is harley stage 1 worth it

Is Harley Stage 1 Worth It? – Guide to Upgrading Your Harley

For many motorbike lovers, Harley Davidson motorcycles are the ultimate dream. The roar of the engine and feeling of freedom when you cruise down a long stretch is incomparable.

Are you searching for ways to optimize your Harley? Well, the Stage 1 upgrade is here to help. But should you invest in it? In this article, we will examine what upgrades are included with the Stage 1 package, how much it costs and if it’s a worthwhile investment.

What is the Stage 1 Upgrade?

Take your Harley Davidson to the next level with the Stage 1 upgrade. To answer the question, is Harley stage 1 worth it, we must first understand what it involves.

This three-pronged process involves changing out the air cleaner, exhaust pipes and adjusting either carburetor or EFI system so that more power can be harnessed. Ore air will flow into your engine which is balanced with more fuel for an improved performance you’ll notice right away. It also has a bonus – a robust sound to let everyone know you’ve arrived.

What Does Stage 1 Entail?

Accordingly to many tuning houses, the three parts of the Stage 1 upgrade are:

  1. Changing the Air Cleaner for More Air Flow
  2. Changing Out the Pipes for More Air Flow
  3. Adjusting the Carb or Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) to Put More Gas into the Mix

Upgrading your motorbike can be a costly endeavor, and the extent of the expenses depends on how you choose to go about it. If you decide to do it yourself by replacing air cleaner, pipes and carburetor with homemade parts, then this may potentially come at an inexpensive rate but carries a large risk of damaging your bike beyond repair.

On the other hand, if purchasing new versions of those items along with professional installation is more in line for what you’re looking for financially then that could end up costing as much as $1500 USD.

If you choose to take on the task yourself, your total expenses will amount to approximately $500. On the other hand, if you employ Harley Davidson for this work, it’ll be more costly.

What are the Pros and Cons of Stage 1 Upgrade?

Before you commit to the Stage 1 upgrade, it’s imperative that you carefully consider all aspects. Thus, let’s dive into each in more detail.

Pros of Stage 1 Upgrade

Better Performance

After the upgrade, riders report their bike runs cooler and experiences better torque, high-end performance, and a wider range of gears thanks to improved airflow and balanced fuel mixture.

Better Sound

One of the most noteworthy benefits of upgrading is the loud, signature Harley roar that comes with it. This is a must-have for Harley fans who crave an authentic classic rumble from their ride.


The pipes and air cleaner cover add an edgier aesthetic to the bike, making it more desirable for both the rider and onlookers.

Cons of Stage 1 Upgrade


Weighing the cost of upgrading your audio equipment against the improved sound quality and performance is essential before committing to a professional installation. Ultimately, it’s up to you if the added investment is worth it.

The Minimal Power Boost

Although the upgrade will offer a slight improvement in performance, it is not substantial. Some riders have observed an increase of up to 10% in power, but for those who don’t ride frequently or competitively, this boost may be too expensive to invest in.

Is Harley Stage 1 Worth It Price Wise?

The question of whether the Stage 1 upgrade is a worthwhile investment varies depending on your individual ambitions. If you strive for improved performance and an edgier sound, then investing in this upgrade would certainly be worth it.

If you’re looking for a substantial surge in power, it may be best to explore other options that can provide more of an increase. However, if only minor improvements are desired, Stage 1 upgrades could be the way to go – many riders have reported a notable upsurge in torque and power after installation.

When deciding whether to upgrade, it’s essential to take the costs into account. If you are personally proficient with tools and can do the work yourself, this could help save on expenses. On the other hand, if professional assistance is needed for your upgrade project, be aware that it might get pricey.

When weighing the potential upgrade, it’s essential to contemplate your desired outcomes. If you’re an occasional weekend rider who doesn’t take long trips or races, then a Stage 1 enhancement may not be ideal for you; but if you often traverse great distances and/or participate in competitions, this might be worth considering.

When making the decision on whether the Stage 1 upgrade is a worthwhile investment, it’s crucial to take into account your own personal needs and wants. If you desire a noticeable power increase or are trying to save money with the purchase, then the Stage 1 upgrade may not be ideal for you.

Other Harley Upgrades to Consider

If you conclude that the Stage 1 upgrade is not your best option, Harley has plenty of alternatives to mull over. Here are a few potential choices:

Stage 2 Upgrade

Upping your game to Stage 2 means swapping out the camshafts, which gives a major power boost. Despite the higher price tag compared to Stage 1, it offers an even larger improvement in performance.

High-Performance Exhaust

Investing in an exhaust upgrade can provide you with a massive boost in performance and sound. Whether it be full systems or slip-on mufflers, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.

High-Performance Air Cleaner

Elevating your air cleaner can result in improved engine performance, as more oxygen will flow to the motor. There are a variety of options accessible, including high-performance filters and intake systems that offer unparalleled power.

Fuel Management System

Outfitting your vehicle with a fuel management system offers the benefit of better mileage and improved tuning capabilities. As an added bonus, it also boosts performance and creates a much smoother driving experience.

The Verdict – Is Harley Stage 1 Worth It

In conclusion, the Stage 1 upgrade is an ideal way for Harley riders to improve their bike’s overall performance and sound. Before making your decision on whether or not to pursue this particular modification, however, it’s important you factor in both its cost and what improvements you wish to obtain from such a change.

Are you searching for a more conspicuous power increase? Look no further than the Harley-Davidson Stage 2 upgrade. Furthermore, if you are keen to amplify your performance even more, upgrading your exhaust system, air cleaner or fuel management system can be advantageous too.

If you’re considering a performance upgrade for your Harley, the Stage 1 option is an ideal choice to maximize power and sound without breaking the bank. That being said, this important decision should be made after doing adequate research and examining all possibilities at hand. After all, it’s ultimately up to YOU as to what kind of model will best fit your needs.


Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about is Harley stage 1 worth it:

What is the Stage 1 upgrade?

Rev up your Harley Davidson motorbike and make it roar with the Stage 1 upgrade. This modification involves switching out the air cleaner system, exhaust pipes, as well as tuning either carburetor or electronic fuel injection (EFI) for a better performance and sound. Take your ride to the next level with this thrilling switch-up.

How much does the Stage 1 upgrade cost?

The price tag of the Stage 1 upgrade can be influenced by whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional. It could cost anywhere between $500 and an extravagant sum upwards of $1500+.

How much of an increase in power can I expect from the Stage 1 upgrade?

By upgrading to Stage 1, your bike’s horsepower can skyrocket up to 10%, contingent on the type of bike and modifications you make. Many riders have experienced this surge in power firsthand.

Will the Stage 1 upgrade void my bike’s warranty?

Although the Stage 1 upgrade generally won’t void your bike’s warranty, it is strongly advised to check with your dealership before modifying or altering any features of your motorcycle.

Can I do the Stage 1 upgrade myself?

If you have the technical skills and feel comfortable completing the Stage 1 upgrade, then by all means do it yourself. However, if your DIY aptitude is not up to par, investing in a professional would be best for optimal results.

Will the Stage 1 upgrade improve my bike’s sound?

Absolutely. The Stage 1 upgrade will transform your bike’s audio, providing a more menacing growl that you are sure to appreciate.

Is Harley Stage 1 worth it investment wise?

If you’re searching for enhanced performance and audio, the Stage 1 upgrade may be a worthy expense. On the other hand, if you only cycle on weekends in a casual fashion, it could be an unnecessary investment. It all comes down to your individual preferences and needs.

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