After consultation, reflection and deep thought on exhaust system options, I finally decided to stick with the Fullsac system that I thought served us quite well on Blue I for Blue II. Vance & Hines came well-recommended and I’ve been extremely happy with the V&H system on our Wide Glide: top quality and great performance. However, as tempted as I was to go with the V&H system for Blue II I just couldn’t wrap my head around the aesthetics of their “X-Pipe” design. The cross-over junction definitely wins the biggest volume contest — huge plus — but the visual of the installed system just didn’t rock my world. Moreover, David was able to extract about as much horsepower and torque from Blue I using the Fullsac system as an otherwise stock 110″ motor will deliver, so the added juice from the full V&H system just didn’t seem to be worth the squeeze.
So, at the end of the day I decided to stick with the Fullsac solution which also leaves me with a very stock-looking exhaust system that’s definitely not stock, i.e., a bit of a sleeper.
The installation was actually a lot easier than the first time around, (a) because the exhaust manifold gaskets went in without any trouble and (b) because I installed and reinstalled the exhaust system on Blue I twice before sending it off to the salvage yard and have gotten very proficient at it.
Although I didn’t take a photo of it, I used 1/2 a sheet of the original ceramic exhaust baffle matt in each can that was wrapped with three layers of silca fabric which appears to have done a better job of cutting down the amount of exhaust note coming through the cans. Then again, Debbie will have to decide if I over-achieved and will need to remove a layer or two.
After getting the hardware installed on Wednesday night, I did the software part of the installation on Thursday night. The TTS Mastertune is Fullsac’s tuner program and interface of choice and it’s incredibly easy to use. In fact, installing and updating the software on the laptop took 3x longer than programming the motorcycle’s ECU. The laptop upload actually took a bit longer than it would because I opted to delete the original TTS Mastertune software from Blue I’s installation back in August 2013 and do a fresh software installation and update. Steve George from Fullsac had sent the map for our system a few days earlier via Email so I was all set to head to the garage by about 9:15pm.
The module get’s plugged into the motorcycle’s data port and laptop and then it’s simply a three-step process to do the update:
- Do a quick firmware update to the TTS interface module
- Save the stock calibration (or whatever calibration is installed on the bike’s ECU) to the laptop so that you can ‘go back’ if needed.
- Update the bike’s ECU with the new calibration map.
When the update was done I fired the bike up and it was running a bit rough, but I attributed that to the nearly year-old gasoline sitting in the tank. Yes indeed, I’m guessing the same gas that was in the tank when the bike was originally traded-in on a car purchase back in January 2015 was still in there. One of the first things I did when I brought the bike home was to pour in some Seafoam fuel treatment to try and stabilize that fuel until I had a chance to give the tank with a fresh fill of premium gas.
So, even though it coughed and sputtered a bit on the way to the gas station Thursday night, I was certain that most of that would disappear once good fuel hit the combustion chamber: it was right. Once the bike was gassed-up noting there was perhaps a 1/4 gallon of the old stuff remaining at best, the motor ran beautifully and the map was spot on. There was absolutely no popping on deceleration or any other combustion ills. Just a ton of smooth power and a great-sounding exhaust note.
I’ve scheduled a dyno tune on Tuesday at Harley-Davidson of Atlanta so that I can see how the baseline map from Fullsac will compare to the custom tune that David will come up with looks and performs. Back in August I was amazed at how much torque the bike was producing at just 2,500 rpm after David did his magic with the ECU mapping. But, the bike had a decidedly rough feel to the engine, similar to how it feels when my two-cylinder BMW’s throttle body’s get out of sync. So, that will be something I talk to David about before it starts the tune. I’m also going to see if he remembers or has a record of what calibration number he ended up using on the speedometer, as that was out of whack on the stock ECU map with Blue I. Having learned a bit more about the TTS software and module this time around I’ll also make a point of saving David’s calibration once I get the bike back, that way I’ll have the ability to switch back and forth between Steve George’s Fullsac calibration and the more meaty calibration that David will no doubt come up with.