The Grok Harmonizer: This ain’t your Daddy’s Twinmax!
Hi Guys, some of you may have heard the rumors 2 years ago; someone was trying to get the rights to build more Harmonizers. Well, that would be us: KATDASH. It took us 2 years to finally sort out all the details with Grok’s family, but we have purchased the rights, along with his design files and the remaining parts that were left in his shop.
Why?? Because it is simply the best, most accurate and easiest carb tuning tool ever. I bought mine about a month before Grok passed, after watching a BMW Airhead Guru demonstrate carb tune & sync at a tech day. Forget the Carb Mate, forget the Twin Max, forget your homemade manometer! And forget the shorting method (that usually took me about 45 minutes, and it still doesn’t sync the throttle cables). The Harmonizer allows you to set your carbs for the best mixture individually, then sync them together and balance them at both idle & throttle on. And it does all that with an accurate rpm- which could matter if your tach is broken or you don’t have one. When we were developing & testing our prototype KATDASH, we used my Harmonizer to get an accurate and equivalent rpm between the different test bikes and test prototypes. When Grok passed, and the Harmonizers were no longer available- I just didn’t want to see them vanish. It’s too good of a tool to let it die off. And it’s not only for Airheads- many later bikes and other brands can use the Harmonizer to adjust throttle bodies and idle.
We are currently sorting through the boxes of parts to see what we have, and what we need to get. And Paul is wading through the code & programing, trying to figure that out. Some of you may remember that Grok mentioned that he was going to have to redesign the Harmonizer due to the vacuum sensor that he used being discontinued. This is true- it is no longer available, and the newer part is changed enough that the circuit board, and software programming, both have to be changed/ redesigned. We have 300 vacuum sensors. We also have 324 bare circuit boards. So it’s looking like we are going to do a last run of 300 units of the original Harmonizer. After that Paul will redesign it as necessary, and we’ll build V2.
For now, I am ordering various parts required for the run, and we will probably send the pcbs out for assembly in January 2020. I don’t know what the cost will be to get them assembled, I have to get some bids for that. It looks like Grok did a majority of this by hand at home. We both still have full time jobs, so that is just not feasible for us- us being me and my EE husband Paul (aka Dash). We are going to try to keep the cost under $150, but I don’t really know what the cost will be. We’ve got a lot of stuff to source. For instance, the case/box: apparently when Grok bought them they cost $3.50, now they cost $6.00. And, judging by the fact that I got 6 backs, and no clear tops, (in the part boxes) when he drilled the tops for the switch assembly- a lot of the tops cracked and were thrown away. We will try our best to keep the cost reasonable.
We are very excited to be able to move forward with keeping the Harmonizer alive!
December 4, 2019 :
HARMONIZER UPDATE: We’ve found an assembly house on the Jersey shore, and took 4 boxes of parts there yesterday to meet the owner and tour the facility. They should have our pcbs through the pick and place machine end of next week, and then they will be hand soldering the last of the vacuum sensors on by hand. These cannot be machine washed, and since the part is NLA they have to be carefully installed by hand. We’re hoping to get the circuit boards back with all the SMT parts installed by Christmas. Then in January Paul can install the thru-hole parts: the display being the biggest of those.
We’re working to have the first batch of Harmonizers ready for sale the first weekend of February at PA Supertech. (the annual winter get-together and discuss all things BMW Airhead)
January 6, 2020 :
HARMONIZER UPDATE: We’ve gotten 2/3rds of the circuit boards back from the assembly house in NJ who are doing the surface mounted parts. Paul and I spent the weekend installing the thru-hole parts on 24 of the boards. We are also setting up the cases, hoses, and various connectors to complete a Harmonizer unit. These are turning out to be way more labor intensive to assemble a finished unit than we had anticipated. The assembly house also had problems with the circuit boards. They are probably 5-6 years old, and they were vacuum sealed, but there were still problems with soldering parts on. That’s why they haven’t finished all the boards yet.
Because of this, and the finicky case assembly design, we are not going to be able to build these for the same cost as Grok did. He started building and selling these 9 years ago, and much of it was a labor of love. I strongly believe in the Harmonizer, which is why we’ve purchased the design and resurrected them. However, parts costs have gone up, the case assembly is very time consuming and we need to raise the price on them. We’re going to charge $165 for a Harmonizer.
We’re still planning on having some ready for the Supertech weekend in PA, and going online with sales from our website in February. Thanks for your support!
Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Grok himself balancing the idle on a R1100GS:
Harmonizer R1100GS idle balance
Yes, it’s just that easy. Grok aka Mark Von Striver was a genius!
Here’s the original Harmonizer Guide & spec sheet: HARMONIZER_guide_V1_0
We will be posting updates as we have them here, and on our KATDASH Facebook page.