Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

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Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:33 pm

Hi folks, two days ago I bought a 2016 SDR special edition that apart from all the bling, had a moto hooligan intake and block off plates, the standard Akra pipe (part of the special edition) but with a cat free mid pipe installed, MTC dongle, etc. Full exhaust has been ceramic coated. There is NO power commander on the bike, and I'm worried that the presence of the moto hooligan air intake and cat delete and other mods would mandate that PCV be installed, even if the stock ECU had been flashed to the Akra map. I don't know if there are fueling dongles installed, but seems like that would have been a less than ideal solution given the cost of the stuff already in place. I'm contemplating putting the cat back on to quiet things down some. Observations or comments are welcome!

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby cubfoot » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:26 am

I'd definitely check if the Akra map is installed (not sure how..?) because you'd be running lean with the standard map. If the Akra map is installed you're most likely ok - (I purchased a quite modified (K&N, Austin, PCV) 2015 some time ago and was always worried that it'd be running lean after I installed a Motohooligan airbox - when I finally got an autotune I saw that it was still running rich with the Akra base map and the autotune was actually decreasing the amount of fuel injected at most rpm/throttle openings, ah well...)
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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:10 am

When I was running a 990 with dual channel autotune, it was also taking fuel out of the map (with Leo Vince exhaust, rotty intake, secondary throttle plates removed, etc.). The end result was not much better than using tune ECU with some suggested maps for the setup I was running. Most of the adjustments autotune was doing were removing, not adding fuel. With the 1290, I'm just worried that the moto-hooligan intake with the no cat mid pipe would have me lean. Good to know the Akra map would is probably rich enough to protect the motor. Hopefully I can pay the dealer to tell me what map is loaded. I would find it hard to believe the prior owners did all the mods but kept the original map without using a PCV.

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby cubfoot » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:37 am

Resinears wrote: I would find it hard to believe the prior owners did all the mods but kept the original map without using a PCV.


I would think so, too - especially since a friendly dealer can add the map at little cost (to himself)...

I wonder if there are any other observable signs that the map is loaded?

(I did enjoy adding the autotune cause when I recently went silent (my Austin mid + end pipe are just a bit loud for my liking) and put the OEM exhaust back on, the engine felt a bit hesitant around 4.5-5krpm at small throttle openings - and a slightly lower AFR fixed that... sure worth the $$$ and effort, haha)
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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby AGRO! » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:14 am

Pull a spark plug and check it out.
If you don’t know what your looking at with the plug post a pic on the forum I’m sure someone can
Let you know if it’s lean or not.

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby cubfoot » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:53 am

AGRO! wrote:Pull a spark plug and check it out.
If you don’t know what your looking at with the plug post a pic on the forum I’m sure someone can
Let you know if it’s lean or not.


what he said 8)
don't buy a 701 when you want a 1290

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:56 am

Looking at a plug would be a good place to start.
I've tuned plenty of motorcycles by reading the plugs, but in my experience, that only really works with pulling at full throttle up a long hill, then chopping the throttle and ignition, coasting to a stop, and pulling the plug on the side of the road to read. This only provides an indication of timing and air fuel mixture at ten tenths. For a carb, it shows if the main jet size is rich, lean, or correct. Building a good map for a fuel injected bike doesn't really lend itself to reading the plug, unless you are stupid rich or lean. Also some other tricks, but these do little to tell where you're at at at part throttle, and to be honest, holding the Super Duke wide open on the open road would not be practical in my neck of the woods. A few seconds of that, and the local police would jail me and impound or confiscate the bike. I recently received a $170 ticket for going 49 kph in a 30 zone (playground zone, which was closed due to covid).

I think it is best to start with a map that has been custom made for a bike with similar mods. Looking at a plug should verify that the akra map has been loaded, and I can go from there.

The SAS had been removed, and the block off plates installed prior to my acquisition. I did put the cat back on, and the bike seems to run fine. I can certainly twist it harder without attracting as much attention (local police are on a huge campaign against aftermarket exhausts, loud cars, etc. although with the Special Edition Akra pipe, it's louder compared to my 1190 adventure with a slip on Wings exhaust. Is running the cat without the SAS system (which I don't have possession of) potentially damaging? Certainly throws more heat, but that's to be expected.

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby DribbleDuke » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:50 am

Is running the cat without the SAS system (which I don't have possession of) potentially damaging?

I would say yes. The S.A.S. is there exclusively because of the catalytic converter. Oxidation needs oxygen, rapid oxidation needs more oxygen.
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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby cubfoot » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:02 am

If I understand this correctly, without the SAS there will be an oversupply of fuel (=too little oxygen) in the exhaust under curtain conditions. This leads to unpalatable exhaust fumes but more importantly it will potentially overheat the particles of the actual catalyst (typically platinum) in the converter which can damage the honeycomb structure of the converter then1 the catalyst could get so hot that it might damage parts of the bike next to the mid pipe, and I think this effect has led to some mishaps when catalytic converters were introduced in the 70's or so.
However, I would expect a failure of the SAS to have been considered during the design and as long as you're not letting it idle for hours it should be ok...
You mentioned that you noticed more heat coming off the catalytic converter - that could be the combo of an Akra map and no SAS. As long as the bike doesn't catch fire you should be ok, hehe.
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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby AGRO! » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:35 am

If your running a richer map like Akra map the cats going to hotter.

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby AGRO! » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:41 am

Resinears wrote:Looking at a plug would be a good place to start.
I've tuned plenty of motorcycles by reading the plugs, but in my experience, that only really works with pulling at full throttle up a long hill, then chopping the throttle and ignition, coasting to a stop, and pulling the plug on the side of the road to read.


The 1290 isn’t a two stroke :lol:

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:00 pm

Reading the plugs after a chop can give some insight about the main jet size on a carbureted engine, but not so much about a fuel injected motor unless something is really off. I still like looking at the soot in an exhaust pipe for general health, but I'm not an engine tuner by a long shot, but I have had enough experience to feel and smell whether an engine is pulling cleanly or running lean/rich in certain throttle ranges, but only in pretty broad strokes in comparison to a dyno with a sniffer. I'm thankful that fuel injection lends itself to quick and easy corrections in comparison to pulling multiple CV carbs and meddling with the independent and overlapping circuits.

I put the mid pipe back on, and will tune without the cat installed, based on some available maps from bikes that have similar mods. I ordered a PCV that should be here in a week, but I honestly don't see making too many adjustments at 80 - 100% throttle at 7,000 rpm+ as I just won't be able to get it there without jeopardizing my license which I need to make a living. I do love this engines mid-range! I will need more time with the bike before I'm comfortable twisting it harder.

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby AGRO! » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:23 am

Did you order the auto tune as well?
Or putting the bike on the dyno...

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:39 pm

I did not order the autotune. I may still add one, but only if I end up bored with more disposable cash to throw at this thing. The PCV arrived yesterday,and I'll be installing it today.
While waiting around for it, I really began to question whether it's needed. The bike seems to run really, really well. I'll be experimenting with some of the tunes that are already done for SD's with full exhausts and intakes done using the Akra map as a base. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that my bike has the Akra tune loaded (it is a Special Edition that came with the Akra muffler as factory equipment).

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby Resinears » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:39 pm

I have the PCV installed, and so far, have found that the maps that show an improvement are ones that are taking fuel out of the tables. Mid range is truly beastly, but I am interested in finding someone locally who can tune it for safety, and it's not likely I'll find anyone in my area (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) who will be able to set me up with individual cylinder mapping, which is what is loaded in the PC right now. Should I just go for a pull to see if there is anything obviously wrong with the current mapping, or reset the tables and go for a "one sniffer in the exhaust" derived map? I honestly don't think I need any more power than I'm already feeling - just want to be sure I'm safe...

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Re: Advice on 1290 R Special Edition with mods but no PCV

Postby cubfoot » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:41 pm

I think a map done on a dyno by an experienced technician is difficult to beat. If that's not available autotune would be the next option (it's a bit of a hassle though - not least because you need to have 18mm bung installed in the headers, the standard ones are just 12mm - on most SDRs, but if you have an Akra-special model, with a full Akra system then that should have the 18mm bungs. Best if you check, and should get stainless 18mm bungs (those that come with the autotune are mild steel). And then you'd have to find a place to go wide-open w/o danger to your license... :D )

But, it really looks like your base map is the Akra-map so you're on the rich side of things... I probably wouldn't worry too much.

(Btw, I eventually got an autotune myself, installed the bungs, rode around, structurally damaged a lot of tunnels only to find out that the AT was leaning the installed map out here and there... :oops: )
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