I am guilty of moving the air inlet sensor on my classic. I have been tempted to move it again on my vaquero to the front of the fairing. However, this will just be an exercise in "doing stuff I read on the internet" more than rooted in any facts. I have seen absolutely no factual information on this forum related to this mod. I myself am guilty of suggesting this move out of ignorance. When I made the move on my classic the bike seemed to run about the same as it did with it in the air box. If there were changes I have no data to back up just how this move "tricked" the ECU into dumping more fuel into the bike. Here are some questions I cannot answer yet I went ahead with this mod mostly out of desperation
to try anything to make my classic run better.
1. Why would I want to move an air inlet sensor from the most optimal place it could be located where the actual temperature of air entering is read just before entry? If this is to trick the ECU into dumping more fuel in why would I want to do that? I know, I know, to make it run less lean right? Leads to number 2...
2. Why would I want to make the ECU run less lean by tricking it that my incoming air is cooler than it is? What kind of correction/adjustment range does the ECU have? How do I know if I'm taxing the ability of the ECU to dump compensated amounts of fuel based on ambient temps?
3. What happens when I'm riding my bike in wide ambient temp ranges like 40 degrees? It's not 40 degrees very long where the inlet sensor is. What effect does fooling the ECU to think that air entering breathed in by the motor is always 40 degrees. When the motor has been running for a while?
4. Does the ECU ever figure out that it's been fooled about the inlet temperatures and begin to ignore values such as constant 40 degree temps?
5. It seems whatever advantage I would have over a richer running ECU would be null once any form of fuel processor was added. In my case I'm using a FI2000r which is older technology. I would assume I would want the ECU "on my side" and as accurate as possible rather than having it dump more fuel in the bike and then simply adjusting my Cobra down to try and compensate for the increase in fuel added. This defies what little logic I have.
6. What effect on the ECU/motor does turning a sensor designed to read INLET air temps into one that reads AMBIENT air temps have mid/long term.
Nobody has a clue just how the ECU works on our bikes. Kawasaki has that under lock and key. We all assume the they run lean and there has been enough evidence to support that. But where? Certainly not in the upper RPM range as evidenced by Cobra's lack of adjusting the 3rd pot.
My vaquero has given me VERY consistent FI performance. No lag, no hesitation, etc. I have the occasional popping on decel that I believe can be eliminated with a PCV and map. All leaks have been eliminated.
I have to admit this is the first mod I did without any actual knowledge of what I was doing. I mean, I have not the slightest clue when you get right down to it. Basing a mod off others saying "It runs better", "I can tell it now runs richer." and then providing no Dyno numbers is wishful thinking.
I did find a few places that discussed IATs and this one on an automotive board provided some data and interesting analysis...
For now my sensor will remain an air inlet sensor rather than a ambient air sensor. Maybe someday someone will do a study on how this mod really effects what's going happening on our bikes. Or any bike for that matter!
It seems to me the most consistent readings would be where the sensor is now. The ECU compensation on those really hot or cold days would not be nearly as great due to the radiant engine heat which is always fairly consistent plus or minus ambient air. I'm not sold on consistent temps when moving it making any real difference. No one knows what the ECU can account for. If I'm riding in 30 degree weather my sensor is always reading 30 degrees rather than someplace over 200 degrees which I have seen in the air box using an infrared thermometer. The first person to tell me exactly how this ECU reacts to 170+ degree temperature changes on a warm motor could only be a Kawasaki ECU engineer.