Our service department is always filled with Harley-Davidson's eagerly awaiting their Stage I Performance Upgrades. With so many aftermarket choices, our customers look to us for advice on which INTAKE, EXHAUST and TUNER to put on their bike to take it to the next performance level.
As a reminder, the purpose of a Stage I Performance Upgrade is to help your bike run more efficiently and breathe more freely, therefore increasing the available power to your Harley-Davidson. Simply put, equipped with Stage I Performance Upgrades, your motorcycle will go faster and sound better while doing it. Who doesn't want that?
In this piece, I'm only going to focus on one vital component of Stage I Performance improvements - INTAKE. It's no secret that moving more air through your engine is crucial to generate more power and torque. More Air ='s More Power.
Arlen's kits are offered with custom covers or kits that allow you to maintain your factory covers (as pictured above). Most of our customers enjoy the ability to upgrade their air cleaner while still maintaining a factory-ish look on their bike.
After we make our INTAKE recommendation in the shop, the next question we usually get is, "why Arlen Ness?"
For us the answer is easy - Arlen Ness has been deeply rooted in the Harley-Davidson community for over 50 years. Their performance products have proven to make reliable power year-after-year and carry, in most cases, at least a one-year warranty. That, and Arlen Ness' first motorcycle was a 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead - that he later dropped more than $5,000 on and a years time customizing his first beauty.
The Arlen Ness Air Cleaner also holds a special place in our hearts at Fat Head Cycles. The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle Chris Rutter, owner of Fat Head Cycles, owned was an '03 Fat Boy and one of the first upgrades he performed himself was adding an Arlen Ness Air Cleaner.
As the story goes, that '03 Fat Boy and the work Chris performed on his own bike was essentially the birth of Fat Head Cycles. Back then, every couple weeks Chris had new "cool stuff" on his bike and his friends wanted it too - but they didn't know how to perform the work - so Chris did it for them. The rest is history.
On the left is the Arlen Ness Big Sucker™ Air Cleaner for a Milwaukee-Eight motorcycle and on the right is the Factory Milwaukee-Eight Air Cleaner. Remember that more air equals more power? Do I really need to write anything else? No.
Yea, we mentioned this above but it's worth mentioning again. Some guys just want more but don't want to stray too far from a factory-look. The Big Sucker™ fits behind your stock cover, but also has different dress up covers if you so desire.
With the Arlen Ness upgrade, gone are the days of replacing your factory paper filter every 12,000 miles or so at $20-$30 a pop. The Arlen Ness filter is washable and reusable - saving you time and money!
More Horsepower. More Torque. Take it straight from Arlen Ness:
With a few tools and some time, this is definitely an upgrade you can do yourself in your garage. To assist you in that process, we put together the video below which shows exactly how to remove your factory air filter and install an Arlen Ness Big Sucker™. In the video we perform the work on a 2014 Street Glide which has a Twin Cam engine, but the process is exactly the same whether you have a Twin Cam or Milwaukee-Eight bike.
If you're looking to perform this upgrade yourself and interested in maintaining your factory covers, we've made buying the Arlen Ness Big Sucker™ upgrade easy on our website. Click the correct link below for your bike type!
Have questions about Arlen Ness Air Cleaner Kits, a complete Stage I Performance Upgrade or about anything at all? Simply use the form below and we'll get back to you fast!