or is the actual person tuning key? The Dyno is the tool that simulates the road. The experience of the tuner is what counts most. The tuning is only as good as the tuner. Cycle Solutions Inc. tunes thousands of Harleys each year one by one. All tweaked manually by hand until perfect!
6. What sets Chris Waddell of Cycle Solutions Inc. apart from all other tuners? Experience! Every bike he put his hands on gets as much time as needed to make it perfect. Done right the first time, every time. Read our list of testimonials from our customers on this website and you will understand.
7. Will tuning decrease the temperature of an air cooled engine? Absolutely! A proper air fuel ration will “optimize” the burn creating more power and less heat from “lean” combustion. The reverse is true as well; a rich running motorcycle doesn’t make enough heat during combustion to burn all of its fuel.
8. Will custom tuning my motorcycle negatively affect my fuel mileage? In most cases motorcycles are lean; by richening them you would think mileage would suffer. The opposite is true. Properly tuned motorcycles make more power, use less throttle, and improve overall economy. A rich engine will always waste fuel. Proper fuel ration tuning optimizes economy and power.
9. What is the maximum RPM for a twin cam engine and why? That is a big question with lots of answers. First, a twin cam comes pre-set to rev at 5600 rpm. Our rev extend raises it to 6200 rpm. 6200 rpm is safe in all twin-cam engines. Never spin a “B” counterbalanced engine over 6200 rpm or bad things will happen. Counter balancer bearings and weights will let go. An “A” motor can go to a higher rpm but it is recommended to solidify the crank first. Valve springs on both types of twin cams need to be replaced so the valves do not smack the pistons. 6200 rpm is plenty. OEM Design and engineering are built around the 6200 rpm ceiling. By raising the redline to 6200 rpm, it increases the fun factor!
10. What are the risks of having my bike dynoed? The risks are great if your tech has little or no training along with no experience. Most dealerships do not have qualified technicians on a dyno unless you consider a 2 day course in school as qualification. Risks are quite minimal in the hands of a trained certified technician. In 16 years on our current dyno we have tuned over 60,000 bikes and only roughly 15 bikes have failed on the dyno . All of those motorcycles had issues within the engine and were going to fail regardless. Better on the dyno then at 70 mph going down the highway!
11. Can a spark plug really make more horsepower? Absolutely! Watch our videos on You Tube under “boxoflube”. NGK Iridium Plugs make a minimum of 2 horsepower more than the stock plugs. The secret is in the tip. Test show a 2-3 degree advance in timing with the NGK plugs and a more intense spark to boot.
12. Putting that power to the ground- Suspension upgrades and why? Stock Sucks! The stock rear suspension on a Harley is barley adequate. We use, sell and install Ohlins Suspensions. Ohlins has been making suspensions for racers for years and many years ago they began offering them for Harley Davidson motorcycles. The dynamic relationship between rider and road is managed solely by a motorcycle’s suspension. Because of that, the feel, the feedback, and the fun of riding all depend on the quality of the suspension. Ohlins puts the fun quotient back into riding.
13. Why should I install gear drive cams? Ever see the S&S gear drive display? Stop by our booth at a show or watch our video on You Tube under the” boxoflube” and you won’t believe the difference. Because of build tolerances, chains and tensioners must be used in a production engine. They speed assembly and absorb out of tolerance crankshafts. Gear drive or direct drive cams take out the slop and improve durability and performance. Gear drives installed properly in a 1999-2006 Twin cam make more power and vastly improve durability. For 2007-newer models we recommend using chain driven cams because the run out on the crankshaft is too far out for gear drives.
14. Which is better, a 2 into 1 exhaust or a True Dual Exhaust or Slip ons? Cycle Solutions Inc are big fans of 2 into 1 systems. 2 into 1’s will get you low and mid power and torque which is where most riders want their power. Cycle Solutions stocks and installs in our shops and from our show truck the D&D Fat Cats, Boarzillas, Diablos and Billet Cats. If you don’t like the unbalanced look of a 2 into 1 system, you can purchase a ghost pipe to make it look like a true dual. Stepped True Dual systems are better performing then non stepped. Systems such as Rinehart True Duals are stepped and will provide more power. Slip ons make noise and bump power up a bit. Slip ons are a great starting point to for upgrades on your motorcycle if you are not ready to take the plunge to a full system. Remember baffles should always be used as proper back pressure on a single pin crank reduces or eliminates reversion.
15. Should I really use premium fuel? Yes, to help prevent detonation in an air cooled engine. Since the motors are lean, you should use premium to help prevent damage. Even properly tuned we still recommend premium fuel. As for additives, that is debatable. We do recommend and use the Lucas Octane Booster. Keep some in your saddlebag so you can add it when you fuel up. It will boost your performance and keep you engine running strong. It can help with pinging and bad gas as well.
16. How can I reduce noise, wear and temperature in a 6 speed engine? Proper lubricant! Lucas Motorcycle Oils will help your engine run cooler, quieter and provide you with longevity. Lucas makes an oil specific for the primary chaincase and a gear oil for the transmission which will instantly eliminate noise , wear and poor shifting. 20w50 engine oils are not made for your tranny. Amsoil oils are also available fr purchase on our website.
17. How many drain plugs does my Harley have? 1999 and newer Flh touring models, softails and dynas have 4 drain plugs. Motor, primary, transmission and a dry sump. Most cyclists are not aware of the dry sump plug. Check out our Dimple magnetic drain plugs that will trap metal shavings in your oil.
18. If I upgrade to a larger throttle body, do I need to change out my air intake? This depends on how large of a throttle body you purchase. Most air intakes are made to bolt up to a 55mm throttle body. Most air intakes will still be able to bolt right up if you go to a 58mm throttle body or larger, however, the opening on the backing plate of the air intake will not be large enough and will be partially blocked restricting airflow. Depending on your air intake, you may be able to mill out what you have. If not you can purchase new air intakes that are already milled. Check out our Arlen Ness inverteds that are available with a 58mm or a 62mm milled out backing plate.
19. Do I need to tune my motorcycle if I just want to change out the mufflers? No, you do not need to worry about tuning as long as everything else is stock on your motorcycle and you just change out your mufflers. We recommend tuning if you change your air intake or your header pipes.
20. Do I need to install larger injectors if I do a big bore kit or a large Stage V motor build? Actually no. Very rarely do we recommend changing out the injectors. There are special builds that would benefit from larger injectors. Please call us if you are unsure about your injector size.
21. Should I replace my stock battery with a higher cranking amp one? Absolutely! With all the gadgets that we operate today such as cell phones, stereos, LED lights, etc your motorcycle can benefit from a higher cranking amp battery.
22. I want to keep my motorcycle on a battery tender in the months I do not ride. Should I leave it on all the time? No, you should never allow your battery to be continuously charged by a battery tender This can cause damage to your battery over time. We recommend using a timer of some sort that will allow the tender to come off and on in intervals and charge maybe once a week or so.
23. I had to disconnect my battery and need to reset my thundermax. How do I do that? You will need to turn your ignition switch on and off 3 times and count to 10 between each time.
24. My motorcycle runs very hot and has the tendency to overheat. What can I do to cool it down? Cycle Solutions Inc. recommends a set of the Love Jugs engine cooling fans to cool those cylinders down. You will NOT over heat when you use these fans. We also recommend a thundermax auto tune to help the engine run cooler. Using Lucas Motorcycle Oil products and one of our extended K&P Oil Filter/Coolers can also dramatically cool that engine down.
25. What oil should I run in my motorcycle? We recommend Lucas Motorcycle Oil for all Twin Cam motorcycles. For 2006 and older motorcylces we use Lucas 20w-50 synthetic oil. 2007-2016 twin cams we use Lucas 50w synthetic oil and for the 2017-newer Milwaukee Eight models we recommend a 50W non synthetic. Lucas has a specially formulated primary chaincase oil specific for your primary and they offer a 75w-90 and 75w-140 gear oil for your transmission. Lucas oil stabilizer can be added to help with heat and to run quieter.
26. When should I replace my cam chain tensioners? Tensioners should be replaced by 30,000 miles. We have seen wear on the stock tensioner shoes with as little as 5000 miles. The stock tensioners are known to fail so we recommend getting them out of there as soon as possible. For 2007-2016 models we recommend the Zipppers Red Shift Tensioners or the Feuling Cam Chain Tensioners. For 2006 and older models we recommend doing a gear drive cam chest upgrade and eliminating the tensioners all together.