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  #1  
Old 18th October 2019
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Default Carburetor opinions

My new to me 81 Ironhead came with open drag pipes, stock cam, stock heads, and an S & S Super E carb. I've heard some opinions on-line that this carb is too big for this application. Is this true? Which carb(s) would be a better choice?
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Old 18th October 2019
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It can be made to work, but my super e was always a bit of a gas hog. I currently run a mikuni VM38-9 and it does great on fuel, I’m very happy with it. Many also like the keihin cv carb, and there’s nothing wrong with the keihin butterfly carb that would’ve been stock on your year bike. You’ve got options.
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Old 18th October 2019
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It's not too big, it just needs to be jeted correctly. There are better options, but many have great resoults with it. Bigger problem are drag pipes, but I'm no expert, so wait a bit and you'll get some good suggestion here!
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Old 18th October 2019
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I was about to say the samething about the drag pipes. I have a set but this told me y I was having some problems.
https://youtu.be/KjKUKhHQLHg

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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For drag pipes, I found this article very useful...
http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/exhaust.htm
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Old 18th October 2019
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Drag pipes suck. The nightrider tip is only a band aid it does not fix the problem.

An S&S E is large for an Ironhead. It can be made to work but is not optimal.

Any compromises made in the selection of installed parts can create performance issues. Exhaust can be a huge compromise that there is no solution for. Band-Aids often create more compromises and tuning problems than they solve.
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Default Thanks

Thanks guys. You all have confirmed what I thought. This is all new to me. My past experience with bikes have all been with stock Japanese inline 4's.
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The S&S Super E is a 48mm carb. It will flow around 185 CFM with an S&S air filter on it.

That's enough to feed a 95 CI semi race engine.

Will it work ?

Yes, it will. Any carb can be made to "Work".

Is it optimal ?

No, it's not.

Port velocity at lower rpm's will be too low to achieve good carburation. The drag pipes will only exacerbate that.

People tend to over richen the bottom end to compensate for the poor atomisation of the fuel. This means your wasting gas.

In the real world this means the engine does not perform as well as a similar engine with a correctly sized carb on it.
The top end will be OK but the area where you most need and use HP you will be down.
You would be strangling the Ironheads greatest strength. It's low down torque.

38 mm is a much better choice for a stock 1000cc engine. That' why HD chose it in the first place. The S&S and drag pipes give you bragging rights at the expense of the loss of power and annoying everyone else in earshot.

Pull the S&S and drag pipes and put them aside for your race engine.

Look for a good used stock carb and some good aftermarket pipes with mufflers.

The money you save on "wasted" gas will pay for these new items.
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Old 19th October 2019
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Will a set of slip-on mufflers help? Any recommendations?
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Well, like everything there are "mufflers" and then there are "mufflers."

I don't run them on my race bikes and on the street I use stock. (But I only have early 900 IH's.)

I'm sure there are people here who can suggest some for you.

I DON'T like the Supertrapp systems. But that's just me.
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