Press

Tune-Up For Touring

Speed's Secrets, May/June 2009

Touring sometimes means riding your bike through varied conditions, from sea level to mile-high in the mountains, or vice versa. Great fun, but the problem—at least as far as the tune-up goes—is that a fuel-injected bike that’s been custom Smapped for crisp, responsive running and 44 MPG in one location, say sea level, isn’t going to react the same at loftier elevations. But it can, according to the guys at Speed’s Performance Plus who have experience tuning bikes for these and other conditions.
“The problem,” SPP’s Wayne Hanson explains, “is that, while the Power Commander is a magnificent tuning device, it’ll only let me set up a motorcycle for one place and one set of conditions. It’ll be perfect, no question, but when the owner heads home things might change. He could be in a different elevation with totally different barometric conditions. The map I custom developed might need a little tweaking to be absolutely correct.” And now, with Dynojet’s new Auto Tune brought into the picture, the bike can get that little bit of extra attention it needs. Automatically. With Auto Tune critical fuel levels can be automatically adjusted to precise correctness anywhere, anytime, no matter where the motorcycle is ridden.
The Auto Tune kit includes the control box, a pair of Wide Band O2 sensors and the wiring to plug into the Power Commander. The idea is to let Auto Tune, working with the Power Commander, automatically make the required fuel adjustments when and where they’re needed. In theory a motorcycle could automatically tune itself to the prevailing conditions. In reality the guys at Speed’s Performance have taken this one step further and the result is truly optimum performance for a Harley that’s spot-on all the time.
“What we’ve found to work exceptionally well on the ‘08 and ‘09 bikes,” Hanson says, “is to employ the Auto Tune as a supplement to what we’ve always done using the Power Commander.” So first step to a real touring tune-up, he explains, is to custom tune the engine using the Power Commander, same as always. “When we’re finished,” he goes on, “you’ll have a perfectly tuned motorcycle with the sensor-eliminators in place, standard procedure with the Power Commander. But now we’ll add Auto Tune with its Bosch Wide-Band sensors, hook everything up and go into that program and isolate just the areas we know will need special attention from time to time.” He’s talking about throttle positions from about 5-percent to 15- or 20-percent and an RPM range from about 2,000 to approximately 4,500, the real-world cruising ranges of most street-ridden bikes. Depending on where the rider lives and where he does most of his riding, Speed’s sets the Auto Tune limits to allow a 5- to 10-percent change, plus or minus, to the original custom-mapped values.

It’s an ideal solution. First, the motorcycle’s been custom mapped for what it is and what equipment it has on it. And with the SPP setup, the startup, idle and wide-open throttle values aren’t affected by Auto Tune. But now all the cruising ranges can be finely regulated with minor adjustments to the already-precise map happening automatically. Result: The motorcycle will be perfectly tuned wherever it goes.
“What I like about this,” Hanson goes on, “is that Auto Tune is doing its thing working off a map way closer to where it needs to be. Only those important cruising ranges will be slightly modified as needed.” The SPP approach pays dividends in longevity, too. While it’s theoretically possible to let Auto Tune set all the levels all the time—automatically adjusting for 20-, 30- or even 40-percent differences in the fuel map, plus or minus—doing so works the device and its sensors overtime; the wide-band sensors can and do wear out and burn out prematurely. Speed’s approach puts realistic limits on the Auto Tune so it works in a much narrower range, has an easier life and does a better job overall. And the tune-up you get at Bike Week, or anywhere else, will be correct every other week of the year, too.

Take a look at the Speed’s Performance Plus website for their full 2009 schedule, or drop by at one of the upcoming stops at: Arizona Bike Week, April 1–5; Laughlin River Run, April 18– 26; Myrtle Beach Bike Week, May 8 –17; and Laconia, June 13–21. Visit them and they’ll tell you all about Auto Tune. Speed’s has three shop locations around the country, too, in Blackhawk, South Dakota; Elk River, Minnesota; and New Market, Tennessee.

Contact Speed's

605-695-1401 — MN

605-695-2272 — SD

386-405-7898 — TN

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