I've just completed installing the TuneBoy Cruise Control. While investigating a cruise control solution, I scoured this and several other forums for user experience with the product; I could not find any. So I have written this in the hope this will be of value to those of you who are contemplating using a TuneBoy on a 2011/12 Multistrada 1200.
Due to an ancient injury, some sort of cruise control is essential for my long distance riding enjoyment. I fitted a MCCruise
electronic cruise control to my FJR1300
, so I was not prepared to settle for a throttle lock on my next bike.
I also owned a 1098 for 2 years. Other than the fact that it was a torture rack, I loved the crisp handling and way the L-twin made power, so when I first rode the Multistrada shortly after it came out, I new this was the bike I had to have to replace the FJR. But electronic cruise control was so high on my requirements list that I held off buying one until I came across the TuneBoy product. Heaven only knows why Ducati, who have done a magnificent job with the superbly engineered Multistrada, neglected to add cruise control! It wouldn't add more than $50 to the cost.
I don't pretend to be an expert on motorcycle electronics, but even with my engineering background, I found the sales info available on the website not quite sufficient for me to feel comfortable enough to buy; in particular how the various options available fitted into the picture, whether the tuning capability was worth getting and what the functions and benefits of these are. Emma at TuneBoy cheerfully provided sufficient additional information for me to go ahead.
I live in Melbourne, Australia so the package arrived overnight on a Friday morning from Sydney and so I knocked off early to go and do what I thought would be a fairly straight forward couple of hours installation, as I had plenty riding planned for the weekend.
The very first step in the installation process effectivey erases the ECU's flash memory. From that point until you are completely finished, the bike will not be able to be started. What's more, once started, this process is irreversible and there is no apparent way to re-instate the factory memory map. I would have appreciated a warning to this effect, but this was the first of a few surprises yet to come. Another surpise was the "tune" files referred to in the documentation were different to what was provided on the instal disc. I did not worry too much about that as the names of the tune files that were provided made sense. The next surprise was that the bikes ignition, which has to be on while dong this work, timed-out midway through the erase, which stopped it in its tracks at 13.75%. There was nothing about this situation in the documentation. Twice more I started the erase and again it stopped at 13.75%. Was this normal? I went through the nnstallation document again - nothing, checked the support page and forum on tuneboy.com.au - nothing. I will admit to being quite rattled at this point but the only avenue open was to send an email, which I did, naiively thinking I would get a reply within an hour or so.
I kept on trying. Using the USB connection between the Tuneboy WB01 (the name of the TuneBoy box) and the laptop made a difference. It is a lot faster and so there is less chance of the ignition timing out midway. Also, WIFi can be quite flaky depending on your environment. For a data download I felt a lot more confident using the USB connection. I reccommend keeping WiFi for non-critical operations such as data logging. That did the trick and the erase ran to completion. Phew No 1!
Next you have to generate a key which it seems is a licencing control that links your email address to the bike's specific ECU and the function(s) that you have bought, such as cruise control, tuning, O2 disable etc. No problems there - key generated perfectly. and it looked like I was almost home and hosed.
The next step is to re-flash the ECU with the relevant map. To do this the software requires you to select the appropriate tune file. And here was the biggest challenge. Despite the fact that I had bought only the cruise control, and two of the tune files supplied on the software CD had names that incuded "cruise" in them, every time I selected either file, I got an error message telling me to select a cruise tune file????. I was really stuck - I could not go forward or back.
Here was me thinking that I had stuffed something up. I needed help. Ok, fired off another email explaining my problem. By now it was after 6pm and there was nothing more I could accomplish, so I packed up and went to wait by the email. My weekend riding plans were cancelled. I tried various combinations over the weekend to try and get this to work, all to no avail.
By Monday afternoon, I had not yet even received an acknowledment of my support request and I was not happy. I had a bike with an inoperable ECU, no response to my email, no number to ring, no one to offer any explanation. From a customer point of view, this is not good. The product is not expensive, but when your new $30,000 machine won't start, and the product disclaimers warn you that you "may" be invalidating your warranty, and there is no communication with the only people that know about the product, it really stretches your tolerance muscles!
I fired of an email to trusty Emma to see if she could help. At about 6pm on Monday I got a response from her to say she would see what she could do to help, and lo and behold, the next day I received an email from a "support" person, and a couple of hours later an additional tune file to try. This file did the trick, and I progressed to a point where I was ready to do the final ECU reflash.
The reflash got to 97.88% complete and than abruptly stopped - no error message or anything, just that the progress bar on the main dialog and the progress percentage indicator froze. Hmmmmmm. By now, my mind was racing, wondering if in fact this was turning out to be a disaster. I tried the reflash again. Again it got to 97.88% and froze. Images of more frustration driven emails going back and forth were going through my mind. But then I had an idea. This sort of operation puts quite a drain on the bikes battery and I wondered if that could be affecting the reflash progress. So I hooked up my battery charger and left it to charge for two hours.
Then finally I tried the reflash once again (BTW each time you do this you first have to do an erase, which takes 2-3 minutes to complete), and it worked; the little dialog appearing telling me to switch off and then on. I immediately thumbed the starter button and she growled into life!!! Hurrah. Phew No2!
My road test verified that, once installed, the product works as expected. I tested it at 60 in 4th and 5th gear and at 80 kph in 5th and 6th gear, and it held its speed to within 2 kph of the set point, which is very good performance for a cruise control in my view. By monitoring the instantaneous fuel consumption display, you can get a feel for how the cruise control is modulating the throttle.
Now that it is all up and running I am very happy with the functional result (so far). As with previous cruise control experience, I expect this to be the most important and most beneficial accessory/modification I will make to this bike. The promise of being able to tune the bike further with the Tuneboy unit to accomodate a pipe is reassuring.
So if you are contemplating buying the Tuneboy Cruise Control for Multistrada (and I expect the same to be true for the Diavel) and are going to install it yourself you should bear in mind:
- Be prepared for situations that the documentation does not make any note of
- The USB connection is faster and more reliable for the installation
- The software program that you use for all of the work (flashmitsubishi) does not offer any help or explanatory messages when things don't work properly. It just stops.
- Once you start with the first flash erase, your bike will not be able to be started until you finish the whole installation process.
- The installion as described in the documentation may not run quite as described, but don't panic, it does not look like you can do any permanent damage using the Tuneboy.
- If you need help, you may have to wait quite some time for a response from Tuneboy
- Be wary of running your battery down as you work through the installation. Make sure its fully charged beforhand or have an auxilary battery handy.
- Once installed, the Tuneboy Cruise Control works a treat and it will be well worth the effort.