Let me start off with a quick self+Bike intro. I'm a proper petrol head and a Mechanical Engineer from Bengaluru, India
. I ride a 2017 Duke 390 which I have been foolishly running with a Free Flow end can. Yes it was running lean, Yes it was running hot. I was just that stupid.
The Background Story:
I am super happy with the bike and the power it produces. But what I yearned for is more refinement and of course less heat. So after about two years of holding back, I finally gave in and shelled out the dough for the Powertronic Piggyback ECU. I did a fair amount of research before narrowing down in on the PT. To start with, Powertronic was a local product, all the R&D for this product happened right here in my city, and their after sales support truly lives up to the hype. Other contenders like PCV, RB EVO were more expensive and I'm sure the support for these products around here was just limited to just E-mails( I don't think anyone here has used it locally not do they have any distirbutors, but please don't take my word for it. I didn't research much about that.)
Now yes the other two contenders have some more features such as Autotune, Wideband O2 sensor support, Closed loop fuelling etc. But considering how much power the engine already makes, I don't think it would benefit from the extra features. Atleast not enough to make a real world difference on the butt dyno.
Powertronic on the other hand, although cannot control closed loop fuelling has a smart workaround for that. It deals with the low end jerkiness with a good ignition map, which was one of my major concerns. And the fuelling takes care of the overly lean mixture caused by FF Intake and Exhuast. So it pretty much did all I wanted within my budget.
They do have their R-tune software which gives you full control over the system and you can manually adjust the AFR, Ignition ,Quickshifter parameters, its the whole 9 yards.
The PT Experience:
Eventhough I could have installed the PT myself, I chose to get it installed at their HQ by them, since I was visiting to get a custom tune any way. So I got into talks with their sales guy and fixed on a date for the visit. I was lucky enough to get a small discount on the account of the Indian Independence Day. The folks there are friendly as well as professional. They don't just fool around with your stuff, just straight to business without any fuss.
So I get there around 12 PM, and they were busy with some other vehicles.So I had to wait for a couple of hours and finally at around 2:30 , my bike was brought in and two guys got around to install the wiring harness onto my bike. The install took around 25 mins and was pretty straight forward, and then the bike was strapped down on the Dyno.
We did a couple of runs, and they fiddled around with the maps and added a little more fuel to both the stock 'Race' and 'Race+' maps throughout the rev range. This was expected as I have the filter and the exhaust. Once that was done, bike was unstrapped, I paid them and off to the races.
I rode home on their map2/Race+ and it definitely pulls harder on the top end, one clean pull from 4K all the way till 12K RPM. I was informed that Map2 needs good fuel, it runs tighter ignition timings so needs good fuel and spark to make good use of the map. The first map/Race on the other hand is much more forgiving and can take regular gas and will just work.
So eventhough there was a noticeable difference at the top end, the lower end, although much better than stock still needed some more refinement.
So I got home, ordered an NGK Irdium 'LKAR8AI-9' and called it a day.
The plugs arrived the next day, and I installed them ( This is a story in itself, anybody who has changed a Duke Spark plug without removing the tank will relate with me. YOU HAVE MY RESPECT).
So after I installed the plug, with bruised knuckles I switched to map1/Race and what a difference!! The low end is now something I want to stay in, I shift much earlier than before and the jerkiness is gone.. And I can lose traction on the slightest dirt patches on the road.. Wheelies are so much easier now. I wheelie if I'm exiting a corner hard, heck I wheelie even over road humps when going flat out. I know there is some placebo effect in this , but the bottomline is the Powertronic does make a difference, and it is noticeable.The extended rev range is just an extra goodie to have. I have ridden just a couple hundred kilometres since the PT install and haven't yet tried premium fuel. So I hope there's more to enjoy with that in Map2 .
Will keep the thread updated if anyone's interested.
Some more topics that I intend to write about in the future:
1. The Rev Limiter
2. R-Tune Software.
3. Custom Maps
4. Any new findings as I go along.
PS: Since I'm a new member , can't post inline images. So the images below are : (Hoping that they are in order.)
1. Lean spark plug before putting the PT.
2.Bike strapped in on the Dyno
3. Their unassuming workshop
4. That **** Spark plug!
5. Some free merch I got.
6. Proof that I did wheelies.