Just added BAK & Power Commander 3 at Kawasaki dealer - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:03 PM
shawnturner
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Just added BAK & Power Commander 3 at Kawasaki dealer

I have the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 custom. I bought it last May of 2009 with Cobra speedster slashdowns. I liked the sound of bike better than with the stock pipe. I finally decided to add the BAK & Power Commander 3 to get the best performance out of the bike. I had the dealer do all the work. A few hours later and a bill of $236.00, I took the bike out for a ride. I noticed it took twice as long as before to start the bike. Before it would start right away but not now. I took bike out for about an hour through all the gears. Bike ran exactly the same as before. I could not feel any changes in the bike other than the hesitation starting. I have read how much of a difference it makes adding the BAK & Power Commander on many bikes but I cant feel any change at all. Is this normal? I guess I expected too much.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:11 PM
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Was 236 for parts and labor or just labor? You may need to adjust the settings. Plus, most post do not lead me to believe that there will be a huge difference. My near future plans are a BAK and Cobra Fi controller.

'08 VULCAN 900 Custom
GenMar Risers
Mustang 2 Up Seat / Mustang Tank Cover
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Cobra Luggage Rack
Willie & Max Revolution Bags
Memphis Shades Windshield
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:24 PM
shawnturner
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$236.00 was for labor only. The BAK was $263.00 & $309.00 for Power Commander. The dealer loaded the map. I plan on calling them tomorrow to atleast resolve the starting issue. I just thought I would notice some performance in the bike after putting a little over $800.00 into it. Thanks for the reply!
post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:30 PM
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The guys will correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe when you replace the pipes, intake, and add the electrics, you're only going to get (at best) a 10% increase in HP. To me, IMHO, it's not cost effective. I expect a greater power gain than that if i'm laying out that kind of money.

On the other hand, if you are just doing it for cosmetic (visual and/or audible) reasons, then it's a judgement call as to whether or not you feel it's cost effective.

You need to realize just what kind of bike this is... a 900cc V-twin cruiser; not a 4-cylinder crotch rocket.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!
'09 900 Custom SE on the Darkside
"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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Well, I added a BAK and Fuel Management with stock pipes and noticed some improvement in performance, not a lot, but a very noticable improvement in starting. As Helek 52 said maybe 10 percent increase in power.

I didn't use a Power Commander, and didn't have the dealer do it, but it clearly improved starting, which wasn't bad at all, but is clearly better now. That it is hard to start, well something is wrong, possible the map.

Something is a miss.

09 Vulcan 900 Custom - Traveller
09 FZ 6 - Lakota

Last edited by Shiloh; 03-08-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 04:11 PM
shawnturner
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I realize it is not a crotch rocket but I just wanted to get the best performance out of my bike. I expected to notice some change in riding and the bike always fired right up. I definitely like the look of the BAK though. I totally enjoy my bike & would not trade it in for any other bike. I just hope to get the starting issue resolved. Thanks for the replies!
post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 06:48 PM
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As with any fuel injected bike when installing an air intake and fuel processor, pipes etc, the processor should be mapped, this is generally done by doing a baseline run on a dyno, fitting the accessories and then doing another dyno run, the mechanic then tunes and adjusts the fuel processor ( it should have both + and - adjustment capability) to suit both the HP and torque curves, this is a skill and not all can do it.

Many a layman will tell you go position 1 for this, position 2 for that , so on and so on ... problem .... not everybody has the same conditions, height above sea level etc, i am sure if you live in EL Centro California (sea level ) you will require different settings than if you live in Denver Colorado at 6000ft above, You should get a reasonable increase in HP and Torque for your money, the bike should start just fine, either they dont have the skill or equiptment to tune properly and by the sound of it are "just bolt on "specialists.

To give you an idea, i have seen a V Star 650 pull 10 + HP using a hypercharger and Cobra pipes, while this is carberated it gives you an idea of what professional tuning can do. The first Dealer that the bike was taken to couldnt tune at all and the bike was running so rich you couldnt even ride behind it, the bike stalled all the time and was hard to start, the second Dealer pulled everything off, started from scratch, baselined it, added accessories, dyno'd it again, tuned it , dyno again to check the tuning through the RPM'S , HP and Torque gain, and all was well .... $475 + tax later for a job that should have been done right in the first place.

Good luck, find someone with the skills to do the job properly and enjoy you investment.

Cheers

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said

2009 Classic LT Bagger... Batwing Fairing, Metzler 200 rear, Mutazu Hard Bags, Denray Hitch, Mustang Seat, Piggybacker Trailer.

2010 Custom [I] ... traded on a 2015 Ninja 650 Abs
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 10:05 AM
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I talked with the Kawasaki Dealer this morning. I told him that the bike runs fine like it did before I put the BAK & PC3 on. I let him know the only issue I notice is the 4 second hesitation with starting. Before it would start in 1-2 seconds. He said that is not a problem to worry about and that it would not burn up the starter. He said they could put another map on it with a different setup that I have on my bike which I think is totally the wrong direction to fix the start up issue. I have Cobra pipes not Vance & Hines and I have a BAK not a hyper charger. What the hell is he thinking. I think I would have issues with the way the bike would run with a different map.
He said they could have their Power Commander trained mechanics fine tune it for more $$$. They do not have a Dyno so I dont really think I trust them to get it right. I initially was going to buy the Cobra fi200r but the dealer talked me out of it.
I already spent a little over $800.00 and dont care to really put anymore money into it. I am considering taking the BAK & PC3 off and run the way it was before since I did not even notice any change in performance and now have a starting hesitation.
Thanks for the reply whiting57. I understand. I just wish I knew this before throwing that much money away. I thought I could just run with the map from Power Commander & it would run great.
post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 12:46 PM
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Hey there, i wouldnt give up yet, ask around in your biking community and speak to riders who have simular set ups. There may be somebody who may be able to refer you to sombody, tuning is a gift and not everybody has it, I find it very hard to accept that no power gain is available on a properly tuned bike .. dyno or no dyno. Good luck Maurice

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said

2009 Classic LT Bagger... Batwing Fairing, Metzler 200 rear, Mutazu Hard Bags, Denray Hitch, Mustang Seat, Piggybacker Trailer.

2010 Custom [I] ... traded on a 2015 Ninja 650 Abs
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 01:21 PM
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I'm with Maurice, in that it can be done without additional expense, and done well.

The PC3 works from an internale map that tell it how much additional fuel to add or subtract from the pulse length information supplied by the OEM ECU. This is done by adding (or subtracting) a percentage of the pulse length to hold the injectior open longer (or shorter) time intervals.

Now, the ECU gets air pressure/mass data from an air sensor, and adjusts the pulse length based on the pressure (as well as other data items), so changes in altitude are handled without any change to the OEM or PC3 maps.

Given this fact, you only need to find a map for a PC3 Vulcan 900 that has your pipes and air filter setup. (And of course runs well!), without worring about what altitude they live at, within reason of course.

If you are looking to get the absolute highest power, then a dyno tune with EGA is the way to go.

If you are satisfied with the power, but want to get the starting corrected only, then you should be able to diagonose the starting issue as either a lean condition, or a rich condition, and then adjust the existing map accordingly. This assumes you have a laptop and the required cables/software to access the PC3 internals. Also there is a "zero map" which causes the PC3 to do nothing. You could load the zero map and see how it starts.

PC3 are not as easy to work with as the Cobra, Techlusions by Dobeck, etc, but they can proiduce good results, not optimum, but good results without a dyno.

Also post on the various forums looking for a map with your configuration, (or similar).

Don't throw in the towel, its can be setup without $$$.

09 Vulcan 900 Custom - Traveller
09 FZ 6 - Lakota

Last edited by Shiloh; 03-09-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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