If you’re a long-time fan of Harley Davidson motorcycles, then you certainly know how well their Twin Cam 103 motors operate without modifications. That being said, an adjustment or two can really take your bike's performance to the next level. That's why more and more Harley riders are installing an auto tuner these days.
In essence, an auto tuner is a unique piece of equipment that allows Harley riders more control over how much fuel and air are fed into their motor. When used correctly, an auto tuner can extend the life of your motor and provide a smoother, more fuel-efficient ride along the way. But as you might expect, not all auto tuners are built alike. That's why it's essential to find the best auto tuner for your unique Harley Davidson.
This guide will help you do precisely that, even if this is your first time modifying your motorcycle. In particular, you should take time and read through our reviews of the top 6 Harley compatible auto tuners so that you can make this important purchase with confidence.
Vance & Hines Fuelpak FP3 66005
5 x 3 x 2 inches
Vance & Hines FP3 Fuelpak 66007
6 x 3.5 x 2 inches
ThunderMax Auto Tune 309-460
Dynojet Power Commander V
9 x 9 x 3 inches
2008-2013 + more listed here
Vance & Hines Fuelpak 61003A
9 x 6 x 3 inches
Dynojet Black Power Vision Tuner PV-2B
2.83 x 3.93 x .84 inches
How do Harley Davidson Auto Tuners Work?
Harley Davidson auto tuners are pretty simple to understand once you try one out in person. Essentially, these units hook into your motor's fuel delivery system and allow it to control the rate at which both air and fuel are injected during operation. This system can be controlled using several different interface types, including traditional analog and modern touchscreen setups.
Benefits of Tuners for Harley Davidson
Auto tuners come with a wide variety of benefits, starting with their ability to increase a Harley's fuel efficiency. This is because an auto tuner can always be adjusted to change the bike’s fuel injection rate based upon the roadway environment. In turn, an auto tuner can cause a bike's performance to become far smoother since they cause less “chugging” and faster throttle response times.
How to Choose the Right Harley Davidson Tuner
Just because an auto tuner model says it is compatible with Harley Davidsons does not mean that it is compatible with your Harley Davidson. As such, you should always check to ensure that your chosen model can be harmoniously equipped to your favorite hog. Never install a non-compatible model, as this can cause fuel injection problems that may harm your engine and put you in harm’s way.
Ease of Set-Up
If this is your first time modifying your bike, then you should certainly look for a model that is easy to install. Though most auto tuners don't require much expertise to mount correctly, you should still consider looking to a desired model’s user reviews to see if previous owners had problems adding that tuner to their Harley.
As with most types of technology today, you should be on the lookout for a user-friendly option that matches your level of experience. In most cases, a touchscreen auto tuner will be the most user-friendly, though even today's analog tuner models can be adjusted and recalibrated without trouble. User reviews are also a good place to look for insight on this topic because most former users will talk about their own experience interacting with the reviewed unit.
Auto Tune Method
Different brands equip their auto tuners with unique methods for accomplishing their core function efficiently. For example, some models automatically cycle through several different throttle levels and RPMs to determine which tuning is most appropriate based upon the current road conditions. Most auto tune modules can help increase fuel efficiency, though, so you don’t need to sweat this detail too much.
Visibility is always important when it comes to auto tuners. Accordingly, you should be on the lookout for an auto tuner that features a large enough monitor that you can reliably view it from an arm's length away. A monitor's resolution can also make a difference on this front, especially if the unit in question used a full-color monitor.
Like a regular computer, auto tuners can only hold so many files and save so many settings at once. As such, you should be mindful of buying a unit that has enough storage to match the regularity with which you use your Harley. Most riders can make do with a moderate amount of on-board storage, but those looking to hit the road more often may opt for a high storage model.
Always keep your eyes peeled for a good deal on an auto tuner. Though these devices won’t cost too much when purchased from a trusted online retailer, some brick and mortar stores are all too willing to charge you extra for a sub-par product. Often, you’ll benefit from comparing prices of the same model across several websites before committing to your purchase.
6 Best Tuners for Harley Davidson’s Reviewed
1. Vance & Hines Fuelpak FP3 66005
Let’s start off strong with the best Harley fuel tuner on the market today. If you know anything about Harley auto tuners, then you know I’m talking about the Vince & Hines Fuelpak FP3 66005. This model remains a national best-seller, primarily because it was one of the first consumer-grade units to utilize a smartphone-based display. That’s right – you’ll be able to access loads of motorcycle performance data with just a few finger taps through this model’s paired iOS and Android app.
The Vince & Hines Fuelpak FP3 66005 also comes pre-installed with all kinds of features that will enhance your ride like never before. This includes a library of thousands of dyno-tuned maps, each of which can be accessed easily and downloaded instantly over wi-fi. This model’s auto tune function also surprisingly user-friendly because it requires only a quick flash-on and flash-off to transfer a whole load of useful data about fuel efficiency back to your bike’s ECM.
I must say, this model also makes great use of any and all sensors built into your compatible Harley. As such, you can always count on it to provide live data that accounts for unique components or different grades of fuel.
2. Vance & Hines FP3 Fuelpak 66007
Meanwhile, the Vance & Hines FP3 Fuelpak 66007 stands out as the next best auto tuner for Harley Davidson. This model makes use of many of the same features as its predecessor, including an app-based interface through your favorite iOS or Android device. But this model still stands out for its overall ability to make maintaining your Harley a breeze. For example, you’ll find that it is increasingly easy to read out and diagnose error codes using this auto tuner, especially compared to the cryptic codes seen on older analog units.
At the same time, this auto tuner should give you the confidence to try out new maps without fear that you’ll lose your previous reliable settings. That’s because this model provides enough storage to backs up OEM calibration while you are using any of its new dyno-tuned maps. Advanced users can even enhance these default settings by analyzing the ECU tables output by this unit’s app each time you activate it.
Speaking of advanced options, the Vance & Hines FP3 Fuelpak 66007 is undoubtedly the model that experienced Harley users should turn to first. That’s because this model makes it increasingly easy to modify your bike’s idle RPM, rev limit, target air-fuel ratio, and spark advance. In time, even novice users will feel empowered to maximize their bike’s potential using this auto tuner.
3. ThunderMax Auto Tune 309-460
Best Harley EFI Tuner
Monitor Size & Display Type
Storage (up to how many tune files)
Yes, 3 years
Next up, we have the ThunderMax Auto Tune 309-460, which stands out as the best Harley EFI tuner in the bunch. That’s because it features one of the only stand-alone engine management systems developed specifically to meet the tuning needs of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. As such, you can expect it to be fully compatible with a wide range of standard Harley upgrades. That being said, it is only compatible with 2002-2007 models, which is a bit disappointing.
With this small negative aspect aside, riders who can use the ThunderMax Auto Tune 309-460 can count on it to continuously and automatically adjusts their air-fuel ratios every time they ride. Of course, you can start enjoying a variety of performance benefits – such as quicker throttle response and cooler operating temperatures – as soon as you finish installing it and setting it up. If you need help with either, you’ll be pleased to know that ThunderMax has many customer service agents ready and willing to help you, both in-person and over the phone.
Experienced auto tuner users may be surprised to learn that this model does not require dyno tuning to operate correctly. As such, you’ll be able to use it right out of the box, which itself includes the necessary USB cable, software disc, and user’s manual.
4. Dynojet Power Commander V
Harley owners who are working on a tight budget might want to check out the Dynojet Power Commander V, which I believe is the best Harley tuner for the money. Despite coming from a trusted auto tuner brand, this model is very affordable. While it is disappointing that it lacks a listed warranty (which might explain its low price point), the Power Commander V more than makes up for it by coming packaged with a coupon for a free dyno run at one of Dynojet’s qualifying events.
As the latest version of a long reliable auto tuner model, the Dynojet Power Commander V offers up several improvements that Harley owners should take note of. First off, this model is slightly more compact than previous iterations. As such, you’ll have no trouble installing it alongside your other critical bike mods. The Dynojet Power Commander V also features an enhanced fuel change range at -100/+250% (which is a massive improvement from the old -100/+100% line).
Though I haven’t tested this particular model on my own Harley, some of my mechanic associates have said that it has one major flaw – it lacks long-term durability. While this may not be an issue for a Harley rider who is looking to minimize their upfront cost for an auto tuner, those looking to use their auto tuner for the long-haul may want to invest in a better-built model.
5. Vance & Hines Fuelpak 61003A
Most User Friendly
9 x 6 x 3 inches
Monitor Size & Display Type
Storage (up to how many tune files)
Now, you might not believe me when I say that an analog auto tuner is one of the most user-friendly models on the market today. But take my word for it – first-time auto tuner users will really appreciate what the Vance & Hines Fuelpak 61003A has to offer. For example, users without much experience equipping their bike with modifications will find this unit's plug-and-play attachment method exceptionally simple. This model's interface is also straightforward to read, even in direct sunlight.
The Vance & Hines Fuelpak 61003A also includes some changes under the hood that are sure to delight new and seasoned auto tuner users alike. This includes its innovative throttle position system, which substantially simplifies the process of fuel-injection tuning. You’ll even find that this model ships with all the equipment needed to mount it to your bike, making it a great value altogether.
Don’t forget, though, that the Vance & Hines Fuelpak 61003A is not available for purchase or use in California. That is because this model can cause your bike's fuel emissions to increase, which is expressly prohibited in that state. Bikers in California will need to look elsewhere for an auto tuner that adheres to their state's tight emissions laws.
6. Dynojet Black Power PV-2B
Finally, folks who are looking for the latest and greatest in motorcycle technology should check out this, the best touch screen Harley tuner. The Dynojet Black Power Vision Tuner PV-2B is a sight to behold, not least due to its 3.5" full-color touch screen that utilizes an app-like interface that smartphone users should be able to learn in mere minutes. It also includes one of the largest storage capacities of any auto tuner in its class, with 2 GB of space that can be used to store a ton of settings and maps.
With all of this tech built-in, you might expect that the Dynojet Black Power Vision Tuner PV-2B requires a computer to fully interface with your Harley. But not so! All you need to do to use it is to follow the on-screen prompts that guide you through the data collection and analysis process. If you do want to plug it in to off-load data, though, you’ll be pleased to know that this unit’s WinPV OS is compatible with most contemporary Windows operating system versions.
The Dynojet Black Power Vision Tuner PV-2B is surprisingly compact, too, especially for a unit that includes a touchscreen. It’s super durable, too, as shown by its use of a silicone elastomer outer enclosure to provide weather, shock, and vibration resistance.
How to Check Tuner Compatibility
Checking the compatibility of your new tuner starts by checking the unit’s listing information. If you see your model or its motor type listed therein, you’ll likely be able to install your auto tuner without trouble.
However, if you still aren't sure about your unit's compatibility, consider checking your owner's manual to see if its fuel system and pipes are sized to fit your chosen unit. This video can provide more insight into this process, especially if you are utilizing a Vance and Hines tuner.
Installing an Auto Tuner on a Harley Davidson
Many modern auto tuners take a fair number of steps to install properly. That being said, most of those steps are relatively easy to manage and facilitate with only a small amount of bike modifying experience.
This process should start by identifying a spot on your Harley where you can safely and permanently mount your unit. From there, you’ll want to follow the instructions in demonstrated in this video to achieve a successful installation.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What should I expect from a Harley Davidson auto tuner?
First and foremost, prepare yourself for a slightly time-intensive installation process. But at the same time, don’t expect the auto tuner installation process to require much prior knowledge. Once you have the unit up and running, you can expect your auto tuner to noticeably improve your bike’s fuel efficiency while also smoothing out your ride by reducing “chugging.”
Will these auto tuner units void my Harley Davidson bike?
Generally speaking, installing an auto tuner should not void your Harley’s warranty. That being said, your specific installation may make it harder to lodge a warranty claim later on if something is amiss with your fuel delivery system or motor. As such, you should always consult your local Harley dealer if you are concerned about voiding your warranty.
What is a super tuner?
Super tuners are a unique type of motorcycle tuner that allows a user to change a bike's factory-set ECM or electronic control module. As a result, these units can more directly alter a bike’s fuel and air injection rates. These units are often considered illegal by the EPA, though, because they can cause a motorcycle’s emission rate to increase.
Is dyno tuning necessary?
You do not need to dyno tune, necessarily. In fact, dyno tuning is usually only performed when a bike's gas mileage begins to dip, or it starts to exhibit surging or pinging. A dyno tune can resolve many of these issues by returning your bike to its stock fuel economy and then optimizing its performance going forward.
As your friendly digital mechanic, I’ve now taught you everything you need to know about what to look for in a high-quality auto tuner. Soon enough, you’ll be able to purchase one of the top tier models reviewed above and equip it to your Harley Davidson in no time flat.
But if you’re still indecisive about which model to buy, then I want to give you my personal recommendation – the Vance & Hines Fuelpak FP3 66005. This model is equipped with many of the latest auto tuner innovations, including live sensor data output and an expansive calibration library. This model even interfaces with an iPhone via BlueTooth so that you can always keep a close eye on how your Harley is performing.
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