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Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Torture Tests

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Torture Tests

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Torture Tests

Scroll down for all videos and technical information below videos.

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Water Torture Test

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Pressure Torture Test

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Shock Torture Test

Big Dog Motorcycles EHC RIP Kit Proof


Big Dog Motorcycles are known for being built with premium parts that deliver the highest performance available anywhere in the American V-Twin class.  Like many high-performance machines, the environments in which these parts must survive can be extremely violent.

Big Dog Motorcycles’ Engineering Division developed a special department dedicated entirely to measuring these environments and engineering parts to withstand them.   The findings of this Department confirmed what the warranty department was seeing…The service life of the main computer on the 2003-2011 Big Dog Motorcycles is the “weak link” in an otherwise robust chain.

Most Big Dog Owners cringe when they hear the three simple letters: E.H.C.  “EHC” stands for “Electronic Harness Controller.”  This computer supplies power to all the different systems on the motorcycle.  Originally designed by aircraft engineers, the EHC is a magnificent design in theory but the physical application was a different story.

The theory was to produce a computer that uses low-current circuits and internal fuses (known as “fets”) to eliminate much of the bulk associated with the conventional electrical system options at the time.

The EHC computer also employed multiple safety and theft-prevention features that helped protect both the owners of the motorcycles, and the manufacturing company.

The EHC computers were put through many hours and miles of testing before ever being implemented into the production motorcycles for the 2004 model-year.  However, nobody can test a motorcycle’s durability like the American Consumer and when the warranty claims started showing an increasing number in EHC failures, Big Dog recognized there was a problem.

After many revisions to the original design without success, Big Dog finally aborted the EHC program for a fuse-and-relay design called the “PDM Kit” short for “Power Distribution Module.”

This system was also plagued with failures as it still requires the use of a solid-state computer to allow functionality of the momentary hand control buttons.

A couple other aftermarket wiring companies came and went but only had marginal success because the systems were complicated and required much labor and modification to the bike’s original harnesses.

It wasn’t until a group of Big Dog Factory veterans decided to fix the problem once and for all and developed a lasting solution…Known today as the EHC R.I.P kit.  The design strategy was simple:

  1. Identify what causes the EHCs to fail.
  2. Identify a vendor that has been making motorcycle electrical systems with a proven track record of success.
  3. Simulate and test the new part with those causes identified in #1 above.

Here are our findings:

  1. What are the primary causes for EHC Failure?
    1. Shock Accelerometers measured over 50 Gs within the battery tray environment where the EHC is located.  This means the internal parts of the EHC were oscillating so fast they must withstand 50 times their original weight.
    2. Moisture We found water could easily enter the EHC at its connector and cause catastrophic failure to the unit.
    3. Current Minor changes in current (amperage) would cause the system to fail.  The best way to describe this phenomenon is a water pipe example.  Imagine a water pipe that is 100-feet long and has a 1-inch internal diameter.  If this pipe springs a small leak (or two) in the middle, the output at the exit- end will definitely be noticeably reduced.  Now imagine the same pipe but this time it has a 4-foot inner diameter.  If this pipe springs the same-size leak in the middle of the pipe, it will be unnoticeable at the exit-end of the pipe.  This is a simplified example of how electrical system faults can happen on a motorcycle.  In the EHC’s case, something as simple as a pinched tag light wire can short out the whole system.
  2. Identify a vendor—Fortunately, the list of vendors with a successful history of manufacturing computers for V-twin motorcycles is relatively short.  The vendor that we came back to time and time again was Thunderheart Performance.  This company has the longest and most-successful history of making computers for Harley Davidson’s and custom motorcycles compared to all the others.
  3. Simulate and test the new computer.  We tested each computer for the causes listed above and posted videos of them on YouTube to prove the durability of the new system.
    1. Water Test: We tested the computer for water-resistance by completely submerging the computer underwater.  All tests were performed without a single failure.
    2. Shock: We first ran the new computer over with the front tire of a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel truck.  The computer came away unscathed.  The next test was to drag the computer behind the truck and through some puddles to see if bouncing around on asphalt would damage the internals of the computer.  Yet again the computer came away with “battle wounds” but functioned flawlessly.  Next we shot the computer with a shotgun at 50-feet.  The first tests were performed with light birdshot and barely dented the computers’ housings.  Again, no failures.  We wanted to find the true failure point of these computers so we loaded up the 12-gauge shotgun again with full-power loads and were able to completely destroy the computers.  To our surprise, when one computer was removed from the destroyed outer-housing it still operated all the systems on the test-motorcycle with the exception of the ignition.  We feel these simple tests are far beyond the environments in which the new computer must operate.
    3. Current The new system uses a much higher current load while still remaining a 12-volt system.  This condition can be hard to test so we simply simulated false-grounds throughout the test motorcycles and were unable to cause the computers to fail.

As mentioned above, nobody can test a product like the American Consumer.  We have been selling this computer system (EHC RIP Kit) for over 3-years and with hundreds of these on the road.

It is also the same system we use on the new 2016 production Big Dog Motorcycles.  Not a single computer has failed at the time of this writing.  There were some early failures from mis-pinning harnesses at the factory that have caused less than a handful of failures to date.

Mis-pinning failures have since been eliminated by employing a third-party company to test each harness before it ships out the door.  Please don’t be fooled by our competitors’ copies and claims.  Their only attempt to compete with us is to publish false information and post bad reviews online under fictitious names.  I can guarantee they do not have the quality control or even the proper equipment to compete at our level.

We don’t get into the “mudslinging.”  We beat our competition the good ‘ol fashioned way be offering the highest-quality product, fastest lead-time, and unmatched product support.  If you are interested in learning more about the EHC RIP Kit, we are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday 9am-5pm CST via phone at 316-2620-8039 or you can visit us online at www.bigdogisback.com .

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