Blackline Black-Out | One Step Closer to the Darkside Part 2

Tech Swap

Blackline Black-Out | One Step Closer to the Darkside Part 2 - Hot Bike Magazine

01. While we were ordering the new muffers, heat shields, and air cleaner kit from Harley, we picked up a few other simple components to further black-out the bike. We got a Gloss Black Cam cover ($139.95), the new Shor’Tee Upper Belt Guard ($109.95), the new Lower Belt Guard ($84.95), Derby Cover ($39.95), Front and Rear Axle Covers ($42.95 ea.), Swingarm Pivot Bolt Covers (42.95), Front Smoked Turn Signal Lens Kit ($39.95), and Vivid Black Floating Rotors ($139.95 ea.). For a little bit of shine, we also picked up some Chrome Rear Sprocket Covers ($38.95) and a Chrome ABS Harness cover ($29.95).

Blackline Black-Out | One Step Closer to the Darkside Part 2 - Hot Bike Magazine

02. The bike comes with the typical orange front turn signal lens with a clear bulb set within the housing.

03. nstalling the Smoked Lens kit is just a matter of popping the stock lens off with a fat blade screw driver (even a coin will work), and removing the clear bulb with a twist motion. The kit comes with an orange bulb (to meet DOT requirements), which you simply align into the socket, and then push and twist the bulb into position. The smoked lens can then be popped in place.`

04. With the bike on the lift we get a good look at the stock chrome heat shields, round air cleaner cover, and cam cover.

05. Alan made quick work of removing the stock muffers, then removed the rear wheel.

06. With the rear wheel on the ground, an impact wrench was used to break the stock rotor bolts loose and the rotor was removed. Then with some thread locker on the new bolts, Alan installed the Vivid Black Floating rotor. These rotors feature a steel inner carrier (black portion) and a polished and drilled stainless steel outer disc. The two-piece foating design aids in heat dissipation for better braking.

07. With the rear wheel off, it was easier to replace the belt guards. As you can see, the stock upper belt guard is already gloss black and matches the bike well, but the lower guard is made of plastic.

08. We ditched the plastic guard and one of H-D’s new gloss black guards was bolted in its place. Up top, the new Shor’Tee Upper Guard was installed. The Shor’Tee guard features a cutdown look and has slotted accents to help draw attention to an otherwise unnoticeable part.

09. With the exhaust unbolted from the heads, Alan was able to remove the stock chrome cam cover and replace it with a gloss black unit. Before installing the new cover, Alan placed a new gasket over the cam chest and added some thread locker to the cam cover bolts. The bolts were tightened and torqued to spec according to the manual.

10. Here is the Jet Black Fat Exhaust Heat Shield Kit, SE Muffers, Muffer heat shields, and Stage One Air Cleaner kit.

11. Alan removed the stock round air cleaner assembly and before installing the new backing plate for the Stage One kit, he placed a fresh gasket over the back of the backing plate.

12. Aside from the standard cast backing plate that comes with the kit, H-D also offers this black wrinkle fnish option ($39.95). Alan bolted the backing plate to the heads with the supplied breather bolts, then pressed the breather plugs over the bolts. The three air flter mounting studs were then bolted to the front of the backing plate.

13. The air flter was then bolted in place with a Dark Custom Logo Air Cleaner Trim ($99.95) piece. Made of billet aluminum, the cover is black anodized and then machine cut with the iconic #1 logo and the Dark Custom skull design. The re-useable air flter element is comprised of synthetic media that is easy to wash and clean and doesn’t require oiling.

14. With the stock head pipes bolted back on, Alan began installing the new heat shields. At this time he also installed the Rear Axle Covers and Swingarm Pivot Bolt covers.

15. Before installing the rear header heat shield, Alan slipped the new muffer onto the end of the head pipe.

16. Satisf ed with the alignment of the muff ers, head pipes, and heat shields, Alan began tightening everything down.

17. For some reason, H-D decided to put a big shiny disc at the center of the gloss black primary cover.

18. We preferred the look of the gloss black cover.

19. We decided to dress up the left side fork leg with this little chrome ABS harness cover. To install, Alan simply removed the stock plastic piece, removed the caliper mounting bolts, placed the ABS cover over the bolt hole locations, and tightened down the caliper bolts.

Blackline Black-Out | One Step Closer to the Darkside Part 2 - Hot Bike Magazine

20. In its bone stock con guration the bike made 70.33 hp and 86.73 lb-ft of torque. After installing the SE muff ers and Stage One Air Cleaner kit, the bike produced 74.14 hp and 87.48 lb-ft. of torque. Not real signi cant gains but then again these are EPA stamped, 50-state street legal muff ers.

If you’ve been following the progress of our long-term Blackline Softail, you’ll recall that we started the project by adding to the ebony color scheme by swapping out the stock controls for some black and machined components. The following article focused on improving nighttime riding by changing out the headlight for one of Harley’s black 5-3/4-inch LED headlight assemblies. Providing an immense path of bright-white light, the new unit made quite a difference with low-light visibility.

In this third installment, we are going to add some more black P&A; to the Softail while also addressing the most popular component on a Harley, the exhaust. Better sound, performance, and/or style are reasons why the exhaust system is usually the first thing people change when they buy a new bike. Plus, no matter if it’s a simple muffler swap or installing a new 2-into-1 system—with just a little time and some basic handtools, you can make quite a change to your bike. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible while adding to the blacked-out direction we’ve been heading, so we decided to order a set of H-D’s Jet Black Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Slip-On Shotgun Mufflers ($449.95). The slip-ons feature ballistic inlets and tuned baffles which claim to provide a much more distinct rumble and improved power compared to the stock mufflers. To go along with the mufflers we decided to wash the right side of the bike in a sea of black by installing H-D’s newest heat shields, the Jet Black SE Fat Exhaust Shield Kit ($199.95). Comprised of larger 2-3/4-inch diameter heat shields as opposed to the stock 2-inch diameter heat shields, the Fat shields beef up the look of the head pipes and flow better into the wide body of the mufflers. Since we were going to attack the exhaust, we figured we better hit the stock air cleaner assembly as well and we ordered a Stage One Air Cleaner Kit ($139.95) to get more air flowing into the engine. We headed to the H-D Fleetcenter so that once the parts were installed, Alan Barsi could flash the ECM to accommodate the new mufflers and air cleaner. HB


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