2010 Ultra Limited Tune Experiment by Ken Ridout
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I finally made the decision to replace my 2002 Ultra with a brand new 2010 Ultra Limited.  My first impression was, "Oh WOW!  This is certainly different from the old bike".  Indeed, it appears that The Motor Company had decided to fix almost all of the nagging problems in the older motorcycles, culminating in the 2010 and 2011 model year bikes.  I chose a 2010 instead of 2011 because it had the color combination I wanted, blue on black.  Otherwise, the two model years are virtually identical. 

My customization includes new exhaust headers, new mufflers, new air cleaner, and probably new cams.  Knowing that an Electronic Control Module flash would be necessary after each of these changes (and as I decide on which components I prefer), I also chose TTS MasterTune as my gateway into the ECM.  There are several manufacturers of tuning products that allow alteration of tables in the ECM, but TTS allows me to experiment and self-tune as I try the different components.  After I've selected components and have done the best I can with TTS, I'll have a professional dyno tune using wide band O2 sensors in the exhaust header pipes.  The process I'm going through should, as a by-product, provide a good comparison between self-tuning and professional tuning.  This web page describes all of the steps and comparisons I've made.  

The Science Project:
I'm very lucky to have Ed at "The Dyno Difference" nearby in Dallas.  Without Ed, his equipment, his experience/skills, and (most of all) his patience; this science project would not be possible.  Together, we plotted out a timeline.  The specific order of changes depended on when the aftermarket parts arrived.  Here's how it panned out:

Step 1: At "The Dyno Difference", do a series of 100% Wide Open Throttle pulls to produce a bone-stock baseline  dynograph
Step 2: Installation of the Jackpot 2:1:2 headers with the SuperTrapp mufflers.  Selected 18 discs per muffler and closed end-caps.
Step 3: Home-tune the motor with TTS MasterTune.  Also make speedometer corrections (it was indicating about 3% high compared to GPS)
Step 4: Put the motorcycle back on Ed's dyno again and do another series of W.O.T. pulls to produce another Dynograph and make tuning comparisons
Step 5: Install the Vance and Hines air cleaner
Step 6: Back to "The Dyno Difference" for more W.O.T. pulls, data comparisons and dynographs (basic VTune and advanced VTune dynographs)
Step 7: Ed will do a complete "Dyno Difference" tune by hand, then comparison to the VTune tunes.
Step 8: Make cam selection to suit my riding style and needs and install
Step 9: More TTS tuning sessions to dial it in
Step 10: Final visit to "The Dyno Difference" for compare TTS tune to manual tuning and final WOT pull.

Each of these steps will be documented with our notes and dynographs.  Our goal was to observe each individual change and what was gained (or lost) from each.  Also, a side-benefit would be to observe how the TTS MasterTune with novice user on the road compares to a professional hand-tuning session on the dynamometer.  

While the motorcycle was on the dynamometer for the stock baseline runs, I also recorded sound levels using my Radio Shack sound level meter.  The measurements were taken 18" behind and 18" to the side of the closest muffler outlet.   

Conclusions So Far
TTS MasterTune does exactly what it's billed to do.  I am an unskilled customer, probably typical for TTS's customer base.  I worked my way through the initial learning curve to calibrate the speedometer and eventually get a reasonable tune file flashed into the ECM.  With Ed's help, the VEs were extrapolated in the areas in which I could not reach on the road, resulting in an even better tune file. 

But after spending over one thousand dollars in aftermarket components and $400+ for TTS, I needed to know what the motor's potential was; and did I get close with my home tune. 

Ed has spent hours of his own time as well as time on his dyno to meticulously test each of my experiment stages before performing the final tune.  Without a dyno final run and then comparison tune, I would really never know what the gains of my engine and home-tune might have been.  I'm also happy to make all of our work public so that others might benefit from my experience and Ed's patience and time. 

When I make my cams decision, I'll do more VTuning before taking the motorcycle back to Ed for another final tune. 

In the meantime, it might be fun to do a tuning run on the current Dyno Difference ECM flash and see what changes TTS thinks needs to be made.  Of course, I won't be re-flashing afterwards, no matter what the comparison might show.  Ed's tune is the final one for this build.

2011 Ultra Limited Tune by Randall Sims, Amarillo, Tx

On May 19 I needed to be in Dallas for family matters.  I had met Ed briefly about a year ago when a group of riders were in my hometown.  I heard about the wonderful job he does at The Dyno Difference from my relatives who ride a lot.  Since I was not happy with how my bike was running, I set up an appointment for Ed to work on my year old 2011 Limited Ultra.  I had problems with it running extremely hot and a lack of "get up and go" especially when loaded with my wife and baggage. 

Ed was very accommodating!  He completely checked the bike over even though the 10,000 mile service had just been done by a dealer.  Once everything was corrected (overfilled with oil resulting in oil in air filter, spark plugs not gapped correctly), Ed did his voo doo.  The results were tremendous: 

First:  Bone stock 103 with cat pipe and stock air cleaner:
68.8 HP @ 4971        rpm  /  86.6 ft-lbs @ 3369 rpm

Second:  Bike with the FM212 pipe, Air filter cleaned, spark plugs changed, and the calibration the dealer put on the bike (Super Tuner)
73.8 HP @ 5043        rpm  /  92.9 ft-lbs @ 3380 rpm

Third:  Final tuning From ED on the dyno
79.2 HP @ 4897 rpm  /  99.9ft-lbs @ 3551 rpm

With the big build up Ed had been given by those recommending I go to him, I had huge expectations for the results.  I could not wait to get on it when he had finished to check it out.  To say there is a difference in the bike is a tremendous understatement.  With the diagnostics & tune Ed did along with the additional great tips he suggested, I cannot express in words the upgrade he has given this bike.  Absolutely, worth every penny I spent with him!  No I do not work for him.  Great Job Ed!  I will recommend everyone of my friends get their bike to him as soon as they possibly can.  If I ever get another bike, I will get it to Ed as fast as I can.

From Arkansas to Texas by Danny Harris

Earlier in the week, I called and set up an appointment with Ed @ The Dyno Difference (www.thedynodifference.com) The bike has been to the local HD shop twice for tuning since I’ve installed the SE-204 and the D&D Fatcat. So, I called Ed and he was confident that he could fix the issues that I’ve been having. I could tell just by speaking with him on the phone that this guy knew his stuff real well. Ed didn’t give me the run around by trying to sell me some other product or he didn’t say “Oh that just won’t work, blah, blah blah.” 

So we head out about 7 AM from AR and we arrived at Ed’s shop a little late…woops! Waiting there in the shop was PhilM (LOVE those handlebars!!!), his wife, and Ed. Almost immediately Ed gets to working on my bike. He begins by making sure things are tight, checking plugs/replacing, etc. On the first run my clutch was slipping BAD as you can see from the sheet below. After some adjustment, everything was good and Ed began doing his magic on the bike. 

4 Hours later my bike was finished. Ed took it for a test ride and gave the thumbs up. Then he goes over a few things and sends me on my way. Well things changed. NOTE: This next section has NOTHING to do with my bike being dyno’d or anything that Ed did. Let’s just say I’m not that great of a mechanic……….

After we left Ed’s shop, I stopped to buy some gas. I buy gas, pull out into traffic, and then bam the bike DIES! I’m just sitting there shaking my head in Dallas traffic!! HAHAHA. Luckily it died under a bridge that had plenty of room for traffic to go by. The bike had no power or anything. So I called Ed and he was actually 45 minutes away from where I was. 

Ed showed up with a trailer and we towed the bike over to V-Twin Solutions over in Allen, TX. (214-763-5748) Lloyd @ V-Twin Solutions started peeking around some and all it turned out to be was a loose connection going to the battery!!!! Could it have been any simpler???? 

All in all it was an awesome trip. The bike is running great. I met some great people, PhilM, Darren (he even drove from Louisiana), Ed, and Lloyd. Ed is a stand up guy and really stands behind his work. I wouldn’t hesitate to take my bike back to him. If I lived in Dallas, Ed, Lloyd, and PhilM would definitely be the people that I’d turn to for mechanical help. PhilM and Ed both called Saturday night to make sure that I made it up to McKinney ok. This morning Ed just called to make sure I made it back to AR ok. You really don’t find people like this anymore………….

91.6HP / 109TQ AND 43MPG!!!!!!!

It just shows what a good tune can give you. I don't think your auto tune module can do that now, can it  

Ok enough rambling. Bike specs….
2009 FLTR
D&D Boss Fatcat (Standard baffle)
HD Heavy Breather


13542 Vargon StreetDallasTX 75243, USA

The Dyno Difference

Big Al finds nothing Goofy with The Dyno Difference 

Finally got my bike Dyno Tuned today. Went to The Dyno Difference in Dallas this morning. Ed hooked me up! My bike was running way too lean, especially the rear cylinder. Ed pulled the spark plugs to show me the difference, then installed brand new plugs. He also cleaned out my air filter and made sure all exhaust bolts were nice and tight (I had just installed V&H Big Shot True Duals). He also took the time to explain everything he did and why he was doing it. Ed also answered all my goofy questions

My bike now runs soooo much better! It even idles better. Power is nice and smooth and the throttle response is awesome. I found myself really giving it the gas a few times, it feels like a brand new bike.

I wasn't too concerned with any power gains, I just wanted to bike to run correctly. Not only is my bike running great, I got another 10 horsepower and 3 more ft/lbs of Torque out of it too. I could not be happier. I should have done this a long time ago!

If you are ever in the North Texas area and need a good dyno tuner, see Ed over at the Dyno Difference. I will certainly go back when I finish the 95" and cam upgrades. **I do not work for the Dyno Difference, just a very satisfied customer**

Outstanding HDF Member
'04 H-D Road King Classic - Silver
K&N Air filter, SEPST, V&H Big Shot True Duals, Dyno Tune
Patriot Guard Rider # 197761

ECM Tune by Ken Ridout
(my experience with thanks to Ed of "The Dyno Difference" in Dallas)
Read the Full Review

Unhappy with the mileage and popping deceleration, I took the bike to Ed, the owner of  The Dyno Difference for a custom Power Commander tune.  First, Ed checked throttle position, throttle body condition, etc.  He cleaned my washable air cleaner.  He inserted O2 sensors probes way up through the mufflers and into the headers.  Then, I watched and learned as Ed went through the steps of measuring the air/fuel ratio at different throttle settings as well as wide-open throttle runs to display peak torque and power.  He also did some W.O.T. runs, listening intently for any hint of pinging.   Ed then downloaded my  Power Commander tables into his system and made modifications where needed.  After the mods, he'd upload the tables back into my motorcycle's Power Commander.  Then, more runs on the dyno to measure the results.  At each step, he would save the current and new settings, labeling each for future reference.  He went through the process several times.

Finally, over 4 hours later, he said it was finished.  

Ed is a perfectionist when it comes to tuning a client's motorcycle.  I watched as the hours rolled by.  No amount of time is too much when it comes to tuning.  He commented that with a Power Commander, only AFR and a few other general adjustments could be made.  Other parameters are not available for tuning with this system.