What Do You Do Between 2:00am and 4:00am When You Can’t Sleep?

trimringsMe, I get up and do motorcycle upgrades!

We did our usual Finally a Friday at On the Border with our dear friends David & Deb and then packed it in for home.  I’m guessing we were probably home before 8:00pm, but that’s just a guess:  Friday nights are about putting the work week behind us, loosing track of time and talking about plans for the weekend or upcoming trips!

I think the combination of a long work week and colds — something Debbie and I both shared this past week — pretty much caught up to us after we left On the Border so we weren’t long for this world once we arrived back at the house.  Given I only sleep about 4-5 hours a  night, tops… being in bed and asleep by 8:30pm explains why I woke up around 1:00am.  Attempts at falling back to sleep were thwarted by my cold symptoms so I decided to head down stairs so that I wouldn’t disturb Debbie and see what kind of trouble I could get into there.

ttslowresI popped some DayQuil to deal with the symptoms of my cold and decided it was probably a good time to load the TTR MasterTune software to our Windows laptop and download the Fuel Map Fullsac Performance sent out that afternoon.  Software installation was relatively painless and it dawned on me this was the first time I’d uploaded software on any of our computers in several years! Seriously, our computers have pretty much become appliances and the software that we’ve been using continues to serve us well.  I think my Quicken Program is 2001 vintage and I know the software that I’m using for our Website’s is also 2001/2002 vintage!  But I digress…

SDC11330The exhaust system parts and TTS MasterTune kit arrived on Thursday, per their estimate, so I was pretty much good-to-go for an upgrade over the weekend.  I was somewhat surprised at how small and light the box was compared to the Vance & Hines system I installed on our 2011 Wide Glide: the V&H box was at least 4′ long and seemed like it weighed 40+ lbs, this one was only 20 lbs.  Of course, the V&H system came with a full set of chrome heat shields and a very long, one-piece dual exhaust system.  The Fullsac box only had a head pipe plus two cores and baffle screens for the exhaust cans which don’t take up much room or have much heft to them.

Once I had the software loaded to the PC I decided to go ahead and start the upgrades, or at least the parts of the upgrade that didn’t generate much noise.  So, I carried the laptop out to the garage and got to work:


Step 1:  Put the Road King up on the J&S motorcycle lift, remove the hard bags and left-side electronics cover.  That was pretty quiet: gotta love the J&S hydraulic lift… I use it all the time.  It’s usually called into service to make parking and moving the Wide Glide around in the garage a simple and easy task.  For jobs like this — removing the exhaust system — it’s a wonderful tool to have at your disposal, as it raises the work areas to a more comfortable level and makes it easy to get at things along the bottom of the bike.  Not sure it’s as stable as portrayed in the J&S videos, but it’s stable enough for most jobs.

SDC11322Step 2: Pull out the Road King’s data port, connect it to the laptop via the TTS interface, download and store the original CPU programming. Well, OK: first thing was actually doing a firmware update to the framistrat and rebooting the kannuttenvalve… or something like that.  I just followed the prompts on the TTS software.  It was really quite simple, far more simple than I imagined.  Of course, I’m only assuming that I didn’t screw something up at this point!  Actually, I’m pretty sure I did OK.  And, if there was any doubt this was a midnight auto operation, note the time on the clock is 2:50am!

SDC11323Seriously, the TTS software couldn’t have been any easier to use.  All of the screen prompts are pretty straight forward and tell you when to turn on the motorcycle’s ignition, etc.  I pulled the original programming off the CPU and stored that in a file on the PC, although I’m not exactly sure where! The TTS software can see it, so that’s all that matters at this point.  After that it was just another drop-down menu selection and “run program” to upload the Fullsac fuel map to the bike’s CPU.  The new fuel map should lower the Air Fuel Ratio and give the engine a bit more fuel allowing it to run a bit cooler.

SDC11325Step 3: With the new fuel map loaded to the motorcycle’s CPU, I was all clear to remove the stock exhaust system and replace it with the new Fullsac DX head pipe and cores.  This removes the catalytic converter from the exhaust system as well as the very restrictive stock exhaust baffles and, at least in theory, allows the engine to run more efficiently and with less heat energy pent up in the exhaust manifold and head pipe. The first step in this process is removing the two “slip-on” exhaust cans, aka. mufflers.  Quite honestly, wrestling those two big cans off the exhaust pipes was the hardest part of the job!  I thought about using a rubber mallet to persuade them off the bike, but decided against it as the margin for error was pretty small once you start swinging a hammer of any type.

SDC11328Step 4: Well, pretty much remove everything else!  That latter would include just about everything else from the engine exhaust manifold back.  Again, this was all “quiet work” that I could do while my sweetie slept upstairs and perhaps 45 feet away from where I was working in the garage.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easily everything came off the bike.  Of the parts sitting out on the floor, most will be re-used. Only that head pipe in the upper right and the original cross-over pipe (not in this view) will go into long-term storage.

SDC11332Step 5: Bolt-up the new Fullsac DX head pipe and cross-over pipe.  That was pretty straight forward and made all that much easier given the Road King only has 250 miles on the ODO.   The head pipe’s welds look outstanding and I’m hoping the ceramic coating helps with the heat management, although I’m pretty sure most of the heat we’re feeling isn’t from the exhaust… it’s coming from the engine.  So, fingers crossed… this set-up will help to mitigate that engine heat as well.

SDC11333Step 6: Re-install the heat shields, as that’s the last thing I can do that doesn’t involve making a lot of noise!  Seriously, the next step is grinding the welds off the stock exhaust cans and there’s no way to do that without making a bit of racket.  So, that’s where the job ended at 4:00am.

Put away my tools, tidy’d up a bit, came in and did some blog entries — including this one — made a sandwich for breakfast and twiddling my fingers until my sweetie wakes up.

You can find the oher 1/2 of the Fullsac Stage 1 installation HERE.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Bloggishnish, Motorcycle / Equipment. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s