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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Thanks! Yes, I will look into it. From Sbk's posts, I understood that I needed a flash for that. Until then, I will keep the OEM sensor or maybe replace it temporarily with the O2 delete, depending on what the dealer tells me the issue is. From the shop manual, it COULD be a buggy ECU also. I am just hoping not.
 

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Thanks! Yes, I will look into it. From Sbk's posts, I understood that I needed a flash for that. Until then, I will keep the OEM sensor or maybe replace it temporarily with the O2 delete, depending on what the dealer tells me the issue is. From the shop manual, it COULD be a buggy ECU also. I am just hoping not.
Pretty much every flash that I know of disables the O2 sensor, you can remove it and put a plug in, or simply leave it since it's not doing anything, but it doesn't get replaced with a wideband sensor. Those generally come with Autotune modules, like my aRacer. Or Bazzaz, or Dynojet, or Woolich, or FTECU (to name a few common ones).

Also just as an FYI, if you do a mail-in ECU flash, it doesn't take weeks. Usually it gets done right away, so it's just a matter of how long it takes to get delivered in the mail each way. So more than likely about 1 week. Surely you can survive without the bike for a week :) But Norton's option of getting an ECU from them and then you send yours in as replacement basically means your bike would only be down for the short time it takes you to swap out the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thanks for the clarifications. I will wait for the flash though. Maybe in US the mail is faster but I don't think that I will get it here fast enough. I will probably use the mail-in option. And there is the issue of the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Yeah, this is also an option. I am planning to get one exactly for that reason. But I don't want to use it for too long, I am concerned about the risk that Jim G pointed out, the catalyst that may fail earlier.
 

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For less than $30 CAD this seems like a no brainer. Why is everyone trying to justify the: "$400 + downtime + remove and ship your ECU" option?!?

Is KB's option the best? Absofuckingloutly not.

But it will get you 90% of the way at 1/16th the cost.

Can confirm.
Because it's not even close to 90% there. It's apples and oranges. It's maybe 5% there. All that does is allow you to remove your O2 sensor without getting a check engine light on the bike, and results in a slightly richer AFR....perhaps throughout the whole rev range, or maybe only in a certain spot...nobody seems to really know.

Whereas an ECU flash does not only that, but also gives you a better fuel map, which depending who did it could be geared more towards fuel economy or performance, a better ignition timing map (again depending on who made the flash), disabling butterfly valves/emission system if the bike has it, disable decel fuel cut, changing the rev limit, changing the temperature the fan kicks on, changed idle speed if needed, and other things depending on the bike. And most charge around $250-$300 for this. Norton's $400 option includes velocity stacks which are $300 by themselves. And every time you flash an ECU, whether it's with Woolich or FTECU, it costs them $100 for the license file from them to do it, so at $400 they're really just selling you a set of velocity stacks and you get a FREE flash with that.

I don't have an example like this for the 400, but here's a good example of a new Honda Grom, before and after an ECU flash. Look how shitty the stock map was. All those peaks and valleys in the power curve are caused by a shitty fuel and ignition timing map. Less than an hour on the dyno to make a better overall map and I got it much smoother and also gained power everywhere. Same parts on the bike, nothing else was changed. An O2 eliminator would've yield roughly the same power curve as the shitty stock one, and the AFR curve (not plotted on here unfortunately) would've just been shifted down a bit.

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Electronic device
 

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Because it's not even close to 90% there. It's apples and oranges. It's maybe 5% there. All that does is allow you to remove your O2 sensor without getting a check engine light on the bike, and results in a slightly richer AFR....perhaps throughout the whole rev range, or maybe only in a certain spot...nobody seems to really know.

Whereas an ECU flash does not only that, but also gives you a better fuel map, which depending who did it could be geared more towards fuel economy or performance, a better ignition timing map (again depending on who made the flash), disabling butterfly valves/emission system if the bike has it, disable decel fuel cut, changing the rev limit, changing the temperature the fan kicks on, changed idle speed if needed, and other things depending on the bike. And most charge around $250-$300 for this. Norton's $400 option includes velocity stacks which are $300 by themselves. And every time you flash an ECU, whether it's with Woolich or FTECU, it costs them $100 for the license file from them to do it, so at $400 they're really just selling you a set of velocity stacks and you get a FREE flash with that.

I don't have an example like this for the 400, but here's a good example of a new Honda Grom, before and after an ECU flash. Look how shitty the stock map was. All those peaks and valleys in the power curve are caused by a shitty fuel and ignition timing map. Less than an hour on the dyno to make a better overall map and I got it much smoother and also gained power everywhere. Same parts on the bike, nothing else was changed. An O2 eliminator would've yield roughly the same power curve as the shitty stock one, and the AFR curve (not plotted on here unfortunately) would've just been shifted down a bit.

View attachment 20219
It's hard to explain to people just how good most modern bikes can run when not tuned by the EPA. I think saying 5% there is being kind. I'd say it's more like 3.5%. :)
 

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It's hard to explain to people just how good most modern bikes can run when not tuned by the EPA. I think saying 5% there is being kind. I'd say it's more like 3.5%. :)
Yeah it's unfortunate that emission standards and laws are really crippling what manufacturers are capable of doing. Their hands are tied because if they want to sell their products they have to abide by those laws. For years they've all used "for racing only" labels on accessories or aftermarket products. Like Kawasaki or Yamaha do with their kit ECU's. I was just as clueless about it early on when I was on my first couple of bikes and didn't realize how much better a bike can run until I had my Ducati 1198 ECU flashed. It was night and day difference because those bikes were heavily restricted and ran very lean from the factory in order to meat emission standards. The dealer was the one that convinced me to do it. He told me all Ducatis run like absolute dog-**** when they're stock and you have to flash the ECU if you want their full potential. Now I don't think a ninja 400 is quite that bad stock, but the difference when flashing the ECU is still noticeable and worth it.
 

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Yeah it's unfortunate that emission standards and laws are really crippling what manufacturers are capable of doing. Their hands are tied because if they want to sell their products they have to abide by those laws. For years they've all used "for racing only" labels on accessories or aftermarket products. Like Kawasaki or Yamaha do with their kit ECU's. I was just as clueless about it early on when I was on my first couple of bikes and didn't realize how much better a bike can run until I had my Ducati 1198 ECU flashed. It was night and day difference because those bikes were heavily restricted and ran very lean from the factory in order to meat emission standards. The dealer was the one that convinced me to do it. He told me all Ducatis run like absolute dog-**** when they're stock and you have to flash the ECU if you want their full potential. Now I don't think a ninja 400 is quite that bad stock, but the difference when flashing the ECU is still noticeable and worth it.
Very true about the Ducati V2's. Absolutely unridable stock. You had to pay the "Termi Tax" to get the off road kit and the difference was astounding! My 999 came with a kit in the box that included an ECU, air filters, exhaust, and -1 tooth front sprocket. It transformed it from a bike that would barely run under 5K and top gear was unusable under 100 mph to a rocket that would put along at 2500 smooth as silk.
 

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Very true about the Ducati V2's. Absolutely unridable stock. You had to pay the "Termi Tax" to get the off road kit and the difference was astounding! My 999 came with a kit in the box that included an ECU, air filters, exhaust, and -1 tooth front sprocket. It transformed it from a bike that would barely run under 5K and top gear was unusable under 100 mph to a rocket that would put along at 2500 smooth as silk.
Yep, exactly the same thing with the 1198. I didn't buy their kit, but basically pieced it together myself with a used exhaust, and got the filter, ECU flash and sprocket separately. Before you had to be at over 4000 rpm to ride decently smooth or else the engine would lug and run really rough and couldn't really make much use of 6th gear because 4000 rpm in 6th gear on that bike was like 82 mph lol Definitely changed the running behavior of the bike after the flash. I remember the ECU flash was the last piece I did after the exhaust, sprocket and air filter thinking that it wasn't worth it, and king of a gimmick. But after the dealer convinced me and I got it back, I regretted not doing it sooner. Since then, that was one of the first mods I would do on bikes if I got them stock. On the 400, I'm not even sure if I ever rode it with the stock ECU. Maybe once just for a quick shakedown, but I don't think so. I pulled it out and sent it to a friend right away to get it flashed. It was just a generic one (like a Woolich mapshare type of deal I think) since he didn't develop it himself on a dyno, but it was better than the stock junk.
 

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interesting that you guys mention emissions. I just ran into a very interesting situation on a mint condition 2008 Kawasaki ZX-6R that I bought recently.

That motorcycle has an "undertail" exhaust system. The system as a while includes the 4-pipe header, a CAT right under the engine/transmission, a mid-pipe from the CAT to the undertail muffler, and a servo-operated / ECU-controlled exhaust valve that partially closes at low and mid-rpm to provide some back pressure on this engine that has a 16,500 rev limit (Yes, 16,500 rev limit. Peak power at 14,000).

After the engine design was done and tested, Kawasaki was apparently surprised to find that the exhaust decibel level at high rpm exceeded new California noise regulations. So, for the North American market ONLY, they programmed the ECU to partially shut the exhaust valve again at any rpm above about 12,000 rpm! No kidding.

The story gets better too:

The US Kawasaki sales and marketing people were mad as **** about his, because it crippled the bike in any comparison tests done in The U.S., knocking several rwhp off the dyno and track testing results. So, they leaked (rather non-secretly) the information that the "detuning" could be defeated by simply uncapping the Kawasaki Diagnostic System (KDS) capped connect under the seat and "jumping" a connector wire (or just a paper clip) across 2 of the terminals. No Kidding. This restored the full power between 12,000 and 16,500, and became known as "The Jumper Mod".

Yoshimura in the meantime, did some testing to develop a slip-on muffler to replace the OEM muffler with its built-in exhaust valve. That too contained some surprises.

The OEM muffler/valve assembly weighed 9.3 lb, and Yoshimura apparently found the noise level with it in place peaked at 6500 rpm (NOT at the stratospheric RPM levels which were muted by the partial closing of the exhaust valve).

Their RS-5 slip-on system cam in 4 versions, but the key things about it were:
  • It added about 1 rwhp beyond the Jumper Mod
  • It weighed as little as 4.8 lb when installed without the included "sound reducer insert), and still only 5.6 lb when the reducer insert was installed
  • With its included sound reducer insert, it was actually 3 db quieter than the OEM exhaust at 6500 rpm
  • With the sound reducer insert NOT installed, it was only 4 db louder than the OEM exhaust
  • To prevent a trouble code, the installation instructions stated, in bold type (I have a pdf copy), to remove only the muffler with its exhaust valve and the 2 cables that operated it, but to NOT remove the OEM servo system, as that would trigger a trouble code that could not be cleared without either reinstalling the servo or reflashing the ECU.

So, you see, there ARE some very complicated stories craeted by the ongoing pollution and noise emissions measures . ..

I would love to have one of those Yoshimura RS-5 slip-ons (because the 9.3 lb OEM muffler hangs WAY rearward and WAY higher than the rest of the bike, so makes the entire bike feel a bit "top heavy". But the Canadian landed cost of a brand new one is about $550CDN , which strikes me as too much for a simple slip-on muffler (that is also a bear to install because of all the tail area wiring, lights, etc). But finding a decent condition used one 13 years after its introduction seems unlikely.

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Today I went to see my local dealer and schedule a 18000 km maintenance for the bike. I told them about the problem and after a short discussion it seems that they can flash the ECU, if the bike is not under warranty. I will check how much it is and if they also load new fuel tables in order to fix the choppy throttle.

BTW, any advice on how to disconnect the O2 sensor? What do you use to push on the two tabs that lock the connector in place?
 

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Wow! That would be cool if the dealer would do it for you. I have no idea on the sensor. Mine don't work so I don't worry bout it
zz
 

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Teorist: There is only ONE tab that actually secures the O2 sensor connector to the bike's wiring harness. If you examine it, you will see that there is a tab with a slot in it on one half-connector that engages a "wedge" on the other half-connector. You will see how you can use a tiny (1/8") screwdriver to lift the tab slightly so that you can slide the half-connectors apart.

Jim G
 

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interesting that you guys mention emissions. I just ran into a very interesting situation on a mint condition 2008 Kawasaki ZX-6R that I bought recently.
Ah the '07-'08 generation...the ******* child of the ZX6R lineup lol Never had one of those myself because there were enough negative things and complaints about it that I didn't care to try it. Had an older one, then the next 2 generations after that.

Edit: wow, this forum even censors the word b-a-s-t-a-r-d?? lol
 

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Ah the '07-'08 generation...the *** child of the ZX6R lineup lol Never had one of those myself because there were enough negative things and complaints about it that I didn't care to try it. Had an older one, then the next 2 generations after that.

Edit: wow, this forum even censors the word b-a-s-t-a-r-d?? lol
Yeah, American riders got the neutered high rpm performance which moved the 07/08 model from 2nd highest power versus its competition to lowest power versus its competition. Plus, unlike the 05/06 model which had a 636cc engine, the 07/08 went to 599cc to allow Kawasaki to compete in the Supersport racing class (the 636 was too large a displacement). And, the 07/08 was heavier than both the 05/06 that preceded it and the 09+ model that followed it.

BUT, the Europeans got the unrestricted power version, and the Jumper Mod restored the power for US riders who knew about it. And everyone agreed that the 07/08 had a GREAT transmission, and handled better than any other Supersport at the time, because Kawasaki hired an actual pro racer to help them refine the prototypes. And the tall 1st gear (88 MPH at 16,500 rpm) and the 2500 rpm available past the 14,000 rpm power peak minimized gearshifting on the track.

So, the Americans were unimpressed, but the Europeans loved it.

Savvy street riders changed the gearing (mine came to me from the original owner with 46T vs 43T rear sprocket, which dropped the top speed in 1st to just 82 MPH!). And that Yoshimura slip-on exhaust, which cost just $250 or so at the time, knocked out the too high and too rearward weight of the OEM muffler.

My local Kawi dealership saw the bike's condition in person today, and they were in awe. Original factory luster in the paint. Not a single bodywork scratch. Full maintenance records from day of purchase for the full 13 years. All required services done by dealers, including those costly valve checks and adjustments. The guy had even had the brake lines changed to braided s.s.

The owner actually kept it in his living room when not in use, along with his more recently acquired HD Breakout, until his fiance moved in recently and unreasonably insisted on his moving both bikes into a new outbuilding which he erected AND heated!) beside the house.

I got it at a very attractive price, and our local Government-run insurance provider assesses insurance risk almost strictly based on displacement (not power), and don't seem to realize that this model, like all 600 Supersports of that time period, is a 156 MPH guided missile. (Even with stock gearing, it revs past the power peak to about 14,500 in 6th gear. The local Kawi parts manager tells me that his personal 07 STILL does that with 80,000 km on it). So, the bike qualifies for the 2nd lowest rate category of 4 or 5 rate categories. It costs $20 per month more to insure than the Z400 (which qualifies for the lowest rate category).

All in all, it's a pretty neat package that I am insanely happy with. :)

Jim G
 

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Yeah, American riders got the neutered high rpm performance which moved the 07/08 model from 2nd highest power versus its competition to lowest power versus its competition. Plus, unlike the 05/06 model which had a 636cc engine, the 07/08 went to 599cc to allow Kawasaki to compete in the Supersport racing class (the 636 was too large a displacement). And, the 07/08 was heavier than both the 05/06 that preceded it and the 09+ model that followed it.

And everyone agreed that the 07/08 had a GREAT transmission, and handled better than any other Supersport at the time, because Kawasaki hired an actual pro racer to help them refine the prototypes. And the tall 1st gear (88 MPH at 16,500 rpm) and the 2500 rpm available past the 14,000 rpm power peak minimized gearshifting on the track.

Jim G
I don't think anyone, or most people, would agree that it was the best handling of the supersports at the time. Yamaha and Honda were better in that regard. After all in World Supersport, Kawi didn't win from 2001 until 2012. Honda won a bunch during that time, including during 2007-2008 time frame. I think if you ask anyone that's been around racing for awhile they will all tell you that the R6 is the best handling bike out of the box in the 600 category and the ZX6R has always been known for being the most powerful in that class, but they CAN be made to handle good also, just need more changes than the R6. Personally I like the ZX6R a lot, hence I've stuck on that route, but having ridden an R6 once too I immediately understood why the R6 is the most common track/race bike you'll see at any track days or club race events and why it has won so many championships in pro racing.

Also...all of them hire pro racers to develop bikes. That's not unique to Kawasaki only lol Just a matter of WHO they have on their staff to help.
 
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