Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Need More Power Scotty

After convincing the salesman I was in fact going to ride my new Harley, Whiskey, home a 120 miles in the middle of October at about 55f degrees I was a happy camper. Instead of being totally in the clouds all I could think of was how many things had to change on this new bike. Whiskey New

For starters the stock seat sucked and the handle bars were too low. As luck would have it just before Christmas that year I walked into the local Harley dealer to find this really cool seat on the " I need to get rid of it" wall. After some haggling over the course of a couple of weeks I walked out with this cool alligator inlaid seat. It was just what the doctor order and the bonus was it is sit me low enough in the seat that the bars were now the perfect fit.

Next order of business was the power, more accurately lack there of. I had gotten use to the 70ish horse power of the old bike and this 60ish power of the new one just wasn't cutting it. A tune up and kit in the carburetor with some slip on Screaming Eagle mufflers helped bring it up to just under 68 horses but I wanted more. I wanted to make this one a hot rod. A go fast, blow the guy next to me away, hold on tight horse power. But how? I knew what it took to make horse power with an Evo but I never studied a Twin Cam. Time for some research.

After pouring over web site after web site and reading every magazine I could find I found what I wanted. Sure I could have done what most everyone does with a hand full of dollars and the SE performance catalog but that isn't me. That was too easy. Everyone could do that. I ran across the father son team of Bennett Performance who just happen to own land speed records at the Bonneville salt flats doing 186+MPH on a Sportster no less. The Horse Power by the Dollar series in Hot Rod Bike featured the 88" motor they built that made over 107HP on pump gas. Since I was limited to 6,200RPM with my "B" motor verse the "A" motor they used if I could make 100HP I would be happy. (Note: They have since taken this engine over 125+ with bigger carb and heads.)

After talking with the guys a few times it was time to get to work. In February of 2004 with 12,000 miles on the clock I rolled my bike on my lift tableapart and tore it apart down to the cases. Heads were sent off to Branch Flowmetrics for their number 4 performance work with a set of JE pistons and custom grind gear drive camshafts to match them. One thing when you start things like this, as every Harley owners knows, it never stops there. After upgrading the oil pump, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, clutch pressure plate, ignition system, Mikuni 45mm carb, custom port matched intake manifold, V&H Pro Pipe and I'm sure there is more, my budget had been completely blown by a bunch.

Gunner2 Part of the fun was having my friends stop over while working on this during the cold winter. While the heads were off getting worked on I prepped the rest of the bike and did all of the things I didn't need the heads for. My buddy Gunner "Down" Brown helped me with the clutch install. Pete helped with the grinding of the cam chest so the new bump sticks would fit. Then we installed the camshafts and pistons. The timing was prefect as the heads showed up just as it was time to for them. Well almost. It was my then girl friend Melissa's birthday on that Friday so I took her out for dinner. After which she knew how much this meant to me and let me go home to finish the job. At 1:00AM Whiskey fired to life for the first time with his new parts. After few heat cycles it was time to ride it up the block to the bar before it closed for a celebratory six pack. It ran so good I called Melissa to come go for a short ride and have a beer with me, she was thrilled, you see she is a gear head also.

After about 500 miles I took it back to the same dyno that had did the base line pulls on it to see what I had. The very first pull netted 92+HP. After playing around with just the ignition that day we had it over 95 horse on a rich fuel mixture. Took it home and got some jets then once again it was off to the dyno for more tuning. This time the first pull was just over 97HP. Some fine tuning got it up to 99.3 but it still wasn't the 100 number I was looking for. Thinking out loud I wondered about bumping the rev limiter to 6,500RPM knowing this wasn't a good thing. That is when Melissa with her cute little smile she gets goes "is this where we break it?" God bless her. It was decided to give it a rest that day, after all we had probably made over tens pulls.


Once at home I studied the dyno sheet to see were that last little pony was hiding. It is then I notice that on that last pull they never hit the rev limiter missing it by 70RPM short. So with the carb being just hair rich in the mid range and the extra RPM there is no doubt in my mind that the magic 100 is in the motor.

Whiskey is just a blast to ride! In third gear at about 3,000RPM (guessing I have no tach) he just takes off. Every time I race someone they just can't believe how it just takes off at that time. It is for sure "a go fast, blow the guy next to me away, hold on tight horse power."

About the only thing I want to do to Whiskey now is install a Baker Direct Drive 6 speed and overdrive the primary to better take advantage of my torque and horse power. Like I said, I never do it the easy way.


1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

Yep....My kinda builder.