It hurts when I pee
Nah that's a load of rubbish, and the author of that article is getting his panties in a bunch for no realistic reason. There are too many "could happen" and "might happen" statements in it to make me the least bit nervous
Bad example. Jailbreaking a phone isn't illegal.In the past, it may have seemed preposterous to lump a gearhead tinkering with his car under the same digital umbrella that catches people who jailbreak their phones. But today, dozens of ECUs run almost all vehicle functions, including the performance of the engine, steering and brakes. These units are run by computer code that automakers consider proprietary.
Damn right tampering with your ECU code can-and-SHOULD void your warranty.At present, there's no known case in which an automaker has pursued litigation against an individual under the banner of a DMCA violation. At worst, it seems a car owner runs the risk of voiding their warranty by altering these codes. But that could change.
That's why most all of these devices or speed parts in general say "for off road use only", unless you find some tha have a carb E.O> number which means they are approved for on road use by CARB. (don't mean squat if you don't live in california).According to the EPA and numerous stickers on any motor vehicle and now even on lawnmowers, doing ANTHING that changes fueling, intake or exhaust is against Federal law.
The whole idea with lean factory fueling is to cut emissions into the atmosphere. Using an ECU control unit that can alter the fuel air ratio is in violation----unless there is a disclaimer that says: For off road use only, as in racing etc, off public roadways.
Exhaust and intake changes normally make the fuel air ratio even leaner but then opens the can of worms about loud motorcycles.
A state that does extensive yearly safety and SMOG inspections can easily spot these modifications.
I'm not aware of any ECM's capable of monitoring the gear selection and mis-adjusting the timing accordingly. At least not on motorcycles. These days on cars with 5,6,7, 8 speed automatics the TCM will signal the ECM to retard the timing a tad before shifting to reduce the shock on the tranny. Kinda like letting off the gas a tad.My Suzuki had the timing retarded on the first three gears.
Some of your statements might be true of a car running a modern ECM with knock detection technology and wide range O2 sensors but what does that have to do with a bike? Back around 2010 Victory finally installed their first ever O2 sensors to go closed loop. They run 2 maps now. One with and one without the narrow range sensors showing adequate temperature. The first map is basically intended to be used with a cold engine. If you want the wide range Bosch sensors you have to go after market and get an auto tune capacity on a fuel controller like the PC5. Even when you are running with the narrow range sensors in the circuit you are running a pre-map that acknowledges only whether or not you have a near 14.7/1 AFR.I know a little bit about fuel injection. Working at Motorola as an engineer I helped design Robert Bosch's FIRST digital, ECU-controlled fuel injection unit.
A correctly fuel & spark-mapped engine makes the most power AND gets the best fuel mileage. Manufacturers do NOT leave a lot of performance OR mileage on the table, especially automakers struggling to boost their CAFE by .1mpg.
So how can someone slap on a tuner and suddenly make gobs more power, or get better mileage. The bottom line is they can't. And simply adding a K&N air filter, or hi-flow exhaust doesn't create a need to re-chip or re-map the ECM either, at least not on bikes with 02 sensors. You'd have to do serious engine mods before needing to re-map the ECM, not just improve volumetric efficiency.
The cheapest "tuners" simply tell the engine it's colder than it is, so it runs richer. But the 02 sensor "sees" the rich condition and adjusts long term fuel trim to compensate. So in a day or so...it's back to where you started. Other "juice boxes" can adjust the width of the pulses to the injectors under all sorts of pre-defined conditions --- idle, cruise, WOT, etc.
But without a dyno, you're pretty much shooting in the dark when you start enriching/enleaning the engine from where the factory set it. Can you simply adjust it, go for a test ride, and iterate? Well, do you REALLY think your "seat of the pants" can measure a 3-5% improvement, maximum? I doubt it. And you're NOT going to get 10-20% power boosts. No way, no how.
Some riders CLAIM that by chipping the engine, and defeating EPA desired features like EGR (on an auto engine) they can THEREBY get better mileage. Wrong again. EGR enables greater spark advance under cruise conditions, hence better mileage. Partial throttle acceleration, well, if you want more power, why don't you just go to WOT --- wide open throttle?
There is simply nowhere in an engine's RPM range that an engine is intentionally run so lean, or so rich by the factory, for emissions control or any other reason that modifying the fuel map is going to do much to improve matters for you. Just the opposite; you lean out high cruise enough to see an additional 5mpg and you may burn your exhaust valves! Lean out the idle and it'll idle rough. Enrich the idle and it'll waste fuel and foul plugs. etc.
Sure, if you're a factory rider and have professionals who know more about YOUR engine than Honda or Kawasaki or HD does, and you've modded the cam timing, compression, run racing fuel, you have access to a dyno, etc. you may indeed need to use a Power Commander or whatever to obtain max performance from your MODIFIED engine.
But for mere mortals, including myself, chipping your bike or car OR truck is mostly a waste of time and $ unless you like blowing lots of black smoke. Even with all my background I wouldn't even THINK about trying to "chip" a highly tuned, high compression, fuel injected motorcycle motor unless I had someone with even MORE experience to work with me, AND access to a dyno.
The one place where autos really have it over bikes these days are knock sensing, which allows the spark timing to be advanced to take advantage of premium fuels. A bike engine must avoid detonation like the plague, so SOME ignition advance probably IS left on the table by mfr's --- for warranty reasons!
Run your trucks turbo at 15psi instead of the factory set 7, advance your timing, then you either have to add water injection or run it richer than snot to avoid pinging and cratering your motor. And you'll eventually crater it anyway.
My guess is 95% of the folks who have chipped bikes/cars/trucks have A) wasted their money, and B) actually DECREASED power output and mpg's at certain regimes. If you're one of the FEW who thinks you've really done your bike a major solid with a Juice Box, I'd like to hear about it. And see the dyno before and after graphs. Let's cut the subjective B.S., ok?
If you really want to get into all this, start by reading every single article on Dr. Dyno's website...
I disagree completely. I have no intention of ever becoming a race rider so a day at the track has zero value for me. What I wanted, and got, was a nice bump in passing power for the 2 lane roads when I am riding 2-up.>My guess is 95% of the folks who have chipped bikes/cars/trucks have wasted their money ....
You're clearly a 5%'er.... congratulations!
According to the dyno, for all your work and the $ you spent you managed to extract a whopping 7 additional horsepower and 7 foot-pounds of torque, peak.
So what did you spend? $2100? So $300 per pony....
I propose that on a 90 horsepower bike an additional 7 hp/ft-lb would be BARELY discernible on the "Butt dyno" and if going fast is the goal, the money would have been better spent at the track becoming a better rider. Agree? Disagree?
You make some valid points about lack of 02 sensors/wide band & knock sensors on bikes, until very recent. Even so, for the 95%, "tuning" and "chipping" is best left to experts with access to dyno's.
Which I think your example proves quite well.
On Harleys they use a speed sensor which operates off the 5th gear in the transmission. (A basic Hall effect device.) The ECM then compares vehicle speed to engine RPMs to determine which gear the bike is in.I'm not aware of any ECM's capable of monitoring the gear selection and mis-adjusting the timing accordingly. At least not on motorcycles. <snip>
If not, how is the ECM even AWARE of what gear the tranny is in?
And the alternative to smooth throttle response is what, the "all-or-nothing" throttle response I had on my Ninja before I rebuilt the carbs?[for] smooth throttle response and gentle performance curve.... (