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Discussion Starter #1
I'm replacing my Arrow bolt-on with a Akrapovic full system. Do I need a custom map made when there's one perfectly matched to my bike, exhaust and airfilter at Powercommander's site? :huh:
 

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I would suggest you book into a dyno centre and have it mapped by the dyno technician he should be able to create a map for you based on your riding style for best results.
 

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I'm replacing my Arrow bolt-on with a Akrapovic full system. Do I need a custom map made when there's one perfectly matched to my bike, exhaust and airfilter at Powercommander's site? :huh:
Nope. Try a bunch of full system maps and find something you can live with.
Custom mapping to a specific bike is best but generic maps are fine for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Fraggo, That is what I'm set up to do, just checking if the $300 or so are still well spent even though someone already tuned the exact same configuration (except rider..)

Bladeracer, trying out different maps feels a bit time consuming for me, don't have a laptop so I need to borrow one everytime I need to change map. I got the PCIII (serial) with the bike and no manual so I'm not sure if I could just print out a table and enter the values manually?

I would rather have good midrange than a couple ponies on top, is that the sort of thing a dyno tech could sort out?
 

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Fraggo, That is what I'm set up to do, just checking if the $300 or so are still well spent even though someone already tuned the exact same configuration (except rider..)

Bladeracer, trying out different maps feels a bit time consuming for me, don't have a laptop so I need to borrow one everytime I need to change map. I got the PCIII (serial) with the bike and no manual so I'm not sure if I could just print out a table and enter the values manually?

I would rather have good midrange than a couple ponies on top, is that the sort of thing a dyno tech could sort out?
Just make up a serial cable long enough to reach through the window to your computer - as long as it has a serial port.
Yes, you can edit the tables manually.
It's the same as we did for years tuning carbs, adjusting float levels, needles and jet sizes.
The engine tune will change due to mileage among other things so even a custom tune today will be off in 10,000 miles anyway.
 

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Well worth the custom mapping , if your dyno technician is worth his salt he will be able to create you a far better map than just downloading one from the web.
As for tweaking the map yourself , i would not suggest doing this.
 

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As for tweaking the map yourself , i would not suggest doing this.
Why not?
It's a very simple matter to change it back if you don't like it.
 

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To realistically get the best from your exhaust and Power Commander the map needs to be adjusted using a dyno with load cell and a competent person tweaking the map. Then doing runs on the dyno to see the difference
To just randomly tweak the map then trying to judge if you have done it right by riding the bike , well i don't personally see the point .

Yes D.S the dyno tech will custom map to suit your request for more mid range .
 

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To realistically get the best from your exhaust and Power Commander the map needs to be adjusted using a dyno with load cell and a competent person tweaking the map. Then doing runs on the dyno to see the difference
To just randomly tweak the map then trying to judge if you have done it right by riding the bike , well i don't personally see the point .

Yes D.S the dyno tech will custom map to suit your request for more mid range .
You can do just as good a tuning job on the bike as you can on a dyno if you have some ability to judge if the bike is better or worse after tweaking the map.
You certainly do not need to use a dyno.
It's only become common practise to dyno tune in the last ten years or so.
 

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You can do just as good a tuning job on the bike as you can on a dyno if you have some ability to judge if the bike is better or worse after tweaking the map.
You certainly do not need to use a dyno.
It's only become common practise to dyno tune in the last ten years or so.
How can you possibly get the A/F ratios correct with this method? Too rich causes problems as does too lean as well. With a 3D FI map there are too many combinations to just mess with. Any race engine sees a dyno to be adjusted properly to avoid a meltdown. Even carb engines. The more high performance the engine is, the more critical tuning becomes.

If you don't have the time or money to use a dyno, a map from Dyno jet should be adequate. I would like to think only properly done maps get posted.
 

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How can you possibly get the A/F ratios correct with this method? Too rich causes problems as does too lean as well. With a 3D FI map there are too many combinations to just mess with. Any race engine sees a dyno to be adjusted properly to avoid a meltdown. Even carb engines. The more high performance the engine is, the more critical tuning becomes.

If you don't have the time or money to use a dyno, a map from Dyno jet should be adequate. I would like to think only properly done maps get posted.
If you can feel what the engine is doing you can alter the map to suit.
How do you think engines were tuned before dynos came along?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bladeracer that kind of trial-and-error approach of tuning the bike, not so viable for me. I notice big things like if it runs out of fuel, or blows the head gasket :D But if its pulling 5% better than the last run? I'm pretty sure I couldn't tell..

I can see how it would seem easy for someone with lots of track time though :)
 

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If you can feel what the engine is doing you can alter the map to suit.
How do you think engines were tuned before dynos came along?
You feel what the engine is doing? That's a neat trick. Do you adjust ignition timing the same way? That method may get you in the ball park and sometimes may work but that's it. Engines some time ago did fail often, they just kept over building them to compensate. Engine then had nowhere near the HP per litre of power output they do today. Combustion must be as close to perfect as possible.

Having said that, a motorcycle engine is not under the load of say a Marine engine. You'd be lucky if and engine in an Offshore race boat lasted one full power run with the method you describe.
 

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You feel what the engine is doing? That's a neat trick. Do you adjust ignition timing the same way? That method may get you in the ball park and sometimes may work but that's it. Engines some time ago did fail often, they just kept over building them to compensate. Engine then had nowhere near the HP per litre of power output they do today. Combustion must be as close to perfect as possible.

Having said that, a motorcycle engine is not under the load of say a Marine engine. You'd be lucky if and engine in an Offshore race boat lasted one full power run with the method you describe.
Are you saying that you can't tell if the engine is rich or lean?
What exactly are you putting the dyno down to?
All it does is compress the time required to set it up properly.
The actual modifying of the mapping is still down to reading the information coming from the engine, whether it be head temps, exhaust note, spark plugs, an air/fuel data logger or anything else.
Yes, if you have a $50,000 race engine you would tune it using every measuring device available, including a dyno.
For the average road rider it's perfectly adequate to tune without requiring a dyno. If you've got a dip in the power that's annoying you change some numbers and see if it improves. It's _real_ easy to change it back.
 

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Are you saying that you can't tell if the engine is rich or lean?
What exactly are you putting the dyno down to?
All it does is compress the time required to set it up properly.
The actual modifying of the mapping is still down to reading the information coming from the engine, whether it be head temps, exhaust note, spark plugs, an air/fuel data logger or anything else.
Yes, if you have a $50,000 race engine you would tune it using every measuring device available, including a dyno.
For the average road rider it's perfectly adequate to tune without requiring a dyno. If you've got a dip in the power that's annoying you change some numbers and see if it improves. It's _real_ easy to change it back.
The dyno is just the tool used to simulate loads at different RPM through the rev range. It is reading the data that is used to make adjustments. That data will monitor A/F ratio , exhaust gas temps and many other parameters for each cylinder and so on. That is the only way to do it properly. As I said, a motorcycle engine is pretty forgiving just by the nature of the load and can cover up many sins. And yes I know you can tell rich and lean without equipment, just not as accurately and at all loads and rpm.

I have personally witnesses what happens to an engine on a dyno at full power when 2 more degress of advance was added and seen how the EGT's can go up drastically. Or changing main jets to lean a engine and watch the effect it has. None of this can be felt to any degree of accuracy without the proper equipment. That's all I'm trying to say blade.
 

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I have personally witnesses what happens to an engine on a dyno at full power when 2 more degress of advance was added and seen how the EGT's can go up drastically. Or changing main jets to lean a engine and watch the effect it has. None of this can be felt to any degree of accuracy without the proper equipment. That's all I'm trying to say blade.
It sounds to me like you're talking about engines that are already tuned along the ragged edge of self-destruction which is a vast difference to the average road engine.
You may not be able to tell when a needle is one notch out or a jet is five points out at three-quarter throttle but many of us can, simply because we spent years trying to jet carbs to get optimal results.
 

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It sounds to me like you're talking about engines that are already tuned along the ragged edge of self-destruction which is a vast difference to the average road engine.
You may not be able to tell when a needle is one notch out or a jet is five points out at three-quarter throttle but many of us can, simply because we spent years trying to jet carbs to get optimal results.
Modern day sporbike engines are just about full out race engines with 13:1 comp and 13,000 rpm. As I said, the light load (comparatively speaking) is the only thing that allows it to hide tuning sins. Any MotoGP or superbike engine has gone through exactly as I have described, don't kid yourself.
 

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Modern day sporbike engines are just about full out race engines with 13:1 comp and 13,000 rpm. As I said, the light load (comparatively speaking) is the only thing that allows it to hide tuning sins. Any MotoGP or superbike engine has gone through exactly as I have described, don't kid yourself.
Modern engines rev higher and run higher compression because of better quality fuel and lighter but stronger components. They're no more highly stressed than engines of twenty or thirty years ago were.
Aren't MotoGP and Superbike engines included in the "$50,000 engines" I mentioned earlier? They are certainly not the average road engine.
 

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Modern engines rev higher and run higher compression because of better quality fuel and lighter but stronger components. They're no more highly stressed than engines of twenty or thirty years ago were.
Aren't MotoGP and Superbike engines included in the "$50,000 engines" I mentioned earlier? They are certainly not the average road engine.
It has very little to do with fuel. It has to do with air fuel mixtures being atomized more thouroughly with high pressure injectors and delivered more precisely. On the mechanical side it is better components as you mentioned.

A superbike engine is not that much different than what's in the bike depending on rules but as I said before. Take the 600 Superstock class and you'll find similar care taken for maps when rules allow. The higher the tune of the engine, the more critical all these things become.

You are old school and a seat of the pants kind of guy and there's nothing wrong with that so you go ahead and play around with your maps by feel and I'll use a map that was designed by somebody that knew what they were doing. I don't think it's wise to tell others to do so on their own. I'm done with this one (I hope!) but you can have the last word like usual.
 

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It has very little to do with fuel. It has to do with air fuel mixtures being atomized more thouroughly with high pressure injectors and delivered more precisely. On the mechanical side it is better components as you mentioned.

A superbike engine is not that much different than what's in the bike depending on rules but as I said before. Take the 600 Superstock class and you'll find similar care taken for maps when rules allow. The higher the tune of the engine, the more critical all these things become.

You are old school and a seat of the pants kind of guy and there's nothing wrong with that so you go ahead and play around with your maps by feel and I'll use a map that was designed by somebody that knew what they were doing. I don't think it's wise to tell others to do so on their own. I'm done with this one (I hope!) but you can have the last word like usual.
I don't understand why you are insisting on talking about racing engines when I'm talking about road engines.
If you're racing then it would be usual practise to dynotune.
What I don't understand is why you feel it's a bad thing to alter the map since it's so very easy to change it back again. For it to damage anything the engine would need to be so far out of tune that even the most inexperienced rider should be able to feel that it's not right long before any harm is done.
 
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