Like Joni Mitchell sang – “Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.”
After almost three glorious months I bade farewell to the bike we christened Project Packhorse on a Friday morning early in September.
It was picked up from my place by Prestige Motorcycle Transport to be shipped on to its next HEAVY DUTY stint with Mick in Sydney.
I’ll miss it. And I didn’t realise just how much it meant having such a magnificent vehicle on call – till it was gone.
I racked up around 3,500km aboard and loved every minute of it. I used it for work and recreation around Brisbane and hit the Gold and Sunshine Coasts for more of the same.
It’s still one of my all-time favourite motorcycles and the modifications we have made and parts we’ve added have taken it to the next level.
But prior to heading south, for the second time, it was booked into Gasoline Alley H-D for further customisation.
This time the goal was to open its breathing a little and a Stage One kit was planned and installed.
H-D’s experts advised that the stock hi-flow air cleaner already fitted to the Road King Special was suitable for our needs, so it a matter of choosing some slip-on mufflers, end caps and a tuner to get the rest of the Stage One job done.
We went with a Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Performance Tuner, Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon Slip-On Mufflers and Blunt Slash Up/Down/Out 4.5 in. End Caps.
According to Harley, “It’s designed to simplify management of engine operating parameters as performance modifications are made.
Once installed, the kit allows you to adjust key parameters or simply upload the latest Engine Control Module (ECM) calibrations to match your bike’s state-of-tune.
Start with a high-flow air cleaner and Street Performance mufflers and upload the calibration that provides the best performance mix.
Add additional Stage Upgrades later, and you simply upload the proper ECM calibration to match the model and hardware.
Plus, you have free online access to the latest factory calibrations. Ideal for real-world street performance applications, the Pro Street Tuner provides the adjustability to account for bike-to-bike variation and for changes to cams, heads, intake and exhaust while maintaining closed-loop fuel control for fuel economy in the part-throttle operating range. Unlike other aftermarket tuners, The Screamin' Eagle® Pro Street Tuner actually talks directly to your motorcycle’s ECM and re-programs the motorcycle’s operating system.
It isn’t a piggyback system that tries to fool the ECM into adding more fuel or changing the ignition timing. The Pro Street Tuner plugs into the bike’s data port, so no splicing or under-seat hardware is required. And unlike other race tuners or engine controllers, the Screamin’ Eagle® Pro Street Tuner does not impact your Harley-Davidson® factory warranty coverage.”
The Mufflers and End Caps.
“Dialled in to enhance the performance of the Milwaukee-Eight engine, these slip-on mufflers feature a large inlet for improved airflow.
When teamed with a free-flowing air cleaner, the Street Cannon mufflers deliver horsepower and torque gains you can feel and are tuned to provide a rich exhaust note, a deep bass rumble, and great throaty sound when you roll on the throttle.
To strike a balance with your neighbours, the large internal volume and strategically designed baffles help maintain the peace at partial throttle.
They feature a die-cast Screamin’ Eagle medallion on their flanks and can be fitted with a wide variety of styled muffler end caps to provide the perfect finishing touch.”
To that end we went with the Blunt end caps with the slash upwards and it really finished off the look.
After fitment it all came together exactly as purported. There was a noticeable improvement in throttle response, it looks fabulous, and it sounds great.
Did I mention that I miss it?