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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Classic Thunder Air

I decided to make the move to the Thunder Air Kit using the Cobra FI2000R rather than waiting for my purchase of a PCV with Autotune. I have played with the stock intake a bit by adding a K&N to the stock box, blocking off the fresh air hose, relocating the IAT sensor, all while using the FI2000R. Each step of the way there were incremental effects with the last being a bit of low speed hesitation at times. Using a K&N in the stock box and adding more fuel with the FI2000R made a noticeable difference so I gambled on the Cobra holding me over until I put a real fuel manager on the bike. I chose the stock kit 51010 not because I love the stock covers but I do not like the way the motor looks without the stock covers. Kawasaki was so proud of their stock intake that they finished the cylinder fins around it. Boo!

Before the install with just the sensor relocate and K&N I was running 3,4.5,0 on the Cobra. After the install I am currently at 4.5,4.5,3.2 (just over 3). The bike has some decel rumbling on occasion. The low speed hesitation over the previous setup has improved. Intake noise has increased on throttle. At cruise I cannot tell a difference but I wear a full helmet. Performance has went up a bit. I find myself shifting much later out of 4 and staying in 5th longer when I would have normally flipped over to 6th. I only have one 70 mile ride on this setup so time will tell how well it will run. I would like it to get me to the winter. It seems to be running better than expected. My weakness is certainly the fuel box and I'm fully expecting the PCV to resolve any hesitation issues and make yet another increase in performance. Does the bike run cooler? Have no idea. Classic have no gauges.


Here is a shot of the stock kit before the cover is installed. You can see the IAT sensore on the neck of the bike and the black hole plug and bolt on the kit plugging up the air. You can also see the crankcase hose coming up underneath the kit and going into the plastic elbow. This was the only way to orient this around the TB assembly. Gravity is not on my side here. I also am wondering if I should reroute that someplace else outside the kit as I have wiped up a bit of oil out of my stock air box on several occasions.



Here is a side view with the cover on. This has been posted in other threads as well.



So based on the Classic history of tuning I was prepared for the worst, a wild popping, hesitation pain which would have motivated me to buy the PCV now. I took the chance because the Cobra got me through everything else I did. I am pleased that the bike will run suitably well for the remainder of the season. (At least based on the first ride.) I would advise however not to mess with the Cobra unless your expectations aren't that high and you just want to get some more fuel in the bike without spending a fortune. There will always be more issues on decel and throughout the powerband with a 2000R because it's not designed to take fuel away and add at different points and so on. I've decided to put V&H bigshots on in the winter and sell the 2000R and Cobra 4225's I have on now. They are not a bad combination but since I'm going to hang on to the bike for a while I'd like to get all the HP I can out of it.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:49 PM
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1700Classic,

Your Thunder System looks good! It is essentially what I ordered from Chuckster for use on my 1700 Classic LT. It should arrive any day now!

Did you replace the snorkel and dog bowl on the left side, or did you leave that space open? Like you, I am a little concerned about how unfinished that section of the cylinders looks. If I cannot live with it, I may need to order the Thunder Trim Plate, but that just seems like a lot of cash for a single plate.

Being somewhat on the frugal side, I may try to make my own trim plate from some textured black ABS Sheet I have on hand. At least it would hide the plumbing and bare sections of the jugs. Funny....normally exposed bare cleavage is a good thing
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I think it will work out pretty good in the long run. On the left side I left the bowl and "plastic engineering" on. I figured it would mute down the noise some with it on. Of course I removed the air filter and the duct, 14073 on this chart;

http://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/ho.../I15I1589E1130

Rather than route any air with the duct I figured I'd just leave it off. I'm going to use that empty box to hide stuff, probably an air horn like member David Sheek has done. Good idea! Also the air kit comes with an 18" crankcase replacement hose and I ended up routing through the hole on the left side box that the stock short hose goes through. The kit also comes with a poor excuse for a plug for the fresh air hose and now the hose just sits there as there is nothing to attach it to. Next time the tank is off I will be removing all of it and blocking off at the valve rather than having a loose hose serving no purpose there.

I also like the exposed cylinders on the right motor. A lot of people are happy with it on the 1700 but I prefer to keep them covered. I might get some Vaquero decals for the intakes as my stockers are already showing some wear.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:39 PM
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For what it's worth, I've had no issues with my Cobra FI2000R and have no plans to convert to anything else. It does the job quite nicely. No popping on decel (well, there is a little, but not like some folks have complained about - happens rarely) and my mileage and performance improved nicely. Have had this setup for almost 2 years now. Running with 3rd pot around 3.5 - (first two pots at factory settings) and have Tri-Oval's and Thunder's Stock Air Kit on my '09 VV.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Top K View Post
For what it's worth, I've had no issues with my Cobra FI2000R and have no plans to convert to anything else. It does the job quite nicely. No popping on decel (well, there is a little, but not like some folks have complained about - happens rarely) and my mileage and performance improved nicely. Have had this setup for almost 2 years now. Running with 3rd pot around 3.5 - (first two pots at factory settings) and have Tri-Oval's and Thunder's Stock Air Kit on my '09 VV.
That's good! I can say it ran better than expected. A few more rides and maybe a pot tweak here or there if needed and I'm sure it will get me by for a while. The classic seems to be a little different than the others in the 1700 line when it comes to its sensitivity to air/fuel changes. The only thing different that I can find is the exhaust. I spoke with Racnray about this and per his suggestion I looked in my service manual and a PDF copy of a Nomad that I had and there is no difference in any part of the engine specs. According to Kawasaki's website the Classic makes peak torque about 500 rpm sooner than the rest of the 1700 line. Looking at the specs in the service manuals side by side there is no indication (that I can figure out) for this. I checked information in both the specs chapter at the front and the engine top end chapter (chapter 5)

My mileage on the bike is claiming 37.x mpg... so what's that 32 actual, guess I should calculate.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 07:01 PM
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My plan when I get my Thunder stock cover air filter intake kit,in the next couple days, is to leave the IAT sensor in the intake as i do not have a PCV yet or pipes.the intake charge should be somewhat cooler already with the air kit and with no fuel control yet i want my mixture where the Kawa computer wants it for now with no hesitations as I have it now with the K&N FILTER REPLACEMENT.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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My plan when I get my Thunder stock cover air filter intake kit,in the next couple days, is to leave the IAT sensor in the intake as i do not have a PCV yet or pipes.the intake charge should be somewhat cooler already with the air kit and with no fuel control yet i want my mixture where the Kawa computer wants it for now with no hesitations as I have it now with the K&N FILTER REPLACEMENT.
With no fuel processor it would be to your advantage to move the sensor. The bike already runs lean stock. When moving the sensor you are tricking the ECU into adding more fuel. Because the stock intake is so restrictive and moves hot air, adding the air kit will absolutely change your fuel needs. It may be cooler leaving the sensor in place with the Thunder but it's still in a location that will pull heat soak. I would be less concerned with moving the sensor WITH the PCV. If I were attempting the air kit with no fuel processor I would at minimum move the sensor. There have been a few here that have been happy with just moving the sensor without the use of a full processor. Of course I could be wrong about all of this! I am not aware of anyone using an air kit with stock pipes and no processor. Some say just changing one will result in no need to add fuel. I say add fuel with something before doing anything else.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 1700Classic View Post
With no fuel processor it would be to your advantage to move the sensor. The bike already runs lean stock. When moving the sensor you are tricking the ECU into adding more fuel. Because the stock intake is so restrictive and moves hot air, adding the air kit will absolutely change your fuel needs. It may be cooler leaving the sensor in place with the Thunder but it's still in a location that will pull heat soak. I would be less concerned with moving the sensor WITH the PCV. If I were attempting the air kit with no fuel processor I would at minimum move the sensor. There have been a few here that have been happy with just moving the sensor without the use of a full processor. Of course I could be wrong about all of this! I am not aware of anyone using an air kit with stock pipes and no processor. Some say just changing one will result in no need to add fuel. I say add fuel with something before doing anything else.
Well you may be right ,and i will make that IAT move call when I install the kit.I have no hesitation issues at all with my 2012 VV,even without this throttle mod that everybody rants and raves about.That may change by adding this air kit.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Pulled the cover today and inspected after 3xx miles with the kit. I was expecting some oil from the crankcase hose but it was dry. I disconnected the hose from the elbow on the kit thinking some may have pooled up because the hose loops back up instead of just pointing down as in the stock box. Nothing in the hose. The grease left on then stock cover from the filter indicated a good seal. During the install I reused the stock cover bolts. These didn't work the best so I reattached the cover with supplied bolts from the kit. Overall I have experienced gains particularly in the low and mid range. Nothing mind blowing is happening when I grab a bunch of throttle at 85 mph. Through cruising range the bike runs well with minimal popping and hesitation. My Cobra fuel pots are set to 4.9, 4.5, 3.5 and my sensor is relocated. I may adjust the mid pot up but will wait until my next plug check. This mod is working out better than expected.

2011 Black Vaquero
V&H Slips, Thunder Stock Air, Cobra Fi2000r
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 11:53 AM
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Great Sunday reading....however, I can certainly empathize with your need to constantly wrench on your new bike. Good luck 17, I hope by next season your bike runs flawlessly. To think all I had to do was sign on the dotted line....and I would have had a 17 classic too....however, my gut told me to stick with the 9lt. It has served my needs and the biggest hastle I've had was the recurring fast blinker syndrome....certainly minor. I still have my puter loaded with images of the 1700, with me sitting on it, smiling away....but, I stayed with the 9...and I'm happy I did. I realize the 17 is a different animal..and from all I've read....a bit untamed.

2009 VN900 Classic LT.
Nova Scotia, Canada.
Cobra luggage rack.
Kuryakyn Grand Tourer luggage bag.
Kuryakyn air filter cover.
170/80/15 Metzler rear tire.
Fire and Ice passenger floorboards.
Stage 2 debaffle (screens left intact).
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