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Superbike School Riding Coach
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Everything posted by Timmer

  1. Very true Cobie. I'm sure that these bikes are probably going to get more and more electronics in the coming years. It will be interesting to see where and what they add. :/
  2. If we are strictly talking about different octane fuels... The trade off here is a lower octane fuel will make more horsepower but be closer to causing the engine to knock. Alternatively, a higher octane fuel will make less horsepower, but will also be more knock resistant.
  3. Laura, your last post actually illustrates a good point. The CRF250X motor you are using in your Moriwaki probably DOESN'T have a thermostat. The S1000RR's DO have a thermostat. You may already know this but... The thermostat is basically a valve that allows the fluid from the radiator to flow to and from the engine. When the motor is cold, the thermostat stays closed which blocks the cooler coolant fluid of the radiator from getting to the engine. At some point the coolant in the engine will heat up and thermostat will open. Once this happens, the colder coolant fluid from the radiator will make its way to the engine to cool it down. So basically the thermostat makes it possible to hold the coolant in the engine at a minimum temperature. Make sense? I haven't seen your Moriwaki, so I'm not real sure what to tell you as far as how to block off the radiator. You'll just have to do some experimenting to see what works best.
  4. The Bosch LSU 4.2 and 4.9 O2 sensor are actually very similar. The only difference between the two is that the newer LSU 4.9 has better resolution of the air/fuel measurement in the "free air" range of the sensor. This "free air" range is for air/fuel ratios that are leaner than 18:1, which is well outside the range that we care about when tuning our bikes. The sensors are already very accurately pre-calibrated from Bosch. The accuracy tolerances of each sensor are VERY tight. Because of this, we don't allow a calibration of the sensor. We can simply tell you if the sensor is good or bad. The biggest variable with air/fuel measurement is not the sensor, but the electronics that are used to calculate the air/fuel ratio from the sensor. Before we released our Autotune, I tested it against 6 other air/fuel measurement products. They all measured slightly different air/fuel ratios of the same exhaust sample. The differences come from the differences in the circuitry and firmware that each of the products are using to measure the O2 sensor. The bigger question here is "Which one is right?". It is possible that the Autotune is more accurate than the AIM, or vice versa. It's very tough to determine which one is right, because you don't know which one is more accurate to begin with. It's important to note that the differences I am talking about here are pretty small(2-5%). This is where a dyno comes in handy. You can relate the air/fuel measurement you are reading to how it physically affects the bike(horsepower/torque). For your example above regarding interpolation....it's kind of tricky. First of all, when you "apply" your Trim Table from Autotune it does not just add the Trim Table value and the Fuel Table value together. The Trim Table value is a % change of the Fuel Table value, essentially a % change of a % change. When Autotune is running, it does this calculation on the fly. The interpolation that the Power Commander does is also kind of tricky because it is doing it in two directions. It is interpolating in the vertical direction of the map as well as the horizontal direction of the map. For your example above, 30% throttle is exactly in the middle of 20% and 40%. So the resultant fuel change number for 30% throttle would be [(15-5)/2]+5 = 10. Make sense? We are still having problems getting the connectors that we need for the BMW Ignition Module. If anything changes I will definitely let you know.
  5. Thanks Dan! I remember you talking to me in Jersey about getting an Autotune once you got everything else set up how you wanted. Please post up any other questions you have on air/fuel ratio. If you have any specific questions on how to get the Autotune working, feel free to shoot my a private message.
  6. Brrrr Laura...that sounds pretty cold. :/ Running your bike on the colder side will definitely have some side effects. Below are two of the major ones that pop in my head... 1. Colder temperatures will make all of the lubricating fluids "thicker", which will steal some horsepower. The engine has to use more power to push the thicker oil around. I have seen this A LOT when dynoing bikes up here in Montana. When I'm making dynoruns on our cold Harley Road King, I've seen the power increase as much as 10 horsepower as the bike is warming up. 2. One of the other side effects of running an engine on the colder side is the effect it has on fuel vaporization. When the fuel and air are making their way toward the combustion chamber, the fuel vaporizes on all the hot engine parts that it is passing by. This vaporization is a good thing because the smaller fuel vapor particles are easier to ignite when the spark plug fires. If the engine parts are cold, the fuel doesn't vaporize as much making it slightly harder to ignite. Covering up your radiator will definitely help keep your bike warmer. You will probably want to experiment with how much needs to be covered to hold the temperature you want. I agree with ktk_ace on the temperature range. Shoot for running with a radiator temperature in the range of 80-100 degrees C(176-212 degrees F). Hope that helps
  7. In the last few days I've posted a bunch of info on stoichiometric air/fuel ratio and octane rating. I wanted to post up that info first because it is very important when talking about the new ethanol based fuels like E15, E85, and E100. Cobie sent me the video link below earlier this week and wanted my take on it. It has to do with some of the new ethanol based fuels(specifically E15) and what affect it can have on using it in an older motor that was not designed to run it. http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2000862202001/ More corrosive The first major point that Lauren Fix makes in the video talks about how ethanol(alcohol) based fuels are more corrosive than regular gasoline. This is indeed true from everything that I have heard and read. Vehicles that are designed to run regular gasoline typically have fuel line parts that are made of rubber. Running a fuel with a higher ethanol content will corrode these parts more quickly. I don't have any concrete data on exactly how bad or how quickly. Dragster guys that run alcohol fuel will typically use metal fuel line components which are more corrosion resistant. Octane Rating From my post about octane rating we know that E100(pure ethanol) has a higher octane rating than gasoline(108-113 octane vs. 92-95 octane). So if gas companies add MORE ethanol to raise the octane in the ethanol/gasoline blend, they can use a gasoline that has a lower octane rating. Lauren talks about this in the video and goes on to talk about how the ethanol and gasoline can separate in your tank. Ethanol and gasoline have different densities, so this is possible. If the gas separates from the ethanol and ONLY the lower octane gas is being delivered to the motor, it could cause it to knock. Air/Fuel Ratio Another thing to consider with using more ethanol in an ethanol/gas blend is the effect it has on the air/fuel ratio. Ethanol has a much lower stoichiometric air/fuel ratio than gasoline(9:1 vs. 14.7:1). If you add more ethanol you are going to LOWER the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of your fuel. Lowering the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio requires that MORE fuel be delivered to the motor to maintain the same air/fuel ratio. So your motor will now be running LEANER if it is delivering the same amount of fuel. The oxygen sensor on your vehicle will be able to detect the change in air/fuel ratio in some areas and will add more fuel to make it richer again, but the motor will be running LEANER in the areas where the oxygen sensor is not used. The areas where the oxygen sensor is not used are typically the high throttle, high RPM areas. I wouldn't want my motor running leaner there! :/ Flex Fuel Vehicles The new "flex fuel" vehicles have fuel system components that can handle the more corrosive ethanol. They also have engine management systems with sensors that can detect the ethanol content of the fuel. Since it can detect how much ethanol is in the fuel, it can automatically adjust the amount of fuel that is needed to get the motor to run properly. Interesting Cost Point Part of the appeal of running the ethanol blend fuels like E15 and E85 is they are listed as being a cheaper price per gallon. But because the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of alcohol is much lower than gasoline you have to run more of it. It's true that you will be paying a cheaper price per gallon, but you are going to have to buy MORE gallons. You're MPG will actually go DOWN running more ethanol! Hope that all makes sense. There is a lot of data there. Please fire away with any questions.
  8. Another good question DrIoannis. The properties of the air coming into the motor(pressure and temperature mainly) are important factors to take into account when trying to figure out how much fuel needs to be delivered to the motor. Fortunately for all of us, modern sportbikes automatically do this for us. All the modern fuel injected bikes have sensors which tell the on-board computer(ECU) what the pressure and air temperature are. Air Pressure We all know that air at higher altitudes is less dense or "thinner". There is less oxygen in a given volume of air. This is why you have to breathe a lot more to catch your breath when you're on top of a mountain. This means that there is also less oxygen getting to your motor when it breathes. So, if your bike is delivering the same amount of fuel on top of a mountain as it did at the bottom of the mountain, you would get a RICHER air/fuel ratio at the top of mountain. There is less air in the air/fuel mixture at the top of the mountain. Modern fuel injected bikes have pressure sensors that will detect this change in altitude. Once the on-board computer learns that you have gone up in altitude it will actually SUBTRACT fuel to maintain the same air/fuel ratio it had at the bottom of the mountain. Also, when bad weather hits(like a thunderstorm) you will hear meteorologists say that it is a "low pressure system". They are referring to the air pressure. Air pressure typically goes down when the weather is bad, and goes up when it is clear and beautiful outside. Air Temperature We also know that hotter air is less dense or thinner than cold air. This is why a hot air balloon works. The hotter air inside the balloon is less dense than the atmospheric air, so the balloon floats higher to where the air outside is the same density as in the balloon. So if your bike was delivering the same amount of fuel for all air temperatures, you would see a RICHER air/fuel ratio if the air coming into the motor got hotter. There is less air in the air/fuel mixture with the hotter air. Modern fuel injected bikes also have a sensor to detect the temperature of the incoming air. Once the on-board computer computer learns that the air coming into the motor has gotten hotter it will SUBTRACT fuel to maintain the air/fuel ratio that it had with the colder air. Hope that answers your question. Let me know if you have any others!
  9. Thanks for the input ktk_ace. I'm not totally clear on the point you were making on less "back pressure" on the intake phase. Perhaps you could find an article about it or clear that up a little more for me? Check out the list of race fuels that Sunoco offers... http://www.racegas.com/fuel/index There are a bunch of other technical details that Sunoco lists about their fuels that could affect certain behavior of an engine. To be honest, there some technical details they list that I don't have full understanding of. The main thing I wanted to get across here was the octane number. You can see that some Sunoco's fuels have the same octane number, some of them are unleaded or leaded, and some of them are oxygenated, but they are all different from each other. I'm sure the engine behavior you would get if you tried all these fuels in your bike would be VERY different!
  10. Hey DrIoannis, Good question. Like you said, there is no 50% column in the map of the Power Commander. If you roll the throttle to 50%, the Power Commander will look at the fuel addition number in the map for 40% throttle column and 60% throttle column and automatically calculate the fuel addition number that should be used when you are in between them at 50% throttle. This calculation that the Power Commander does is called interpolation. The Power Commander will also do this interpolation for the RPM values that are in between the rows in the map. If you want to target your fueling at 50% throttle you would want to change the fuel addition number in the 40% column AND the 60% column of your map. If you are using a Power Commander 5, I'd suggest getting an Autotune. It does all this work for you. What bike are you working on?
  11. Stewal, I'm curious to know that myself! I don't know how much gas would be in the fuel line. I can't imagine it would be much more than 1 gallon though.
  12. All good questions Cobie. Most street riders and track riders that I have met are running a stock engine and want to get the most miles out of their engine they can. If that is the case, I would suggest using 90-92 octane "premium" unleaded gasoline. This is typically the most expensive gasoline grade that you see at your local gas station. It is also the fuel that manufacturers typically specify on the fuel tank sticker on most modern street bikes. Knock is one thing that kills engine life, and running higher octane gasoline will ensure that your engine won't knock. You might see a small horsepower gain by running lower octane fuel, but the trade-off of running your engine closer to knock is probably not worth it. I don't have any concrete horsepower numbers on how much of a power gain you would get, but I don't think it would be much. Race Fuels When talking about race fuels, it gets a little more complicated. Race fuels come in a bunch of flavors. The most common things they do to make a "race fuel" are: 1. Octane boosters - They put additives in it to raise the octane rating. Race teams use this when they have modified the motor to run higher compression ratios. Higher octane fuels have really good anti-knock properties, but the by-product of this is they burn slower. AND/OR 2. Oxygenate it. - They put additives in it which oxygenate it. Oxygenate: to enrich with oxygen. When this type of fuel burns it releases oxygen, providing more air to burn in the air/fuel mixture. Since extra oxygen is released, you will have to add extra fuel(with a Power Commander for example) to get the proper air/fuel ratio you want. We know that higher octane fuels burn slower, ultimately causing slightly less horsepower on a stock motor. We also know that oxygenated fuel produces more oxygen in the combustion chamber which will "lean" it out if no fuel is added. This would also produce less horsepower. So theoretically you could actually see less horsepower by running race fuel on a stock motor. It would of course depend on what modifications(if anything) have been done to the bike. Does that make sense?
  13. Cobie, I decided to separate the two posts because they are pretty different, and I didn't want questions of each to get mixed together in the same post. Hope that's ok. I can always combine them later if we want to.
  14. Hey Dan, Excellent questions! To answer your first question....Yes, different A/F ratios are typically used for different operating conditions of the bike(throttle position, RPM, etc.). In general, most engine tuners/manufacturers will use leaner air/fuel ratios(13.8:1-14.7:1) in the low throttle position, low RPM areas to get the best gas mileage. At high throttle position, high RPM areas they will run richer air/fuel ratios(13:1-12.8:1) to get the best performance. The Autotune for Power Commanders allows you to tune for different A/F ratios in different areas of the map. I'm glad you asked "how do they vary with fuel type?" because it brings up another interesting technical point. Those silly engineers like me have another term to describe air/fuel ratio called LAMBDA. It is useful when describing "richness" or "leanness" when dealing with different fuels. Example: Let's say we were running ethanol(E100) and gasoline in the same bike and wanted to tune it properly for both fuels. Since the stoichiometric air/fuel ratios are very different between the two fuels, we would be dealing with two sets of air/fuel ratios to tune for. We put gasoline in the bike first, put it on a dyno and start tuning. We decide that we want to run it on the rich side, and tune the bike perfectly to have an air/fuel ratio of 13:1. Now we empty all the gas out of the bike, put the ethanol(E100) in the gas tank and get ready to tune again. So...since the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of ethanol(E100) is different, what air/fuel ratio should we shoot for to get the same richness we want? Well there's an easy way to figure that out. We do a simple division of the AFR we chose divided by its stoichiometric AFR. This would be 13:1 / 14.7:1 = .884. .884 is our LAMBDA! The 13:1 we chose is 88.4% of the 14:7:1 stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of gasoline. So...LAMBDA is a percentage of stoichiometric air/fuel ratio. Now we take that percentage and multiply it by the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of ethanol(E100). .884 x 9:1 = 7.96:1 BOOM...Now we know what air/fuel ratio number to tune for with the ethanol to get the same amount of richness! Make sense?
  15. The most important thing to know when tuning the fueling of a motorcycle(or any other vehicle) is the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of the fuel that you are using for that vehicle. This is pretty easy for us motorcycle enthusiasts because all modern motorcycles run on gasoline. Another important property of fuels is their octane rating. When selecting a fuel at your common local gas station, octane rating is the difference between all the fuels you can choose from at the pump. Octane Rating: a measure of the anti-knock(anti-detonation) properties of a fuel. A lower octane rating(number) means the fuel is MORE LIKELY to knock. A higher octane rating(number) means the fuel is LESS LIKELY to knock. I've already posted some info about knock/detonation here if you need a refresher: http://forums.superb...?showtopic=3279 Octane Rating Equivalents of Different Fuels Gasoline(Petrol) = 85-95 octane "Race" Gas = typically around 110 octane Diesel = 15-25 octane equivalent E100(100% Ethanol) = 108-113 octane E85(85% Ethanol, 15% Gasoline) = 102-105 octane E15(15% Ethanol, 85% Gasoline) = 92-101 octane E10(10% Ethanol, 90% Gasoline) = 88-98 octane Methanol: 108-112 octane Nitromethane: this is hard to quantify because nitromethane is an oxygenated fuel and they are also blended in different proportions with gasoline. Adding nitromethane actually decreases the equivalent octane rating. One interesting fact here... If you look at the fuel pumps at your local gas station, you will probably see a small note on the pump saying "may contain up to 10% ethanol". This means that some of the fuels at the pump are actually E10 instead of pure gasoline, or somewhere in between! Also....If you are running fuel from VP, Sunoco, or some other fuel manufacturer you can find exact info on the octane rating of their specific fuels(along with other technical info) on their websites. I just wanted to post some reference info on this stuff for some further posts I am going to do on fuels. Please fire away with any questions you guys have on this stuff.
  16. In my post "Air/fuel ratio" I discussed the basics of air/fuel ratio as it pertains to gasoline. I talked about how to measure it and also gave a basic scale of rich and lean for gasoline. But what about other fuels? Just the other day Cobie asked me some questions about the use of some of the newer fuels like E15 and E85 and the affects it has on an engine. The answers to his questions lied in some additional data about air/fuel ratio, so I figured I would post on it. In my earlier post I defined stoichimetric air/fuel ratio. Below is quick refresher... Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio(abbreviated "stoich"): A ratio of air and fuel such that exactly enough air is provided to completely burn all of the fuel. Many people know that the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of gasoline is 14.7:1. This means that 14.7 parts of air mixed with 1 part of gasoline is the proper proportion or "recipe" to get a complete burn of all the fuel. Since other fuels have different chemical compositions than gasoline they also have different stoichiometric air/fuel ratios. Stoichiometric Air/Fuel Ratio of Common Fuels Gasoline(Petrol) = 14.7:1 Methanol = 6.4:1 Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) = 17.45:1 Diesel = 14.5:1 Nitromethane = 1.7:1 (Stuff used in top fuel dragsters) E10(10% Ethanol, 90% Gasoline) = 14.13:1 E15(15% Ethanol, 85% Gasoline) = 13.8:1 E85(85% Ethanol, 15% Gasoline) = 9.7:1 Ethanol(E100) = 9:1 (Alcohol) So looking at the above list you can see the stoichiometric air/fuel ratios are very different between different fuels. For example, nitromethane requires almost 1/3 of the mixture to be fuel in order to get a complete burn...that is a lot when compared to gasoline! I'll make some more posts about the affects of running some of the new alternative fuels like E15 and E85, but I just wanted to post up this info about air/fuel ratio as a reference. If you guys have any questions about this stuff, please fire away!
  17. Well Ken, you inspired me. I did some digging and found that there IS a new wideband oxygen sensor design that is much smaller than the current design. This must be relatively new because I have looked into this in the past. Unfortunately, they are listing the price of the sensor at $2000 dollars. Yikes! I'm also not sure if this new sensor will work with the current circuitry we use. At any rate, I passed the info along to and we are going to investigate it further. Who knows, you might see us using it here in the future! Thanks for the kick in the butt!
  18. Yeah...I hear ya Ken. We would love to use a smaller O2 sensor! Unfortunately, there are only a few WIDEBAND oxygen sensor designs and they are all the same size. The one we use is the only size that I know of. If there are other smaller oxygen sensors designs, they are probably ridiculously expensive and the ones we use now aren't cheap! Some of the newer bikes have much smaller oxygen sensors, but they are NARROWBAND oxygen sensors. Narrowband oxygen sensors are much simpler in design. Quick clarification.... Narrowband oxygen sensors only sense if the bike is richer or leaner than 14.7:1. They cannot tell by HOW MUCH. Wideband oxygen sensors can tell you your exact air fuel ratio. These are the ones we use for our Autotune. If we discover a smaller oxygen sensor design that is not terribly expensive, I'm sure we would investigate using it. If you come across any, please let me know!
  19. Hey ktk_ace, Sorry I've been away. I didn't get notified that you posted this. I'm looking into that. I wouldn't be surprised if we see more aerodynamic development on bikes. We'd probably see it on the MotoGP bikes first. I remember back in 2003 Red Bull spent a considerable amount of money on aerodynamic development when they were trying to get better top speed on John Hopkins 2-stroke 500cc. If you watch Formula 1 car racing at all....those guys go CRAZY with aerodynamics! They spend SO much money on making sure those cars are slippery and have plenty of downforce. I've actually heard that the downforce on a Formula 1 car is so much, that it could actually run upside down! I'm not sure an electronically controlled spoiler on the tail of the bike would help much. Most riders sit up when they start braking anyway, so essentially THEY are the spoiler. However I could see some merit to having the side fairings flare out when the rider starts to brake. I think this could provide both braking and possibly help keep the rear wheel down while braking. It would also allow the rider to keep his inside knee pinching the tank(instead of sticking out as an air brake), making him more stable on the bike during braking. If only we had 10's of millions of dollars to test this eh!? :/
  20. Hey guys, Sorry I've been away for a while. I've been a busy boy and for some reason haven't been getting notified of your new posts. I'll have to check into that. :/ Mtmansl, Glad you are enjoying your Bazzaz unit. I actually haven't played with one much. I would like to get some more time with one to see how they are doing this stuff. Have you used a Power Commander previously? I'd be interested to know why you prefer the Bazzaz unit over a Power Commander.... Ken, You definitely get some Dynojet brownie points. I hope all your Dynojet goodies are working well for you. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of them.
  21. If that is true, then I think I have an idea how it works. The BMW M5's suspension system electronically controls the valving by adjusting an electromagnet that can very quickly change the orifice size of the suspension valve. It's pretty cool technology, which I think street riders will probably like. I'm curious to know how all of us track guys will like it. Setting up suspension for the track has always been an area which seems to catch a lot of guys out. Now with the new HP4, they are adding ANOTHER component to the suspension system that is changing. Hopefully they have made it easy to adjust....
  22. Hey guys, As usual I have been stuck in the dyno room and didn't see the new posts. I figured I better get on here and respond to you guys... Hans, Unfortunately, the Autotune unit won't show you power numbers. The Autotune box is trying to attain an AFR number, not a power number. Mike, No news yet on the BMW S1000RR Ignition Module. Last I heard we were trying to source the connectors we need, which was proving difficult. ktk_ace, I am also very interested to see the new HP4. I would guess that the engine management stuff is very similar to the past S1000RR's, but what intrigues me the most is the new Dynamic Damping Control of the suspension system. There are a bunch of design routes they could have chosen and I'm really interested to see how it works and also how it is integrated into the existing engine management. Best, Timmer
  23. To you guys talking about the Nemesis TC system....Unfortunately I am not familiar with that system. In my opinion, it can get a little hairy when you start combining aftermarket electronics that are all trying to control the same engine. Off the top of my head I can't see how the Nemesis system would affect the Power Commander(or vice versa). I'll try to do some digging online to see if I can find some info on the Nemesis system and whether it would conflict with the Power Commander. Best, Timmer
  24. Hmm...that's really weird. You might try this... Using the Power Commander Software, advance your Target AFR table to be gear dependant. In the software, go to Map Tools>Advance/Demote Map. Then click the box next to "Target AFR tables" and select "Gear Advanced". This should give a Target AFR table for each gear. Put in the same Target AFR values you were using before in gears 3-6, but zero out the Target AFR table for 1st and 2nd gear. This will make it so that Autotune is only running in gears 3-6. Once you come up with a pretty good map for 3rd gear, copy the fuel change values into your 1st and 2nd gear table. FYI...On most modern sportbikes there is typically no need to tune each gear independantly. There are some guys on the forums that claim it makes a difference, although I have never personally seen it make a noticeable difference on the bikes I have tuned. That said, I have not tuned a BMWS1000RR before, so it may be different. Hope that helps. Let me know if I can answer any other questions you have. Best, Timmer
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