Question about 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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Fast idle after change of exhaust

We have just changed the baffled original exhaust to a non-baffled exhaust which now makes a wonderful noise but the engine idles extremely high when cold (for about 10-15 minutes) Can this be rectified?

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  • Sean Stewart
    Sean Stewart Dec 31, 2013

    Not sure what happened there but it should be a 2008 XLH 883. Many thanks.

  • Sean Stewart
    Sean Stewart Dec 31, 2013

    Strech, thanks very much for the response! It's fuel injected so not as simple a s

  • Sean Stewart
    Sean Stewart Dec 31, 2013

    Sorry, I meant to say not as simple as adjusting the screw. Any thoughts if it's fuel injected? Thanks again.

  • Strech
    Strech Dec 31, 2013

    Ok, fuel injection...Removing the baffles could cause the exhaust pipes to become more free flowing. This would help the exhaust flow more quickly past the O2 sensors (in theory) causing the sensor to read a lower amount of oxygen (since there is less time to sense it, remember all of these components are made to work a certain way, and that certain way is the stock application. ANYTHING you do to change it throws the whole system off. This in turn could cause the ECM to subtract fuel, resulting in a biased lean condition. From my experience, a lean condition will cause an increase in RPM like you've mentioned. Think of a small vacuum leak. Now the bad news. Setting the idle speed on fuel injected bikes is a dealer function. They have to use the digital tech (special laptop computer) to set the idle speed and the ECM maintains it from there. The dealership can do this while you wait.

  • Sean Stewart
    Sean Stewart Jan 02, 2014

    Strech, thanks very much for that advice, extremely helpful! Much appreciated. Next stop is the dealer.



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Not sure when the Sportster went fuel injection (it was later than the big twins), but if you're still running a carb, there should be an IDLE SPEED adjustment screw, that does as the name implies.

Also, when changing to a more free-flowing exhaust, it usually leans out the mixture, so some adjusting of the carb's idle MIXTURE screw, and rejetting is commonly needed.

Posted on Dec 31, 2013


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timing adjustment ..or you have a vacuum leak brother

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did you upgrade the air filter and the module for the fuel injection.the minute you change exhaust it messes up the 02 sensor,and the map readings etc.

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