Many people may ask how to adjust the carburetor or FI system on a Harley. Harley bikes come with an ECM/EFI computer, which uses oxygen sensors and other devices to adjust the air and fuel mixture.
There are two ways to change the way these systems operate – one is by changing out internal parts that are not adjustable. The other is by changing out internal units with ones that are capable of adjusting.
This article will show you how to change the ECM and EFI calibration with direct plug-in replacements, suitable for tuning via aftermarket tuners while disclosing the best Harley tuners available. Let’s come to know the selected tuners first:
Best Overall (All Harley) – Vance & Hines FuelPak FP3
Runner Up (All Harley) – Dynojet-Harley PV-1B
Best for Harley M8 Engine – ThunderMax M8 Auto Tuner
Best EFI Tuner for Harley Davidson – Kuryakyn Tuning Tool
Why Did We Select Those?
- ALl the units chosen from Vance & Hines are the best in price and feature. They come with two additional power increases and a dyno sheet over the others. V&H has the best customer care support too.
- Dynojet has buttons for all six cylinders. Selected Dynojet tuners are versatile and long-service providing.
- ThunderMax Tuners are out of the budget category, but they can be used on virtually every Harley model and comes with two additional power increases and a dyno sheet. They have an octane adjustment switch, which the others do not.
- The Kuryakyn Tuning Tool is also selected out of the budget category for having more features than others, even though it does not include a dyno sheet.
What Does a Motorcycle (Harley) Tuner Do?
Tuners are devices that can receive an electronic signal from your Harley’s stock electronic control module. And adjust specific parameters of the engine and fuel injection system to make your motorcycle perform better. These devices can increase or decrease particular settings in your ECM.
Most tuners have a handheld device that allows you to control the grounds of the Tuner and download information from your bike’s ECM, and upload new ones to it.
Tuners work because of their capability to adjust three critical aspects of your engine: fuel delivery, ignition timing, and boost pressure. They automatically store all factory parameters when they are uninstalled.
Do I Need a Tuner Must for My Harley?
Harley Davidson motorcycles are equipped with electronic fuel injection (EFI) and Electronic Control Modules (ECM). This delivers the best possible performance, economy, and emissions.
Suppose you want to change your fuel ratios to get more power at higher speeds, tune-up the engine’s idle speed, or reduce pinging under acceleration. You will need an EFI Auto Tuner. These devices can be plugged into the diagnostic socket below the dash in about five minutes flat. Some devices also allow you to transfer data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or USB ports.
Best Harley Tuners for All H-D Models – Top Table
Brands: Who Makes the Best Tuner for Harley Davidson?
If you are looking to modify your Harley Davidson with a tuner, there are several aftermarket brands that you can choose from. The following is a list of the most popular brands producing quality tuners for different Harley models:
1. Vance & Hines
4. S&S Cycle
5. Powershotz, etc.
Guide to Choose the Best Air and Fuel Auto Tuner for Harley
To know if a Harley tuner is compatible with your bike, you should check the motorcycle list that says “Fits” or “Compatible With.” You can also look for other projects using that particular tuning solution.
It is essential to know what you will need to do to install the tuning solution. You can find this information by reading reviews written by users who have already established that particular model or watching installation tutorials available online.
Fuel and Air Adjustability: Maps
An air and fuel tuner usually has several adjustability points: throttle, trans, idle, etc. Each one of these should have its map. Maps for fuel and air adjustments should be comprehensive enough to cover everything your bike needs. It should also have something extra which you can use for fine-tuning purposes.
User Interface Aesthetics and Ergonomics
It should be simple, modern, functional, and appealing. Settle for nothing less than perfect functionality and aesthetics. The user interface must be intuitive, self-explanatory, and legible. Look for details under the “The Details” tab of the product page.
Supported Protocols and Standard Compliance
Ensure that your tuner solution supports can bus and is not limited to one or two specific, proprietary protocols. If using a wireless connection, make sure that no wires are required for the initial setup.
Harley Auto Tuner Pricing
Based on what we’ve found in the market, we divide Harley aftermarket tuner price into three different segments:
Under $300: You’ll find the primary level tuners in most cases at this price range. Most notably, as we see, most of these tuners (not each of them) are built for limited models of Harley with applicability for a shorter time frame, for instance, Vance & Hines FuelPak 61009. They are good at their particular work, but you can’t expect them to be multidimensional.
$300 to $500: You’ll find most of the quality motorcycle auto tuners available at this range. They come up with all necessary features, and most of all, a wide variety of applications, for instance, Vance & Hines 66005. You’ll find many of them working with both the Harley M8 engines and earlier engines simultaneously.
Over $500: Some of the tuners might be costing even around a thousand USD. Tuners at this range tend to come with additional features and specialties that may not be available in others, for example, ThunderMax M8. However, you don’t need the most expensive tuners for your Harley unless you specifically require those features.
Air & Fuel Tuning by Tuner – Techniques and Tips
Step 1: Open your bike’s ECM – Electronic Control Module.
Step 2: Look for an OBD or On-Board Diagnostic port. Most are under the seat.
Step 3: Plug in the Tuner to this port with the USB cable provided. It starts clicking automatically.
Step 4: Disconnect the Tuner from the computer after clicking stops. If you want to stop connecting without disconnecting Tuner, then press the RESET button on the front side of Tuner.
Step 4: If your bike is not OBD2, you can plug in Tuner to the OBD1 port. But make sure you turn on the fuel pump and activate the FI light on the dashboard. This is for safety reasons; if something goes wrong, it might trigger the FI light and turn the engine off immediately.
Step 5: Open Tuner software & select USB mode. Click the search button, TTS Master Tune should be found automatically. Double click it to open the vehicle settings screen. Now you are ready to tune!
Harley Tune-Up (Dyno-Tuning) Cost in a Shop
The average cost of dyno-tuning is $100-300/hr. Dyno-tuning is required if you change exhaust pipes or replace your entire factory-installed engine with a new one. Dyno-tuning is also necessary if you make significant changes to your stock engine, like replacing the factory carburetors with electronic fuel injection (EFI) or installing a higher-performance camshaft. Dyno-tuning will get your motor running right, but the real-world results are not so easy to see unless you are physically riding the motorcycle yourself.
How long does it take to tune a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
It depends on how mechanically inclined you are and what type of experience you have had in tuning motor vehicles. These will all play an essential role in how fast or slow the process will be. But, overall, this can take between 1-2 hours if you work at it steadily with no distractions like phones ringing, kids bugging you, etc. If something breaks, it may take a little longer.
Harley Davidson motorcycles have come a long way since their first start in 1903. The history of Harley-Davidson has many twists and turns, success and failure, but the one thing that has remained consistent is Harley’s willingness to adapt and innovate. This article will show you how to change the ECM calibration with direct plug-in replacements, suitable for tuning via aftermarket tuners like Flash Tune Evo.