We are asked regularly why we do not sell a "Pod Filter" air intake kit since it would be simple to assemble one. Here is what our testing and
opinion on this type of setup is.
V Star 1100 is equipped with dual Constant Velocity (or "CV") carbs which are designed to work together as a unit utilizing the "black air box" to accomplish its best
performance. This gives the bike the performance advantage of two individual smaller
carbs at lower RPMs (creating more torque), but also gives them the added advantage of working together like much bigger carbs at higher RPMs (creating more horsepower). It's not unlike the
way a two into one exhaust system works but on the other side of the cylinders. The two carbs scavenge vacuum off of each other to create better performance.
The "black box" (as it is often referred to) actually stores vacuum
created between the carbs. This vacuum causes the slides in the stock CV carburetors to lift quicker. It also draws fuel through the main jet faster causing it to hit the tip of the needle harder
which causes the fuel to atomize much better, creating a much better air fuel mixture for combustion.
When you install a pod filter system, you loose that suction function (that sounds like a "Schoolhouse Rock" song) and
forces the two carbs to work independently. This is why
pod filter systems require you to go from a 112 main jet all the way to an absurd 150 or even larger main jet. Think of it like sucking your favorite beverage through a straw, as opposed to
just letting it flow through the straw on its own. To get the same fuel flow without the vacuum, the pod system needs a jet with a much bigger hole to go through.
Performance gains that are "felt" with a pod filter system is actually deceiving. Yes, you do gain some horsepower at
the very top end, but only once the engine finally creates enough vacuum on each separate individual carb. But, you loose potential performance gains at the low and mid RPM range (where a cruiser is designed to run).
So, when the RPMs finally get high enough, it "feels" like a rush of power which is magnified by the actual loss of power at the low RPM range (that is what is deceiving). But by
the time you get to that RPM range, unfortunately it's time to shift gears and you're right back to the
lower RPMs again. What actually is happening is a loss in bottom end power, with a rush at the top end.
So from a stop light what you would experience is this, the bike with a
traditional performance air intake setup will accelerate quicker off
the line, through the mid range, and up into the higher RPM range. Then once the RPMs get high enough, the bike with the pod system will start to catch up. Problem is, by the time that happens, it's time to shift and it
all starts over again.
All of our testing has shown power develops much faster
and at lower RPMs with a traditional performance air intake system utilizing the "black box".
Pod systems have had great social advertising, but if there was an advantage with them, we would simply make one ourselves. We
have decided to not take advantage of that hype.
Another question we are often asked is, "I've installed a pod
air kit, which performance cam should I install to get some of the bottom end performance back?" Well, converting the CV carbs into a pod setup, makes that a proverbial game of "whack a mole". The
solution isn't a different cam, it's a better air intake setup. Then the cam will be able to realize its performance purpose and potential.
We hope that helps with any questions you may have.