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Why is ECU flashing better than using "Piggyback" Fuel Controller?


2 Wheel DynoWorks

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This is going to be a long one, but we think that it is absolutely essential that anyone looking to maximize their motorcycle’s performance (and their own personal riding enjoyment) understand how to best tune and dial in their bike. 

PLEASE, unless there is no quality ECU flashing available for your bike, don’t waste your money on a Power Commander, Bazzaz or any other piggyback style fuel controller! Quite simply, they’re a waste of money when there’s total control over the mapping in the stock ECU for most modern bikes on the market. Let’s dive into the FACTS!

 

Until the late 2000’s, there simply wasn’t access to the mapping in stock ECU’s, so a piggyback fuel controller (a device that intercepts and taps into the fuel injectors, throttle position sensor, and sometimes several other fuel injection components) had to be used to tune and dial in a motorcycle. The single most popular piggyback fuel controller on the market is the Power Commander, but many others exist on the market (Bazzaz, RapidBike, EJK, etc). Nels, and our technicians, have installed THOUSANDS of these piggyback fuel controllers on motorcycles over the past decade or so, because they’re a great tool for an experienced and qualified tuner to use when adjusting fuel, and sometimes ignition timing, mapping on a dyno when no other solutions are/were available. They allow for adjustment of the TPS (throttle position) vs RPM fuel mapping with a high level of resolution for most applications. Depending on the bike, they usually cost anywhere between $320 and a whopping $1250, take 1-3 hours to properly install inline with the bike’s fuel injection, and sometimes ignition, system. Before ECU flashing, they were the best solution on the market! 

 

Let’s fast forward to the modern era of motorcycle fuel injection systems and emissions compliance! Even on a relatively simple fuel injection system, like the one used on a Yamaha FZ/MT-07, Power Commanders, and every other piggyback fuel controller, simply doesn’t cut it anymore. They don’t allow for adjustment of the individual IAP vs RPM and TPS v RPM tables, which the ECU references and weights differently depending on the particular load, throttle, and engine speed (RPM) data inputs that are constantly being referenced by the fuel mapping algorithms. Without specific control over both sets of fuel mapping tables, some of the lighter throttle/load points simply can’t be properly tuned. This is part of the reason why most Power Commander users for these bikes still experience significant popping/backfiring on deceleration and light throttle transition with aftermarket intake/exhaust systems!

 

These bikes (we’re still talking about a simple FZ/MT-07) also suffer from a massive fuel cut on deceleration, which is programmed directly into the stock ECU by Yamaha for emissions compliance. In fact, almost all modern fuel injected motorcycles have deceleration fuel cuts! Instead of gradually increasing/decreasing fuel injector pulse width (or duty cycle depending on the system) with engine RPM, throttle position and/or engine load like a volume knob, this emissions feature simply shuts off the fuel injectors entirely the moment you roll off the throttle like a light switch. This is the primary contributor to most bike’s massively “twitchy” or “jerky” throttle transitions, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to address this with ANY piggyback system. It MUST be disabled through flashing the ECU.

 

All modern, liquid cooled, fuel injected bikes also suffer from much higher than optimal engine temperatures. Again, this is done for emissions purposes. Higher cylinder temperatures directly increase fuel combustion temperatures, and this produces a more “complete” or “clean” burn of the fuel. This sounds great on paper, but in reality these increased combustion temperatures also increase the risk of pre-detonation (knocking) and shorten the overall life of the internal engine components. Most cooling fans aren’t engaged by the ECU until 215-220 degrees Fahrenheit, and this, once again, CANNOT be adjusted through any piggyback system on the market. They CAN ONLY be adjusted through flashing the ECU. Our cooling fan engagement parameters, along with our custom fuel and ignition mapping that result in an overall cooler combustion, keep the engine operating right around 200 degrees Fahrenheit during almost all riding conditions!

 

All of those parameters, emissions features, and specific fuel/ignition maps can only be specifically modified via proper ECU flashing, and that’s on a system as simplistic as an FZ/MT-07! On almost all manufacturer’s flagship TBW (Throttle-By-Wire) model bikes, there are MANY more emissions compliance restrictions placed in the stock ECU mapping that MASSIVELY limit engine performance. Manufacturers have gone as far as to create individual gear-based restrictions in both the electronic throttle AND ignition timing mapping on many of these bikes.

These restrictions are so intrusive that on a 2016+ Kawasaki ZX10R, the upper gears have a nearly FIFTY HORSEPOWER restriction at the top of the RPM range! When you’re at WOT (Wide Open Throttle) in 5th gear on these bikes, the electronic throttle mapping ignores your wrist’s throttle input and begins to close the throttle plates by over 30%. Not only are all of these electronic throttle mapping systems massively restricted, but they also leave a LOT to be desired in terms of the smoothness of the throttle plate(s) opening and power delivery to the wheels. Once again (you guessed it), there isn’t a piggyback system on the market capable of modifying the electronic throttle mapping built into these modern ECU’s. 

 

Let’s pretend that none of those marks against piggyback controllers existed. Even if you could ignore ALL of those issues, you still have to swallow the fact that you’re going to spend an hour or two installing a system that taps into the stock wiring harness/connectors and is, sadly, prone to eventual failure, AND when these controllers do fail, you’re stuck on the side of the road until you can remove the unit from the bike. Even IF you’re willing to ignore the potential failure risk of an aftermarket fuel controller, you still have to either A) have the mapping dialed in by an experienced tuner on a dyno, OR B) rely on the generic mapping you can find online. Let’s put it this way: if the mapping available online was truly dialed in for a specific motorcycle and intake/exhaust system, it wouldn’t be available for free. At best, the mapping you can find on Power Commander’s website is at least better than stock for your specific bike’s setup. At worst, it’s even further from optimal than the stock mapping, which we sadly see ALL THE TIME on our dyno.

 

All of our fuel and ignition mapping is built SPECIFICALLY for each motorcycle’s intake/exhaust system combo on the main ONE of our THREE dynos, by Nels, who now has over 105,000 runs logged on our primary dyno AND has been tuning motorcycles for over a decade. Because of all of the data compiled from thousands of motorcycles with different intake/exhaust system combinations, we have mapping as perfectly dialed in as possible for virtually every specific intake/exhaust combination on all of the motorcycles that we support. We add to this mapping database every single day, thanks to our great relationships with our local dealer network, major distributors, exhaust manufacturers, and our fantastic customers! We also routinely test our mapping for accuracy, and, thanks to the increasingly tight manufacturing tolerances from most of the major motorcycle manufacturers, our mapping is almost always 97-98% perfect.

 

If all of those reasons STILL somehow don’t convince you that a Power Commander is, in almost every scenario for a modern motorcycle, the WRONG method of tuning for your bike…consider this. Almost all of our ECU flashing services are only $250. That’s $70 less than the cheapest Power Commander V. At the end of the day, our ECU flash will provide you with a SMOOTHER throttle response, INCREASED PERFORMANCE and COOLER operating temperatures throughout the entire RPM range than any piggyback controller ever can…for less money.

 

https://2wheeldynoworks.com/

 

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@2 Wheel DynoWorks Hi, so do you have a specific Tenere 700 ECU flash or just using that developed for the FZ/MT07? I understand that it is the same engine however in a different application.  I don’t see the Tenere 700 listed on your site. Cheers.

Making James May look quick!

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Cruizin
3 minutes ago, TimG said:

@2 Wheel DynoWorks Hi, so do you have a specific Tenere 700 ECU flash or just using that developed for the FZ/MT07? I understand that it is the same engine however in a different application.  I don’t see the Tenere 700 listed on your site. Cheers.

They stated in another post that yes, they have a tenere 700 specific tune. 

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Quick question :    How about warranty?

... I am not sure what is Yamaha's position on these ECU reflash.

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8 hours ago, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

"original text removed"

 

https://2wheeldynoworks.com/

 

My ECU will be going to you at the end of the riding season. 2WDW has flashed every bike in my good friend's race team's fleet of motorcycles (Double R Racing) and my 100% trust is in 2WDW. I hope we can bypass the braking system completely so I don't have to ever press the button. If I can buy an ECU complete, I will order it immediately.

 

Thanks for all your hard work!

Edited by GPSAT
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James 2021 Tenere 700 - Black

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Idarex

Nice write up!  I'm looking forward to getting this done.

 

This will be my first FI bike so I have a novice question.  Your site says you tune for 91 octane.  Generally that's all I run but...  Several times (read 3 times) when I have been on multi-day back country dirt rides, I have only had fuel of questionable origin available (at prohibitive prices).  One time the fuel was so bad, I drained the tank when I made it to civilization.  What effect does low octane fuel have on the tune?  Thx

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Yes, the mapping/tuning is specific to the Tenere 700, as the engine's haven't changed one bit in either the FZ/MT-07, XSR700 OR Tenere 700 platforms. In fact, the EU model Tenere 700's are still using the same ECU and wiring harness as the 2017+ EU MT-07! With all of the ones we have flashed so far, we have heard nothing but the same fantastic results that we've had with the FZ/MT-07's and XSR700's.

 

We should have the Tenere 700 listed on our website this week. The goal was to have it on the site before the end of last week, but with the riding season in full swing we simply got too buried at the shop to have the time to sit down and get that handled. It's a top priority for us this week!

 

In terms of warranty, in the rare event (so rare that we've never actually seen/heard of it happening on these bikes) that you need to file a warranty claim for the engine, we would simply recommend that you install the stock components back onto the bike and have us flash the ECU back to stock configuration (which is covered under our free reflashing)! 

 

As for the fuel quality question, 91-93 is recommended with all of our custom mapping, but if you have to get fuel somewhere that is of questionable quality...well, you have to do what you have to do, but it isn't recommended. Best case scenario, the bike pings at peak torque. Worst case scenario, even with stock mapping, the bike just doesn't want to run well at all with compromised fuel.

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Cruizin
24 minutes ago, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

Yes, the mapping/tuning is specific to the Tenere 700, as the engine's haven't changed one bit in either the FZ/MT-07, XSR700 OR Tenere 700 platforms. In fact, the EU model Tenere 700's are still using the same ECU and wiring harness as the 2017+ EU MT-07! With all of the ones we have flashed so far, we have heard nothing but the same fantastic results that we've had with the FZ/MT-07's and XSR700's.

 

We should have the Tenere 700 listed on our website this week. The goal was to have it on the site before the end of last week, but with the riding season in full swing we simply got too buried at the shop to have the time to sit down and get that handled. It's a top priority for us this week!

 

In terms of warranty, in the rare event (so rare that we've never actually seen/heard of it happening on these bikes) that you need to file a warranty claim for the engine, we would simply recommend that you install the stock components back onto the bike and have us flash the ECU back to stock configuration (which is covered under our free reflashing)! 

 

As for the fuel quality question, 91-93 is recommended with all of our custom mapping, but if you have to get fuel somewhere that is of questionable quality...well, you have to do what you have to do, but it isn't recommended. Best case scenario, the bike pings at peak torque. Worst case scenario, even with stock mapping, the bike just doesn't want to run well at all with compromised fuel.

What temperature does the stock tune turn on the fan, and what temp does your tune turn the fan on? The stock MT07 seems to run hot at times and that would be bad out on the trail. 

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  • 3 months later...

"Piggyback sytems" those dont include woolich racing boxes or any proper "piggyback sytem"

You can easily change fan settings with those piggyback sytems.

And adjust ignition timings, decel cut, etc etc and more than you do in your "safe" flashes.

 

Not insulting what you do, ive seen nels tunes they are solid safe tunes.

 

stock is 105 degrees, most tuners take it down to 90-95.

 

 

 

Edited by blazzin
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On 8/16/2020 at 8:01 PM, blazzin said:

"Piggyback sytems" those dont include woolich racing boxes or any proper "piggyback sytem"

You can easily change fan settings with those piggyback sytems.

And adjust ignition timings, decel cut, etc etc and more than you do in your "safe" flashes.

 

Not insulting what you do, ive seen nels tunes they are solid safe tunes.

 

stock is 105 degrees, most tuners take it down to 90-95.

 

 

 

You're clearly mistaken on (and/or simply don't understand) the difference between a Piggyback fuel controller and ECU flashing... The Woolich system you're referring to is not a Piggyback fuel controller in any way (like a Power Commander, Bazzaz, RapidBike, etc). The logbox that Woolich uses is simply their interface that allows the user to adjust the ECU mapping and parameters with the Woolich Racing software...

 

There is only two tuning software manufactures on the market that currently provide support for these ECU's (Woolich and FTECU) and we use FTECU for all of the Yamahas that we support.

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2 hours ago, Hammy said:

@2 Wheel DynoWorks

 

What type of hp/torque increases have you seen?

10% peak hp/torque with a full system and our custom mapping. The biggest improvements are impossible to show and simply must be felt. The throttle transition/smoothness is radically improved and part throttle/low-mid RPM range performance is dramatically increased.

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1 minute ago, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

10% peak hp/torque with a full system and our custom mapping. The biggest improvements are impossible to show and simply must be felt. The throttle transition/smoothness is radically improved and part throttle/low-mid RPM range performance is dramatically increased.

Thanks. 

I assume there are still benefits with stock exhaust?

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20 minutes ago, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

10% peak hp/torque with a full system and our custom mapping. The biggest improvements are impossible to show and simply must be felt. The throttle transition/smoothness is radically improved and part throttle/low-mid RPM range performance is dramatically increased.

I can vouch for this.  Not the peak HP/Tq but the rest of it anyway.  Just put 1100 miles on a full system and flash.  The herky-jerky is gone, maybe just a bit left from off idle in first.  I was afraid I wouldn't have the engine braking I needed but those fears were completely unfounded.  The high temp was really improved also.  I had 102 ambient temp riding days but the bike never hit 220 like it had been hitting before the flash.  Most of the time it sat steady at 190... or 199, now I can't remember, doh.

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On 5/12/2020 at 8:53 PM, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

We should have the Tenere 700 listed on our website this week. The goal was to have it on the site before the end of last week, but with the riding season in full swing we simply got too buried at the shop to have the time to sit down and get that handled. It's a top priority for us this week!

Hi,

 

Two questions about your product:

 

1 - If is so fantastic how I can read, you do not has think about selling a licence per bike (or so) directly  to Yamaha?

2 - For an european user like me, interested in the reflashing, what would be the procedure in terms of money and time?

 

Thanks,

 

Javier

 

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Has anyone looked into the Dynojet Power Vision 3 which allows the user to flash different tunes to the bike, read and clear diagnostic codes and if required re-install the original factory tune.

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3 hours ago, Hammy said:

Thanks. 

I assume there are still benefits with stock exhaust?

Absolutely! We have custom mapping built specifically for the stock exhaust and intake. We recommend removing the snorkel from the stock intake at a minimum! It is massively restrictive.

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1 hour ago, Engineer said:

Has anyone looked into the Dynojet Power Vision 3 which allows the user to flash different tunes to the bike, read and clear diagnostic codes and if required re-install the original factory tune.

The PV3 does not work as advertised, which is why we do not utilize their software on anything other than Harley Davidson and Indian models. The best software on the market for tuning these bikes is FTECU, followed closely by Woolich Racing.

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  • 1 month later...
Hammerhead
On 8/18/2020 at 4:20 PM, 2 Wheel DynoWorks said:

Absolutely! We have custom mapping built specifically for the stock exhaust and intake. We recommend removing the snorkel from the stock intake at a minimum! It is massively restrictive.

With regard to snorkel removal, are you referencing  the external portion on top of the airbox or the internal section, or both?

   Also, if it were flashed for the stock exhaust & that was later upgraded, would it then require re-flashing for that new pipe?

   Considering having your flash done this winter as it's clear there's worthy benefits & gains from the proper tuning, which you obviously have well sorted. 

 Thanks 

Edited by Hammerhead
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On 10/12/2020 at 8:33 AM, Hammerhead said:

With regard to snorkel removal, are you referencing  the external portion on top of the airbox or the internal section, or both?

   Also, if it were flashed for the stock exhaust & that was later upgraded, would it then require re-flashing for that new pipe?

   Considering having your flash done this winter as it's clear there's worthy benefits & gains from the proper tuning, which you obviously have well sorted. 

 Thanks 

The snorkel is only a single piece. Simply give it a good squeeze and yank, and the entire snorkel will pop right out of the airbox lid!

 

Yes, the fuel mapping necessary for the stock exhaust is much different than any of the aftermarket options. That said, we offer free updates after the initial flash is performed for any future modifications! All you ever pay for in the future is for shipping of the ECU.

 

-2WDW

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1 hour ago, davide said:

Is there any ECU In Mail Flashing Service based in Europe that you can recommend? 

Unfortunately sending the ECU to the US is a lil bit too risky for me!

We do not recommend any flashing services from anyone other than our own. The amount of overhauling of much of the stock mapping, even for a completely stock bike, to achieve the results our customers experience is massive. It is unlikely that anyone else has spent the dozens of hours that we have customizing the mapping to achieve these same results.

 

-2WDW

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We have 85 octane gas in Northeast Nevada and in some places thats the only choice. I assume its best to stay away from changing the tuning ?

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2 minutes ago, NvNick said:

We have 85 octane gas in Northeast Nevada and in some places thats the only choice. I assume its best to stay away from changing the tuning ?

That's definitely too low. 91-93 octane premium pump gas is recommended for all of our custom mapping. 

 

Even bone stock, these bikes barely like 87.

 

-2WDW

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