Power commanders usually raise a lot of questions. In general, most people don’t know much about this component, so don’t feel bad for finding yourself here.
As a matter of fact, what does a power commander do for a Harley? In this article, we will answer this question.
Moreover, we will offer you all the advantages and disadvantages, so that you can decide for yourself whether you need a power commander or not.
If you do decide to purchase a power commander, you can find in this article a step-by-step guide on how to install one. Enjoy!
- 1 What Is A Power Commander?
- 2 How Does A Power Commander Work?
- 3 What Does A Power Commander Do For A Harley Davidson?
- 4 Benefits Of Using A Power Commander
- 5 Increases Horse Power
- 6 Improves Ride Experience
- 7 Optimizes Air To Fuel Ratio
- 8 The Potential Drawbacks Of Using A Power Commander
- 9 The Price
- 10 Might Be Unnecessary
- 11 How To Install Power Commander V Harley Davidson? A Step–By–Step Guide
- 12 01. Selecting the right power commander
- 13 02. (Optional) Reprogramming your power commander.
- 14 03. Plugging the power commander into your bike.
- 15 04. (Optional) Using an Auto-Tune Kit
- 16 Frequently Asked Questions of Power Commander of Harley Davidson
- 17 Q: What do power commanders do on Harley Davidson bikes?
- 18 Q: Does a power commander increase horsepower?
- 19 Q: How do power commanders work?
- 20 Q: Is getting a power commander worth it?
- 21 Q: Are power commanders bad for your bike?
- 22 Verdict
What Is A Power Commander?
The power commander is a component that you can attach to your motorcycle.
It is easy to install because all you have to do is attach it between the electronic control unit and the fuel injectors.
Alright, but what is the purpose of a power commander? To put it simply, it optimizes the fuel to air ratio in the engine to increase its performance.
Not only is it an easy-to-use component, but it is also a relatively simple solution for those who want to improve their overall ride experience.
On the other hand, many bikers claim that an individual who does not participate in races, so who does not need a lot of speed, will not need a power commander.
And that is completely true, but here is another very important thing you need to take into consideration:
If you’ve made performance upgrades to your bike, chances are your air to fuel ratio isn’t optimal anymore, but we’ll talk about this later.
How Does A Power Commander Work?
As we’ve explained, a power commander needs to be put between the ECU (electronic control unit) and the fuel injectors and it will optimize the air to fuel ratio situation of your bike.
But isn’t your bike already supposed to do that? Yes, it most definitely is. But let’s say you upgraded your exhaust system on your bike.
If that’s the case, then your bike will most likely run leaner, which means that the ratio is unbalanced and that the fuel percentage is too low compared to the air.
Why does that happen? Because the stock ECU of your bike fails to cope with the new specifications of your bike.
And what you could do in this case is install a power commander in order to get your air to fuel ratio back on track.
What Does A Power Commander Do For A Harley Davidson?
We’re here to discuss potential reasons why you might want to buy a power commander for your Harley Davidson bike.
So, you ride a Harley bike and you plan on buying a power commander. What do you need to know before buying one?
In general, there are not many differences. In almost every way, power commanders work the same on every bike.
These are plug-and-play devices that don’t take up much space. Although they are plug-and-play, they can be customized if you want to adjust their parameters.
In fact, if you want to use a power commander at full capacity and get the most bang for your buck, you could modify the current map file or download a new one from the internet.
In case you didn’t know, most bikes run too lean when they come from the manufacturer.
They do it on purpose in order to make the bike meet the emission regulations.
What this means is that a power commander is going to help your bike a little bit even if you haven’t made any upgrades to its exhaust in the past, because it will increase the percentage of fuel in the air to fuel ratio.
Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to install a power commander by yourself.
But another thing you could do is make the installation with the help of a mechanic as well as a dyno run.
With the dyno run, the mechanic will know exactly how the parameters need to be adjusted to make your bike ride perfectly.
If everything is done correctly, your bike should feel much better. The bike’s going to have better torque and more horsepower.
Overall, you will feel as if the motorcycle is more powerful than before, although all you did was attach a power commander to it.
That being said, you’re probably wondering what power commander we recommend.
Dynojet power commanders are the most popular because the brand has been around for a long time, during which buyers have enjoyed many high-quality components for their motorcycles.
This is very important, however: these products are vehicle-specific, meaning that you have to select your bike on their site and they’ll give you the power commander that fits that particular model.
In general, power commanders for Harley are about $350-400, which is neither too expensive, nor too cheap.
Dynojet power commander you can find to their official website. Select your vehicle to make sure the power commander fits.
And if you do everything correctly, you should see a great improvement on your Harley!
Benefits Of Using A Power Commander
Increases Horse Power
This is an issue that has been raised many times over time. Do power commanders really increase your bike’s horsepower?
The answer is yes, especially if you’ve made modifications in the past to your bike that have altered the air to fuel ratio.
However, if your bike is stock, you might not feel such a big difference in terms of speed. Even so, the next benefit might convince you.
Improves Ride Experience
One of the greatest advantages of using a power commander is that it contains the ride experience to some degree.
Even if your bike is stock, a power commander would increase the drivability, torque as well as throttle response.
In general, this is the reason that might convince casual bikers, who do not necessarily need more speed or more horsepower.
Optimizes Air To Fuel Ratio
If you’ve made any upgrades to your exhaust, it means you’ve increased the airflow through the motor and, as a result, the air to fuel ratio is not optimal anymore.
All you need to do in order to reoptimize that ratio is to install a power commander on your bike, which is going to do that job for you.
The Potential Drawbacks Of Using A Power Commander
Let’s talk about the potential drawbacks of using a power commander on your Harley … if there are any.
First, you need to consider the prices out there. One of these can cost you up to 500 bucks, which might not feel like that much.
Depending on your Harley model, you could even get a power commander for about half that price.
However, before you make the decision of buying one, make sure that money is well spent and that your bike actually needs a power commander.
This leads us to our second point:
Might Be Unnecessary
As I explained earlier, if your bike is running too lean or too rich, a power commander can be of great use in order to reoptimize the air/fuel situation.
And even as the owner of a Harley stock, one of these could potentially enhance the drivability to some degree. But is that what you really want?
This is a question that only you can answer. If you are happy with the condition of your Harley bike, remember that old saying, and don’t try to repair something that’s not broken.
Other than that, it’s really hard to identify potential problems of using power commanders. It is very unlikely that one of these will endanger you or your motorcycle.
How To Install Power Commander V Harley Davidson? A Step–By–Step Guide
If the above reasons have convinced you, in this section, we will explain in detail what you need to do to install a power commander on your Harley Davidson bike.
01. Selecting the right power commander
Step number 1 is a no-brainer because before getting into the actual installation process, you need a power commander that corresponds to your vehicle. This is extremely important.
Earlier I recommended the Dynojet power commanders, so here is a link.
They made it easy for you because all you need to do is select the model and year of your vehicle and they’re gonna give you either a PCIII or a PCV.
02. (Optional) Reprogramming your power commander.
Step number 2 is optional. Before installing the power commander to your bike, you can actually connect it to your computer and select a “map” which you can download from their website.
According to Dynojet, they have over 20,000 preset maps for pretty much every motorcycle model, either in stock configuration or with various upgrades.
You can even tune any map by yourself if you think you know what you’re doing, but chances are that’s gonna be unnecessary because Dynojet offers so many maps for virtually any situation.
03. Plugging the power commander into your bike.
Now you can get down to the actual installation, which is surprisingly easy.
First, you need to unplug the ECU from the fuel injectors and attach the power commander between them.
Finally, find a safe spot for the unit itself, so that it doesn’t botter yours when riding your Harley. And that is it!
There’s nothing else to worry about, apart from giving it a try and seeing how well your bike performs after installing the power commander.
Fortunately, power commanders are much easier to install on Harley Davidson bikes than on other motorcycles.
So, this time, you don’t have to bother with complex installations, just connect the power commander as I explained above.
04. (Optional) Using an Auto-Tune Kit
There’s one last thing that you could do, especially if you don’t like turning the power commander by yourself.
You can buy an Auto-Tune Kit, which is also sold by Dynojet, which optimizes the parameters of your power commander as you ride.
Depending on the weather conditions, depending on the altitude and the barometric pressure, this Auto-Tune Kit will automatically adjust the air to fuel ratio on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions of Power Commander of Harley Davidson
Q: What do power commanders do on Harley Davidson bikes?
A: The role of a power commander is to reoptimize the air to fuel ratio of your bike. They enhance the drivability, torque, and even increase your bike’s horsepower.
Q: Does a power commander increase horsepower?
A: Yes, power commanders increase your bike’s horsepower. That’s especially true if you’ve done upgrades to your exhaust system in the past.
However, if your bike was stock before installing your power commander, you won’t feel too much of a difference.
Q: How do power commanders work?
A: Power commanders are plug-and-play components. For them to work, all you need to do is install them between your ECU (electronic control unit) and fuel injectors.
You can also customize their preset map files by hooking them to your computer using a USB cable.
Q: Is getting a power commander worth it?
A: It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve and on the current state of your bike.
If you think your bike is running either too lean or too rich, buying a power commander could be a great idea.
Even if that’s not the case, a PC can still enhance your ride experience.
Q: Are power commanders bad for your bike?
A: No, they are not dangerous at all. On the contrary, it is very likely to increase your engine’s longevity, since an unbalanced air to fuel ratio can cause some wear and tear to your engine.
We hope the information presented in this article will help you make a decision on power commanders for your Harley bike.
In general, a power commander is a necessary component if you’ve made upgrades to your exhaust or altered the air to fuel ratio in any other way.
Even if you haven’t, one of these power commanders could seriously improve your ride experience.
But for more information, check out the YouTube videos attached down below.