The PCV interface is quite...
The PCV interface is quite intuitive and a step easier to navigate than the previous PCIII. From here, fuelling can be changed and the AutoTune can be set to suggest map changes based on an array of air/fuel ratios.
The PCV has inputs available that can be used to assist with the tuning process: An external switch can be wired in to select between two stored maps; a speed input allows the unit to detect what gear the bike is in, and enables different maps for each gear; with this feature enabled, different maps for each cylinder can be accessed, for a total of 24 maps on the R1; an analog input can be used for temperature or pressure sensors, from which the maps can be offset for use with nitrous or a turbocharger; and the accelerator-pump feature is carried over to the new unit. We were most interested in the AutoTune accessory, which is an additional box that plugs into the main unit and generates suggested changes to a selected map based on readings as you ride (or run the bike on a dyno) from a supplied O2 sensor.
You’re probably asking (as we did), why would you need the Power Commander as well as the ECU reflash? To account for changing conditions such as other modifications, weather or fuel, the PCV and AutoTune can be used to subtly adjust the fuel injection as needed, rather than continually reflashing the ECUa costly prospect. An additional symbiotic relationship is that because the reflashed ECU disables the stock closed-loop injection function, the AutoTune is not constantly fighting the stock ECU and over-compensating. As such, the AutoTune function works better and is more accurate. So, we headed to our SuperFlow dyno with both installed on the R1.
This Serial Suite tuning kit...
This Serial Suite tuning kit from Piasini Engineering is what’s used to perform the reflash. Wired into the ECU’s connector, the new software and maps were uploaded to our R1’s ECU in eight minutes. The small USB stick contains maps for a number of different motorcycles and tuning combinations, which are constantly being updated.
First up, we ran the bike with the stock ECU and no Power Commander, and saw a healthy increase in power across the range with six more peak horsepower from the exhaust alone. The midrange is nicely filled in, and there is slightly more power past the peak. Reflashing the ECU bumped peak power by an additional four horsepower, now 10 more than stock and even more past the power peak. You can see on the dyno chart that the rev limit is higher on the reflashed ECU (raised from 13,750 to 14,200 rpm), but a nice touch is that the limiter is softer, gradually cutting fuel and spark rather than abruptly. Adding the Power Commander on its own did not noticeably increase power on the dyno, but note also that the ECU reflash did not increase power below the original power peakafter which the stock bike is restricted. Using the stock ECU and the Power Commander did fill in the small dip in the power curve at 5000 rpm, almost exactly as the reflashed ECU did.
Our R1 picked up more than...
Our R1 picked up more than 10 peak horsepower with significant gains across the range and an almost 20-horsepower increase past the peak. Note that the rev limit has been extended, and that the power curve is smoother. Adding the Power Commander V did not appreciably change the dyno chart.
Following the dyno session, we set the AutoTune unit to gather data as the bike was ridden, and used that to tweak the fuel map accordingly. Our modified R1 is definitely more powerful than stock throughout the rev range, and riding it showed that it is more responsive as well, with no jumps or dips in the power. While the bike is now so responsive to throttle inputs that even more than usual care must be taken on corner exits, that care is not so much to ease the stock bike’s sudden lurch in power as the throttle is opened, but rather to keep the front wheel on the ground and the tires in line! The modified R1 is an impressive package, with the Graves exhaust, Power Commander and reflashed ECU combining for some potent results. Now we just have to scrounge up some more modifications so we can keep this bike in the test fleet for a while.