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EFI - Whats the most bang for the buck?

2359 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  98acrsilver
Have run Mr Zippers Thundermax on an 07 883 - worked very well, and on my FXDB - took a long time to sort out and get right. They're a great fuel/timing managment system and very flexible (and complex to sort out) but getting very pricey for a 90's architecture.

You seem to favor the SERT or SEPST and the PTF. Is the PC5 in contension with these?
My riding is on road, 15% dirt double track, the rest paved - I no longer heal quickly enough to race. I live at 3000 ft but ride a lot in the mountain twisties from 6000 - 13000 (max) so the ECM needs to cope with significant elevation changes.
Would look for a recommend from you Guru's to get the most bang-for-the-buck ECM mod under 2 conditions.

1) basically stock XR.

2) When finances permit a Twin Motorcycles air box/K&N and their exhaust system (which combo looks pretty impressive in dyno runs with a TTS and isn't too noisy at 90 db). Will also need suspension mods and a good seat, but thats another topic.
Thanks - Snarv

The Minister of Clarity
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I only have experience with the TTS on the XR, and after using it for over a year I must say I prefer it over the Piggyback systems like a PC5. Have one of those on my Aprilia and it works but it is much less refined then the TTS.
I would personally go for an auto-learning system considering the elevation changes you experience when you ride :D
TTS is software, not hardware.Its alot of work and learning if you want to set it up yourself. But is needed if you want to use the Twinmotorcycles tunes to reflash the ECM.
I wouldn't worry about your mountain riding I believe the ECM will learn and adjust to suit with any of the products on offer.
By far the SERT is your best option. No piggyback, you can autotune with it because of the o2 sensors. Power commander V with their autotune add on works great also but is a piggyback. The older thundermax was buggy and prone to failure. The newer ones may be better. IMHO.:)
I like where you are going with the intention of getting a 'Stage 1' system from TwinMotorcycles. I would stay with that.

In the meantime, if $ are tight, best b-f-b is hit up StreetTracker for a Patriot Top Fueler and (optional) drill your stock exhaust.

On another post, Boz made a comment that the right tuner choice is the one your tuning/dyno guru is most well versed in. I think this is top advice. For myself, lacking anything other than the local HD dealer who has no experience on the XR (but would be happy to sell me a SEPST and dyno time), I choose to use the TwinMotorcylce tune where the work is already done for you and you don't have to pay for the dyno time. Every couple of months or so, Dris posts up another updated tune which, hard to imagine(!), works even better than the last one. Can't beat that as far as I'm concerned.
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Cobrat quoted Boz's sage advice, the right tuner is the right tuner for you. Thats the ultimate truth.

Then the question becomes which is the right tuner for you....beats me :) :)

The Patriot gets rave reviews for what it is.....if you are going to be racing and pushing in a variety of conditions you may want a more tunable tuner. But the Patriot does what it says, corrects the lean conditions in the XR's stock condition.

And, by defining "bang for the buck", it's significantly cheaper than the other tuners.

I have a Screaming Eagle tuner. It works fine but I'm limited on what I can do with it....if I change pipes I have to buy more Dyno time.

I wish Harley had gone with an "open architecture" like my
Suzuki. On the Vstrom I bought a Yoshimura Tuning box, hook it up to the stock Vstrom ECU, flip a couple of switches, set the richness on each cylinder individually, it's sweet. :)
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By far the best "Bank for the Buck" is our Patriot Top Fueler, especially with the discount given to Forum members. It is a piggyback system that only controls fuel, not timing, but for a stock motor the OE timing curve is plenty aggressive. $250.00, install yourself.

The H-D SERT and SEPST are popular because every Harley dealer sells that service. The TTS is also very good software. The issue with any of these three is that they are only as good as the Dyno Operator/Tuner who dials it in. $350.00 and up for parts, plus install/Dyno time - another couple hundred minimum. And anytime you want to cahnge pipes, cams, air box, figure more Dyno Time = more money. (SERT is no longer made by the way)

PC5 has the same issues as the ones above and is a piggyback. You can get the Auto Tune module and many guys have been happy with this set up. Seen them anywhere from 500-600.00 complete with the auto tune module.

Thunder Max with auto tune - I use this one for exhaust design work. The auto tune works very well and is easy to use. I have about 6500 miles on mine with no issues, but it is expensive - about $900.00
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To answer the original question, what tuner is the most bang for the buck, there is only one answer. Any other answer is either wrong, or the answer to a different question. The correct and only answer is the Patriot Top Fueler. Period. End of discussion. I don't think there has ever been an unhappy customer, and only a very few, 2 or 3, have upgraded to higher-end (and more expensive) tuners.

As far as the best tuner, that has been answered in the previous posts. It depends on what you are looking for. If you want the best, most tunable, tuners out there, be prepared to pay. If you want a good, inexpensive, easy to use tuner that will work on bikes from stock through stage one, get a PTF (Patriot Top Fueler).
You will find that Don is correct the BEST bang for the buck is the Patriot with drilled exhausts. You will make a vast improvement of a stock bike this way very cheaply. You will find at some point it will become an obsession with Hp and you will quickly out grow this mod. Just on my bike it was a 6 Hp increase for $250 not bad. I have been spending about a 100$ per Hp to achieve what I have Now. It all depends one where you wana go with your bike
Have run Mr Zippers Thundermax on an 07 883 - worked very well, and on my FXDB - took a long time to sort out and get right. They're a great fuel/timing managment system and very flexible (and complex to sort out) but getting very pricey for a 90's architecture.
Just adding some thoughts: If you have one of these T-Max units lying around, they will still work on the XR - you just need to go into the software and configure it for the Sportster ...and specifically the XR.
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. MAdDog's reply sounded so right, and a PTF it is.

The 2007 sporty Thundermax was a dream. The 2011 FXDB Thundermax was a study in frustration as I wanted to be a rider, not a tuner, a consumer not a technition. The FX model was a bitch to install, required outrageously expensive $60.00 worth of cabling from Zippers (which I later found on line for $0.98ea). Had to read and learn Zippers Thundermax manual as no "good" help was available on line. After about 6 months I think I can create a map out of this air which works better than the recommended one. Enough rant!!

Was leaning toward the PC5, but at half the cost the PTF looks very good.

When the Stage 1 is in hand it sounds as though the TTS from Dris will top it off fine.

Question on the PTF coupled with the Delphi. Will this system compensate for elevation? Or will I need to stop at about 6000' and re-set?
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the ptf sound work for all elevation as its load based off of the map sensor and your 02
Yup, as long as you keep the O2 sensors it should be able to cope just fine :)
Cool Beans - Thanks

Speaking of cool, has anyone checked engine temp or oil temp before and after painting the engine black?? I last did this on a 1978 wide glide shovel I got new. Dropped oil temp 25 deg.
you have a oil cooler dont worry about paint it wont go past 215
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