Custom Tune - PowerCommander or TuneECU?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by viola-tor, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

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    Man, I've tried to get my head around the TuneECU thread, but it's overwhelming. And from what I'm gathering to get a really good tune you need diagnostic equipment to make sense of the numbers anyway, otherwise it's just stabbing in the dark, trial and error, and subjective results (for the issues I'm having).

    I'm considering a custom professional tune (which hurts! $$$) and have a good place up the road (AF1). I'm still in the recon/exploratory phase of this, but they're recommending going with a Power Commander module and then a custom tune.

    AF1 has fancy dyno gear and access and experience with TuneECU apparently, but I would have to supply the cable and maybe even a laptop??? :huh (said that both Tuneboy and TuneECU were "labor intensive" = $$)

    Bike info: '07 990

    Stock map (I think)
    2-into-1
    FMF single can
    Cannisterectomy
    SAS removal (with resistors, etc)

    It's running pretty badly since I did the SAS job, poor mileage and surgy in the mid-range steady throttle (cruising speed). Mileage is dismal. It's run fine for 50K before I messed with the canni/SAS.


    Anyway, I guess I'm looking for some advice and reassurance that it'll all work out okay! :norton Any reason to doubt that a Power Commander treatment would fix me up? I guess I don't mind spending the money if it works, I just can't afford to pull that trigger too many times. I love this bike, but damn...


    I'm living a home mechanic's bad dream: Modifying a perfectly good motorcycle to tweak it better on the cheap and having the opposite effect, and then having to buy your way out. :becca The up side is that I could potentially have an expertly tuned machine on the other side of this experience...
    #1
  2. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    Fact is, that whatever route you choose, a good tune is a tune done on the road, not on a dyno. Which means you need a wideband. The 'easy' way is to get a powercommander V and an autotune module, assuming they make one for your 990. Or you get a powercommander and you tune it by hand with the wdeband.

    A more involved way is to get a wideband and tune it with tuneEcu, another option is to invest on a motty (which does the V+autotune job, but it does it better), but you will have to splice the harness for that one. Apart from the motty being a very sophisticated piece of gadgetry, it is also transferable from bike to bike and not bike specific like the powercommander.

    Probably tahoecr and k2m will chime in promptly and shed more light to this, they are the people to listen to on these matters.
    #2
  3. tahoeacr

    tahoeacr Long timer

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    There is your answer and the attitude of most dyno operators. Lazy and only looking to get you in and out as fast as possible. Plus make 35% on the PCIII that you don't need. They are not really giving you a "custom" tune. They are selling you a PCIII. Then hooking up "Tuning link" software that Dyno jet developed(that is why they want to sale you a PCIII). Their PC then takes over all the tuning as they just sit there and hold the throttle. Tuning link then runs thru the pre set TPS ranges while in each range going up the rpm band. It checks your current A/F ratio then changes it to a pre set ratio. It does not optimize the A/F range for that RPM/TPS nor does it alter ignition timing. Tuning Link does not set a "closed loop" area as PCIII's run without o-2 sensors so forget killer MPG(optimizing ignition timing can also help mpg). I don't consider that a custom tune. You could do that much by buying your own wide band and spending some time.
    Is that enough? Here, let me give you some more. PCIII is a piggy back system. It takes the signal coming out of the ECU and modifies it to what was set. It does not know if your ECU is on the MAPvsRPM(Low TPS settings and richer) or the TPSvsRPM map. Because of this it will not solve your biggest issue of the "throttle notch" or whatever you want to call it.
    Sorry if I was a little bit blunt. Nothing personal, just always feel like in so many different threads what I say to try and help falls on deaf ears so I pretty much quit posting about tuning. I just didn't want to see you spend that much and not really be happy with the results.
    #3
  4. Unkgd

    Unkgd Been here awhile

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    AF1 and Micah have been tuning twins (Aprilia, Ducati, etc) for a long time and have a great reputation.
    At times, I think they singleandedly have done more for the Aprilia brand in the USA than any one else with their forum, tech support, and being able to obtain and supply parts for Aprilia when no one else had them.

    If I was closer - it would be a done deal for me.
    #4
  5. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    I'll second tahoeacr. The other thing to remember is that a PCIII doesn't take into account a lot of the elevation changes, at least when I was studying it.

    The long and the short is that it's expensive to do the Tuneboy or TuneECU software by someone who knows what they're doing. That said, it is so worth it.

    Ken Wheeler did mine at his shop at Deals Gap along with my RC8 and my dads RC8. All three bikes are fantastic now: more power, better mpg, and smoother throttle.
    #5
  6. Dotbond

    Dotbond Africa, Africa

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    Well said. Clear and to the point.
    #6
  7. tahoeacr

    tahoeacr Long timer

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    I forgot to add nothing against AF1. Never used them. I did call them back in 08 as they were recommended by Tuneboy back then. They didn't want to touch a KTM then. Good to know our brand is coming up in the US. We'll have a SX championship before long even.
    #7
  8. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Forest Ranger Magnet

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    I like the Power Commander V (not the III)+ autotune + wideband solution. I know many friends who have used it and it works well.
    #8
  9. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

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    I"m really glad you chimmed in. Really. Being one of the knowledgeable FI members here you probably feel like your input does "fall on deaf ears" at times, but I assure you that many of us read and re-read what you say (even if we/they don't reply). :bow

    Yes, this is EXACTLY what I want to hear, and I appreciate brutal honesty! After wading through the "Got Tunes" thread I was surprised that they (AF1) were more eager to recommend the PCIII over TuneECU because 1. TuneECU seems to be "it" here in the Orange Crush, and 2. They advertise some form of TuneECU on their website. I even mentioned that.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question: Do YOU do custom tunes professionally? I might come see ya... :deal Who are the other guys that know how to do the KTMs right? Ken Wheeler at Deal's Gap, who else? I do get around the country, perhaps a scheduled appt. is in order based on time and place... I'm in San Antonio, but something out West could work, as could something in the South maybe...
    #9
  10. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

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    I have had Micha do some work for me on an Sr 50 scooter. He is a very talented tuner and currently hacking into a MV 1000 FI system that you can follow on his thread "What is in the shop" at the AF1 site. Lots of pro's and con's of PCV or PCIII. I tried a Bazzaz FI unit with an Auto tune oxygen probe and it worked on my 2007 then the bike went bad again so I was back to square one. Later found out it was the TPS not sending a signal.
    I ended up taking my bike to Wayne Tripp @ PowerTripp performance in Birmingham,AL and he built a custom map in Tune ECU on his dyno. He had already worked on 4 KTM adventures. My 2007 runs great with his tune and it does not have any issues with fueling. He also dropped in a set of 2007 SuperDuke cams and he cost for tuning, installing the cams was $600.
    I watched him tune and the biggest advantage on the KTM of Tune ECU was how much he advanced the timing in the lower RPM range. Any of the add systems such as PC or Bazzaz can't effect this.
    I have a PCIII on my ZX-14 and it works great. Bike a motor and a nitrous map with a control switch and it works great. So I am not against the add on units but a good tune in the ecu has advantages on the LC8.
    I would call Wayne and make the trip East! I drove to his shop from Cleveland and stayed a week touring around the state and had a great time.

    I also will vote for Ken Wheeler in Deals Gap, I have been to his shop a few times and very good guy. My KLR broke down when i was in the area 5 years ago and he dropped what he was doing, repaired the bike and got me on my way. But he showed his dyno and explained his tuning practices and I would feel he would also do a good job.
    #10
  11. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    Ken told my dad when he was tuning on his RC8 that he liked TuneBoy but he was going to swap over to TuneECU because there was so much more that he could do as far as timing, mapping, etc.
    #11
  12. knobbyjoe

    knobbyjoe knobbyjoe

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    I would gladly pay a professional tuner that uses TuneECU.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    So far I have not heard of one in the west. Anyone out there?<o:p></o:p>
    My bike’s engine is stock, good for me, but if a tuner said I should get different exhaust cans and remove the SAS I would before a tune. <o:p></o:p>
    So here I am with money in my hand, Pro Tuners PM me.
    08 990a
    #12
  13. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    If the SAS works the way I think it does, it will have to go. Anything that injects dirty air back into the system will screw up the tuning.
    #13
  14. knobbyjoe

    knobbyjoe knobbyjoe

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    I got to agree Ktoom119,:norton

    I'm thinking I don't need the Cats with the SAS removed. I also think someone wrote in the TuneECU thread that shutting off the O2 sensors would/could ruin the cats. That is something that has helped some riders in their tuning, also in the thread.

    I'm just a little leary removing stuff because one of my riding partners has Acraprovics and map but still has the SAS and riding behind him smells like lots of unburned oil and gas is getting by and it stinks (07 990S). Around here it's death to the contaminators. :eek1
    KJ
    #14
  15. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

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    I agree about removing the Cats and SAS with a propoer tune. I did that to my 2007 with the AKRO map and I was afraid to have some one with a lit cigerrate behind when it was getting an impressive 25 mpg!:kboom
    #15
  16. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    I don't have experience with KTM, but I used tuneECU on my Triumph. The cable is about $20, and that's your total expense. I couldn't understand the instructions, either, but a computer-literate friend and I watched the YouTube video twice and it the remap was a success. And, I could re-install the stock setting without paying someone else. There are custom tunes and with the Triumph, I could make a custom map if I wanted.













    e
    #16
  17. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

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    I guess that's technically true... but without diagnostic analysis how do you know what to change, and how much to change it? Sure, I could plug in any values I want for free, but knowing what to want seems to be the trick. And the results would be entirely subjective, just what "feels" right, not what actually is.

    Correct me if I'm wrong about that... I've yet to try TuneECU myself, trying to research first.

    It might be worth a try since it isn't expensive. On the TuneECU site I don't see a user generated map for my bikes parameters ('07, 2-into-1, FMF, de-canni, de-SAS).
    #17
  18. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    TuneECU had maps for my bike that worked for different modifications. The ability to customize the map is there, but for the reasons you stated, viola-tor, I chose not to. The Triumphs had owner-supplied custom maps with the caveat to use at your own risk. The ability to return to stock was a big plus to me. Watch their YouTube video.
    #18
  19. Alleycatdad

    Alleycatdad Unbunch yer panties!

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    So pick a few tunes and try them. If you are coming from a carb jetting background, this sounds like torture; with carbs you always want to have a pretty good idea of where you're headed before you start pulling stuff off the bike, but that's simply not an issue with TuneEcu.

    It's amazing how hard it is mentally to get past the apparent complexity and realize that this is far, far, easier than rejetting carbs. Approach it in a methodical, careful manner, and make small changes, one at a time--or just try someone else's map. As long as you've saved--and backed up--your stock map, you can always get home again. No ruby slippers are required. It's not a matter of spending an hour pulling bodywork, etc to make tiny changes in jetting; plug it in and go for a test ride. You can handle rhythm and melody, point and counterpoint, you can get your head around this. It's a language a lot like music is a language. Fueling is the melody, timing the rhythm--go write a concert and smile every time you hear it played...

    It's the best excuse I've had for a long time to just go for a ride--"Honey, I've gotta go test sumthin, be back in a bit...."

    It's SO cheap and SO easy that you really do owe it to yourself to try it. Even if you hate it, the experience will help you give valuable guidance to whoever you eventually DO have tune the bike, and that's worth the price of the cable all by itself.

    As for TuneEcu vs other approaches, due to the specific issues present in the 990s, the ability to adjust ignition timing is critical to successfully tuning the lurch out of the bike.

    Last, I gotta tell ya that your big thread was the first 990 specific trip report I read here, and your adventures and experiences--and the way you tell them--is a big part of the reason I bought the best bike I've ever owned. Thanks for that. Lemme give you a little back: try TuneEcu. It's not as bad as it looks.

    Steve
    #19
  20. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    I was following the "got tunes" thread religiously untill it got too intelligent for me. I couldn't keep up with all that gyan anymore. But it ends now. I'm gonna get a cable, download TuneECU and start working on it myself. Small steps every time, record everything and play around with it.

    thanks
    #20