Power Commander 3 – worthy mod?

PC3/BMCfilter/Subthottle plates supplied by Ivan’s performance

What is the best mod you’ve done to your bike?

Some would say tires, others suspension and the odd lunatic would praise the 50horse shot of NOS he just strapped on the rear seat of his tire melting, soon to detonate road monster!

Recently some donor suspension from the R1 has rocked the FZ1’s world and changing to HID headlights certainly saved my skin a few times but there is one mod that just keeps on giving for no additional outlay(unlike tyres). The Dynojet – Power Commander 3 – or electronic piggyback fuel controller.

Q: A little background?

A: Ok, so here is the sales pitch from Dynojet

The Dynojet Power Commander plugs inline with your bike’s stock fuel injection system. It uses OEM (original equipment manufacturer) style connectors making installation easy and quick. The PCIIIusb allows a full range of fuel adjustment, as much as +/- 100% over stock. Adjustments can be made either with a Windows based computer or by using the face plate mounted button adjusters. No permanent changes are made to the bike’s system. Once the unit is removed the bike reverts to its stock settings.
How much additional power will it give my motorcycle?
There are many variables to each application. The Power Commander allows for tuning to the perfect air/fuel ratio will ensure that the engine can produce the maximum possible horsepower for that given combination.

Consider that a typical street rider spends a great deal of time riding in part throttle conditions. Shown below are two graphs of a motorcycle before and after installation of the Power Commander. The top graph line shows the horsepower curve accelerating and the lower graph shows the corresponding air/fuel ratio. You can see a large horsepower increase between the two. The red curve shows a typical stock motorcycle with minor performance modifications (slip-on exhaust).

The blue curve shows that same combination with the Power Commander installed and you can see that the line is nearly straight. Consequently, the rider will feel a large improvement while riding the motorcycle. It is very possible that the peak wide open throttle horsepower is unchanged. The correct air/fuel ratio number (say 12.9:1 or 13.2:1) depends upon many factors like combustion chamber design, but what we want is that figure at every point in the curve (straight line).

In general we have found that a typical stock bike has areas in the fuel curve that are far from optimal for drive-ability and performance. We could say that they are typically 70% optimized in stock condition and 60% – 65% with minor performance modifications. After installation of the Power Commander with the base map, we would expect to see 85% – 95% optimization. Power Commander Alternate Maps – Each Power Commander is supplied with a number of alternate maps on a CD-ROM and all the maps are available for download on our web site.
The bit that got me was the last paragraph. I like to tinker with stuff to get the best from it and enjoy showing up seemingly better competitors after my efforts.
When the FZ1 first rolled out of the showroom it had a mototune debut and was a smooth tractible mule that performed it’s duties well. It has had a storied life since then, for good and bad. But through it all the mighty FZ1 has ridden on from Satamisaki to Soyamisaki and has never missed a beat.
The tinkering started with a slip on exhaust and I can fairly say the mods just kept on coming. The FZ1OA rider’s forum didn’t help eradicate the bug much. Come to think of it, that’s where most of the tuning tips have come from and where I found out how to best utilize the PowerCommander3’s abilities to unleash the FZ1.
The theory being bandied around was that freeing of the exhaust had the engine running a little lean so an aftermarket fueling controller would be needed. With the additional fuel to richen the Air/fuel ratio came an increase in power. Furthermore, an optimization of the air/fuel ratio helped to inrease power further whilst also smoothing the power delivery, reducing vibes and improving economy. Was it all possible? The dyno’s around the world were saying “YES!” To the power part atleast.
Here’s a chart showing the difference between a fully modded(red) and stock(blue) FZ1.

Seeing this, a PC3(power commander 3) was ordered and a set of smaller secondary butterflies(quicker throttle response), Fuelcut eliminator(smoother on/off throttle) and free flowing air filter(to breath) were soon installed along with a matching map. With a good airbox cutting the FZ1’s litre bike potential was unleashed and it felt, sounded and responded like a different bike. A better beastier bike.

Since then a few different bits of hardware have been added and subtracted but there has been one constant. The PC3 community of map makers and sharers. Whether I be off for a torquey touge assault somewhere, a high rpm day at the track, an economy sipping ironbutt or something different,  there has always been a myriad of maps available to try. All just a 5 minute download/upload away.

I recently stumbled on a map to replace my downshift special(previous map had a cool power bulge around 7k that gauranteed a broad smile on my dial every time). The guy who was sharing it had the same year bike as me with almost identical mods and ran the same kind of fuel. He reported 149hp at the rear wheel with very smooth power delivery and minimal vibes. I took it out for a spin on Sunday on damp roads and I’ve found something new to smile about, the rolling burnout! anything above 75% throttle and the rear was just floating around back there. I tried softening the rear to no effect. So, I just resigned to the fact that this map is not good in the wet but I can say it performs well when the road is dry and twisty. The downshift special required some respect coming outa corners but this is smooth. Can’t wait to try it on a warm smooth day. May even be a good one for the circuit.

So where does one go from here? Well, I’m hearing good things about the Ignition module which is one of the accesories which plugs right into the PC3 and allows manipulation of the ignition timing in a similar manner to the fuel mapping. The benefits of it are supposed to be reduced vibration, optimized fuel economy, cooler running temperatures and crispy throttle response. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? That’s what they said about the PC3. But this is supposed to be the another 5%. Ah the tuning bug again! Is 5% worth 30,000yen though?

Q:Then after the Ignition module comes what?

A: Ok, so here is the sales pitch from Dynojet

“Expansion port” for upgrades and accessories – The “expansion port” allows easy connection of accessories such as our new ignition module, Quick shifter, Multifunction Hub, Pressure Sensor display and LCD display unit. Automatic map retrieval upon connection – As soon as you connect the PCIII USB to the computer and launch the software, the map installed in the PCIII USB will be displayed.

Oh no! There goes that mod bug again, nawing away at my wallet!

Here it is under the rear seat

” What is Power Commander?

Article deserves an update as the FZ1 is currently sporting a PCV with ignition module, quickshifter and Autotune. Will get round to the update one of these days.

 

2 thoughts on “Power Commander 3 – worthy mod?

    • The PC3 needs the multi-hub through which you can connect an ignition module and various other add-ons. There is no auto-tune for the PC3 though unfortunately. That’s why I switched to the PC5 with ignition module, auto-tune and quickshifter.

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