ECU FLASHING FAQ
Q: Do I “need” to flash my ECU?
A: No, this is America and you can do whatever you want! Usually, flashing your ECU isn’t “necessary” in the sense that NOT doing so will somehow cause immediate and catastrophic damage to your bike. That said, not having appropriate custom mapping for your specific bike and intake/exhaust system can significantly shorten the life of some internal engine components, such as pistons and exhaust valves. Truly, the better question to ask is why would you NOT want to flash your ECU, remove any emissions restrictions and have custom mapping to match your specific combination of intake and/or exhaust modifications?! Having us flash your ECU with our custom mapping will (to put it simply) significantly improve performance, lower engine operating temperatures, and smooth out both your bike’s throttle response AND on/off throttle transition throughout the entire RPM range!
Q: Won’t my bike “self-adjust” for my new intake and/or exhaust system?
A: Not exactly. Most modern motorcycles do utilize at least one O2 sensor that controls what is known as “closed loop operation”. Closed loop operation only controls VERY small portions of most motorcycle’s engine throttle, RPM and load range. Your bike’s O2 sensor(s) are also set to maintain a fixed, lean (14.7:1) air:fuel mixture for emissions purposes, which is not optimal for performance, throttle response, or engine combustion temperatures. Once your bike’s throttle opening percentage, engine load and/or engine RPM exceeds the closed loop operation parameters (this is usually above only 10-15% throttle and roughly 1/3 of the way through an engine’s RPM range) the O2 sensor input is ignored in what is known as “open loop operation”. In open loop operation, without the input of the O2 sensor(s), the bike has no way of knowing that it needs to be adjusting fuel delivery for any modifications that you’ve made to the bike!
Q: Can I leave my O2 sensor(s) in place when I flash my ECU?
A: In most cases, NO! The O2 sensor(s) should, almost, always be unplugged and closed loop operation disabled. Closed loop operation, as explained above, is already sub-optimal for most motorcycle engines from a performance, throttle response and combustion temperature standpoint. If not unplugged, the O2 sensors will allow closed loop operation to interfere with the custom mapping that we flash into the ECU, and throttle response and/or transition will not be nearly as smooth as it should be! There are some exceptions to this, as some motorcycle models’ closed loop operation can actually be manipulated and/or overwritten with our ECU flash, and some select models actually still function very well with closed loop operation maintained and fully functional for a number of different reasons. If you aren’t sure if your O2 sensor(s) should remain plugged in after your ECU has been flashed, sent us an email and we’ll be happy to confirm one way or another!
Q: If my bike’s O2 sensors(s) are unplugged, how will my bike adjust for my specific environment and/or climate?
A: All modern fuel injected motorcycles are equipped with other input sensors (such as intake air temperature sensors and barometric pressure sensors) that still play a significant role in BOTH closed loop AND open loop engine operation fuel mapping algorithms! These other input sensors are left completely operational in ALL cases by our custom ECU flash, and they adjust for specific environments and climates extremely well. We actually tested several of these sensors in one of the most extreme riding conditions on the planet when we were supporting several racers and teams at Pike’s Peak, and they provided perfect fueling adjustments for the extremely wide variety of atmospheric conditions we were able to subject them to in this environment. In fact, almost all of the barometric pressure sensors we tested provided accurate fueling adjustments until around 10,000 feet up!
Q: Do I need to block off my AIS/PAIR system?
A: In most cases, your bike’s AIS/PAIR system (the stock air-injection system equipped on most modern motorcycles for emissions compliance) should absolutely be removed, plugged or blocked off in some way! Once an aftermarket performance exhaust system (without a catalytic converter) is installed on your bike, this system will cause significant backfiring on deceleration. It may sound cool, but is quite hard on the exhaust valves and will eventually blow the packing right out of your muffler. It also negatively impacts throttle response and smoothness by interrupting your engine’s normal exhaust pulse flow. In some cases, the AIS/PAIR solenoids used are “naturally closed”, which means that when we disable this system through ECU flashing software, the solenoid remains closed and now air can pass through the system! Unfortunately, most AIS/PAIR solenoids are “naturally open”, so when the system is disabled the solenoid still allows air to pass through the system. In these cases (most motorcycles fall into this category) the AIS/PAIR solenoid feed line should be plugged with a vacuum cap to prevent air from flowing from the airbox to the air injection system. If you want to remove the system entirely, you can do so without issue once we flash the ECU, and you can simply install block off plates in place of the system!
Q: So how does the process work?
A: Simply purchase our Mail-In ECU Flashing Service on our website, and be sure to check the banner at the top of our homepage for any sales or coupons we have available! Once you process payment, send us your ECU with a note containing your contact information AND the modifications that you’ve done to the bike (so we know what custom mapping to flash into your ECU). Once we receive your ECU, we will flash AND send it back to you the very same day that we receive it!
Q: What if I’m local and just want to bring my bike or ECU to the shop in person?
A: No problem at all! We welcome walk/ride-in ECU flashing anytime during our regular business hours WITHOUT an appointment.
Q: Why should I have you guys flash my ECU instead of someone else?
A: In the past decade, we have flashed more motorcycle ECU’s than anyone else on the planet for one main reason: ALL of our custom fuel and ignition mapping is built specifically for each motorcycle and intake/exhaust combination that we offer flashing support for! For throttle-by-wire motorcycles, our custom throttle mapping has been developed after thousands of hours of feedback and testing from riders on the street AND professional racers on the track. The combination of the custom fuel and ignition mapping that we build for each setup on the dyno, in conjunction with our custom throttle mapping, provides the smoothest AND strongest engine operation possible throughout the ENTIRE RPM range. On top of all of that, we offer FREE mapping updates for any future modifications you make to your motorcycle AND any improvements we make to our custom mapping through our constant R&D process. Building custom mapping on our dyno is what we specialize in, so we are CONSTANTLY creating new custom mapping as new motorcycle models, intake and exhaust systems are released.
Q: How can I get more information about tuning my specific motorcycle?
A: For any ECU flashing/tuning questions about specific motorcycles and intake/exhaust system combinations, PLEASE email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are ALWAYS happy to help!