Author Topic: Spark Plugs for Harley  (Read 10944 times)

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Offline cardboard

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Spark Plugs for Harley
« on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012. 06:16:47 PM. »
Kinda got a debate going on with a Buddy.

What is the best plug to run in  a Harley.
Know they come with Champion.  I have been running Autolite 4164 for a while in my bikes. Indy buddy told me a while back he liked Autolite better in Harleys and NGK in Metric bikes.
Just went to the Autolite XS4164 Irridium plugs. I like them.


Got a buddy that said NGK are better.
Are NGK plugs better to run in a Harley than a Autolite or anything else.

And has anybody ever considered if INdexing a spark plug is important on a Harley or not.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, March 21, 2012. 06:41:44 PM. by cardboard »

Offline Panzer

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012. 07:05:38 PM. »

The way I have always heard it was like this:
From outboards, motorhomes, trucks, cycles, cars and everything in-between, each manufacture tests with many plugs and has settled on the best one(s) that are OEM.
Some will say that the manufacture take the lowest bidder on plugs.........maybe so, maybe not, that's your call.

Indexing a plug for performance?
Unless you're into racing big time and want every trick possible put into your go fast ride, indexing won't add any noticeable improvement to a 'stock' machine.

JMO of course.
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

Offline Lew

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012. 07:09:44 PM. »
I don't get too excited about plug brands.  I do prefer Champions in my bikes, due to their slightly longer reach into the combustion chamber.  I index my plugs also.  I think it helps, especially in the hemi style chambers.  Never had any problems.
-It is now later than it has ever been before-

Offline FLTRI

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012. 10:18:15 PM. »
From a tuner's POV the stock spark plugs work as good as anything else on late model EFI and carb bikes. Some special plugs may last a bit longer if the tune is far enough off...rich. :nix:
Bob
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Always keep eyes and mind open

Offline guido4198

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #4 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 01:51:28 AM. »
NGK Iridium have given me small, but documented improvement in mpg.
When I ride to work...it's a 100 mi. round-trip commute over the same roads, same time of day, etc. I fill up at the same point in the trip each day. I've found that If I pay attention to how I ride, and don't do a lot of "blasting", blipping the throttle, whatever...I can generally predict to within a couple of hundreth's of a gallon, how much gas my tank will take. When I switched to the NGK's (with no other changes)...there was a very small, but noticeable drop in that amount each day.
I know...I know...kinda "anal"...but it gives me stuff to think about on that ride everyday..!! :bike:

Offline Tom White

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #5 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 06:31:39 AM. »
Autolite makes the HD Plugs, not Champion.

The most important consideration (other than the wrong plug) is the Heat Rating. This is how Heat is displaced or retained. 

Secondly is the type of fuel management system, ie: Carb / EFI (Delphi's receive pulse communications feedback following combustion).

Last is the desired result - HP/TQ - Mileage - Longevity

Offline kik

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #6 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 06:51:18 AM. »
Autolite makes the HD Plugs, not Champion.

The most important consideration (other than the wrong plug) is the Heat Rating. This is how Heat is displaced or retained. 

Secondly is the type of fuel management system, ie: Carb / EFI (Delphi's receive pulse communications feedback following combustion).

Last is the desired result - HP/TQ - Mileage - Longevity


Last I heard Champion was still the exclusive manufacturer for HD but I'm not always up on the current situations. Here's and interesting site if you guys want to know more about spark plugs.

http://www.harleyhelp.com/sparkplg.html 

Offline Jeffd

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #7 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 06:52:53 AM. »
I  bought Champion plugs for my Harley and looked at how poorly the threads were cut and decided not to use them.  I think NGK's have better cut threads then the rest.

Offline motorplex88

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #8 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 07:04:21 AM. »
"Autolite makes the H-D plugs, not Champion"
Since when? Not getting cranky, just asking . :nix:

Offline Jeffd

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #9 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 07:20:28 AM. »
"Autolite makes the H-D plugs, not Champion"
Since when? Not getting cranky, just asking . :nix:

i gotta to wonder too because the champions and harley plugs look identical and the autolites look different then the harley plugs or at least the stock plugs.

Offline hd06myway

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #10 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 08:03:21 AM. »
I've run Champions, NGK, and currently Auto Lite, no difference in any of them... they all run great, pick whatever color packaging you like best, just like oil...  :emoGroan:

Offline Tom White

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #11 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 08:09:21 AM. »
I'll have to eat this for lunch... I feel you are correct - Champion I beleive does. Looking through some notes - Autolite made the Wire Sets pre-Delphi - (don't know ho makes them now). My Bad - Ouch - That limp noodle huts :emsad:

Offline chopper

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #12 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 09:35:44 AM. »
I always ran Autolites in my Sporty and Shovels. I'm running the plain jane NGK's in my TC. Currently have about 30k on a set and they're running great.
  I don't have much use for Champions.  Had to do back when I was running 900 Kaws hard! After a cruise through town, they'd be loaded up and simply would NOT "clean out". With NGK's. one  hard pass would clean them out just fine.

 I had 2 friends working at the Champion plant in Toledo, and got em free.. (but still wouldn't run em)
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman

Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #13 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 10:16:58 AM. »

Last I heard Champion was still the exclusive manufacturer for HD but I'm not always up on the current situations. Here's and interesting site if you guys want to know more about spark plugs.

http://www.harleyhelp.com/sparkplg.html


That's a good, basic explanation of several things but I now think the author is mistaken in his closing statement.  He says:

Little known fact:
2005 and later Harley-Davidson EFI systems incorporate an "Anti-knock" feature that operates by reading the current resistance through the spark plugs.
The use of any other spark plug other than 'Stock' (6R12) disables the anti-knock feature.
(Yes, that means the Gold, Platinum and SE plugs will also disable this function)


That's been the subject of a lot of discussion since the Delphi system came out but I never heard it said that use of another plug would disable the anti-knock.  The arguments centered around whether or not the anti-knock was reliable with another plug.

For quite a while I was convinced that using another plug could change the resistance parameters of the anti-knock sensing system since it is based on resistance to a second spark passed immediately after the ignition spark. The idea just made sense to me and I saw no reason not to use HD plugs, so I stuck with them.  Then I read a pretty good discussion of that by a Delphi engineer who had been involved with the system.  He said, essentially, not to worry about that factor.  I don't have a copy of that article on this laptop but if anyone wants me to, I'll dig it out of my desktop when I'm there.  It's pretty good info.

BUT - a critical issue is the fit of the spark plug wire boot to the spark plug cap.  Apparently, the Harley boot is sensitive to the shape of the plug's cap and the wrong cap can create intermittent voltage fluctuations which confuse the anti-knock gnomes in the little black box. 

So, I still use HD plugs since I haven't bothered to compare the shapes of the various plug caps. I s'pose one could unscrew the caps off of a set of HD plugs and put them on, say, NGK's, but why bother?

Pilgrim
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Offline Super Dave

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #14 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 01:57:21 PM. »
The only difference I've noticed with different plugs is error codes with the iridium.

Offline PoorUB

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #15 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 07:25:58 PM. »
What is the best plug to run in  a Harley.

And has anybody ever considered if INdexing a spark plug is important on a Harley or not.


We got an oil bird, we need a spark plug rubber chicken!

I am an adult?? When did that happen, and how do I make it stop?!

Offline cardboard

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #16 on: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 07:33:53 PM. »
What is the best plug to run in  a Harley.

And has anybody ever considered if INdexing a spark plug is important on a Harley or not.


We got an oil bird, we need a spark plug rubber chicken!





LOL...........

Offline HarleyHiwayMan

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #17 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 05:56:39 AM. »
I get rather amused when I read a comment such as I changed spark plugs today to another brand, I really like them. Just sayin
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Offline MIKEL

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #18 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 06:35:51 AM. »
I picked up a set of Autolite Platinum plugs for HD from an auto parts store that went out of business. I kept those plugs in for 32k miles. I changed them when 1 day she starting back firing. I like those Platinum plugs I put them in and forget about them there are more important things to worry about.


                                                                                        MIKE

Offline HOGMIKE

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #19 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 06:38:07 AM. »
   
Harley-Davidson Double Platinum Spark Plugs


Double Platinum spark surfaces offer superior erosion resistance, even after millions of sparks. H-D Double Platinum plugs also feature a semiconductor suppressor, a triple-coated shell with special anti-seize coating, copper core center electrode for high thermal capacity and peak performance at all engine speeds, tapered center and platinum side electrodes for maximum combustibility. Special high alumina insulator provides self-adjusting temperature for maximum resistance to fouling. Harley-Davidson's longest lasting spark plugs. Anti-seize coating on threads. Each sold separately.

 :wtf:
Heat range adjustable??
 :fish:
HOGMIKE

Offline HOGMIKE

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #20 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 06:40:57 AM. »
   
Harley-Davidson Gold Spark Plugs


A special thread and shell coating ensures quick and easy removal from aluminum heads and resists corrosion. A gold palladium insert extends life and improves resistance to corrosion. The tapered tip provides better spark exposure to air/fuel mixture and allows the mixture to flow more easily through gap area for maximum combustibility. Fouling resistance is improved with smaller diameter center electrode wire and insulator tip. Plus, a copper-cored ground electrode runs cooler for extended life. Anti-seize coating on threads. Each sold separately.

This product is available in multiple variations. Be sure to look for the one that fits the specific model and year of your motorcycle.

32365-04

6R12G


Fits '86-later XL and '99-later Twin Cam-equipped models or use in place of No. 6R12.

MSRP US $5.95

Friend of mine gave me these 2 yrs ago......running them in a '10 bagger with no problems.
Cheap, and they work.
 :nix:
HOGMIKE

Offline hd06myway

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #21 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 07:03:23 AM. »
Autolite DOESN'T make the plugs for Harley, Champion does, in fact the only draw back I have using Autolites, which I'm currently running is because the head on them requires a different wrench size than other plugs... and if you have chrome head bolt covers on your bike, the Kuryakyn style, you have to remove them in order to get the plugs in and out... not so with Champion or NGK plugs..when I changed my NGK's to Autolites, I discovered this. Like I said before though, none of you would know the difference in a blind fold test what plug you were using, no discernable differnece in any of them, as long as your using the recommended number.  But, us Americans like to think we have choices, so they package things like Motor oil and Spark plugs in different color boxes and some advertise more than others, but don't fool yourselves, it's all the same shit.... different toilet paper wrapping that's all... :soda:
« Last Edit: Friday, March 23, 2012. 07:05:42 AM. by hd06myway »

Offline harleyjt

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #22 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 07:14:13 AM. »
I get rather amused when I read a comment such as I changed spark plugs today to another brand, I really like them. Just sayin

 :agree:

jt
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Offline FLTRI

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #23 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 10:37:39 AM. »
Oil vs sparkplugs comparison testing results:
Our independent back-to-back testing back in the late 90's showed power (2-3hp) and temperature (dropped ~15-20deg) improvements from dino vs syn on a couple bikes we had in the shop for service/oil changes and tunes. The customers wanted to change to syn from dino. We took the opportunity, with their permission, to dyno tune the bikes first with the dino oils. Then replaced with syn and repeated the tests.
However...
Our independent back-to-back testing of sparkplugs  (NGK, Bosch, Autolite, and stock) in 2008 showed no power or temperature improvements over the stock, Champion sparkplugs.
The test was done same day with properly tuned 1999, 2003, and 2008 Delphi EFI bikes and were various engine builds from 88ci to 103ci with various cam timing and exhaust configurations...ie: 2into1, tru-duals, etc.

For what it's worth,
Bob
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Always keep eyes and mind open

Online dakota224

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Re: Spark Plugs for Harley
« Reply #24 on: Friday, March 23, 2012. 10:46:50 AM. »
i run cheap Champion plugs in my 1999 dyna. cant tell any differance than the high dollar plugs.  sometimes i run the autolights too #4164 .. there only $2.00 each.  i can get a case of Champions for $1.00 each.