Dyno Tuning Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Dyno Tuner?
A Dynamometer (commonly called a "Dyno") is a machine that measures engine output known as horsepower, torque and fuel mixture. It can test under different engine loads and conditions. This helps us adjust fuel mixture and timing to ideal settings.
Why should I get my bike Dyno-Tuned?
If you have performance work done, you should have your engine tuned to get optimum performance without sacrificing drivability or fuel economy.
How can it increase my motorcycle's performance?
By using the best settings exactly matched to the equipment on your motorcycle, you will get the best possible performance. Note that "performance" includes not only the maximum power, but also good drivability, smooth-running engine, and good fuel economy.
How can it save me from costly repairs in the future?
A properly tuned engine does not have to work as hard as a poorly tuned engine to do the same job (i.e. normal riding, such as cruising on the highway) resulting in less wear and tear.
What kinds of bikes can be Dyno-Tuned?
All bikes can be tuned. We specialize in Harley-Davidson®, but if you have a different brand and your dealer cannot tune your bike, we can still help you.
Are there requirements my motorcycle must meet to be Dyno-Tuned?
Your bike should be in good condition before running on the dynamometer. If your tires, belt, etc. are in poor condition they may fail; after all we will be testing it at maximum output.
Who is authorized to run the Dyno-Tuner?
Only our specially trained technicians are authorized to run the dynamometer. These technicians have been trained in all of the software options.
What time of year can it be done? Are there temperature or weather restrictions?
Fuel-injected motorcycles can be tuned any time of the year and in any weather. Our state-of-the-art dynamometer has a special room all to itself. Carbureted motorcycles should only be tuned in moderate conditions. Extreme temperatures can affect the results.
How much does it cost?
The cost is dependent on the time it would take to tune the motorcycle. Fuel-injected motorcycles typically take four hours. Carbureted motorcycles typically take two hours, due to the fact that there are fewer adjustments that can be made on carburetor engines. Additional costs depend on the method that is used; the price of adding a Race Tuner, ThunderMax, etc.
How long does it take to Dyno-Tuned a motorcycle?
The time it takes depends on the motorcycle. Very radical engine builds may take longer than a mild engine. We do not charge more than four hours of service labor for normally aspirated fuel-injected (two hours of service labor for normal carbureted) Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. For brands other than Harley-Davidson®, we ask that you stop by or call and talk to one of our Service Specialists.
What are the different software options for Dyno-Tuners?
The dynamometer has its own software to control load, tuning options, collect data, etc. Each brand of Tuner (Race Tuner, ThunderMax, etc.) has its own software.
What's this I hear about different types of tuning devices?
There are three basic types of tuning devices for tuning fuel-injected Harley-Davidson® motorcycles.
The first type is a "fueler", which plugs in between the wiring harness and the fuel injectors. It has a few switches or knobs, and adds or subtracts fuel in a few areas. The capabilities of this type of tuner are very limited, allowing adjustments to fuel only and only in a few areas.
Disadvantages: Poor results, and it adds extraneous hardware to the bike.
The second, and probably most common type, is a "piggyback" device that plugs in between the wiring harness and the Engine Control Module (ECM). It intercepts and modifies signals between the engine and the ECM. This type has more capabilities than the first, allowing adjustment to both fuel and ignition tuning.
Advantages: Can adjust more parameters than the first type.
Disadvantages: Adds extraneous hardware to the bike.
The third type does not add any extra modules. It loads a new "map" into the existing ECM.
Advantages: Can adjust more parameters than the other types, and no extra hardware is added to the bike.
Why is adding extra hardware to the bike a disadvantage?
There is very limited space on a motorcycle to add any extra hardware. They often do not fit which will often cause stress on the electrical connectors resulting in poor connections. Hardware is susceptible to water damage. Also, there is sometimes pressure on the extra module or hardware, which may result in failure. Whereas, actual ECM failures are extremely rare.
Is there a difference between tuning a fuel-injected motorcycle versus a carbureted motorcycle?
There are fewer adjustments that can be made to carbureted motorcycles.