Turbo Orca FXR..Ultimate FXR
All your life you've never seen
A woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?
Will you ever win?
Fuck CVO Worship
A stock 1999 CVO2...not ours...just a
photo we found...same paint, same bike though.
We sort of changed it around...LSR
2-1, RSR Closed Loop Fuel Injection, different paint....same 21"
front 16" rear...
A number of years ago we picked up a
1999 CVO2 FXR and put on some old custom paint we had...You know
keeping things stock is illegal and we sure as hell don't
worship this "CVO" business. We put on a different seat and got
rid of the shorter, stiff as hell, shocks and some chrome side
covers we bought from Elvis.
We kept the bike's motor stock and put on one of our 00-1010 B
Style Turn Out exhausts and our RSR Closed Loop Fuel Injection.
Way before this we had a Shovelhead
FXR that Carl Pelletier of Competition Motorcycles had loaned us
for product development. We used it for carburetor and exhaust
testing for several years, like developing the 41mm FCR
carburetor for Keihin Corporation. Then one day Carl called us
up and asked if we still had the FXR as he had a buyer for
$10,000.00. We gave it back to Carl.
We also had a 1987 FXR that we used for turbocharger, exhaust and camshaft development but we eventually pushed it into the corner and then sold it.
Funny story. We let a Yamaha XS1100
owner ride our 1987 Turbo FXR and he came back saying he was
surprised at how well it handled, even when it was dragging
things, but that "It seemed to flatten out around 9000
RPM"...flying over the Vincent St. Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.
Ouch! ..It sounded a bit rough when he brought it back..Pieces
of piston rings were coming out the exhaust. The Branch heads
had bits of rings embedded in them.
We should have kept it but we needed the money. Enter the CVO2 pictured above.
Another FXR we got involved with. Read about it here.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man bike. FXR's or Die as Elvis says.
The ultimate FXR for some...not for
FXR CVO2 Round Two
We got bored with the former CVO2 and
its smallish 3.5 gallon gas tank so we adapted an FLHX 5 gallon
tank, painted the bike and changed the wheels. We also converted
it to chain drive and got rid of the 21" front wheel that we
never liked and adapted a 19" Dyna front wheel. We got rid of
the shorter rear CVO rear shocks and put on 13.5" shocks
for better ground clearance and a Dresser rear wheel.
Result: It handled better, we could drive further without looking for a gas station and we got 56 MPG. We ended up putting in a 24 cell Lithium Battery as it held at 13.3 VDc even after siting for months, and had less of a voltage drops in cranking, which gave it much better and quicker starting. EFi simply hates voltage drops...Anything below 11VDc and the fuel pump output declines drastically. We still left the engine stock...no cams.
We added our instrumentation
consisting of our digital Orca Bonneville Tach, GPS Speedometer
, Digital Gear Indicator and our Dual RSR Air Fuel Ratio Gauge.
The 5 gallon tank gave us a 200 mile range under closed loop
efi. We left the tank and fenders with a painter and he came up
with the copper/bronze color.
Everyone drove the bike. It was sort
of quick, mainly because it was about 300 lbs lighter than a
Dresser and it had instantaneous throttle response with our 56mm
RSR EFi. Then we got locked into Bonneville, advanced Cosworth
electronics and the Bullett. There was no time to work on the
FXR. Racing eats all your time and money.
Bonneille...FXR Turbo Development
Well, we spent a lot of time and
money setting records at Bonneville and since the late 1980's
and we have constantly been developing Turbocharged Intercooled
ORCA Turbo Motors and fuel injection technology. We set records
on BMW's, Kawasakis, Suzukis and Harley's...at El Mirage, Muroc,
Maxton, and Pro Gas Drag Racing Champioships...pretty much on
our nickel. Ouch!
Over 400 HP on long course at
Bonneville. Once you ride the Bullett you don't want a stock 80"
FXR anymore. The Bullett occupied all of our time and
money and any development on the FXR ground to a halt. FXR, the
Stepsister. We left the Bullett in 2017 after spending many tens
of thousands of dollars and getting a soft 200 mph record (poor
conditions) that held for 5 years. Untold 3000 mile round trips.
Time to work on our own projects. As
we were told by a famous tuner..."There is no end to free".
Men in Black....
When you spend more
40 years... Holy Shit where did the time go!... working on
and designing high performance motorcycles and equipment,
spending untold thousands of hours, and more late nights and
lost weekends than you can imagine, a lot of people get dragged
into the Vortex.
A large cast of characters, both good
and bad, from many continents, have at one time or another
hitched a ride on the RB Racing Express...and then faded away.
Once the party starts they show up and once the party is over
they head for the door. Something about not living with the
consequences, or just being practical, whatever that is. As the
song says "Players only love you when they're playing".
Good or nice people can make our
lives more interesting..people are always interesting but, when
it come to race bikes, it sort of boils down to one person and
the rest sitting in chairs.
The Bullett has
a test bed for ORCA Engine technology and it's complexity is
way, way, beyond things we have done before. 139 cubic inch
"EVO", water cooled, 60mm fly by wire throttle body, water
injected and intercooled.
It forced us to confront engineering
issues and learn new disciplines. 1000 lbs, no higher than your
waist, 45 degrees of rake and over 400 hp with a 560 HP Turbo...
Advanced Cosworth electronics, phase anti-phase boost control
and traction control. One hell of a lot on RB Racing's plate as
no one else understood or wanted to understand the technical
Only designed for Bonneville, it is the ultimate pushrod motorcycle and is a handful to ride until it settles down around 100 mph. Geared for 300 mph @6500 rpm it is not something you putt around on...but once you've driven it, you want that kind of power and sophistication that you can hop on anytime...like a lightweight flick-able FXR.
We got a soft 200 mph record under
poor salt conditions then ended our Bullett development and
participation in 2017 on our terms.
Why not take the Bullett's ORCA Engine and control technology and put it into an FXR...Screw the stock 80" CVO2. We are upping the complexity and control we learned at Bonneville and applying this to our FXR. Something we can ride every day...and not have to deal with people that do not believe in either learning or testing complex systems.
Take a 113" S&S SA B1 motor we
had previously developed and use it... Or a new variation on the
same and adapt it to our much modified CVO2 FXR.
Lots of decisions to make...Like go
radical , or be somewhat practical, or prep it to race, or
simply do all of the above. It's all ground zero. Write yourself
a check and get going. Development is a bitch.
Round Three...Come Up with a Plan
Since we've been around for awhile and have a long memory for things we are interested in, and since we had spent a lot of time at Camber Fairing in 1977 with Jerry Greer working on our 1977 Bol D'Or Monoshock racers body work and fuel tanks, we knew Jerry had been involved with Don Vesco and his Rabid Transit fairings that were marketed for a few years to the BMW and Jap crowd. We tracked two down and adapted one to our FXR before we stripped it down.
Why? Simply because around 180 mph,
and faster, the wind gets a bit fierce and you need a frame
mounted fairing that is wide enough to get your shoulders
behind...The Rabid Transit fairing is a hand-laid, sturdy piece
because Jerry knew his craft. A very sophisticated aero design
that gives good protection...Way better than an FXRT
fairing. Get down on the tank and look over the fairing's
We fabbed up these mounts and had them powder coated. They bolt to the steering head and frame.
FXR Turbo Cockpit...
We welded up a set of stainless
handlebars prepared for our 60mm Bosch Turbo Fly By Wire
Throttle Body. No available bars will fit... they have to be
made. Your hands are out of the air stream and the bars go full
lock staying inside the fairing. No ape hangers. No forward
controls. Lock to lock inside the fairing.
Bye bye to our previous FLHX 5 gallon tank...She was too wide for the Rabid Transit fairing. We only have 1/2"clearance side to side with the smaller tank. We'll get the lost gas capacity back another way.
Clutch Cable Through
Once you start this you have to make
all sorts of adaptations. In this case, the low bars are
designed to keep your hands out of an 180 mph airstream and
inside the fairing even at full lock.
This necessitated running the clutch
cable through the bars and welding on a stainless steel exit
tube with an internal Delrin liner.
FXR Narrow Glide Forks
Modification for the wider 17" rim, front tire, and custom fender we will be using.
Narrowglide forks are definitely not
made for the wider 110/70ZR-17 Michelin Pilot front tire. 120
series tires are too wide. We machined off the inner oem fender
mount to make room for the 110 series tire on the 3.5" Buell
rim.... Tire has a wider footprint than the 21" original tire.
We made a temporary fender / fender
We then fabricated a temporary two piece clamp-on fender support. We will be installing a machined fork brace. Final finished position above. Very solid.
The chromed FXR2 single disc forks
have a 3/4 axle. A separate 60 tooth wheel sensor is added to
get front wheel speed for speedometer / odometer as well as
traction control functions.
FXR Turbo Oil Bag Transmission
The smaller gas tank just was not
going to get us the range we needed even at 50 mpg
fuel-injected. Our solution was to ditch the FXR Transmission
and Oil Bag and put in a 1998 Bagger transmission with integral
oil bag/pan. In place of the FXR's oil bag we are building a
stainless steel secondary gas tank with an external fuel pump,
regulator, and filter..
No, we are not going to cut the 1998 Evo Bagger Oil Pan to clear the under motor braces. Having welded on castings a lot in the past you get into porosity issues and we do not want to lose any oil capacity.
No, we are not going to use a Twin
Cam engine. Twin cams suck.
Secondary, under the seat, Gas Tank:
Fuel feed, bypass, vent to main tank, float level sending unit,
and a secondary fuel tank gauge in the fairing.
A Bosch temperature sensor monitors
the fuel return or bypass temperature. We are using a fuel
cooler to drop the fuel temperatures as the main gas tank sits
above the hot motor.
In addition, the secondary fuel tank
acts like a surge reservoir keeping fuel and not gulps of air
fed to the pump... Unlike an in-tank Harley pump in a gas tank
shape that was never meant for efi in-tank feed with fuel
We put in a vent that goes back up,to
the main tank.
FXR Turbo Bypass Fuel Return
We welded in a stainless return vent
port that runs from the top of the secondary tank to the main
tank. A stainless tube extends to the top of the main tank to
vent air from the secondary tank.
.625 Transmission shaft with machined
spacers for Twin Cam Dresser 2008 Swingarm spherical bearings.
We are using a 2008 Touring Swingarm that we have modified for 2" chain adjustment. We use the CVO2's 5/8" pivot shaft with our $895.00 swingarm that uses the 2008 Spherical Bearings. There are no more Delkron FXR cases for 3/4" pivot shafts. Don't try to drill the bagger transmission for the 3/4" shaft.
Pictured above is our FXR Turbo Orca swingarm with 1" higher shock mounts. It has 2" of adjustment for the chain drive and uses a 25mm late model axle for a 17" Sportster rear wheel. The 2008 Swingarm has been modified to use our 5/8" 1999 FXR CVO2 transmission pivot shaft. A late model 4 piston CVO Dresser caliper provides the rear stopping power.
We are using a 1998 Dresser Oilbag 5
speed transmission with Jims Fat5 gears.
The FXR does not come with a steering
damper so we fabbed one up. We welded a saddle with a 1/4"
steel tab to the left down tube and machined in an offset anchor
point into the triple clamp
You don't want to be on a 29 degree
rake, 300 Hp FXR, with 39mm Narrowglide forks, even with a fork
brace, without a steering damper.
At Bonneville steering dampers are
required and you have to limit the fork stops to about 10-15
degrees left to right from center to save your ass if you get
into a wobble. The damper cannot act as a stop. Having been in a
lock-to-lock horizon-altering wobble at 172 mph in 1985 at
Bonneville verified the need for limited lock on a race bike. We
made a bolt in limiter for the FXR.
Cosworth ICD Dash
Our handlebars are not stuck up in
the air like the "Ape Hanger" style bars everyone else has come
up with when they try to make fairings for FXRs. The bar
arrangement pictured above comes from Big Bear Choppers. You
might remember them from their previous Chopper ventures. They
were going to put Harley out of business. They folded shop...now
they are making FXR clones and trying to force Dyna technology
to the engine mount system (!!!).
We are go fast racers, not
cruisers, and we don't need to show the world our armpits.
Strip Her... Show No
Take her down to ground zero. With
ORCA Turbo Power and Cosworth Pectel
SQ6M Electronics all the stock stuff has to go. Pull out
the CVO2 FXR 80" EVO and donate it to the Men In Black (Bryan
Stock) , replacing a worn out RevTech motor in Bryan's son's
bike Nick. Bryan thanked us. Nick did not.
We also donated a Twin Cam 88 with
Branch Heads, SE251 cams and an updated SE Oil
System out of our Turbo Road Glide (Road Toad) to Bryan, as his
own 95" Twin Cam in his chopped Dresser had passed the 100,000
mile mark and his Twin Cam was on it's last legs. Bryan upped
the 88 to 95" and corrected a mistake Ron Kravitsky had made in
the cam chain tensioner assembly...It runs "sweet" as Bryan
said. They call him "Flying Bryan" for a good reason.
Since the FXR was all apart we took a
set of STD heads we had planned to use on the 80" EVO down to
Branch O'Keefe so one of the Men in Black in Idaho could get a
good breathing EVO. The heads were later returned unused after
we split in 2017, so we sold them for what we had in
them...$1,400.00 to turbo customer.
Off to Dr John's Motorcycle Frame Straightening
Next : Take the bare frame down to Doctor John's to have it checked for straightness...If you put 300 hp to the road the chassis better be straight. It wasn't.
FXR Frame Blueprint
It all starts from known dimensions...FXR frame blueprint above. You have to have a frame table that has fixtures that will locate the centerline off of the neck and the swingarm pivot block locations. Rubber-mounted Harleys have special alignment procedures as the engine transmission and swingarm do their own things.
Back from Doctor John's...$500.00
worth of tweaking to get it perfect. He's the go to guy for
chassis alignment and repairs. We used to make racing frames and we build 200 mph
bikes. There was no way we were going to wind out the FXR with
25 lbs of boost without having the chassis checked. The frames
are not necessarily straight when they come from the factory.
Bye Bye Stock
Arm...FXR Turbo Swingarm
The stock FXR swingarm is way too weak for 300 HP. We do chain drive conversions for Dressers and FXRs so it wasn't a stretch cut up a 2008 FLT swingarm and put in higher shock eye mounts so we can use taller shocks with the tires we are running.. With all the changes we have 6.25" of ground clearance and a better rear swingarm angle.
Ground Clearance: OEM FXR's had
anywhere from 5.25" to 6.12" of ground clearance as Harley
marketing kept pushing the seat height lower trying to sell more
bikes as "Cruisers" and not "Go fast through the corner
types", chasing Japanese sport bikes. We'll stay with 6.5"
for the initial testing. 2" longer forks inpack sidestand
Racing Monoshocks had seat heights of 30", raised folding
spring-loaded footpegs, and lean angles of 50+ degrees. Our FXR
ORCA has a seat height of 29.5".
Stock FXR's have around 30 degrees of
lean angle before you tuck your toes up and start scraping
Pictured above is our FXR Turbo Orca swingarm (modified 2008 Dresser) with 1" higher shock mounts. It has 2" of adjustment for the chain drive and uses a 25mm late model axle for a 17" Sporster rear wheel. Stronger than oem FXR swingarm, it has been modified to use our 5/8" 1999 FXR CVO2 transmission pivot shaft. A late model 4 piston CVO Dresser caliper provides the rear stopping power.
We are using a 1998 Dresser Oil Bag 5
speed transmission with Jims Fat5 gears.
We raised the shock mounts to use with 13.5" shocks to get 6.5" of ground clearance with the smaller diameter 150 x 60-17 rear tire and the 17" front tire. We get an improved swingarm angle of 6 degrees downward as an additional benefit.
FXR Swingarm with Stock Shock Locations
FXRs have different pivot to axle
lengths as well as shock locations compared to Dressers. This is
our FXR Swingarm with the stock shock location for an FXR.
FXR's had crappy rear brakes and the
original caliper mount would not work anyway with the new,
larger, 25mm rear axle. Simply use a late model 4 piston FLT
We sell these to FXR owners who put in 111/124" motors which still allows them to retain their 5/8" pivot shaft and use the late model spherical bearings.
Switch to late model caliper and
disc, typically 2008 and later with 11.8" disc.
FXR Twin Cam (pre
2009) 5/8" Shaft Spherical Bearing...No Plastic B.S.
In the picture above,
at the top, are some really questionable aftermarket Delrin
spacers that are sold with tubular inserts that, with the help
of some grease/paste, are supposed to act as bearings and
pivot in the Delrin. This is by no means a bearing in any
sense of the word. It is patently stupid...crude with
stiction. Those go in the trash.
At RB Racing we
machine up some spacers, black items pictured above, that
allow you to use the OEM 9208 Spherical Bearing...that is
actually a real bearing...and allows you to retain your one or
two-piece 5/8" axle. We install these in the pre 2009 Twin Cam
swingarms we modify for 2" adjustment, high horsepower, FXRs.
Use only Harley 9208 bearing. Don not buy others off of
If you choose to do
this be aware you must change your rear wheel, axle, and brake
assembly for the 25mm rear axle and later model brake
calipers. Do not attempt to drill or ream your
transmission case for the late 3/4" axle. There may be more
stronger Delkron FXR cases with 5/8" and
3/4"pivots...even though Delkron went away long ago.
We can supply the complete swingarm ready to fit your FXR or earlier EVO Dressers. FXR and Dresser swingarms have different shock locations.
FXR Turbo Battery....Time to Cut her up.
We checked around for the best
battery..i.e. the highest cranking capacity for our 126 Road Toad and 139
Cubic Inch Bullett motors and found that Absorbent
Glass Mat (AGM) was our best option, and that the only
battery more powerful than the OEM Harley Batteries
(DEKA) that we had been using was this Yuasa Battery
with 500 CCA. GYZ32HL.
We tested a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery in a smaller 80 Inch Evo motor and it worked very well for a year, always starting the efi instantly and maintaining a 13.2VDC charge...When we tried the same 24 cell battery on the Bullett it cranked very quickly but gave up quickly.
In talking to the battery engineers at what we consider to be the best Lithium Battery manufacturer, earthX , they told us the following:
"Based on your engine size (139CID), which as a V-twin engine requires much more cranking amps than a V-8 truck, we do have a battery that has 1,000 cranking amps which should keep the voltage from dropping and affecting your EFI. The model number is ETX48E and weighs only 7.7 pounds. . The bad news is this battery costs $699.00 .
Lithium batteries are very
different than a lead acid battery in that if you pull
too much cranking amps from the battery in order to
start the bike, you will damage the cells. They are
not as robust as an AGM battery and for your type of
application, it is very hard on any battery but I
would think an AGM would fare better. This
probably isnít what you wanted to hear but lithium
batteries are fantastic in the right application but
your bike's demands are at the upper edge of use."
Rare to find honesty these days. AGM Yuasa it is.
Make a fake wood battery with the new Yuasa GYZ32HL dimensions and cut up some stainless 16 gauge 304 stainless steel sheet. The seat frame brace has to be cut out and moved back and that means the fender has to be modified also. Fabricate a new battery hold-down and isolate the "battery" on all sides with rubber. A circular stop is added for the bump stop under the oem seat pan.
Sheet metal the cut out in the rear
fender to allow clearance for the bigger AGM battery.
FXR Turbo Compressor Discharge Valve
On shifts, or closing the throttle under boost, this valve vents the pressure to prevent compressor surge wherein the boost goes backward through the compressor. Here we are testing it for function with boost and vacuum signals.
Compressor Discharge Valve
sockets into rear of the plenum. 60mm Bosch Fly By
Wire Throttle entry and two ports for the
Phase-Antiphase Wastegate Pectel SQ6M boost
control...Boost by gear, programmed throttle openings,
and eight levels of traction control.
Stay Tuned..It's going to get complicated.
With over 8800 programming categories in the Cosworth Pectel SQ6M and a 360HP turbocharger, like we use on our 126 SAB2 Road Toad, we choose to use the Superflow CycleDyn for our development. Safer than running from the cops...not that we used to. Freeway cameras, helicopters, people on cell phones...you get the idea. With the Bonneville Bullett you can't do road testing...It's the Dyno and the Salt Flats.
Carbon Monoxide is a killer. It has to be positively scavenged and discharged away from the building. All exhaust fumes must be vented so the operator and the engine cannot re-breathe spent gases. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and flat-ass dangerous. We have a CO meter on the dyno operators console.
The FXR can be ridden to perfect
things in the real world and the Superflow CycleDyn is
about as close to the real world loads and speeds
(200mph) as you are going to get without leaving the
shop...Like Tom Bookhamer's 120CID Harley Bonneville
bike being tuned by Shane Tecklenburg on our CycleDyn.
Shane is the top Zen Master Motec Guru. Tom drove out
to RB Racing, all the way from Florida, to get his
M130 Motec tweaked. 8" stainess exhaust extraction
with an 1100CFM fan. No carbon monoxide in the shop.
We'll do initial testing on the FXR on the Superflow CycleDyn...A long way to yet go before we get to that point.
These days there are cameras everywhere on the freeways. There are automatic license plate readers. People call the cops and take pix on their cell phones...and the Highway Patrol and local cops seem to have lost their sense of humor. It's dynos and eyes in the back of your helmet these days..or go way out in the middle of nowhere.
"Hold on, hold on, my brother
My sister, hold on tight
I finally got my orders
I'll be marching through the morning
Marching through the night
Moving cross the borders
Of my secret life..."