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Sportster Motorcycle Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust Problems, advice and/or how tos for Sporster and Buell motorcycle carburators, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), Air Intake, Fuel and Exhaust.

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dwell, idle, meter, rpm, tach

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  #1  
Old 19th August 2015
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la_gator87 la_gator87 is offline
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Default Setting Idle RPM with no Tach

Alright guys, did some searching on here and saw the question asked but never saw an answer.
2001 1200 custom with in-series spark plugs so it has the wasted spark on the exhaust stroke... fantastic... I have no tach on the bike and would like to set my idle RPM.
I do have a dwell meter, of course it reads only 4, 6, or 8 cylinders. Simple math says I double the RPM when its set to 4 cylinder and I am good to go.

But with the fact that the engine does not fire every 180° how does this affect the reading of the tachometer on the dwell meter and can I accurately set it?

If I try to set it to the recommended 1000 RPM (reading 500 on the meter for a 4-cyl), it seems to be way high by ear and feel, enough that engine braking is rather ineffective. Also I do not know anyone around here with a Sportster with a tach that I can compare to.
Maybe I am overthinking or am dumb...
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  #2  
Old 19th August 2015
John Harper John Harper is offline
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I just do it by ear, a little faster is better than the slower loping idle of BT bikes. Higher idle is better on Sportsters oil system. Use idle drop technique and go from there. Make sure bike is fully warm before any adjustments.

John
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  #3  
Old 19th August 2015
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There must be a zillion You Tube videos with idling Sportsters, listen to a few to get some idea of what idle should be.
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  #4  
Old 19th August 2015
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Default

the dwell should be around 90'. what scales does the face show. I do believe that doubling is not what is needed. my meter crapped years ago and really do not need it with electronic ign. so its been awhile but IF I remember right, it is a division, will have to check.
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Old 19th August 2015
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if it sounds faster then you think it should, it's probably right.
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looking at a face scale on g images, it is not a division. using a ratio on that scale, try this:
using the 8 cylinder scale as base you would
multiply by two for four cylinder
multiply by 1.33 for six cylinder
multiply by 1.16 for the two cylinder
since the engine has offset timing, rpm will be off somewhat, the above is for balanced ign.

example: 900 rpm on 8 cylinder scale times 1.16 = 1044 rpm
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Old 5th September 2015
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Default

Thanks guys. I have looked at Youtube videos and can get some idea but mostly I wanted something a little better than a video... especially when someone may have adjusted idle speed to make it "sound more like a harley" or has it on choke, etc.; just slightly hard to guarantee. Right now it's set by ear, but bustert I will be trying out that method once the bike is out of the shop.
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