Harley Stage 1 vs. Stage 2 vs. Stage 3: Complete Overview

For years, motorcycles have been a popular mode of transportation, and Harley Davidson has played a significant role in this. Bicycling is freeing and convenient for many people. It is now more than just a part of our way of life.

People tend to upgrade stages according to their demands because bikes now have their show businesses; for example, races, tours, and so on. They are highly user-friendly because the up-gradation allows the traditional bike users to have high-end bike power within a reasonable price range for a good period.

This article is a compact and effective comparison between Harley Stage 1 Vs. Stage 2 Vs. Stage 3. Stages 1, 2, and 3 are mostly in the initial stages of the modification.  Well, take a look at all the specifications.

Harley Stage 1 vs. Stage 2 vs. Stage 3: Comparison Chart

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3
No change in valvesOptional change in valvesBig diameter and valve modification
Power boost of – 10% – 15%Hp improvements 20%-25 %HP improvements30%-40%
No compressionHigher compressionIncreased compression
Exhaust and tuning upgradeTorque and power kit upgradeStage 2 + big bore cylinders and pistons
Lower air and fuel flowModerate air and fuel flowHigher air and fuel flow
Approx. $780- $1000 + labor costApprox. $1000- $1500Approx.  $1800 + labor cost

Harley Stage 1 vs. Stage 2 vs. Stage 3: A Complete Overview

Stage1: Stage 1 usually includes exhaust and intake modifications to an otherwise standard engine, as well as the proper EFI Tuner. The majority of Stage 1 upgrades provide a power boost of 10% to 15% overstock. Stage 1 upgrade comprises changing the air filter, exhaust system, and metering system of fuel to boost speed and performance.

Stage 1 air filters and exhaust systems provide the delightful experience that all Harley riders seek, as well as boost efficiency. This Stage 1 upgrade doesn’t need an internal Harley-internal Davidson’s engine to be modified.

Stage 2: In general, Stage 2 has +20-25 % higher HP than standard stage 1. An engine having a performance cam upgrade, as well as the other components in a Stage-1 combo, is referred to as this. At maximum velocity, the Camshaft with screaming Eagle torque gives an on-demand low to mid-RPM throttle response.

This is developed for attaining an optimum power range for overtaking sluggish automobiles without downshifting and adjusting for the load of a luggage and passenger. Kit components incorporate adjustable O-rings, cam, cam cover gasket, pushrod covers and.

Stage 3: Most users conceive the Stage 3 modification as it contains all of the parts from the lower stages, a small big-diameter, and valve modification.

This increases the HP by about 30-40% or more when compared to stock. For example:117 huge diameter kit 10.8 comps, Wood WM8-222 cam, FM AC/DC air filter, and high duty clutch springs.

The massive engine displacement, compared to the previous stages, will make your ride more satisfying.


Stage1: Many of you are looking for simple bolt-on upgrades that enhance the performance, look, and sound of the motorcycle. And that is exactly what you are going to get. It is better for riders who wish to improve the performance, look, and sound of their motorcycle. This is the initial stage of modification of all the previous stages.

Stage 1 involves the following changes:

  • Intake
  • Exhaust
  • Tuning upgrade

Stage 2: Stage 2 involves all the specifications of stage 1. Adding to it, stage 2 involves a change in the power and torque kit. You can choose the cam that is the finest that matches your riding style with this kit.

Torque Kit Option Increases overall performance by up to 15% in the low-to-mid RPM range. When speeding, you will notice a more sensitive throttle, which is great for bypassing slower cars without power sliding. The Optional Power Kit Increases overall performance by up to 25% in the mid-to-upper RPM range.

Stage 2 involves the following changes:

  • Intake
  • Exhaust
  • Tuning upgrade
  • Torque/ power kit
  • Power kit

Stage 3: A Stage 3 Upgrade is designed for riders that want the highest engine capacity and power over the whole RPM range, with up to a 40% increase in mid-to-high RPM speed. Without engine braking, the increase provides quick driving horsepower and superb junction to highway speed and on-ramp gear.

Stage 3 involves the following changes:

  • Intake, exhaust, and turning upgrade
  • Torque kit and power kit upgrade
  • Big bore cylinders and pistons


Stage 1 provides an initial performance increase. They include matching high-flow air cleaner, exhaust, and proper tuning to set the foundation for your performance build. 

The whole combination of stage 2 upgrades delivers up to 30% Horsepower and 10% torque improvement.

Stage 2 performs best with the installation of the adjustable pushrods. With all the changes of the power and torque kit, it will give you a brand new feeling along with the new styling.

Stage 3 raises the engine’s size by increasing the diameter of the pistons’ and cylinders’ compaction. By boosting the engine efficiency and resulting in more powerful ignition, this combination of parts will allow you to generate more power.


Stage 1 provides a performance increase of up to 10% throughout the whole RPM range. The power of the engine is substantially improved when the bike is equipped with an upgraded air filter and emission.

In stage 2 cam generates a Increase in torque of 5% over the standard engine right the line, and it continues to grow up to 14% more torque at 4500- RPM.

Lastly, stage 3 generates the maximum amount of power among these 3 stages. Stage 3 expands the engine’s capacity even more by expanding the diameter of the pistons and valves.


Stage 1 and stage 2 are basically the initial stages of the modification. They do not exert much pressure that the modern engines cannot handle.

However, stage 3 is the real deal among these. The amount of air and fuel that is needed to flow to generate the maximum power requires very strong kits that can endure extreme heat and torque.

You have to compare and know the materials that are used to make the kits of stage 3 up-gradation. As this stage provides the highest horsepower possible, and with the correct kits, you can imagine what sort of experience you might get from it.  

Cost comparison

Harley-Davidson Stage 1 Upgrade prices can vary, starting at around $780 and increasing to over $1000 at the top end. It is the most cost-effective way to increase performance and lay the groundwork for later improvements.

Stage 2 involves all the stage 1 changes and adding to it a torque and power kit. This will cost you a bit more, around $1000- $1500.

Lastly, stage 3 is double than stage 1, of course, because of the massive changes of modifications around $1500- $1800. All these costs exclude the labor cost.


Why is the foundation of the performance builds important in stage 1?

To take full advantage of any performance gain, It is essential that the engine takes in and out more air. Without this foundation and the other upgrades you do along the way, you will not be able to reach your full potential. 

Does the torque kit provide instant power?

When you want instant passing power at cruising speed, this is the perfect bike for you or that acceleration right away from the line, the torque kit, for example, Eagle 447 cam, an upgrade would likely be a good fit for you.   

How can you increase the RPM range?

If you are installing a stage 2 and tuning it with a pro street tuner, your rev limit is already increased to 6400 RPM. Now, the power cam that you will use will;l take great advantage of the mid-range to higher RPM horsepower. 

Are adjustable pushrods installed in the stage 3 upgrade?

The cam is changed just like stage 2, but the adjustable pushrods are included since the top end of the engine is removed. This top-end upgrade puts this in 3 ranch categories for installation complexity. 

What is the best to choose, stage 1, 2, or 3?

Riders are quite satisfied with the modifications of stage 1, but there is always room for advancements and more speed. In the case of stage 2 and a price lower than you can expect, it incorporates a cam change. In any engine, a cam is mechanically responsible for controlling the engine. Therefore, a cam drives the valves, which allow the air and fuel to enter the engine.


You now understand the contrasts between Harley Stage 1 Vs. Stage 2 Vs. Stage 3, as well as the changes that will occur as a result of the revisions. I’ve listed the modifications to the important features to assist you in deciding which one you require. Also, I addressed the most often asked questions by customers.

The power, durability, performance, and cost comparison of the three stages must all be understood. This knowledge will not only assist you in deciding which level to upgrade to but will also allow you to grasp the many dynamics of the elements, including how they work and their constraints. This knowledge will also come in handy once you have completed your setup.

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