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178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has major advantages like boosted power and a cleaner look. It has disadvantages, like it is permanent unless you pull the engine to put everything back. In most cases, your MPG will drop some, but for me the increase in power is worth it. As far as the cost, a good mechanic should only charge you about 2 1/2 hours labor for the mod. If your wrench gets $50 an hour and the kit costs about $150, then you will be about $300 out the door.

I did it a couple weeks ago, but it's been real cold. Today I
decided I didn't care, 37 degrees or not, so I took her out
for 45 minutes. Very chilly ride, but worth it. She performed
well seemed to have more juice in the lower gears, but I
really didn't want to take it over 75 mph in the cold, so I
don't know if it helps on the top end. I also put a couple
pics in the 'Ear Shave' folder check the link in my sig if
you want to see. I'll try to get some better ones later in
the meantime, Bulldog has some good ones on his page. Jim
"Pick" Foster

It's not easy... you have to pull the carbs to re jet, and
getting the airbox out (if you choose to remove it) is a real
pain. If changing the oil is as far as you go mechanically, I
wouldn't try the shave. A good mechanic could probably do it
in a couple hours. It took me most of a day (including trips
to the hardware store and auto parts store
The air filters came as part of the Ear Shave kit from Sherm's. It allows you to remove the stock air box and air filters (the "ears") and replace them with pod filters mounted directly on the carbs. I think there's some info in the Files section about this mod. The kit also comes with a Factory Pro jet kit for re-jetting the carbs, which you need to do because of the increased air flow provided by the pod filters. I was pretty hesitant about my ability to do this mod, and I have to admit that it wasn't easy for me. But I stuck with it and eventually got it all done. The worst part was getting the air box out (had to cut it into pieces), and also removing and re-installing the carbs. The actual installation of the new jets and needles was a snap.

178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's some valuable information that I have collected regarding the Ear Shave. This should get you started, but may require some more research. Thanks to Jason Spivy for posting the parts list.

For those who have asked where to get parts for an ear shave... I understand that elevation can affect what size jets you need but this is what seems to be working for me (west KY). -Jason

Ron Ayers:
2 x 14-20900 EMGO crank case filters = $21.26 Shipping = $8.00

2 x 019-812 40-Idle jet = $8.90
1 x 019-194 140-Main jet = $4.45 (2-140's seems to work for most)
1 x 019-195 142-Main jet = $4.45
1 x 009-396 0.126" Shim 12 pack = $4.00 Shipping = $8.75

Auto Zone (Price matched Jegs)
2 x K&N RC-2340 = $65.98

True Value:
2 x 20mm chrome bolts = $6.38
2 x chrome washers = $1.78

Total = $133.95

In case I made a typo, verify parts numbers before ordering.

The chrome bolts and washers were used to mount the crank case filters (stock bolts were too short). One filter was used for the crank case and the other for the carb breather hose. There are cheaper filters than K&N but that is a personal preference.

You'll also need a new breather hose which can be bought at any auto store. I used some hoses laying around here but it looks like you need the hose, 45 elbow, and 90 elbow.

To answer several questions in one post:

Q: How many shims did you use on each needle?
A: 2 shims under each needle. Sudco only carries a 12 pack so I have several left over. <this is assuming that you are using the original stock needles>

178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You may read some posts about Sherm's rebuild kit that includes a replacement needle. Here's some posts from October 14, 2005 that may help answer the needle question:

I'm ordering the parts separate from sudco.com per Jason's previous post. Jason never made reference to needles but I have seen other files where someone made reference to Sherms needle's #965h7- 44u7_ss, part of the Ear Shave kit.

Since I did not purchase Sherm's kit, do I need to change the stock needles? And if so, does anyone have the Sudco's PN that cross references with Sherm's PN#965h7-44u7_ss? I emailed Sherms but appartently they're no longer in business (or so the homepage says) and I have not gotten any responses from them.- Frank Braun
Sudco doesn't have replacement needles for our carbs (maybe factory needles but not "shorter ones" for ear shaves). After the ear shave, the needles need to be shorter. As far as I can tell, no one makes a shorter needle for these carbs. The only way to shorten the needle is to add shims (obviously doesn't shorten it but raises it up a little). I put two under each needle and that seems to work fine. Two shims seems to be the standard that works for most people. -Jason
Just to clarify -- I used 40s and 140s, but 4 shims ON "TOP OF" each needle, not under. -Pick
The shims go under the "Head" of the needle (like the head of a nail). If someone said that they put a washer under a nail, it would most likely be understood that the nail went "through" the washer, not that the point of the nail was on top of the washer. The needle is tapered, and with more air flow from the ear shave, more fuel is needed to maintain the correct fuel to air mixture, so raising the needle opens more area around the needle to flow more fuel. I removed each needle, slid two spacers on, then put the needles back in. This puts the spacers on the top end on the needle but not on top of the needle. ??? I'm confused. What does putting spacers on top of the needle do?-doowriter123
OK, I don't claim to know the whys and wherefores, but I got the ear shave kit from Sherm's before they went out of business. I got a selection of jets, shims, and new needles with the kit. I used 40 pilots and 140 mains, with the clip in the 3rd position on the new needles. IIRC, that was in the middle slot. I did not use any shims. The bike ran fine while accelerating, but when I let off the throttle, it would stumble badly -- sort of like it was running out of gas or something (maybe it was flooding?). I popped the tops off of the carbs and put 4 shims on top of each needle, and the stumbling disappeared. The bike ran great all the time, throughout the rpm range, accelerating or decelerating. I don't know why this worked for me. It didn't make any sense to me either. I thought the shims would have to go under the needles. I can only guess that putting the shims on top causes more pressure to be applied downward, keeping the needles from "floating" as much, or something like that. -Pick
Sooooo.... You didn't use the original needles. You had needles that used clips that came with Sherms kit. The clip position limits the maximum down limit of the needle. This explains the 3rd clip position.

If the clip on the needle is enough smaller than the vacuum slide spring seat, the needle could possibly be able to wiggle around and up and down, so putting shims on top could hold the needles down where they should be.

The needles and clips are a more expensive way to get the result, but they may have been chosen because of their profile. -doowriter123
That sounds plausible to me. The new needles came with the Factory Pro jet kit, so I thought I may as well use them. If I had stayed with the stock needles, I would most likely have used a different configuration to get it to run right. -Pick
After the ear shave, the needles need to be shorter. As far as I can tell, no one makes a shorter needle for these carbs. The only way to shorten the needle is to add shims (obviously doesn't shorten it but raises it up a little). BOTTOM LINE- Use the stock needle, and two shims "UNDER" each needle. -Frank Braun

178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Q: you mention bolts to mount the crank case & breather filters. Where did you mount these?
A: I mounted them at the top bolt hole from the ears. The old bolts were too short so they had to be replaced.

Q: did you take carbs out or do the needle & jet work with them in place?
A: I installed the shims with the carbs in place. I did everything I could to install the jets without removing the carbs but couldn't do it. Removing the carbs was easier than I expected.

Q: what is wrong with the ears ? why remove them ?
A: There's nothing wrong with them. Some want to increase air flow in order to increase power (and decrease fuel economy). Others want a cleaner, less cluttered appearance. I had one ear busted and needed to replace it. Also, it seems that every time I did work on the bike, I was hitting the ears with my elbow, head, etc. I don't mind the look of th ears, but I do enjoy having less stuff in my way. Thanks to Jason Spivy for 90% of this page.
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