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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having some issues with my 996 SPS (which turned out to be the clutch....:eek:) I had made a call into a friend of mine in Italy who works at Ducati Appia in Rome for some help and advice. When I mentioned that the bike has a Power Commander 3 installed, he said ” We never recommend to use Power Commanders on Ducs..those are for Japanese bikes and usually dont work good with your kind of bike. A 996sps does not need it but all it needs is a full Termi exaust and a good eprom in the ECU “.

So... I put it to the forums.... Who is for a PC3 on a Ducati and why and who is against and why? I am curious to see how many fall under the “purist” Ducati faith and how many are more “progressive”.
 

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After having some issues with my 996 SPS (which turned out to be the clutch....:eek:) I had made a call into a friend of mine in Italy who works at Ducati Appia in Rome for some help and advice. When I mentioned that the bike has a Power Commander 3 installed, he said ” We never recommend to use Power Commanders on Ducs..those are for Japanese bikes and usually dont work good with your kind of bike. A 996sps does not need it but all it needs is a full Termi exaust and a good eprom in the ECU “.

So... I put it to the forums.... Who is for a PC3 on a Ducati and why and who is against and why? I am curious to see how many fall under the “purist” Ducati faith and how many are more “progressive”.
I don't think it's a "purist" VS "progressive" debate, the problem with these devices (PowerCommander, RapidBike, Bazazz, etc.) is the Latency (time Delay) they introduce, I know at least two occasions where the removal of such a device made a significant improvement in throttle response, even with the "wrong" fueling.
Between re-mapping of the stock ECU and installing such a device I'll pick the first option each and every time.
 

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I completely disagree with your friend. The Power Commanders modify
the signal to the fuel injectors so they should work universally well across all brands assuming the loaded map is correct for your bike-stock or modified. I have used PC3's for years and found them to be 100% reliable. I have a 1098 with a Termi full system and ECU. According to Dan Kyle the Ducati map provided with the ECU is "filthy rich". I bought a PC3 from Dan loaded with his map and the bike runs very well. When I told Dan that I ride long distance quite a bit, he offered to lean his map a bit in the cruise rpm range. The bike runs very well and I've seen over 50 mpg in highway cruise.

I also have a 2002 998 that came with termi slipons and ECU. The Ducati map was pretty lean and the bike would pop severely on closed throttle and would hunt and buck lightly on constant throttle. I added a PC3 mapped for the slip-ons and now the bike runs great. The bike is smooth at all throttle positions and once I richened the fueling at idle, the popping on closed throttle is completely gone.

In my opinion Power Commanders are great and the only downtime with the bike is the time it takes you to install it- not very difficult.
 

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I completely disagree with your friend. The Power Commanders modify
the signal to the fuel injectors so they should work universally well across all brands assuming the loaded map is correct for your bike-stock or modified. I have used PC3's for years and found them to be 100% reliable. I have a 1098 with a Termi full system and ECU. According to Dan Kyle the Ducati map provided with the ECU is "filthy rich". I bought a PC3 from Dan loaded with his map and the bike runs very well. When I told Dan that I ride long distance quite a bit, he offered to lean his map a bit in the cruise rpm range. The bike runs very well and I've seen over 50 mpg in highway cruise.

I also have a 2002 998 that came with termi slipons and ECU. The Ducati map was pretty lean and the bike would pop severely on closed throttle and would hunt and buck lightly on constant throttle. I added a PC3 mapped for the slip-ons and now the bike runs great. The bike is smooth at all throttle positions and once I richened the fueling at idle, the popping on closed throttle is completely gone.

In my opinion Power Commanders are great and the only downtime with the bike is the time it takes you to install it- not very difficult.
I have a 2002 base 998 with 50mm Arrow slips and it behaves EXACTLY as above with stock ECU. Going with PCIII and having bike dyno tuned by West Coast GP to get it smoothed out. Will let you know if I get good results, but judging by the general consensus on this board and all the research I have done, I think I will. Sure, I would have like to stay "pure Ducati" to sort this out, but my choices are slim to none on a base 998.
 

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Whilst there is a better alternative i.e to remap the ECU on the dyno, unless you can do this then a PC3 is the next best thing and there are more people capable of tuning them. Don't waste your time with a 'downloaded' map though as you might as well guess the settings.

If your 'friend' can provide an optimised ECU (mapped to the bike) then go with that if not then a PC3 can tweak that last bit of power/rideability from your engine.

A custom PC3 map on my 916 gained 7hp and 4lb/ft and, more importantly made the bike ride much better.
 

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Speaking of PCIII maps, anyone have a map for an 03 999R with a Leo Vince Corsa full system? I've tried both PC and Fuel Moto for a base map without success, so I made my own adjustments. Improved, but it needs tweeking and thats where I get off the bus. I know I'll have to take it in for a dyno tune, but in the meantime...
 

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I have a 2002 base 998 with 50mm Arrow slips and it behaves EXACTLY as above with stock ECU. Going with PCIII and having bike dyno tuned by West Coast GP to get it smoothed out. Will let you know if I get good results, but judging by the general consensus on this board and all the research I have done, I think I will. Sure, I would have like to stay "pure Ducati" to sort this out, but my choices are slim to none on a base 998.
WestCoast GP on Pico? Let me know how it went as I'm about to go there too. I wanted to in July but one of the owner was getting dyno certified and I was told to come back in Sept.
 

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I have a PCIII on the 01 996 which improved power by 5 hp (119.8) and 4 ft lb. (now 76) TRQ. It does backfire once in a while so I'll need to have it retuned one of these days, but otherwise throttle response, power, everything is much better (power wheels without issue now!) I would tend to disagree with your freind, but to each his own I guess.
 

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When I spoke to Steve at ECS the other day about getting a tune on the 748 (and 748R once it's back together) I mentioned to him that both bikes had come with PCIII's on them when I got them.

His initial response was, "We usually always rip them off and run a programmable EPROM in the ECU instead".

Seeing as those guys generally don't screw around and know they're stuff I will probably follow their advice. If anything it's a few more ounces off the bike right? haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting stuff. Definitely two camps here. As for me, I think Im going to eventually take the PC3 off and do as my mates in Rome suggest, replacing the PC3 with an up-to-date EPROM for a 54mm system. Im thinking that there isn't too much difference between a Termi 54mm and the Arrow 54mm as far as the Chip is concerned and I'm betting a 996SPS EPROM suited to a 54mm Termi system will be easier to obtain.

Also, I've often thought about latency as konstantin690 had mentioned, as I come from a Sound Engineering back ground and am always dealing with Signal Latency issues.... or rather try NOT to deal:cool:
As small as the delay in signal processing might be, there is still going to be some... either way, I'll be pulling the PC3 off of there at some point in the near future and compare how it runs without to what its doing now.

My only real concern is that the bike had previously been Dyno tunned and the PC3 mapped by a pro, but for a larger set of pipes... so Im hoping pulluing the PC3 off won't totally screw things up.
 

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It won't. The PC3 is a hack and one of the most successful marketing ploys ever devised. It does work, don't get me wrong, but it is designed to fix a problem which can be solved with what is already fitted to the bike from factory. Or if it can't then the factory got it wrong somehow...

This is why I rallied everyone with the later Magnet iMarelli IAW 59M/5AM units to dump their maps. Coming from an automotive background, I know that there are 100's of maps for one series of engines and those maps are considered as factory jewels...and the reason why a DP ECU is ridiculously priced...after all, it's only software. Hard work can reproduce it, but its easier to clone what is out there.

Disclaimer: I'm not encouraging illegal practice nor copyright infringement and even less piracy of intellectual property: the fact of the matter is that what is inside any ECU is not under those software restrictions.
 

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it's quite clear any interceptor type ecu is less than perfect. it's just a very simple 'signal bender' and alters the signal to or from the ecu up or down. so yes. by far a custom tuned eprom will be better. the reason though many people go with a pC3 etc is because their local shop may not have real time chip tuning hardware and logging a dyno run, then modifying the map on the bench, then burning the chip, then running the bike again, logging the run, and repeat is a pain. with the right emulator and software they should be able to tune in real time, and then burn a chip at the end which is much more preferable obviously.

mail order chips though are not the same thing. comparing a mail order chip to a custom tuned PC3 and I would say I'm torn. on the one hand the mail order chip may not be right for your bike (your atmospheric conditions, your fuel type, your exact bikes behaviour). so they can be hit and miss. the PC3 has the whole interceptor/signal bender drawbacks but at least it can be real time tuned to a specific bike.

so yeah I wouldn't get too excited about mail order tunes. they can get you in the ball park but a custom tuned map is always going to be better.
 

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it's quite clear any interceptor type ecu is less than perfect. it's just a very simple 'signal bender' and alters the signal to or from the ecu up or down. so yes. by far a custom tuned eprom will be better. the reason though many people go with a pC3 etc is because their local shop may not have real time chip tuning hardware and logging a dyno run, then modifying the map on the bench, then burning the chip, then running the bike again, logging the run, and repeat is a pain. with the right emulator and software they should be able to tune in real time, and then burn a chip at the end which is much more preferable obviously.

mail order chips though are not the same thing. comparing a mail order chip to a custom tuned PC3 and I would say I'm torn. on the one hand the mail order chip may not be right for your bike (your atmospheric conditions, your fuel type, your exact bikes behaviour). so they can be hit and miss. the PC3 has the whole interceptor/signal bender drawbacks but at least it can be real time tuned to a specific bike.

so yeah I wouldn't get too excited about mail order tunes. they can get you in the ball park but a custom tuned map is always going to be better.
Very true in all aspects. The big advantage of the PC3 is the availability of maps. The library is huge. Chances are that one can find a map that will be very close to ones actual setup and go from there with only minor adjustments. I wish this was the case for OEM maps as well.
 

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yep, good aftermarket support can turn an average product (spec wise) into a sensible option. it's the same with cars. some ECU's are quite basic and eclipsed in features by others but are a good choice as support and knowledge base is huge so you can still get very good results for most applications.
 

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I bought a PC3 from Dan loaded with his map and the bike runs very well. When I told Dan that I ride long distance quite a bit, he offered to lean his map a bit in the cruise rpm range. The bike runs very well and I've seen over 50 mpg in highway cruise.
Only a person that has no idea what he is talking about or a sales man trying to sell you a PC3 would make a statement like this.

You don't lean the map in the mid range just because you do a lot of riding in the mid range. Each map point should be optimized at every map point independent of your riding style.

If some one leans your map in the cruse because you say that you cruse a lot and it improves the map it means that the original map was crap and should not have been there in the first place as it was not a good map.

To the original question. A properly mapped EPROM is always better then a PC3. With a PC3 you try to filter something that is wrong. Why try to filter some thing that is wrong when you can correct the problems at the source.

Jocke............
 

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PCIII for base 02 998 with Arrow 50mm slip ons. Quite happy with the final outcome. Rideability is vastly improved and popping/backfiring on decel has vanished. Dynojet graph attached. I, for one, am a happy customer with the PCIII.
 

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i asked brad black BikeBoy.org
when he did my cam timing on my sps

he suggest from memory , that the custom eprom map he would make for my bike will be better , so that was that he dyno'd adjust a eprom map to suit and bingo...i went home, and it has been nothing but epic since.xxxx
 
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