A 2005 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 Gets Quick - S&S Horsepower Upgrade Kit

S&S; Makes Horsepower Easy

01. The S&S; Quick Setup Kit for '04-up Sportsters comes with everything you need to gain a quick 10-plus horsepower. Included are the S&S; Performance mufflers (A), S&S; backing plate (B), air-cleaner cover (C), air-filter element (D), breather vent hose (E), mounting hardware (F), and jet kit (not shown).

02. First things first. The 883ci Sporty was thrown up on the dyno to get some baseline numbers. The bike put out 35.10 hp and 38.37 lb-ft of torque, right where we expected it to be for a stock 883.

03. Once the bike was off the dyno and on a lift, the Lifestyle crew jumped into the process of removing the stock air cleaner. Here's a comparison shot of the stock air-cleaner assembly versus the S&S; kit. Besides the trademark S&S; clamshell air-cleaner cover being shiny enough to put you into a "chroma" (chrome-induced coma), the S&S; air cleaner provides a larger, freer-flowing surface than the stock unit, and, as we all know, more air means more horsepower.

04. Since the new air cleaner allows for more airflow into the carb, S&S; provides a CV carburertor jet kit. The kit for this application includes one needle jet, three main jets (180, 185, and 190), and two slow jets (48, 50). Once the stock backing plate was off, the float bowl was removed to gain access to the jets. The jetting instructions call for a 45 slow jet and NOKH needle jet. The instructions stated that a larger main jet may be necessary, so the Lifestyle crew swapped the stock 180 jet for the larger 185 main jet.

05. Next, the head breather-bolt assemblies were assembled per the instructions.

06. Lifestyle Cycles made sure not to forget the backing-plate brackets when installing the breather-bolt assemblies...

07. ...and then some red thread locker was applied to the bolts before they were screwed into the heads. Next, the rubber T was installed onto the breather bolts.

08. Then, with a fresh gasket placed between the backside of the new S&S; backing plate and the carb, the backing plate was bolted into position.

09. The 1/2-inch steel tube that's included in the kit was then slid into the T on the breather-bolt hose. Then a short piece of rubber tubing that would fit into the notch on the backing plate was installed on the other end of the 1/2-inch steel tube.

10. Next, the S&S; air-filter element was installed onto the backing plate...

11. ...and then the chromed S&S; air-cleaner cover was bolted on. With the air-cleaner portion taken care of, it was time to move onto the mufflers.

12. Swapping mufflers was as simple as loosening the pipes at the heads as well as loosening clamps at the ends of the head pipes. Then the stock mufflers were slipped off, and the new S&S; mufflers were bolted in place.

13. Here's a shot of the S&S; performance mufflers (top) and the stock 883 mufflers. The S&S; mufflers feature a larger tip, which will enhance the sound. They also feature internal baffles, which will help create the proper amount of backpressure, further enhancing performance. Also, the slash-cut tips look a lot cooler.

14. All that was left to do was to run the Sportster on the dyno one last time. After the install, the bike put out 48.27 hp and 44.74 lb-ft of torque. Just as S&S; claimed, the bike gained more than 10 hp (13.17 hp, to be exact), a 37.52-percent increase. It's important to note that the bike peaked in horsepower at approximately 5,700 rpm, whereas during the stock run the bike peaked at about 5,100 rpm and was very jumpy as the rpm increased, with a very large dip in the 2,000-3,000-rpm range. So not only did it gain horsepower, but it now has a longer and smoother powerband.

15. Here's the happy owner (Debbie) with her hopped-up sporty. In less than an hour and for about $500, she was able to turn her timid baby into a speedy teenager looking for a race. After a few weeks of riding, Debbie wrote to us and said, "Thanks for turning me onto the S&S; Quick Setup Kit. It really improved the performance and acceleration. It's like a huge breath of fresh air--what a smooth ride into each gear. And the sound is awesome. Now it sounds like the big boys."

If you're like most of us in the Harley world, then you probably spend the majority of your days (and often sleepless nights) pondering the endless possibilities of achieving more horsepower for your ride. And, more than likely, you probably have a special page earmarked in your favorite parts-distributor catalog or a magazine ad tucked away in your toolbox showcasing a pricy performance package or an even pricier triple-digit high-performance motor that would solve all your problems. And if you're really like the rest of us, then after the paying the mortage, household bills, and bank note on the prized possession in the garage, your tire-shredding horsepower dreams are just that--dreams.

But don't get discouraged--there are plenty of economical options to feed your need for more horsepower that ought to tide you over until you've got the money saved for the performance package of your dreams. One such option is S&S;' new Quick Setup Kits. Released last fall, the Quick Setup Kits consist of an S&S; high-flow air cleaner, S&S; Performance mufflers, and a jet kit for carbureted models. The kits are available for '95-up FLT and Dyna models, '00-up Softail models, and '87-up Sportster models. Aside from being quick and easy to install (hence the name "Quick Setup Kit") the best thing about these kits is that for about $500 you can gain more than 10 horsepower at the rear wheel, depending on the application.

After purchasing an '05 Sporty, our friend Debbie Martin was on a tight budget but wanted to be able to keep up with the big boys when she hit the streets. We felt her pain and turned her on to the S&S; Quick Setup Kit and then sent her and her Sporty over to Lifestyles Cycles in Anaheim, CA, for the painless procedure.