How to Cure a hot running 2007 Harley Davidson?
That question must have been asked 10k times or more since the 2007 model line of Harley Davidsons were introduced. The mystery of the hot running 2007 models grew to almost a cult like issue on the Harley boards and Harley forums around the internet. Owners who didn’t realize they had a hot running Harley Davidson suddenly agonized over the “problem” and demanded answers.
Being the owner of a 2007 FXSTB Nightrain I was obviously interested in the answer to the question. My bike didn’t seem to run all that hot….I wondered aloud if some of these guys realized their motorcycles were air cooled and that they WILL run hot. I also questioned how many were first time riders and simply didn’t realize that a hot engine 6 inches from your legs is going to produce heat. I am sure a number of new owners or riders succumbed to the phenomenon of the hot running 2007. They jumped on the bandwagon as so many people often do, but then I am positive of others that actually did experience a hot running Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Friends of mine that I am positive know what they are talking about were experiencing the hot running 2007 issue so it wasn’t that the issue was non existent, I just think it might have been blown out of proportion. I decided to get to the bottom of the issue and see what I could find out about the problem. After a few days of digging around and talking to people in the know, I think it was clear what was the culprit.
Lean and Mean
After a lot of discussion and research it turns out that the new 96 cu inch Harley Davidson engine had to be tuned extremely lean in order to get it to meet government emissions requirements. The stock factory tune was set very lean by design, and as you know, a lean engine will run much hotter than a well tuned or even rich engine. Different riders reacted differently to the hot running condition as some didn’t even notice and others it was enough of a problem that they wanted to trade their motorcycles in for a different year.
I also noticed a trend that it seemed to be the bagger crowd complaining the most vocally and the most frequently. I don’t know if it is because the bagger crowd tends to be older and more demanding or if the models were more susceptible to the hot running condition. I think probably a little bit of both actually. If you take a look at the front end of some of the bagger models, the fairings restrict air flow across the engine dramatically compared to the more open models. So regardless of this issue, the lean condition seemed to be the culprit.
The fix is rather simple.
Most riders that I was in contact with reported that a Stage 1 upgrade resolved the issue. A decent set of pipes combined with either a Stage 1 download or a fuel control system like a Power Commander or something similar cured the lean condition. They not only reported a much better running motorcycle but a much cooler running motorcycle. The addition of the pipes likely made for a much better looking and sounding motorcycle as well.
The Stage 1 kit will bring your motorcycle back down to a more normal heat range, at least normal for an air cooled Harley Davidson. The reflash will make for a richer mixture which will lower the operating temperature and make your Harley Davidson a much more enjoyable machine to ride.