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Author Topic: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline Starkman

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Greetings all,

So I've had my 2015 Bolt R for a while, and I've decided to leave it stock; I like it that way. This leads me to a decision: an Ivan flash or a Power Commander 5 fuel controller.

I would be getting the flash namely for a smoother throttle; however, I understand that sometimes he does updates, which means I have to send in the ECU, thus taking time away from my riding (which is little where I live because of the weather). The other option is the Power Commander, but among all it does, I don't know if it will smooth out the throttle like Ivan's flash will.

Any information about this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline DrM

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If you are going to leave it stock, then you don't need Ivan or Power Commander.  In my opinion, you will just be wasting your money and putting the bike on the rich side of the air-fuel ratio for nothing.

Offline Starkman

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I have to go back now and find the post that I thought, as I read it, stated that the Yamaha bolt runs rich stock and the Power Commander correct that. (The eyes are not what they used to be).

Thanks for the heads up.
I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

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Offline DrM

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Aftermarket exhaust and air cleaners generally flow better (free-er) than the stock exhaust and air cleaner, so this results in moving more air into the engine, tending to lean out the air-fuel mixture.  The aftermarket fuel controllers (including Ivan's) attempt to correct for this by adding more fuel in.

There is a good reason that Yamaha engineers design the bike to run on a slightly rich mixture, especially on an air-cooled engine, as on the Bolt -- and that is because at a perfect air-fuel ratio (14:1) the fuel tends to burns hotter, and can under extreme conditions (such as extended runs at wide-open throttle) burn a hole in your pistons, and otherwise shorten the useful life of the engine. 

In your case, running stock, you are already at an optimum balance between max performance and maximum engine life.  The only people who can rationally justify going for maximum performance at the expense of maximum engine life are people who race their machines for a living.

Offline Starkman

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Drm,

I found the post that's of interest to your comment about the Bolt running rich with the Power Commander.
 
In this thread (https://www.yamahastarbolt.com/general-yamaha-star-bolt-discussion/so-what-if-i-don't-want-a-new-exhaust-system-what-am-i-loosing/15/), Lunkhead said,

"Ivan's first version of the flash is what he might offer for the stock airbox. The second version adds fuel up top for running an open filter. With the stock airbox and ECU, you can get more power by adding a Power Commander 5 fuel controller to lean it out. The stock Bolt runs rich which is not necessarily a bad thing for an air-cooled bike. I run the airbox, a slip-on and Ivan's first flash with no complaints. The jerky feel is gone and the ignition timing is advanced (runs cooler, more efficient, pollutes a little more) which are all I really cared about. I did make an attempt to get it running a bit leaner than stock by modding the airbox but that's just me not leaving well enough alone."

I understand Lunkhead to mean that a) stock Bolts run rich; b) if one does not use the first version flash for a stock Bolt but uses a Power Commander instead, one gets more power and a leaner fuel mixture. (Nothing is said, however, about the Power Commander relieving a jerky throttle.)

I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline lunkhead

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Ivan has only one update to his original flash and it adds fuel up top for people running an open filter. AFR at WOT on a stock Bolt gets down below 10:1 so you definitely don't want the second version or possibly any update after that. If you plan to run the stock airbox, ask for the first version. It makes a big difference in throttle response in the lower range/gears where the fuel cut transition is felt most and the advanced ignition timing helps the engine run a bit cooler and get better fuel economy (if you can resist revs to unrestricted top end).

Nearly everyone who has Ivan's flash is happy with it but if you can live with the jerky low end throttle response which is it's most noticeable feature, it might not be for you.
C-SPƎC

Offline Starkman

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Lunkhead,

Thanks for your response, and I still need to get some things clear here. (Remember: I'm new to this, so AFR and WOT do not mean anything to me as of yet.)

So, Bolts come out of the factory running a bit rich to avoid damaging the engine from excessive heat (per DrM), correct?

Ivan's (first) flash will make changes but still keep the engine cool (no need then to worry about the Bolt needing to still run rich), correct?

Do Power Commanders make the bike even more rich, leaner or none of the above?

Do Power Commanders help at all with throttle response?

A note here...
Because I going to be practicing a lot of slow-moving maneuvers, a not-so-tight throttle is very much desired—I've used the word "jerky" like others have, but I don't think it's an issue of jerkiness for me as much as it is a very tight throttle. There's simply no easing into it to get to, say, only double my idle rpms. Instead, the throttle takes a lot of effort to just give it a bit because it's so hard to turn it juuuuust a smidge for low rpms. It really wears out my hand.

Thanks.
I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline lunkhead

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AFR = air fuel ratio - for the Bolt 13.5 :1 is best at WOT -  stock 10:1 is ridiculously rich.

WOT = wide open throttle.

I think a FC (fuel controller such as the PC) can only add (or subtract with a PC5) a percentage of fuel. During fuel cut, ANY percentage of fuel added will always be none at all so it can't override the fuel cut.
C-SPƎC

Offline Starkman

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Well, I just got off the phone with Dynojet, and Chris, the tech, said that Yamaha Bolts run lean, not rich, from the factory. Further, the Commander would richen the fuel mixture of even a stock Bolt because, as Chris said, the bike is running lean.

So, the plot thickens (or richens!).

I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline lunkhead

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From DynoJet:

2. Many of today’s bikes (post 2007 or so) shut the injectors completely off during deceleration. If this is the case no adjustments made by the Power Commander, or any piggyback device, can help reduce this problem. On bikes that keep the injectors on during deceleration adjustments to the fuel table in the zero percent fuel column from 2,000 rpm to redline may help reduce popping. A value of positive or negative 15-40 should be added and can reduce popping if it is still noticeable.

C-SPƎC

Offline lunkhead

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Re: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 05:07:43 pm »
All vehicles these days run lean down low and rich up top. Dyno charts don't show anything less than full throttle. WOT is where you're most likely to have problems so that's why all bikes are factory rich up top, Bolt included. But at low throttle settings and cruising speeds, leaner than stoich actually runs cooler and is more efficient. The lean running at such low loads is not too lean to cause issues and the ONLY reason to richen it up down low is to reduce popping. Lean is a relative term and it depends on what's needed at any given throttle setting/load and not just relative to a 14.2:1 AFR.

No emissions testing is done at full throttle or high RPMs so manufacturers can keep the top end as rich as they want. IMO, the Bolt's overly rich top end was in anticipation of modders ditching the airbox. There would probably be a lotta blown up Bolt's if it wasn't.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 06:17:18 pm by lunkhead »
C-SPƎC

Offline Starkman

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Re: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 05:45:11 pm »
Okay, its much more clearer now.

Question: for the Bolt, what speed is WOT? I mean, I don't plan to do more than 70 mph (maybe 75 mph if that's the speed limit somehwere). Am I approaching WOT at these speeds? (I haven't been that fast on my Bolt yet.) If so, then would a Power Commander be enough deal with the top rich or would Ivan's flash be better? If 75 mph isn't close enough to WOT for me to be concerned about it, I suppose I have no need of either?  (Again, I'll be staying stock.)

I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline lunkhead

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Re: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 06:02:37 pm »
WOT is full throttle at any RPM. WOT at mid to high RPMs is safe. WOT at low RPMs will "lug" the engine and puts great stress on the cylinder walls and pistons especially in the higher gears.
C-SPƎC

Offline Starkman

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Re: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2020, 06:44:09 pm »
Thanks.

As I said, I don't plan to do more than about 75 mph (in 5th gear). I'm not a racer or fast-track rider. I'm very laid back. Further, I don't have an RPM meter. But as I said, I'm not into high revs and what have you. The only time the rpms would be very high is when I'm doing 75 mph on a highway. As of yet, I don't know how open the throttle would be or how high the rpms would be (I can't ride right now because I'm still waiting for the title to clear).

Perhaphs I'll have to call Ivan again and get a bit more detail if his flash will be of much help for me.

Thanks again.
I test rode a Harley 1200 Sportster, but then I test rode the Bolt R Spec. Sold!

2015 Bolt R Spec, stock

Offline lunkhead

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Re: Deciding between an Ivan Flash or Power Commander 5 fuel controller
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2020, 07:29:03 pm »
I think the Bolt will serve you well. The RPM range you'll be using by keeping it below 75 MPH is where the Bolt runs best. The only feature you might notice with the flash is no herky-jerky but it might happen a lot with your riding habits. Having the advanced ignition timing is nice, too. I say if you can afford it, get it.
C-SPƎC