I was trying to figure out how to include some dyno sheets on my XR1200, so I thought
that I would try a running chronology of the bike, with dyno sheets inserted. So, starting at the beginning...
2/21/2009 - I picked up my XR1200 from HD of Washington in Fort Washington,
MD. I didn't get in on the XR1200 pre-order, but grabbed the first one I saw for sale in
a local shop. I had thought the XR1200 looked about perfect, and aside from maybe a little light tuning, didn't plan
to do any mods to the bike. Yea, right!!
A week after I got the XR1200 home, I called Doc down at Doc's Performance Tuning to order a Mastertune interface module and software for the XR1200. (I actually had a SERT package sitting
on the shelf and ready to use, but wanted to try the Mastertune and take advantage of the TTS' ability to save the original
3/9/2009 - Mastertune package arrived from Doc. Because
of work and weather it took me a couple of days to get any tuning done, but from 3/29 through the first week of April,
I used the Daytona Sensors Twinscan II+ AFR/data collection kit to fully re-tune
the XR1200 on the street. While the Dyno is a very convenient place to do tuning, tuning on the street has some
definite advantages in terms of tuning under actual riding conditions. (Tuning on the street I carry a laptop and log
AFR and databus data over hundreds of miles at a data collection rate of at least 5 samples per second.) By the time
I was done I had tuned the VE tables, adjusted the AFR, and tweaked the timing to get some nice "seat of the pants" gains
out of the XR1200. I hate to claim any "performance" gains out of the bike since I did not have before and after dyno
numbers, but I do know that the AFR delivery was about perfect after this tuning, and that the timing was pushed up to some
optimal settings. The only shortcoming - no before and after dyno graphs.
4/7/2009 - TMax install on XR1200. Alright,
like I mentioned, I still had no plans to modify the XR1200, but my friends at Zippers performance were eager to mount a Thundermax
on the XR and to look at prototyping new cams for its unique configuration. I took a ride up to Zippers and they pulled
off the HD ECM and installed a Thundermax. Granted I'm pretty comfortable with mechanical work and TMax installation,
but even with a group of shop experts doing the install, I thought the installation went very smoothly. After some initial
setup and map adjustments, I rode the bike home and started logging miles. While time would show that the engine's operating heat
range (cooler than an "ordinary" Sportster), and some other XR1200 engine parameters, made it worthwhile writing a XR1200
specific map, the bike performed very well during my riding and tuning with a "regular"
Sportster map. I logged well over a 1,000 miles on the XR1200 over the next couple of weeks collecting
data and helping Zippers refine the XR1200 map.
The nice thing about the TMax is that even though the bike still had not made it onto a dyno,
through a couple of adjustments based on performance on the street and a few phonecalls with Zippers, the bike
was running smoothly and pulling hard. At this point the engine was still completely stock.
5/3/2009 - Drill stock exhaust. My
problem is I can never leave well enough alone. It seemed like some guys on the XR1200OwnersGroupForum were getting
modest power improvement by drilling the stock exhaust - so off came the cans to fiddle with them. I started out by using
a hole saw to cut into the internal baffle so that the exhaust did not have to go through the full down-and-back internal
routing in the exhaust can. Thinking about this some more though, it seemed that part of the exhaust gas would
still be running through the full path and then could set up turbulence within the exhaust can. So, I drilled 3/8"
holes in the end caps of the exhaust to relieve pressure in the first pass of the exhaust can. The end result was an
exhaust can with two mods that, while no quantitative testing had been done, seemed to perform well.
This was the beginning of the slippery slope for me, from here all mods were possible...
5/5/2009 - Install Pipercross air filter. At
this point the only aftermarket air filter available was the Pipercross foam filter. I ordered one from Adrenalin-Moto
and installed it along with the drilled stock exhaust. Also, now I finally had some time to get across town to
my friend's dyno.
5/6/2009 Trip to dyno at my friend Gil's (American Cycle Performance) -
with TMax. I've known Gil at American Cycle Performance for a number of years.
He has been very good to me in terms of using his Dynojet 250!
This first dyno run was with the TMax, the drilled stock exhaust, and Pipercross air
filter. This dyno run was made with an initial test map for the TMax, but before the map was optimized for the XR1200.
(I ran the TMax this way for another two weeks to let it fully adjust the fuel offsets and collect data for a XR1200 specific
map, but I did not tune AFR or timing to try to produce peak power numbers.)
|XR1200 with drilled stock pipes, Pipercross, TMax
|May 6, 2009
5/21/2009 - Reinstall HD ECM. After having run
the TMax for a month and a half, I was anxious to continue tuning the HD ECM with the MasterTune, so off came the TMax.
I took the bike back up to ACP the next day to do some dyno comparisons while tuning with the Mastertune software.
5/22/2009 Dyno tuning at Gil's - Mastertune. In this case, I used the Twinscan II+ on the dyno - with drilled stock exhausts and the Pipercross.
So this DYNO run shows the same drilled stock exhaust and Pipercross air filter, comparing
a pretty well tuned HD ECM to a TMax setup that ran well but had not been optimized for peak power. In reality,
the tune with the HD ECM wasn't really set for peak numbers, since I had constrained the AFR and timing to values that would
not knock on the street under heat and varying real-world loads.
Run 13 is with the tuned HD ECM and run 2 is with the TMax that was still running an initial
generic Sportster map.
|XR1200 with tuned HD ECM vs untuned TMax
|22May2009 vs 6May2009
Over the following weeks I periodically did some street tuning to further perfect the VE settings,
and to see how much timing I could push into the map on the street, under progressively warmer weather.
I refined the overall tune of the XR1200 with its drilled pipes on the street, and then headed
to the Drag Strip to finish the tune.
7/10/2009 - To MIR with stock ECM mounted for more Mastertune tuning. I know that a number of people think I'm a "straight line" kind of guy but the reality is that tuning
on the drag strip with the Twinscan II+ both sets the VEs accurately and allows one to see what the actual performance differences
are for an AFR or timing adjustment. After a couple runs on the track my 165 lb buddy took my XR1200 down in 11.8 sec.
Not bad for a tuned and essentially stock XR1200, ridden for the first time by a non-Harley rider. (Ok, he's a darned
good motorcycle drag racer, but still...) The below is are some pics of the day at the track and a couple of time slips.
I'd like to say that I rode those times, but my Fatboy had been neglected fo a year and I was trying to get its times
back into the mid 11's too.
Bike "120" is my XR1200. The 11.8 time slips - with only drilled stock exhausts, a Pipercross
air filter, and a tuned HD ECM were pretty decent. The rear tire was a OEM HD Qualifier with air pressure dropped
down to about 23 lbs. A friend, who weighs 165 lbs and is a fairly skilled drag racer, was riding. I tried several
timing adjustments and different AFR settings to finally get to this point. With some clutch adjustments and more time
on the bike, an almost stock XR1200 is probably capable of at least slightly quicker quarter-mile times. I'd like to
think - based on the still comparatively slow 60' times in these runs - that a tuned stock XR1200 might have a shot at an
11.5 quarter-mile time.
After finishing up the tune on the drag strip, it was time to counter that "straight
line" image, so I packed up the bike and went out touring.
7/13/2009 - Off to ride some dirt. Ok, not
just touring, but dirt track riding with my brother. He is a big Adventure Rider fan and rides a BMW. I headed
down toward southern Virginia and we met near Monterey, VA. For the rest of the week we rode almost nothing but
abandoned dirt track and forest roads, managing to head into Pittsburgh and over to Columbus, OH with a minimum of paved road
time. What a blast! After that a bit of paved backroads took me up to Niagara Falls and then back down
to Washington, DC. No dyno runs but what a blast the bike was to ride.
7/30/2009 - Reinstall TMAX. I got home from my excursion
in time to re-install the TMax for a next round at Zippers.
7/31/2009 - Drop off at Zippers for Cam installation. Since the guys
at Zippers finally had their plan for new camshafts for the XR1200 ready, the bike went back up to Zippers
to have their new prototype "XR1200" 575 cams installed.
The below dyno shows the stock XR1200 after the TMax map had been tuned for the XR1200, vs. the engine
with the 575 cams. At this point both runs have the stock OEM air filter and the drilled stock exhaust. (I put
the stock air filter back in because the Pipercross separated and failed during riding.) The top lines are obviously
for the 575 cams.
|XR1200 with 575 cams vs stock - drilled stock exha
|Here is where the effect of different exhaust systems really started to be noticeable.
Up to about 90 HP on the XR1200, most of the aftermarket pipes are pretty comparable. Don Lindfors did a nice comparison
of a variety of pipes on a stock XR1200 with a stock ECM in the March 2010 Hot Bike Magazine - where tuning was enhanced for each pipe with a Patriot Top Fueler (fuel adder).
9/2/2009 - Pick up from Zippers with new cams and fixed valve seats.
Oh yeah, one of the first things the guys at Zippers noticed as they were baselining the engine
prior to the cam change was that the valve seats were leaking. Hence my abysmally low HP numbers in the "before" dynos!
;) Before even starting witht the cam change they went over the heads, trued up the valves, and cleaned up the seats.
Their observation, even before starting any real work though, was that while the valves looked like they would support the
additional lift, the locks in the retainers looked brittle. (Time would tell that this was a failure point.)
But for now, the cam change was a very sweet performance improvement.
9/12/2009 - Head off touring to Lake Erie and the Port Clinton, OH area.
During September I took the XR1200 back out for a few thousand miles of riding and some
more light touring. This time it was all paved road and highway miles, with a bit of time up around 100 mph.
Along the way I was collecting data and helping Zippers refine the XR1200 map for the new cams.
9/20/2009 - Get back from road trip. The bike was
a lot of fun to ride with the new cams. No surprise that it walked away from every TwinCam I rode with along the way.
It was smooth and quick right up to its 125 mph redline - will plan to re-gear with the 38 tooth front sprocket over
10/25/2009 - Dropped valve on ride out toward the Shenandoahs. I ran the 575 cams from July 2009 through September 2009. One of the things learned from
the cam install was that the stock spring retainers are truly too brittle for a cam change. After about 2,500 miles
of mixed riding, though nothing really harsh, a retainer key broke and I dropped a valve as I was cruising down the highway.
10/26/2009 - Back to Zippers for an engine repair, and while they were at it, CNC
head porting. The engine got upgraded with new valve springs, machined vice cast valve
locks, and Zippers CNC porting during the winter of 2009-2010. This was also a good time to drop in the 38T front
engine sprocket, and a prototype V&H air filter.
However, with the better air flow of the ported heads and cam combination, the limitations
of pipes designed around the stock XR1200 motor became pretty obvious as Zippers was tuning up the new build. This next
dyno shows the difference between the build with the drilled stock pipe vs the D&D headpipe with a D&D V-Rod exhaust
|575 cams, CNC Ported heads, Stock vs D&D VRod exha
For instance, with the drilled stock pipes, as can be seen above, the effect of the engine
work was good but not earth shaking compared to just having cams without head porting or higher compression. During
their search for an optimal exhaust, Zippers tried a set of D&D's slipon XR1200 exhaust cans on the stock header
- with no significant change from the stock pipe. They tried a few other header and exhaust can combos, including the
D&D 2-1-2 for the XR1200 with its own "concentric baffle" exhaust. Unfortunately, while concentric baffle
exhaust pipe facilitated an improved peak HP, it was still not optimal for the build. But, the guys at Zippers
had some other ideas and ended up experimenting with the D&D XR1200 2-1-2 header pipe and a free'er
flowing D&D V-Rod exhaust can. For some reason this combo just clicked on the build, and would tune up
to provide both a good peak HP and a very strong mid-range TQ curve. It's only drawback - it
is nasty NASCAR ear-splittin loud - but I would be willing to suffer through the rumble for the sake of XR1200 mankind!!!
Backing up though, here is a comparison of the drilled stock exhaust, the D&D 2-1-2 with
its own concentric baffle exhaust, and the D&D 2-1-2 with the D&D V-Rod race can.
In the above dyno the D&D 2-1-2 header with the V-Rod can has the green
torque curve and dark grey HP curve. While it does not build quite as much peak HP as the D&D concentric
baffle exhaust system, it has far more power under the torque curve and builds power much more quickly.
One nice thing to see though was that with the D&D 2-1-2 with its own Concentric Baffle exhaust
can, the build was capable of tapping that 100HP SAE line. (Some more tuning with the Concentric Baffle exhaust might
not add to the peak, but should at least round out the power at the peak of that curve.)
So, the search continues for a header/exhaust can combo that will not only keep a nice mid-range
TQ but will also build those last few HP...
3/20/2010 - Pick up XR1200 with fixed heads, plus CNC porting. I
picked up the XR with the new engine build. With the cams, CNC head porting, slightly larger valves, K&N air
filter, and D&D fire breathing exhaust, it would be a fun bike to ride. I had been a holdout on converting
to a 38T primary gear, but with the added HP the change made sense to do now. To push things even further, I changed
the transmission pulley from a 28T to a 29T. This would push top speed up a touch above 145mph, depending on where you
set the redline.
3/21/2010 - Install Over-sized K&N Air Filter.
Today I installed a custom built over-sized K&N air filter. I cut down a longer K&N air filter for a car that
was the same width as the XR1200's filter, and made a filter that was longer than the stock XR filter. Then I cleaned
out and slightly re-shaped the inside of the XR's airbox and enlarged the opening for the air filter. It fits well.
We'll see if it actually makes a difference later...
4/10/2010 - Pick up Termignoni exhaust. After running
the D&D headpipe with the "LOUD" V-Rod exhaust can on the street for a while to validate the build, I finally had to move
to a quieter exhaust. Not being able to get in and out of the neighborhood quietly - even at idle - was a bit too much.
Fortunately, Zippers had been given a Termignoni 2-1-2 race pipe to test out on a planned
88" build for a customer. I picked up the Termignoni exhaust system to install on my bike in advance of Zipper's work
on the 88", in order to baseline its effect on the 1200 build before they prototyped the 88" in my frame.
4/13/2010 - Finish Termignoni Install. This
was not an easy pipe to install. I had the European race series version, and everything from enlarging the O2 sensor
holes to accept wideband sensors, to finding some small parts to replace missing items in the kit, to fitting the bands with
one-way locking nuts on the exhaust cans - was difficult. But now I had it like it should be.
4/24/2010 - ACP Dyno with Termignoni exhaust. On April 24th Old Glory Harley Davidson was having a promotional event and Gil Peacock of ACP brought his dyno trailer
over. It was a convenient time to do a couple of power pulls with the Termignoni exhaust.
The lower noise level of the Termignoni Exhaust was a welcome change on the street.
On the 1200 build with the cams and CNC ported heads, the Termi put out very respectable
Horsepower figures. But that LOUD D&D pipe combo had a much stronger Torque curve. The D&D pipe
had a a much better torque curve for the street - if the noise level would have been more acceptable for running
on the street.
[Insert ACP dyno chart here.]
Separately, here is a pipe comparison from the Zippers dyno.after a bit of tuning. This
next dyno shows a comparison of the Termi 2-1-2 pipe both with and without its noise quieting baffle, to the D&D
2-1-2 with the V-Rod exhaust can run on Zippers Dynojet 150 dynamometer..
|From Zippers Dynojet 150 data - Edited 14 April 2010
The above dyno runs were done after a bit of tuning at Zippers to dial in the fuel offsets
of the Thundermax. AFR and timing was not optimized for each pipe.
The end result - while this chart shows "Uncorrected" values, the 575XR cams and CNC
ported head 1200 build was good for about 100HP depending on the pipe.
6/12/2010 - Danny picks up XR1200 for 88" work.
[[I've got to find my dyno chart of this build, but it has a pretty nice flat 100 Ft-lbs of
Yes, the 88" motor in the XR1200 is a blast to ride. Zippers test fit the 88" in my
bike and I took the build out to ride. Aaahhhhhh, the feeling of more power. But, this was short lived.
The 88" needed to be unbolted and shipped off to its future owner.
7/29/2010 - Pick up XR1200 with 1200 mounted back in frame. With
work on the 88" build done, the 1200 cc engine went back in my frame. That coupled with installation of a few suspension
goodies would get me ready for some August fun. Instead of the nasty noisy D&D exhaust that I was running earlier
or the Termi pipe that had to go back to the owner, the guys at Zippers had come up with a combo that seems to keep all of
the power available with the D&D head pipe, while running at reasonable noise levels. I'll run this experimental
pipe for a while. One other change though is that the bike now has a custom, slightly larger, K&N air filter
with the opening to the air box cut larger and a carbon fiber air scoop with larger front opening.
Next step is to pull the TMax off the 1200 ported head build and tune it up with the HD ECM
and MasterTune to see what I can get out of it power-wise...
-- For now the following notes are just to remember what has happened, timelinewise,
so when I revert to the HD ECM and start tuning the XR1200 with cams using Mastertune, I can remember what chronology when
I put it on the dyno --
8/1/2010 - XR1200 is complete with PM front wheel and floating rotors.
In anticipation of going to Keith Code's California Superbike School sessions at Virginia International
Raceway later in the month, I finished mounting my new 17" Performance Machine Assault front wheel with HD floating rotors,
SBS sintered brake pads, and Dunlop GP-A racing rubber.
8/15/2010 - Head to Virginia International Raceway. With
the U.S. XR1200 spec series coming to town, I headed to VIR to watch the racing.
8/17/2010 to 8/18/2010 California Superbike School. Better
than just watching racing on the track, I had signed up for a couple days of Keith Code's racing school. What a great experience! I
even finally got my adjustable HD front forks and Ohlins adjustable rear shocks dialed in.
8/21/2010 Leave on road trip on the XR to Lake Erie and riding in Ohio.
With the suspension finally dialed in completely and my Storz/Saddlemen seat, the bike was a pleasure
to ride on 450 mile days - even through the bloody rain!
8/21/2010 - O2 sensor goes bad on TMax. An apparent
fluke, I got an engine light during the ride to OH. The bike seemed to be riding fine but the light lingered.
The nice thing about the present TMAX configuration though is that it uses the same HD error codes and can be read out through
the odometer. Without a computer I still was able to troubleshoot the bike and isolate the fault to a bad O2 sensor.
A quick e-mail to Zippers and I figured out where I could pick a replacement up locally.
8/23/2010 Replace O2 sensor. Yep, the TMax just
uses a commonly available Bosch O2 sensor from a VW or Audi. I bought one in Advanced Auto and quickly fixed the bike.
In the meantime though, the bike had just reverted to its last learned fuel offsets, and had been running fine on the road.
8/28/2010 - Arrive home after road trip. After
2,000 more miles of riding the Zippers build, it was good to get home. The bike is great fun to ride!!
9/??/2010 - Off to ACP for a dyno with the D&D 2-into-1 Header/Special Exhaust can. Ok, the following graph is a bit of apples and oranges,
but just for comparison, what it shows is
A May 2009 dyno run showing the stock engine with drilled stock
pipes and tuned with the Tmax.
A September 2010 dyno run of the XR1200 with the 575XR cams, CNC ported
heads, and the composite D&D exhaust system that Zippers put together to get the best TQ/HP levels out of the build
with a reasonble noise level. (This pipe combines the D&D 2-into-1 header pipe with an automotive style free flowing exhaust
Both of these graphs were done on the ACP Dynojet 250i with the Thundermax installed.
While the fuel offsets had tuned themselves in, the AFR levels had not been tweaked - so these are not necessarily the best
power curves possible with each build
but they do show a comparison between a tuned stock engine and essentially
the Zippers Super Hammer engine build with the Redshift 575XR cams.
[[NOTE TO SELF: Swap this out for an SAE graph]]
|5/22/2009 Stock engine vs 9/?/2010 Zippers 575XR build
10/16/2010 - Blew
Head Gasket. Was out on an easy ride and pulled out to pass a car - only to lose power. Pulled
over immediately an shut it down. Had blown the rear head gasket. Was out in the boonies, so disconnected the
fuel injector wire and plug wire, and nursed it home.
This sparked the sequence of photos for the rebuild, and cleaning
up the inside of the engine. At the time, it seemed like the headbolts had just not been torqued evenly and had backed
out. (Note: later I would find out the problem was in the engine case itself.) The rebuild took some time
as I measured things out, ordered some custom pushrods, and and did a write up on the build. But it seemed to go back
11/11/2010 Quick test
ride. All seems good - for now.
11/12/2010 Out on
the road again - but... Nice day so I decided to ride up toward Zippers. On the way, the bike
started to lose power again. Was halfway, so I eased it on up. Looking it over with friends at Zippers, it turns
out the cylinder studs were pulling out of the block. No reason for this, the bottom end had not been touched before
and the cylinder studs had never been adjusted. Ended up calling the Service Department at Washington Harley to have
them look at it.
Nov-Dec New engine.
Final diagnosis was porous metal in the center of the case. The failure had nothing to do with the really fairly mild
top end work that had been done previously. The best fix was a new bottom end. HD ended up sending a whole new
engine. It took a bit of time over the holidays to sort things out, but the weather was lousy, so the bike wasn't going
anywhere anyways. The guys at Washington HD were great and the bike ended up being ready just before I took off on a
Christmas holiday trip. It would have to wait for my return...
12/29/2010 - Picked
up XR from Washington HD. Just a short 10 mi ride home. New engine in place, with the cams and
top end moved over to it. (12089 miles now = 0 on the new engine.) After a few tweaks and adjustments, it's ready
to tune and ride.
1/1/2011 - New Year's
Day ride. First miles. Took it out for 150 miles. Feels pretty good, but the TMax still
needs to learn in. Everything seems good though.
2/20/2011 - 500 miles!
Between snow, salt, and freezing weather, it has been slow accumulating miles. The past two days have been nice though.
Finally have 500 miles and an oil change so it should be ready to put back on the dyno and see how it compares to before the
issues. It does feel sweet to ride!
5/6/2010 - ACP Dyno with 575XR build, D&D Head pipe, and Special exhaust can.
5/7/2010 - Install Torque Hammer large header prototype exhaust system.
5/27/2010 - ACP Dyno with 575XR build and Torque Hammer large header prototype exhaust system.
5/28/2010 - Install Torque Hammer standard production headers and exhaust can. The pipe looks good. Had to work through an alignment issue, but it was easy to handle.
5/29/2010 - Miles on the road with the Torque Hammer.
I got a nice ride in today and logged over 200 miles on twisty backroads near the Shenandoah mountains. The pipe feels
good and the tune is well-behaved with no backfiring.