Speed’s Spotlight ......................................... 90

Hot Bike - - Contents - WORDS: JOE KRESS

The warm-weather rid­ing sea­son— re­ally warm in some parts of the coun­try—is here and it comes with a price. Sure, you can ditch the heavy­weight leathers now, but all that en­gine heat ris­ing up from the V-twin, on late-model bikes es­pe­cially, can get pretty nasty. And if it’s that bad up in the sad­dle, just think what’s go­ing on down be­low, in­side that hard-work­ing Har­ley en­gine. Any­thing you can do to help cool things down will pay big div­i­dends—and not just in com­fort. A cool-run­ning en­gine is a happy en­gine, an en­gine that’s go­ing to run bet­ter, make more power, and last longer. And be­lieve it or not, a good part of that re­lief can be just an oil change away.

Granted, when you’re search­ing for cool, get­ting the en­gine tuned cor­rectly would head the list. Late-model Har­leys are cal­i­brated way too lean. A richer, cool­er­run­ning fuel mix­ture can go a long way to­ward beat­ing the heat—not to men­tion what it can do for im­prove­ments in al­laround per­for­mance and ride­abil­ity. And, more and more, the af­ter­mar­ket’s ex­haust­sys­tem man­u­fac­tur­ers are com­ing up with pipes de­signed to beat the heat too. “And low­er­ing ex­haust-pipe tem­per­a­tures is some­thing else you’re go­ing to feel im­me­di­ately,” says Jamie Han­son at Speed’s Per­for­mance Plus.

Jamie also says that if you haven’t al­ready made the switch to full-syn­thetic oil, now’s the time for that too. An air-cooled en­gine, he points out, is also oil-cooled and oils like the full-syn­thetic Spec­tro Per­for­mance lu­bri­cants SPP not only lu­bri­cate bet­ter and last longer, but they can drop en­gine tem­per­a­tures as much as 15 to 25 de­grees. An­other big step in the right di­rec­tion. Chances are, this far into the sea­son, se­ri­ous road war­riors are about ready for an oil-and-fil­ter change any­way, and any­one who hasn’t taken care of that ser­vice work at the start of the sea­son is long over­due. So, if you’re go­ing to per­form that lit­tle bit of rou­tine main­te­nance, why not make it work for you all around? Switch­ing to syn­thetic oils can do ex­actly that.

“Syn­thet­ics have a lot to of­fer,” Jamie says. Be­sides that drop in tem­per­a­tures, re­ally im­por­tant is an air-cooled Har­ley. “Syn­thet­ics also hold their vis­cos­ity longer,” Jamie goes on. “In all tem­per­a­tures. They just do a bet­ter job of lu­bri­ca­tion over­all.”

And syn­thet­ics, es­pe­cially high-qual­ity ones like those Spec­tro Heavy Duty Plat­inums, al­most al­ways come with a great ad­di­tive pack­age. They’ll cling to the in­ter­nal metal parts longer and with a higher film strength, for bet­ter pro­tec­tion at start-up. They’ll main­tain that un­bro­ken film un­der op­er­at­ing con­di­tions, too, and all this hap­pens with­out any of the cold-thick­en­ing or heat-thin­ning com­mon to even premium petroleum-based oils. Syn­thet­ics are just a bet­ter deal all around. Granted, a qual­ity syn­thetic will cost a cou­ple bucks more per quart, but you’re only buy­ing three or four, and how of­ten? Speak­ing of, syn­thet­ics can last for thou­sands of miles longer than or­di­nary oils, so those changes are spread out longer.

“And you’ll def­i­nitely want to use a fil­ter com­pat­i­ble with syn­thetic oils,” Jamie adds. There are plenty of good ones, no­tably K&N’S Wrench-off mod­els. An­other op­tion, though, is a clean­able/ re­us­able metal-mesh model and the finned ver­sions Speed’s Per­for­mance uses come with an added ben­e­fit all their own. They’ll ac­tu­ally func­tion as a mini oil cooler, with tem­per­a­ture drops of an ad­di­tional 4 to 10 de­grees. Cool­ing at­tributes aside, they flow bet­ter than a dis­pos­able, and the fil­ter­ing el­e­ment is first rate. It’s med­i­cal-grade 304 stain­less-steel mi­cronic fil­ter cloth, FAA ap­proved for air­craft use. There’s even a trio of rare Earth mag­nets in the spin-on base to catch metal­lic par­ti­cles. And, yes, that re­us­able fil­ter will be more ex­pen­sive than a dis­pos­able, but be­ing wash­able it’s the last oil fil­ter you’ll ever buy.

An oil-and-fil­ter change is straight­for­ward stuff, eas­ily done by al­most any­one. But the techs as Speed’s Per­for­mance do this main­te­nance work all the time, and even if you rou­tinely do your own re­pairs and mods some­times it’s smart to let a fresh pair of eyes look things over— es­pe­cially now, mid-sea­son af­ter rolling up some miles. It’s an al­most guar­an­teed pre­scrip­tion for a sec­ond half of Rid­ing Sea­son ’17 be­ing bet­ter than the first—and with a switch to syn­thet­ics a whole lot more com­fort­able for both you and your bike. HB



speedsper­for­man­ce­plus.com (605) 695-1401 – MN (605) 695-2272 – SD

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