Addressing some common questions, and a small window into
what is involved from my point of view as a tuner
Why does ECU reflashing, re-flashing cost $xxx dollars?
What you are purchasing is the end result of an enormous
amount of time and money spent on each bike.
First, the way that the ecu needs to be communicated with has to be established.
Most times the ecu has to be cut open to figure this out. Then after the
ecu is communicated with, the files need to be modified and turned into
something that is editable.
(so far this is more than 300 hours for someone
who knows what they are doing without making any mistakes)
Then once the file is editable, identification testing can begin. This
means that careful changes are made to help identify what you are actually
changing. (nothing is labeled inside)
Once this is sorted (another 200 hours or more sometimes)
then finally tuning can begin. Another couple of months of testing and
actually riding the bike in real world conditions, then I can offer something
to you (the customer) that passes all of my picky criteria.
For me, this procedure needs to be done for every model of every bike
that I offer a flash for.
I will not put something out there that needs improvement. I want everyone
to be very happy that does business with me. Sometimes being the first
one out with something isn't always the best in the long run.
I sometimes choose not to make the final fuel mapping inside the ECU because
it is not possible to make changes to your ECU without mailing it back
to me. I do adjust most fueling problems inside and try to make the tune
90% for most users... this makes a fuel tuner optional for many of the
models that I offer this service for.
Sometimes, but not always, I use the Power Commander to make the final fueling changes
which works just as good as using the ecu. It depends on how sensitive the particular model is to changes in modifications (pipe/intake). It's not that I
am after the small profit of the PC sale, it's that I can update the fueling
and e-mail it to my customers if they change something on their bike,
or if I make an update to the fueling for product improvement. This way
you don't have to send your ecu back to me at your inconvenience.
Also, if for some reason you choose to have your own custom tune made,
you can go to your favorite tuner if needed.
Power Commander maps do not easily translate into the ecu's files and
will not have good driveability by my standards when adapted to fit.
I have tried this method and the result is less than stellar in my opinion.
Anyone who has purchased from me in the past is familiar with my standards.
Yes, this method is a little more money, but the end result is sometimes better
and easier to work with for both of us.
If your primary riding is just at the dragstrip, you don't need an engine
that runs perfect at all throttle positions. You just need the wide open
throttle to be fine tuned and not much else. If it runs just ok at part
throttle, this is good enough. The rest is your riding skill.
A street rider or road racer on the other hand, needs everything to be
as perfect as you can get it. and at all throttle positions, including
max power at full throttle.
Throttle Quality is key here... Throttle response needs to be
smooth and predictable.
I will not release any tuning program to anyone until it passes my personal
picky standards. The big HP is easy to get for any tuner that knows a
little bit. But, having driveability that far surpasses stock is what
separates a good tuner from a guy who follows the dyno tuners manual,
or spends his work life on the dyno or at the dragstrip only.
A tuner that tunes primarily for the dragstrip or spends most of his
time on the dyno has little to do with street riding.
Road racing has some similar things with street riding, but usually the
street rider is the most demanding when it comes to throttle quality and
The street rider wants the power of a racer with the manners of
a refined gentleman.
I am a street rider for nearly 40 years as well as an enthusiast. This
is why I don't spend my life at the tracks.
I like to spend my time away from work with my wife and
friends enjoying my motorcycles and other activities in my spare time
and not working on the weekends. 1.5 days off a week is barely enough
time to recoup and be at work again every Monday thru Saturday for all
my customers. I like to make myself accessible to my customers, and not
be burned out from my work.
On each bike's page that I offer this service for will be a list of the
specific features that my tuning program includes.
Enjoy and ride safe,
A word about "Do-it-Yourself" ECU flashing kits:
(just in case you don't know what you are getting into & why using us is a better option)
Please keep in mind that if you are considering purchasing a "Do-it-yourself"
ECU flashing kit or using someone else that uses the same software for
The commercially available kits for end users and most tuning shops only
offer very basic access to the tuning parameters inside. They are
riddled with mistakes, and don't offer enough to properly tune a bike
to the quality that I am capable of delivering to my customers.
These kits will also change your ECU's password so that nothing else but
the original flashing computer will be able to communicate with it. This
is how the kit maker controls how many ECUs their product can flash -
the ECU that is flashed becomes permanently tied to the computer that
the software is registered with.
Sending it to me or anyone else afterwards will not be possible for many
If you have a locked ecu that you would like to unlock, please call us to see if we can do it.
Locking an ECU is fine for protecting another tuner's work, but when/if
the original stock file is re-installed by these cheap kits, the ECU's
password does not return to stock.
If you arent satisfied for any reason, or want to make adjustments, you will not be able to flash it with better equipment without replacing the ECU with another one.
You should think twice about buying a used bike with an ECU that was flashed by this type of equipment that can never be communicated with again unless you return it to the original computer that did the flash.
But, also know that the original computer cannot install the original password either.
In other words, only the original computer that did the flash is able to communicate with the ECU permanently!!
If I need to return an ECU (that I flashed) back to stock programming, the original password is always installed.
Additionally, most of the kits that disable error codes so that you can
remove the EXUP servo motors, AIS valves etc. do not actually remove just
the error code, instead, they disable the entire self diagnosis system.
The bad part of this is, if something goes wrong with your bike, you will
never know what the problem is because either the check engine light will
not come on, or if it does, the error code will not display.
If I offer an "error code disable" option for you, it will not affect any of the self diagnostics.
1) Does the kit offer you or the tuner access to the entire file?
If you don't have access to the entire file, then you can only make adjustments
to the "definitions" that the kit maker offers.
2) Are the definitions accurate and correct at the time of purchase?
2a)Does the software actually do what it says that it does?
"Definitions" are what points the software at the actual parts
of the file that you are choosing to adjust.
Incorrect definitions lead to lost time and delays on someone else's schedule
when they get around to fixing it.
Just because the software has a box that says: "Disable This" or "Enable That" it doesn't mean that it actually works.
3) Please know that you cannot adjust fueling inside an ECU accurately
without expensive datalogging equipment and a dyno.
Without quality datalogger equipment it's like shooting monkeys in a barrel.
(you'll be playing with it indefinetly and this will lead to frustration
Even with a datalogger, tuning an ECU properly can be quite a challenge.
4) Is your ECU located in an easy to reach location?
Tearing into your bodywork every time you want to change something gets
old real quick.
An ECU is not a power commander, bad mistakes on the tuner's part can
easily lead to engine damage or bodily injury, or damaged ECU, or any
combination of these things.
Power Commander maps do not easily translate into an ECU even though some of these companies say that they can put your PC3 or PCV map into the ECU, the end result is better if you just kept the PC3 or PCV on the bike.
Knowing these things ahead of time can help you make the best decision
that is right for you.
I personally don't use commercially available hardware and software for
tuning an ECU.
My equipment was all custom built for my needs and preferences as a tuner.
I would never risk my reputation by using equipment that cannot deliver
the level of service that my customers have been used to since 1998.