Mods and Upgrades
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Thread: Mods and Upgrades

  1. #1
    Very Active Member CruiserC109R's Avatar
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    Default Mods and Upgrades

    Ok I got a serious question. I was asking a mechanic at the Suzuki dealer about mileage and after market accessories. I told him I had cobra pipes and a power commander and I didn't think my mileage was very good. He said I have been doing this for 20yrs. The first thing you should do is get rid of the power commander you don't need it. He said it dumps too much fuel in your system and that is why your mileage is poor. You gain vey little and suffer a lot and it wasn't worth the trouble. He said the same of the pipes they just make the bike loud with little performance improvement. He said the engineers who design these bikes know more than we do and they are designed for the maximum performance and durability.

    So, we have a 20 yr mechanic calling what most do to their bikes unnecessary and his bike is stock ( Not a C109). But, he too use to mod his bikes but now has since changed his mind and doesn't.

    I want to hear from you guys. What are the benefits and can you prove the bike is better and worth the expense or is it simply personal preference. I am only talking about our bikes (C109) specifically. Also how has your mileage changed versus stock?

    Thanks!

    2008 C109R Maroon 5,290 Miles, Cobra Speedster Longs Pipes, Power Commander III Dynojet, Chrome Fender Tips, Cobra Back Rest, Tank Bib, Cobra Fatty Bars, Chrome Caliper Covers, Chrome Drive Shaft Cover. Harbor Freight Motorcycle Lift!

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  3. #2
    Very Active Member smg3d's Avatar
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    I do not have 20 years experience as a mechanic... (although I do have a B.Sc. in chemistry and a Ph.D in biochemistry and bio-informatics)

    I do have 88,000 km on the bike. I have used 4 Fuel setup on my C (stock, 3-pod FI2000, PowrPro, and Power Commander 3). I have used 4 pipe setups on my C (stock, drilled all over, sideburner and Freedom Performance 2-1).

    And I Iove to thinker....

    So I added a wideband O2 sensor to monitor AFR (front cylinder)

    And I added a permanent datalogger on my C (logs primary and secondary throttle positions, rpm, and AFR as a function of time )... can log several hours of riding stats on SD card, than transfer on computer an analyse using a mix of my own software and commercial tuning software. Logs are of actual real riding, on the road, averaged over hours of riding... not minutes of engine logs in a garage on a dyno).

    There are certainly areas in the stock map (with my bike mods), where it is too rich, and other areas where it is to lean. even with the bike mostly stock.

    before my afr monitoring and logging setup, I have had fuel economy as bad as 8 to 10L/100km. now, I am between 6L/100km and 7L/100km (depending on my wrist), and that is with a somewhat rich setup for performance (AFR around 13.5 for most of the map).

    my bottom line. .. the stock map is neither good for performance or economy... it is good for meeting emission standards. that said, it is impossible to get a map that is great all the time. environmental conditions changes... air filter gradually gets dirty, than gets cleaned, ...

    agree pipes are mostly for look and sound. sideburner worst for performance and bugging neighbors. freedom 2-1 better.

    2008 C109RT Black-Gray / bought June 2010 with 600km / 61,000km as Sep. 2014
    Clean front end / TRE / Spike intakes / K&N filters / Wideband O2 / Drilled pipes / 266mm Darkside Federal 595 / Tacho / LED signals & relay box / Mustang fender bib / Rear fender in spike shape / 23 cu.ft. trailer / ISO-Grips / Scythe Mirrors / 20+ Skulls. TODO : Horn / Paint / More spike intakes / Better bags / ECU hacking...

  4. #3
    Member Park1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smg3d View Post
    I do not have 20 years experience as a mechanic... (although I do have a B.Sc. in chemistry and a Ph.D in biochemistry and bio-informatics)

    I do have 88,000 km on the bike. I have used 4 Fuel setup on my C (stock, 3-pod FI2000, PowrPro, and Power Commander 3). I have used 4 pipe setups on my C (stock, drilled all over, sideburner and Freedom Performance 2-1).

    And I Iove to thinker....

    So I added a wideband O2 sensor to monitor AFR (front cylinder)

    And I added a permanent datalogger on my C (logs primary and secondary throttle positions, rpm, and AFR as a function of time )... can log several hours of riding stats on SD card, than transfer on computer an analyse using a mix of my own software and commercial tuning software. Logs are of actual real riding, on the road, averaged over hours of riding... not minutes of engine logs in a garage on a dyno).

    There are certainly areas in the stock map (with my bike mods), where it is too rich, and other areas where it is to lean. even with the bike mostly stock.

    before my afr monitoring and logging setup, I have had fuel economy as bad as 8 to 10L/100km. now, I am between 6L/100km and 7L/100km (depending on my wrist), and that is with a somewhat rich setup for performance (AFR around 13.5 for most of the map).

    my bottom line. .. the stock map is neither good for performance or economy... it is good for meeting emission standards. that said, it is impossible to get a map that is great all the time. environmental conditions changes... air filter gradually gets dirty, than gets cleaned, ...

    agree pipes are mostly for look and sound. sideburner worst for performance and bugging neighbors. freedom 2-1 better.

    How did the powrpro measure up, was it worth the money?

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  6. #4
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    Based on the feedback many have posted here on this forum there are some performance gains in either fuel economy and or HP but the typical pipe "Upgrade" does little and in some cases reduces performance. Most pipes are show/noise makers and that is all. Some offer performance but they are typically on the higher price end of things. Fuel management systems seem to help smooth out the power but not much in increases from what I have read. Most owners seem to not give a flying hoot as long as the bike looks great and sounds mean!

    Aside from having your bike dyno tuned there really is little improvement but that won't stop me or others from trying and modding is a sickness after all and man I am feeling bad!

  7. #5
    Very Active Member smg3d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Park1 View Post
    How did the powrpro measure up, was it worth the money?
    the powrpro was fine, but was boring for me (the new black edition seems a bit more fun). Unfortunately at the time, I did not have the wideband O2 + datalogger setup, so can't report on the AFR while riding with it. But since the powrpro only really comes into play during acceleration, it does not correct the cruising fuel (well, it does have the one pod inside, which I played with, but it's one single correction for all rpm/throttle combinations, and at least on my bike, a single correction will lead to very different cruising AFR depending on the rpm/throttle map position.) and it did nothing for the cruising "surges" many of us are experiencing at some rpm.

    that said, I am a believer of the powrpro approach for getting consistently great power during acceleration. you get great acceleration without a need to thinker.

    2008 C109RT Black-Gray / bought June 2010 with 600km / 61,000km as Sep. 2014
    Clean front end / TRE / Spike intakes / K&N filters / Wideband O2 / Drilled pipes / 266mm Darkside Federal 595 / Tacho / LED signals & relay box / Mustang fender bib / Rear fender in spike shape / 23 cu.ft. trailer / ISO-Grips / Scythe Mirrors / 20+ Skulls. TODO : Horn / Paint / More spike intakes / Better bags / ECU hacking...

  8. #6
    Active Member L8R's Avatar
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    I'm definitely not a mechanic but I have been riding for 30 years.. I've had all sorts of bikes, Triumph, Harley, Yamaha.Kaw, and now several suzukis.. They all ran better after De- EPAing the bikes.. these tree hugging climate changers are driving up the cost of our vehicles and killing performance.. and we have to pay extra for that junk. and then pay again to get our rides where they need to be.
    So yes the engineers know what to do.. but regulations handcuff them.

    When I bought my c109 last month, i thought something was way off for fuel management.. I didn't buy the bike for its fuel economy but I have only been getting 22-25 mpg.. even for pistons this size that's ridiculous..

    I de baffled (not drilled) the stock exhaust and I think it made it worse..
    I added spike air intakes and ran without a fuel controller.. I got 27mpg.. mind you the season is changing here and I was on some different roads

    I have since added new iridium plugs and Gman fuel controller.. I'll report back..

    I'm going to the keep the controller in Granny mode ( economy) and ride like have been.. we'll see if it makes a diff.

    Then of course I'm going to have to warm up the new rubbers with some stage 3 time and WOT
    Last edited by L8R; 05-20-2016 at 10:07 PM.
    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Spike Air, Fully Open Stock Exhaust, Gman Bully, Gman ATRE,Gman lean sensors, Drivers back rest, Hiway lamps and HID running lights, LED Rear Lights, Running Bridgestone Exedra Max tires .. let's see how they last


  9. #7
    Very Active Member avago's Avatar
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    To a degree the mechanic is right about the pipes. Most aftermarket pipes reduce the back pressure too much and you lose your torque. If yours have no baffles or have baffles with big holes in it, get some or make some more restrictive ones. Just recently made some for a mates m90 cobra swepts. Took the bang out of the noise and got more power across the range.
    As for the power commander, there's nothing wrong with them if you are prepared to have it tuned properly and play with maps etc.
    rule of thumb is , if you get aftermarket pipes and air intakes, you need a fuel controller as the engine will run lean. If only doing one or other then no fuel management required.


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  10. #8
    Very Active Member Acquitted's Avatar
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    Agree with most of what's been said - When your 20-year mechanic states that the factory engineers do everything possible to maximize performance and economy, it's time to find a new mechanic... if he hasn't learned by now that it is all about emissions and cost reduction, he never will.

    But that said, these were not slow bikes from the factory, and IMHO they did a decent job with these bikes to get them to run pretty well in virtually all conditions... I've run mine at 100 degrees and at 20 degrees, and it seems just as happy in either.

    I've tried chipping cars in the past, and frankly never really saw an appreciable improvement... a few tenths at the track, maybe, but never anything more on the butt dyno, which is really all I care about. Granted, If I had the time, interest, and cash to keep throwing at it, I might have seen better short-term results, but the more custom the tune, the more susceptible it is to variations in environment and degradation of hardware.

    I've only done minor mods to my C (mostly cosmetic), but for what it is worth, putting the BMW K&N air filters in the stock housings really made an appreciable difference, maybe 20% improvement on the butt dyno... even the stock exhaust sounds noticeably angrier... not much louder, but much, much more urgent and guttural... Almost enough to cancel out the horrible sportbike cam chain whine that all of the 109s seem to have.

    Of course, I'm a "slow and steady wins the race" kind of rider, so just the intakes makes my C plenty entertaining to me, YMMV.

    2008 C109RT - ISO grips, K&N Air Filter, NOS exhaust and filter housings, rebuilt driver seat.
    Hammertone powder coat on fenders and tank.
    Plastidip rear frame, sissy bar, side frame covers, and windshield hardware.

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