Nightrider Technical Notes


Posted by Administrator on 10/1/2009 to HD Tech Notes
Do I need to remap my ECM when installing exhaust and air cleaner upgrades to my 07 and later Harley?
NO, you do not have to do anything. You can put the mufflers/air cleaner upgrades and ride the bike without having to worry about the engine The simple truth is the 07 and later HD's will run just fine with exhaust/air cleaner upgrades and you do not have to do anything to the ECM at all. Closed loop EFI operation uses feedback from the O2 sensor to maintain a constant AFR, even if changes are made to the exhaust and air cleaner. The amount of information about what has to be done '07 and later Harley when installing exhaust/air cleaner upgrades has been the subject of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). Riders, Dealerships, Parts Suppliers and Aftermarket Shops have presented old-wives tales, bad technical information, mis-information and in some cases, just plain flat lied about the capabilities of the Delphi closed loop ECMs on these bikes. Most people hold on to their old ideas about what was required for the early EFI ECM's. Shops and Dealerships never bothered to learn new the new technology. Marketing information did nothing to dispel the differences between the old and new bikes. Sales staff did not know the difference or mis-represented what was required on the new bikes. There is more independent proof that you do not need to remap the HD EFI when installing mufflers. The March 2009 (page 66) CycleWorld dyno tested a set of slip-on mufflers on an '09 FLH, getting 5% more HP and 9% more torque on a "bone-stock, including EFI mapping" bike. Cycle World is not known as a big Harley cheerleader, so it would be a reasonable assumption that they are not going to do any special favors for MOCO. The CW information is right in line with what HD published in the Fall 2006 Enthusiast Magazine showing a 3% HP and 7% torque increase with slightly more restrictive mufflers and air cleaner kit. American Iron Magazine has also published similar articles about "no remap" upgrades involving exhaust/air cleaner changes. How much information has to be presented to Harley Riders that remapping of the ECM is not required for exhaust/air cleaner upgrades for closed loop bikes? When it can be shown that much of the "gain" in power for bikes remapped with expensive tuning software and piggyback controllers would have occurred without spending $400-$1000, riders need to start thinking about what they are really trying to accomplish on their bikes rather than blindly following the "you must remap just to add exhaust/ac" advice that has been discredited. American Iron Magazine routinely presents exhaust/air cleaner upgrades on 2007>later bikes without doing any ECM remap's. As one of the premier H-D magazines, you must assume their technical staff has some knowledge about how the Delphi closed loop ECM works. So you can be fairly sure that when AIM publishes a dyno sheet with improved power and the bike did not have an ECM remap, that the information is accurate.
The Dealer told me my engine will run too lean unless I get the Stage 1 download. Is this true?
What the Dealer told you is not quite accurate. The HD Stage 1 download will not richen closed loop ECM operation. EPA and CARB emissions regulations will not allow Harley or the Dealership to make the fuel mixture richer than it currently is right now. The Stage 1 Download does improve the Ignition Advance tables. The improvements are noticed most by Ultra riders.
What are the differences between the various XIED's?
The primary difference is the effective AFR (fuel mixture).
What is different about the 2010 and later Touring Bikes?
On the 2010 and 2011 Touring bikes, Harley changed the O2 sensor. These bikes have a heated Delphi 4 wire narrow band O2 sensors. All the other Harleys have a 2-wire Bosch narrow band O2 sensor. The other obvious difference is the size of the sensor. The Delphi sensor is a 12mm thread and the Bosch is a more conventional 18mm thread sensor. From a technical perspective, the heated Delphi sensor operates at 750F. The location of the Bosch sensor gives it a typical operating temperature of 900-1200F. What this means to XiED operation is that it is more difficult to get the Delphi sensor to richer fuel mixtures. Narrow band O2 sensors are easier to manipulate and achieve richer AFR results when the operating temperatures are high. The original Bosch sensor used on most of the Harley engines because of its mount location was relatively easy to modify the O2 sensor output. The downstream location in the exhaust flow and the lower operating temperature of the Delphi sensor on the 2010>later Touring bikes is very good for Harley and US/EURO emissions regulations, but is much more difficult to alter the sensor output and manipulate the ECM into providing richer closed loop fuel mixtures. From a practical perspective the Bosch sensors can be directly altered to a 13.8:1 AFR and the Delphi sensor is limited to 14.0:1 AFR.
Which XIED is best for my bike?
You can use any XIED on any approved bike, but here are the primary recommendations:
06 Dyna Dyn OiED
07> Later Dyna XiED 
07> Later Sportsters X14iED
XR1200 X14iED
07/08 Touring XiED
09 Touring FL-XiED
10/11 Touring FL-ViED-10  
07>later Softail XiED
If you want to experiment with different settings, then VIED is the best choice.
I have a Vance and Hines Fuel Pak on my bike. Can I use an XIED? Do I need an XIED?
Fuel Pak and XIED's have proven to be a very effective combination. Because Fuel Pak is primarily an open loop device and the XiED's a closed loop device, they actually compliment each other. Multiple fuel controllers always has the potential for problems because they can fight for control of the fuel mixture. We always recommend you try to work with your original fuel controller before adding an IED, but the Fuel Pak/XiED combination has proven to be one that is well behaved.
I have a PowerCommander on my bike. Can I use an XIED? Do I need an XIED?
Multiple fuel controllers always has the potential for problems because they can fight for control of the fuel mixture. We always recommend you try to work with your original fuel controller before adding an XIED. Because the PCIII actually turns off closed loop mode, you have to take off the PCIII supplied O2 eliminators and install the XIED's. This does negate the tuning map in the PCIII. For this reason, with PCIII, we highly recommend working with your engine tuner to resolve engine performance issues by altering your current PCIII maps.
I have SERT, SEST or TTS for my bike. Can I use an XIED? Do I need an XIED?
Multiple fuel controllers always has the potential for problems because they can fight for control of the fuel mixture. Because these software tuning programs can alter the O2 Bias Tables, we do not recommend using XIED's with them. Our first recommendation to riders with these programs is to alter your bias tables to values in the 700-750 range, which accomplish the same thing as the XIED's. For bikes that have SERT/SEST/TTS installed with a canned fuel map downloaded by the Dealer or aftermarket shop, some riders have used IED's to further reduce engine heat. But because you have no idea what map might have been loaded or how it might have been altered, the impact of the IED's can not be predicted. For this reason, with SERT/SEST/TTS, we highly recommend working with your engine tuner to resolve engine performance issues by altering your current maps. One versions of SERT/SEST sold after 2010 is no longer able to make changes to the closed loop tuning area of the ECM. Harley-Davidson has been under pressure from EPA and CARB to improve emissions compliance for the bikes, and doing this was one way to ensure compliance. So mechanics and riders will no longer be able to richen the fuel mixture under 4000 RPMs and under 40% throttle from the OEM 14.6:1. The ECM will monitor the O2 sensors to adjust the fuel mixture. This does not impact your ability to tune for full/heavy throttle or maximize your HP. But it does reduce your ability to cool the engine under normal riding conditions by changing the AFR
What causes decel popping?
For the record, decel popping is not a 'lean' issue. It has to do with fresh air mixing with unburnt fuel coming out of the engine under off throttle situations. As you noted, it started when you installed the new slip-on mufflers. Because these are a free flowing muffler, they allowed fresh air to get into the exhaust system and mix with the unburnt fuel at the header pipe under off throttle situations resulting in the little "bangs" you hear. I'm sure the Dealer tried to convince you your bike is too lean, but the closed loop O2 system kept the AFR exactly the same with the new exhaust as the OEM. That is what closed loop does. Installing the stock exhaust would eliminate the popping, but also eliminate some of the fun of having your HD. Usually the XIED's do put enough extra fuel into the off throttle mixture to reduce the decel popping. But rider style (not quite letting off the throttle, even by 1-2%), a slight throttle mis-adjustment (too tight) or a mis-adjusted TPS sensor can cause the same result of increased decel popping.
What is different about the 09 Touring Bikes?
The 08/09 Touring ECM's have electronic throttles and a different connector. Harley made additional internal changes to the 09 ECM and some changes to the wiring harness. These changes to the 09 FLH's made the current IED's incompatible with these bikes. The O2 IED, XiED, X14iED and Dyn OiED are not certified for use on '09 Touring bikes. The FL-XiED and ViED have been tested on the 09 Touring bikes.
My 09>later Touring Bikes has an erratic idle. What is going on?
The 2009>later Touring bikes require a ground wire from the XiED's. Without the ground wires in place or if a ground wire is not properly connected, the engine will idle erratically, varying from 600-1600 RPMs. Only the FL-XiED, current ViED and AFXiED have the ground wire for these bikes. For 2009 Touring bikes, the FL-XIED or VIED should be grounded to the voltage regulator bolt/similar chassis bolt and the rear grounded to a chassis bolt or the battery (-) terminal. For 2009>later Touring bikes, both FL-XiED's and VIED's can be grounded to a chassis bolt or to the battery (-) terminal.
How do I know if I need something more than an XiED?
If it is important to you that your engine produce every possible amount of power it can, you reduce your engine temperature as much as possible, then you might want to consider another tuning/remapping aid. You should remember that you can not ride a dyno sheet or cooling an engine by putting a lot of fuel into it will decrease gas mileage dramatically. But then HD's are our toys. If you plan on making extensive engine modifications like cams/heads/pistons, you need more sophisticated tuning aids.
What other Tuning Tools/ Tuning Aids/ Tuning Products does Nightrider recommend for Harley?
Any recommendation we would make would be specific to your needs. There is no single "one size fits all", just a list of alternatives that can be ranked and evaluated. This even applies to our XiED's and other products. Always feel free to contact us to evaluate your riding style, your bike and your planned upgrades against the alternatives out there. We always try to be as objective and impartial as possible when doing this. So you can make the best choice for you, not a choice based on what some specific company expects you to purchase
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