E.C.U. Remap By Hilltop Motorcycles

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by dutch97501, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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    I was thinking about buying a Yamaha and in looking at the list of upgrades on it I noticed they had remapped the factory ECU and thought to my self I wish someone would would remap the GS. I went ahead and contacted all of the tuners here in the USA to see if they did and was told No. They had no interest. So I started searching outside the USA. Bingo! I found a nice long thread on it over at UKGSer. They have been taking their GS both 800 and 1200 to Geoff at Hilltop Motorcycles in the UK. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the dyno charts. 100+ bhp at the rear wheel. No way I thought to myself. My 09 GSA has 80bhp at the rear wheel. So you would be talking about 20hp just by ECU tuning. I went ahead and sent Geoff at Hilltop a email to see if just the ECU could be sent to him and have it remapped. In short YES. OK how much was the next question? 300 UK including return shipping. Alright let me see that's $477.08 I then thought back on all the HP goodies Ive bought in the past and noticed that in every instance I had spent $100.00 per hp. That would mean 20 hp should cost me $2000.00. And if I did the bigger valves with new cams and new sprockets yea $2000.00 . So $477.08 is pretty cheap if it works. So the emails flew back and forth between Geoff and I with questions like should I leave the cat on the bike and fuel types. Make the cat go away he says. OK I don't want a new header so I can cut the cat in half and remove the core or I can attempt to get it out of the hole. Worst case I cut the cat in half and pull the core so I sent the ECU to Hilltop and went to work on the cat. Here is what I came up with.

    Removing the guts from the cat just wasnt that hard. I looked around online and was headed down the cut the header in half and once I got the header off the bike and saw I had a fair shot at getting the core apart I figured why not try. The worst that I would have to do is cut the header in half which is what I was planing on doing anyway. I was going to make a video of doing it but it was so easy it was boring to watch so I deleted it. As far as tips for anyone who wants to do it here is my hind sight on it.
    1. Put on a pair of gloves. I had several small cuts on my hands when I got done.

    2. Get a piece of carpet to work on. As you are working on the cat end of the header the curved end will get scratched up if you dont.

    3. Get a hose clamp and put it on the opening of the cat where you will be working. It will keep you from distorting the portion of the header that the muffler slips on.

    4. The core its self is about 70mm thick and is a metal honey comb. As you are tearing it apart in the housing make sure the piece you tear of will fit out of the opening. Once its loose in the header its hard to make it smaller.

    As for the tools I used.

    1. 48oz Hammer

    2. Long needle nose pliers. Mine were 12 inches long

    3. A sturdy vise mounted to a work bench.

    4. A 19 inch pry-bar that can be struck with a hammer.

    5. A 16 inch heel bar made in China. You will need to be able to bend it.

    How I did it. I started by putting the hose clamp around the opening for protection and trying to drill a hole in the core with a long drill bit and quickly realized that wasn't going to work. I next took the cheap heel bar and sharpened the pointed end like a chisel. I could then use the hammer and without driving it thru the side of the pipe hammer it thru the core in several spots. After you have driven it thru the core you will need to clamp the remaining part of the heel bar in the vise and twist the header by hand as you pull the header off the heel bar. Once you have a few holes in the core you can then switch to the pry-bar and do the same thing. Now that you have some room to work you can pick a spot and start knocking the pry-bar thru then clamping the end of the pry-bar in the vise and breaking pieces of cat off by twisting the header by hand being careful not to bend up the lip of the the opening as you work. The hose clamp will only help so much. After about an hour and a half I had most of the cat removed. I then put a few more bends in the other end of my cheap heel bar and used the hook end to scape the remaining cat from the housing. 2 hours spent. No cutting or welding.

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    Now a word about shipping to the UK. Make sure the shipper puts for repair on the shipping label or the queen of England will get involved and want a VAT tax as they will think you sold it to the motorcycle shop. It took about two weeks there and back. Their is a procedure you will go thru when you plug the ECU back into the bike which Geoff explains to you. OK did it work? Hell yes it worked! This thing runs great. The first thing I noticed was it didnt need as much throttle or clutch on take off. The bike can be ridden now in 6th gear under 3k without jerking and I can open the throttle with out down shifting and have it pull away. The surge the bike had at 55-60mph is gone. It pulls even all the way to red line and it gets their quick. I know what about the 20bhp? Well yea it has a lot more hp. I was playing around with it trying to get it to stumble or hiccup in second gear and chopped the throttle in second gear and then pinned it and almost took it over backwards. i have a app on my Iphone that will allow me to do a 1/4 mile time with hp but it needs to dry out and warm up some before I do this. I have been trying to figure out the fuel mileage but with the freezing temps is making it difficult. Ridding around town I was getting 38 and now its 42 so I know the mileage is better just not how much. Would I do it again? In a heart beat. Geoff at hilltop motorcycles in the UK has done hundreds of GSs both 800s and 1200s and the mapping is spot on. Here is a few dyno charts that where sent to me from another fellow in the UK

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  2. Stinkyb

    Stinkyb GS"eh" rider

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    Very interesting, I had read a few articles in argument that simply gutting the cat is not ideal for a freeflow exhaust. Apparently the empty hump causes turbulence and much unwanted heat and exhaust back pressure. Straight tube replacing the hump was the best solution.
    #2
  3. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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    If you are talking about what I think you are it's sound waves backing up thru the heads and intake blowing fuel into the air cleaner. I have seen this first hand with a strobe light and a Harley with aftermarket pipes. The 1200gs with its y design create a scavenging effect that keeps this from happening that coupled with the 1200 cat being so small makes it unlikely you would encounter this the problem I see with gutting the cat on the 1200gs is if you have no way to correct the fuel map you would worst case burn your motor up best case make less bhp due to the lean condition. I have no regret in having the ecu remapped and cat removal. The bike also has a k&n air filter and a Offenbach muffler
    #3
  4. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    Nice work, thanks for writing it up. You got a lot of performance improvement for the money you spent. I'd be interested to know if the remapping disables closed loop operation and the BMS-K Adaptation functions.

    Looking at the graphs, the AFR during the Dyno runs has gone from high-13s/low-14s which is pretty lean to mid-12s/low-13s which is pretty close to the Best Power mixture. Without know if any Spark Advance changes, the mixture shift alone should make pretty significant changes.

    I didn't want to go the remap/rechip route and got the same benefits you described (mine is an 1150) by changing the stock O2 (14.7:1) to a Wideband O2 (set at 13.5:1-13.8:1). My cost was $170 for the Wideband kit. On a 1200 you would need two of them. I don't know if I got as much top horsepower gain as they claim but the rest of your description of performance and mileage sounds the same. I think I get 1-2 mpg worse mileage.

    In either case, it's pretty impressive how well the boxer motor runs when you richen the mixture, eh?

    RB
    #4
  5. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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  6. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    Thanks, had written to them and got some answers. They kept closed loop and delivered most of the gain by advancing timing and a little more fuel above 60% throttle if memory serves me correctly.
    #6
  7. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

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    My BBPower chip in my R11S was great but the fuel mileage dropped big time.
    #7
  8. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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    On my 1150GS it took me some time to select the map that worked best for me. I also shortend the intake tubes in the airbox I ended up using a heat gun and a spray paint can to put the bell back on the tubes after I shortend them. I also put a 1100GS final drive on it. When I bought the 1200GSA I hated it as it had less power. The 1200 now with the ecu remapped is so much more fun to ride now. I'm really looking forward to riding witty some of my sportbike buddies this summer. Normally I catch them in the corners and they straif me in the straitaways That's not going to happen anymore...lol
    #8
  9. ebbo

    ebbo Been here awhile

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    Remapping at Hilltop has worked for just about everyone who's had it done, this is my page on it with some animated graphs showing the diferance it's made http://www.ebbo.org/remapping.php
    #9
  10. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    That's a really good web site you've built. I had a read through several of the pages. Many of us who've richer the mixtures on our Oilheads have a similar experience. On mine I've got the cruise AFR at about 13.5:1 now having run 13.8:1 for almost a year. It's hard to explain just how much better the bike can run with $160 of Wideband sensor added.

    I'm curious about your Dyno curves, do you have before and after AFR plots?
    #10
  11. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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    You Britts are lucky to have hilltop in your backyard. Its nice to know that everyone that has had it done is happy.You can add me to the list of satisfied customers.
    #11
  12. EScott

    EScott Adventurer

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    Looks awesome.. I put a lazer chip in my R1100S and it transformed that bike and I got better mileage too.
    I only wish someone here in the US was crafty enough to do this so I could avoid the time and hassle of international shipping.. Anyone?! Oh and I might as well ask here too about the Rexxer tuning unit to see if anyone has any experience? It looks like another fairly slick looking Euro way to retune a 1200 GS.. http://www.rexxer.eu/e_index.cfm
    They look to be popular with the Ducati/BMW guys in the old world..
    #12
  13. ebbo

    ebbo Been here awhile

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  14. rforrester

    rforrester Adventurer

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    I like the sound of this! I have a 2005 1200GS as well as a 2007 Ducati S4RS Monster. The two cylinder Ducati was TERRIBLE below 5000 RPM and it was due to the fact that the bike was on a closed loop ECU system below 5K (or 4K, not sure where its is set). In a closed loop, correct me if I am wrong, the engine Fuel/Air mixture is dependent on the data from the O2 sensor. There is really no "data" sent from the sensor. All the O2 sensor does is send a different level of voltage to the ECU and the ECU adjusts the fuel/air mixture depending on the voltage the O2 sensor sends. I bought a very simple solution from the folks at www.fatduc.com for my Ducati. $80

    The O2 manipulator installs in line with the O2 sensor between the sensor and the ECU. It is a very small voltage regulator that you can manipulate via a small screw on the wire to adjust the voltage sent to the ECU "Tricking" the ECU into thinking it does not have enough fuel. WOW! as soon as I installed the manipulator on the Ducati it was a COMPLETELY different bike! :clap
    O2 Manipulators are an economical solution to alter the closed loop air-fuel ratio on many Ducati Motorcyles. O2 Manipulators are “plug and play” requiring NO cutting or splicing of wires and installs inline at the factory oxygen sensor connection. O2 Manipulators work by altering the oxygen sensor output voltage. This slight reduction in voltage forces the ECU to add additional fuel.

    I am emailing fatduc now to see if they can make one with the connectors found on the 1200GS.
    #14
  15. rforrester

    rforrester Adventurer

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  16. ebbo

    ebbo Been here awhile

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  17. Disco Dean

    Disco Dean Long timer

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    This is great and thinking about doing it to my '06 GS.

    Question though - I would love to see the dyno charts before and after for this 2009.

    You mentioned your bike had 80hp before and it is an '09.

    Seems to me that the '09 has 103-05 HP to begin with so I am thinking your gains are more in drivability than big HP gains.

    I haven't seen anyone get that much HP gain from a pipe or a "re-program" - that is close to 10%!!!!!

    Just want to be sure this is apples to apples because if I do it that will mean a good 110hp as my bike stock is close to 100hp.

    Do you have your specific bike dyno before and after?

    Am I wrong or reading it wrong?

    D.
    #17
  18. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    If you go to nightrider.com you will see a similar solution for Harley Davidson's. The approach is sound and takes advantage of the exact voltage characteristics of the stock O2 sensor. The ECUs are usually making the rich/lean decision at a certain voltage. The stock O2 sensor changes from rich 0.8 volts to lean 0.1 volts, very abruptly at a gasoline AFR of 14.7:1.

    These devices, fatduc and nightrider, modify the voltage so that the switching conditions needed by the ECU get shifted in voltage. The only problem is that this approach doesnt work with every ECU. They are not highly accurate but if you want more fuel, and they make one that works with your particular ECU, you can get a very good result. If you dial these devices to say 14.1:1, 4% more fuel is added to closed loop, and through a slower process called Adaptation, to Open Loop also.

    This is a very economical, technically sound approach if it works on your particular bike. With this approach you don't know how much fuel you've added exactly but you dial in more until you like the result.

    If you want more precision and measurement capability, the Innovate Motorsports LC-1 allows precise programming of Closed Loop AFR.

    In both approaches you need one device per O2 sensor.

    RB
    #18
  19. dutch97501

    dutch97501 Been here awhile

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    You are correct if you are talking hp at the crank shaft. I am talking at the rear wheel . You loose 25% from crank to rear wheel. If you go over to ukgser forum and do some looking around you will find lots of dyno charts and feedback. I would post the link but adv rules frown on it.

    So I got up early Sunday morning and decided to go for a ride. 450 miles of bliss. I started out in southern Oregon and headed south on the interstate to Klamath River Hwy. I told myself I was going to behave and see what the mpg is and I blew it right out the gate. As soon as I hit the twisties it was on. The transition from off throttle to on throttle at mid corner is amazing. It pulls so much harder low in the rpms that you find your self going way faster than you think. The point where you are floating the throttle not really speeding up or slowing down is smooth as silk. At that point you can yank the throttle to the pin and it just goes. The bike runs like you would expect a BMW to run. I have noticed over the years that BMW always seems to pull an extra 5 or 10 hp at the end of a model run without really changing anything. Now I get it! So the start of this ride took me to 6000 feet and now Im headed for the Calif coast at sea level. I went ahead and made a detour thru forks of the salmon just to see what its like in December. The road is covered in wet leaves and moss is what I found. Very slick. The bike was great. I could control the bike right down to an idle where before I was having to slip the clutch to keep the bike going slow enough to navigate the trouble spots. It makes parking lots so much easier. So back out on the hwy I go headed for Eureka Ca for lunch and sea level. The bike was as spot on at sea level as it was at 6000 ft. As I headed north on hwy 101 The odo was at that point where the fuel light comes on. It came and went without the fuel light coming on. Being on the left coast Im stuck having to run 10% methanol which kills your fuel mileage. Normally in the winter I can get about 280 miles before the fuel light comes on. This time I fueled at 325 miles and the light wasn't on yet but it was 75 miles to the next station, It took 8.1 gallons. At this rate this mod will pay for its self just in fuel mpg. I then jumped on the redwood hwy headed for cave junction. Now anyone who has ridden that stretch of hwy has had to deal with the motorhomes and the 20mph and the pinning it in the straits so no one can get around them GRRR. Well I left it up in the meat of the powerband and was able to blast bye the strings of cars at will. It reminded me of the sportbike days. The only thing I wish this bike had was cruise control.Well as I rolled back into the garage the bike tripped the 450 mark and I couldn't wash the grin off my face : )

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    #19
  20. roger 04 rt

    roger 04 rt Long timer

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    Good report, good photos. I second your observation, it's hard to be convincing on how much better these boxers can run. As an example, I was out yesterday on my 1150 w/LC-1 riding at 35mph in 5th gear at times, feeling the umpf when I cranked the throttle.

    I've realized how easy it is to turn the GS-911 into a Dyno and will write that up soon.
    #20