Have a fuel injected bike? Want an electronic tuning genie with a screwdriver? Well, you just found one.
Dynojet Research Corp. leads one of the pioneering efforts to make a user-friendly electronic device, which can help everyone with what the factory has been faced with by the EPA's stern hand. Also, being the early innovators of the dynamometer "tuning machine," they have strived to figure out a way to "link" today's newer injected bikes to the dyno, and "talk" to it in real-time. Well, I'd say they've more then succeeded.
I'd like to emphasize a few major points. The Power Commander III is NOT a self-learning piece of equipment that you plug in, and enjoy the most optimum results. That said, what it will do when used with a "map" of similar modifications to your bike (i.e. downloaded from GuzziTech.com), is give you the groundwork for one of the best upgrades you can EVER do to your bike. Everyone reading this should agree that no two bikes are alike, and expecting any one universal piece of hardware (or software/chip) to adapt instantly would be a little foolish. Correct...? Good.
Now most seriousness aside, saying that Dynojet's latest PCIII is a groundbreaking component in the world of E.F.I. tuning might just be a huge understatement. It simply makes your life easier, allowing most anyone to "tune" their fuel injection. However, what the PCIII is meant to do (in the hands of an authorized 'Tuning Link Center') is to create an electronic "correction" to your bike's air/fuel ratio reading. No matter what you've done in terms of bolt-on, ripped-off, drilled-through, swapped-out "performance" modifications, a PCIII and 'Tuning Link' can perfect it.
Essentially what should be done with every bike once the PCIII is plugged in (OEM plugs, no splicing necessary), is to take it directly to your local approved Tuning Link Center, let them wheel your bike on the dyno and work their magic. Literally. What you'll be rewarded with in the end, is simply the best throttle response you've EVER experienced. Period.
How's this done? Their machine utilizes an O2 sensor placed temporarily deep into your exhaust, that sends a reading to the dyno's computer, which samples the mixture at graduated throttle settings (throughout the entire rev range, from idle to redline), then simultaneously writes the corrected figures to the PCIII. In short, it's that simple, and the whole process usually takes about a half an hour or so.
If you really don't think you should have to do this, well you don't exactly. As mentioned above, using a map from a very similar bike, with very similar modifications will get you into the ballpark. While it won't be "perfect" by doing it this way, it will provide you with an increased throttle response that will put a big smile on your face.
Now one other misconception to talk about... the PCIII is NOT a "dial-me-in horsepower/torque box". As mentioned above, it is an air/fuel ratio correction device. With the "engine as an air pump" theory, the objective of the PCIII is to aim the air/fuel ratio at the desired target, throughout the entire rev range. The BIG added bonus is that by correcting these air/fuel numbers; you'll almost always see a gain in those numbers everyone is seemingly so focused on these days. Really, those numbers are irrelevant. Drive-ability/throttle response is the ultimate goal.
How sensitive is the program you ask? Extremely. Any little revision/change that you do to your bike technically would require another trip to the Tuning Link Center. Your bike, with the PCIII can be as sensitive to anything as minute as a clean air filter to a dirty one, new mufflers to slightly aged ones, etc., etc. Of course, you don't have to be overly concerned about this, but you do need to be very aware of it. Just be sure to keep your bike is the best state of tune as possible, which is key to begin your PC adventure. Prior to having your bike custom mapped, be sure that you've recently had it tuned, i.e. valve tolerances checked, synchronized throttle bodies, clean air filter, fresh spark plugs, etc.
The PCIII is a great tool for F.I. corrections, but it's not the end-all, do-all. Why the rant? DynoJet typically fields calls with customers saying things like, "Well I only took the airbox off, and put separate filters on, and now it doesn't run right." So, based on what you now know, you understand why now, correct? ANY changes will require a new map, and/or a new Tuning Session.
Thinking about major motor mods? The PCIII can ONLY work within the "parameters" of the stock E.C.U. If the E.C.U. and injectors were set-up maximized (100%) with your stock engine, the PCIII cannot deliver 101+%. So, engine modifications are limited to what the E.C.U./fuel injectors are capable of. We have had very good success stories so far with only the PCIII. With very limited motor modifications (head work only), the V11S 2-valve motors are getting to the 90+ rear wheel horsepower range.
Hey, but what about those three buttons on the front? Well, it's sort of Dynojet's tomfoolery for the home user. Those buttons effectively can richen/lean the mixture, but do so as an overlay. Each position of the bar graph represents a 2% change, which is grouped into three equally divided (your bike's) rpm ranges: Low, Mid, and High as it states on the face of the PC. While this does not alter the stored map, it will change the mixture. It can be fun to tinker... then you can easily 'zero' them out, or reset them using the PCIII software. Which if you like to explore, the PCIII's software allows complete access to the entire fuel map, with only a simple personal computer.
Dynojet's newest release for your Guzzi is the PCIII-usb version, which steps up the features. Faster processor, more programming points (every 250 vs. 500 rpm), a "cylinder trim" function which allows your Tuning Center to "Tuning Link" (correct) each cylinder separately, and an expansion port that may allow a future timing module. They've also made it easier for you to make subtle adjustments yourself.
So, with all of that mumble jumble said, on to the part I'm sure all of you were expecting to read from the beginning...
Upon my first ride once on my PCIII equipped/custom mapped Jackal was nothing short of astonishing in the throttle response/crispness department. Where as the stock bike would stumble upon whacking the throttle to its stop, the PCIII optimized bike snaps upon the most minimal throttle input. The motor seems to want to rev quicker then you can twist the throttle. It is that good. Minor intake (airbox) and exhaust mods, have my Jackal at 72 rwhp, and 69 ft.lbs. of torque. If you've been reading any performance numbers on the Cal motors, these are pretty impressive numbers in the Guzzi World for a completely stock engined bike with (then) 67,000 miles on the odometer.
The downside? None really...while most all Guzzisti have been reporting gains in fuel mileage, you may possibly suffer a loss of a few mpg's on some stock bikes (especially when you first put the PCIII on, and keep twisting the throttle for grins). Here in lies the PCIII's biggest benefit, you can actually have your Tuning Link Center build you a mileage map to take care of this too. If you're the "tech"-ie type and have a Palm-Pilot (with opt. accessory plug from Dynojet), you can even carry multiple maps with you on your outing. You want good gas mileage... fine, load that map when you leave. Then when you arrive at your fun spot, upload your "sport mode" map and enjoy. The PCIII's versatility is endless.
I say do yourself and your bike a favor. Go ahead and bolt on all those goodies on you've been wanting to. Then grab a PCIII, and head to your local Tuning Link Center. You'll truly enjoy the ride. I am.
Now you may hear from a few folks that this "secondary/external box" doesn't seem necessary...the only thing I'll finish with is the top AMA National Roadrace teams are relying on this technology every race weekend. So, doesn't this seem almost too logical for your simple ol' Guzzi? Dynojet's PCIII is fuel injection perfection.