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Old 08-09-2011, 08:45 PM
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Train's V-Tune Thread

I'm not a tech. I've never made a dime turning a wrench. These are my experiences on my bike. They've worked for me, they might not work for you. If you blow your bike up, it's not my fault, and I claim no responsibility.



I played around with V-Tune a little when I first got my TTS. I figured I had the fuel just about figured out, but I was clueless about timing, so I took the bike up to Smart Dave for a tune. The tune was good. Bike ran strong, smooth, and cool. But then I had to go and change pipes. This is just my log (of sorts) as to why I made the decisions I made, and how I've tuned the bike.

Where I'm coming from

I can rag on The Mothership with the best of them, and a great deal of that criticism is deserved. One thing that Harley does know how to do though is build air-cooled motors. The common thread on any Harley forum is the "heat issues" the Twin Cam motor suffers from. I don't buy it. On all these various forums, you won't find a single heat-related engine failure (or an oil-related failure either, but that's for a different thread). These motors run hot, and the sensation of that heat is amplified by the fact that we're sitting on top of the engines.

It's common practice with many amateur tuners (and some less-reputable pros) to simple retard timing, boost VE's, and drop the Lambda values in order to richen the motor up and prevent detonation. These are absolutely the wrong things to do. While running rich is potentially less damaging to the motor than running lean, it brings with it a different set of issues.

The correct way to do this is to get your VEs properly set, run a reasonable closed-loop Lambda, and run as much timing as the engine will take. Why?

Closed-loop through the cruise range just makes sense. That's where the engine spends most of its life, and you want it utilizing all of the available feedback from the sensors. There's no reason in the world to run 13.2 AFR at 2,500 rpm and 40kPa. Your fuel economy goes to crap, and there's enough airflow over the engine that you're not going to fry. Similarly, the more timing you run, the more efficiently the motor runs and the more power it makes. The balance here is key....Get the VEs correct, then push the timing. If you mask detonation with more fuel, you're hurting both power and economy, and blowing unburned fuel out of the pipes which causes that gold coloring on slip-ons.

Set Up

Well, a TTS Mastertune, of course. Then get yourself a cheap ASUS netbook with a solid state hard drive. You can pick them up on Ebay for next to nothing (but for God's sake, wipe them before you use them). Run the TTS updater before you use any of the software, every time.

Make sure the bike is ready to tune. That means check the plugs, make sure the oil level's right, clean the air filter, and do the rest of your normal pre-ride check (you do a pre-ride check, don't you?).

Next, you've gotta figure out which base map to start with. I'm going to deal specifically with a 2010 FLHTK, since that's what I have. TTS is kind enough to make map selection for me a PITA. They have two which might work. One is labeled as "air cleaner, factory 2:1:2 exhaust", the other as "air cleaner, race exhaust, pistons". I started out with the latter, I should have used the former (more on this later). Regardless, make sure you save your stock calibration in at least three places.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
Regardless, make sure you save your stock calibration in at least three places.
Uh oh, new name change coming?
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:00 PM
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:22 PM
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It ended so soon!
This is gonna take days to write.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:27 PM
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I followed this to the letter and now my bike runs like crap. I blame you. Pay me to get it fixed.



Seriously...I need a tutorial. I haven't messed with V-Tune at all so far. This should be enlightening for me.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
TTS is kind enough to make map selection for me a PITA. They have two which might work. One is labeled as "air cleaner, factory 2:1:2 exhaust", the other as "air cleaner, race exhaust, pistons"[/U]
You could have a bike like mine. They have 2 maps, labeled exactly the same, but very different.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:15 AM
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Good start Russ. Anticipating a good read.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:52 AM
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OK, back to it.

For the purposes of this thread, I'm discussing working with an .mt8 file on a Lambda-based 2010 FLHTK. Some of what I discuss will transfer over to other bikes, but the setup and tuning process is markedly different on an AFR (2009 or earlier) bike. As I said last time, I'm not a professional, and if you think I'm giving bad advice, I probably am. The TTS Tuning Guide included with the software trumps anything I say. When in doubt, refer to it. Or better yet, call Steve Cole at TTS. I've never had an issue dealing directly with him when I've run into an issue.

Also, to be fair, I'm cheating a little bit. When the bike had the Fatcat on it, it was treated to a dyno tune from Smart Dave. The bike ran great with that tune, but I was anxious to try the .mt8 software, and with the different exhaust configuration, I knew the bike wasn't living up to its potential. I've watched Dave tune both of my bikes, and I've learned most of what I know about Harley tuning from him. Having his .mt7 tune to refer to has been a Godsend, and I've cribbed quite a bit from it into my new tune.

Selecting a Base Calibration

The key is to find something close to what you're running. TTS updates their software and calibration libraries relatively frequently, so run the updater before you start. As fate would have it, there is no base calibration for a Stage 1 103. I have the choice of two cals; one with a/c, exhaust, and pistons, one with just the a/c. Using my uncanny ability to pick the wrong calibration, I chose the first one, thinking that even though I didn't have the pistons, I had the a/c and the exhaust. The bike ran ok with this cal after a few V-Tune runs, but it fell on its face when the temperature went up. After I got back form ES, I looked at both base cals and realized the mistake I'd made. With the pistons you're running a higher static compression ratio, so there's substantially less timing. All the fuel tuning in the world won't make up for that. So after ES I started from scratch (sort of) with the a/c only cal. Simply put, with the V-Tune software, it's ridiculously easy to get the VEs correct, but timing is much more difficult. The ECM will tell you (via the knock sensor) when there's too much timing, you'll never know if you're running enough without a lot of trial and error.

Loading the Map

There's some debate about what I'm about to say, but I'll say it anyway....I don't believe it was ever the intent of TTS to have these base cals run as permanent maps. That's not to say that your bike won't run with them, but in order to maximize the benefit of the $400 tuner you bought, you really need to go further.

That said, if you just want to load it and go, here's what you do. For the vast majority of the computer work, you don't need to be near the bike. You can do most of this from the comfort of your living room.

- Open Mastertune

- Select your calibration

- Plug your laptop into the bike's diagnostic port (under the left side cover) via the TTS dongle and cables.

- Select "save ecm data" and save the stock calibration. Do. Not. Skip. This. Step.

- Label the stock calibration something you'll remember and make sure you've got a copy of it somewhere other than your tuning laptop.

- Now select "program ecm".

- Turn the ignition on and hit the "get ecm data" button. It should read the ecm and display what you've got.

- Hit "program ecm". It'll ask you whether or not you want to enable ACRs. If you have them, select "yes". It'll then show you the tire size table. Accept it as-is for the time being.

- After a couple of minutes it'll tell you it's done. Hit "exit" and shut the bike off.

Congratulations, you've just loaded a new map into the bike.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:44 AM
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My bike still pops on decel and detonates i

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Old 08-10-2011, 08:45 AM
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My bike still pops on decel and detonates in the city, I want a refund

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Old 08-10-2011, 09:06 AM
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So You Want to V-Tune....

Good!

Now take your laptop, have a seat on the sofa, and don't bother programming the ECM just yet. Got your map open? Good. Now minimize Mastertune and open the TTS folder in "My Computer". Open "HD", then open "Mastertune", then open "Big Twin". You should be able to see all the various .mt8 and .mt7 files. Create a subfolder in here (mine's called "Mytunes", you can call yours whatever you want) for your tunes. Open that subfolder and create another one with today's date as the folder name. Do this every day you do any mucking around with your tune, and it'll make life a whole lot easier trying to find stuff.

Once you've got all that housekeeping done, close that and maximize Mastertune. You'll be looking at the Main Lambda Table. Highlight everything other than the 95 & 100 kPa cells (leave them be). Using the buttons at the top of the table, you want to max everything out so that all cells are the same value, then reduce them all to .977. The TTS Tuning guide recommends .981, but I use .977 as it's as rich as you can run while keeping the bike in closed loop. I do this because we're going to disable a lot of the safeguards that keep the engine happy.

With the Main Lambda Table set, move on to the "Accel Enrichment" table. Highlight everything and zero it out. Do the same with "Decel Enleanment".

Then go to "ECM Tuning Constants", select the "PE Mode" tab, and set the RPMs to 10,000. There's another tab in there for Cam Selector Data. With a stock cam, leave it alone. You have the ability to to a cam data recording, but the stock cals are already set with the correct IVO and IVS, so there's no sense diddling with them.

On some forums, especially one in which they do a lot of Talking about Harley Tech, it's recommended that you also disable the Adaptive Knock Retard. I strongly disagree with that at this point. You can get the VEs stabilized just fine with the knock retard in place, and you don't have to worry about grenading your engine in the process.

Your tuning map is set, so now select "save as" from the file menu. Use a name you'll remember. If I were doing this today, my filename would be "081011tuning", and it would go into the "081011" folder inside the "Mytunes" folder. Got it?

Now put your pants on, go outside, and plug the laptop into the bike and follow the steps from my last post to program the ECM.
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Last edited by Killer of Bikes; 08-13-2011 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:28 AM
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The Power Vision is pretty much samey-same so far. Although they recommend you knock 4 to 6 deg. off the timing also.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:36 AM
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Go For a Ride!

You've already made sure your bike's ready. Air filter's clean, tire pressure's good, oil level's where it needs to be, and your plugs are in decent shape. Don't bother doing anything with the laptop at this point, just throw it in the tour pack or saddlebag and go for a ride. Give the bike 20 minutes or so to get up to operating temperature, then pull over and set up DataMaster.

It's at this point that I'll remind everyone to use some common sense. Pick a day that isn't raining to do this. Have the temperature be close to what your typical riding weather's like. Don't try to do this in rush hour traffic, and be aware of all local traffic laws. In other words, don't get yourself dead or arrested doing this.

Also, you'll need to insure that no matter what happens to your laptop, all the screensavers and power saving schemes are turned off. You need to be able to close the cover on your laptop and have it sit in a bag for 15-20 minutes at a stretch without hibernating or whatever.

Open DataMaster up and select "Record V-Tune Data". It'll prompt you to create a target file. Once again, if I were doing this today, I'd label the file "081011run1". Start the bike, and hit the "Get ECM Info" button to make sure that the TTS is talking to the bike. Assuming it is, hit the "Start" button and make sure it's recording. You'll see it begin to record. When it does, close the cover, put it in the bag, and go ride.

The key to V-Tuning is to ride smoothly. Ideally, you need to spend 5-10 seconds at each and every cell. Whacking the throttle won't get that for you. Accelerate slowly and smoothly. Since this is the first run, don't worry about trying to fill in every cell. Concentrate on getting cruise range logged well (since that's where you spend most of your time). Use the transmission to your advantage. Go a gear or two lower or higher to fill in lower or higher MAP cells (in other words, go up a hill at 50mph in 6th gear to get the 1750 rpm, 80 kPa cells). You don't need to spend 3 hours recording, get a solid 15-20 minutes or so, then pull over.

Leave the bike in neutral and running, get your laptop out, hit the "Stop" button on the recording, then click on the "file" menu and "save current recording". Once that's done, you can shut the bike off.

One of the windows that'll be open on your screen is the V-Tune Histogram. It shows the various cells with rpm being the vertical rows and kPa being the horizontal. In a perfect world, you'll have a lot of green cells. This means you got good data. Don't sweat this at the moment, but use this as a tool for the next time you record V-Tune data.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:48 AM
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Run V-Tune

Go inside, pour yourself a drink...disrobe...whatever. Open V-Tune. It'll ask for your starting calibration, which would be the tuning map you created. Then it'll ask you for the DataMaster file, which is the run you just recorded. Hit "Generate Tune", and when it asks you if you want to auto-extend, say "Yes". You may not want to auto-extend after this, depending on the data you collect (for instance, if you do a run that concentrates on a certain area), but since this is the first tune and you're dealing with fresh data on a canned map, go for it.

The screen will now show you two charts, front and rear cylinder VEs. In a perfect world, every cell on those charts will have numbers in them. Yours won't. Try as I might, there's just no way to get all of the cells without a dyno. Congratulations, you've just figured out why dyno tuners exist and what their relative worth is (a lot). What you want to see is white cells with a number. An empty cell means that no data was recorded. A yellow cell with a number means that you weren't there long enough for a reliable recording. A white cell with a number means that no changes need to be made to that VE. Any shade of pink or red means that changes are recommended to that cell.

Between the V-Tune Histogram and the V-Tune display you're looking at, you'll get a feel for how well your riding style worked for recording. One would hope that you've got a fair amount of cells that are either white or red~ish, and that there are few cells that are yellow or empty (and that they're off in the margins). Once again, in a departure from conventional wisdom, I suggest hitting the "accept tune" button.

I say that because you've hopefully at least gotten your cruise range recorded well, and that will help later on.

It'll prompt you to save the file. Were it me, I'd title it "081011tuning1". This is not your final map. Load it back into the bike, and get ready to do another V-Tune run.

Now that you've got an idea of how you've got to ride in order to collect data, go through that process again. It's here that I'll make a couple of suggestions regarding technique. For high-kPa areas, it helps to have a passenger. It also helps to have hills. One of the best things I've found is to get yourself a decent-sized incline and climb the thing as many times as you need, holding the bike at whatever your target rpm is. So you start off on level ground at 3000 rpm. As you climb the hill, keep the bike there by increasing the throttle opening. The MAP will rise as the load increases, which will fill in the higher-kPa cells. Once again, for your lower rpms, go a gear higher than you normally would. Yes, you really shouldn't make a habit of climbing hills at 1250rpm in 6th gear, but doing it once or twice won't break anything. Similarly, you're going to have to hold the bike at 5000, 5500, and 6000 rpms for a few minutes at a time. As long as your bike is properly maintained and working right, this won't hurt it.

You want to repeat this process going down the hills in a higher than normal gear in order to get the low-kPa, high-rpm cells. This is a huge departure from the 2009 and earlier bikes, as their horizontal axis is defined by throttle position rather than kPa. This makes tuning a Lambda bike much, much easier.

One area that you will probably have a bastard of a time filling in is the really, really low rpm areas. On the run you wish to address those cells, click on the "Table Selection" tab in MasterTune, select the "Idle RPM", and set your idle to 800. Crawl around a parking lot, then go climb a hill in a ridiculously high gear. On this run, you don't want to "Accept Tune". More on this in a second.... Once you've done this run, set your idle back to 1000 rpm before you load your next map. Your engine needs the higher idle rpm to maintain oil pressure.

As you repeat this process trying to fill in various cells, you may want to pull off the road and look at the V-Tune Histogram while you're collecting data so you can see the areas that you need to address. Just remember not to shut the bike off when you do this.

Repeat this process as many times as you need to in order to have your V-Tune display show you a bunch of happy white cells with numbers in them. Once you get a few good data runs under your belt and your VEs are stabilizing (no more bright red cells and very few yellows), you want to do something a little different when you generate your next tune.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:19 AM
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