I then tried some ready-made maps, some available on TuneECU's site, some donated privately from other members and ex-members. The last one of these went quite well apart from excessive richness in some areas. This was noticeable from the sooty exhaust, dark spark plug insulators, difficulty in starting from hot and, of course, heavy-ish fuel consumption. Most other maps were fine at large throttle openings but hopeless at small throttle openings, very hesitant at low revs and prone to backfiring when shutting off and re-applying the throttle from high revs.
I put this down to the sort of cheap and cheerful dyno testing that emphasizes wide open throttle performance and impressive power figures and not enough attention is paid to driveability at smaller throttle openings. It can be done, but remapping on a dyno to optimise engine performance and driveability throughout the rev and throttle opening range is time consuming and therefore very expensive.
One of the difficulties of adapting someone else's map to your bike is that every bike is different, I don't mean small variations in production, as most maps will accomodate those, but the type and extent of the different mods, make of exhaust, baffles in or out, airbox restrictor in or out, type of airfilter, how well maintained the bike is, state of wear, etc, etc. The maps donated to the TuneECU site often don't list the full extent of the mods taken into account to create that map.
Another, I think, important factor is that we all have different standards as to what constitutes a fine running bike. One man's meat is another man's poison and all that...You can often see this on Youtube videos. The proud owner starts his bike to give you a demo of his tuning skills and you can hear it cranking for ages, rattling, misfiring, poor throttle response, "idling" at 3000 revs and generally running crap, but it's somehow aceptable to him. He's a proud and happy man...
Have you ever gone into a mate's house and noticed, for example, that his TV picture is rubbish? or his HI-FI produces lots of distortion?. When you point it out to him he often replies: "What do you mean? what's wrong with it?, sounds, looks Ok to me..."
It follows that the only way of obtaining something close to perfection is a dyno session with someone that knows what they're doing and can devote sufficient time to do a thorough job. This is not possible for me. There's no bike dyno facility anywhere near me. Spaniards, while mostly enthusiastic and skillful riders, are not keen on getting into any sort of activity that gets their hands dirty, like DIY mechanics or home tuning.
The only viable option left was to pull my ECM out, stick it in a box, and send it to Mike (Pieman) at Triumph Twin Power in the UK for him to work his magic on it, the same way he has been doing it for years for the CDI igniters on the carbed models. His vast experience in dyno tuning these bikes means that he has a comprehensive library of suitable tunes covering all manner of mods and that can be further refined to customers requirements.
I nearly completed filling in the online questionaire a couple of times, ready for sending my unit to him but always held back. These ECM's are so expensive that if it was lost or damaged in transit I would burst into tears. Even if insured your bike could be off the road for ages while they paid up. Note that this is just my personal paranoia, the chances are that your well-packaged and labelled ECM will be OK so don't hesitate in using that service on account of me. Many have done so without a hitch.
Here's a link to that remapping service:
I then made some tacit enquiries to find out if he would be interested in starting a new service whereby he would send by email a suitable tune map in TuneECU format for loading by those of us able to use the software in a reasonably competent manner at home and, surprisingly, he was already considering introducing such a service. There was a few details to Iron out before the service was available on his site. These are now sorted and the service is up and running.
See this new service here:
Note that his website is a cut above most other after-market peddlars sites with its wealth of Triumph model history, specs, technical data, advice, links and clear explanations. You can tell this has been written by a knowledgeable enthusiast and not just a salesman. Well worth reading through, no BS or outrageous claims there
Also note that all his maps disable the O2 sensors and the maps are adjusted accordingly to obtain maximum advantage of doing so. He explains why on the site, and he can also supply the required kit which includes bungs, crush washers, copper grease, and even the material for sealing the vacated O2 sensor plugs, for a reasonable price.
There's the argument that there's no way an off-the-shelf map can work well. The only thing I have to say about that is that millions of cars and bikes are running around happily with an off-the-shelf map as provided as OEM by the makers. You don't think they adjust the map settings individually, do you?.
I am certainly happy with mine (tune 20187ttp3fi with stage 1 ignition advance). As one of the earliest users of the service I'm delighted with the results. No low speed throttle snatch, perfect starting and watch-like idling in all circumstances, no hesitation or stumbling when pulling away from low revs, seamless acceleration with no flat spots, tons of mid-range, imperceptible change-over from "F" to "L" maps and spectacular top-gear and high rev performance, no popping back on deceleration either, together with perfect tractability from as low as 1800 rpm in top gear.
If I was any happier with the way my bike runs now I'd burst...It can change from a smooth, docile, refined and tractable gentleman's express to a snarling beast with just a twist of the throttle, the option of stage 1 ignition timing advance is certainly felt at high throttle openings. I wish I'd done this a lot earlier, it would have saved me a lot of trouble.
I've tried two of his maps. The first one gave me an extra 30 km per tankfull straightaway, at first I thought the low fuel warning light had broken!, and it ran crisp and clean apart from a slight feeling of "holding-back" at certain small throttle openings (<10%). This wasn't a defect with the map, simply that Mike, by default, tries to optimise things for good power at large throttle openings together with a decent fuel consumption in cruising conditions. Most people wouldn't notice this, but I tend to do a lot of trundling along our twisty country lanes a lot with the throttle nearly closed and in a high gear.
I wrote to him explaining that I was prepared to sacrifice some mileage in exchange for perfect driveability at all revs and got a revised, slightly richer map by return of post...that's service, although I don't know if he's prepared to contemplate doing this for other people. The result, in my case, is a virtually perfect custom map, made just for me, at a fraction of the cost and bother of a dyno session and without moving your bike out of the garage. Took around 10 minutes to do the whole thing plus another 10 to reset the TPS.
The funny thing is that all this refinement and performance has been achieved while nearly maintaining the normal, factory-fresh fuel consumption. I'm averaging 54 UK mpg (45 US MPG), even with a 17 tooth gearbox sprocket which lowers the gearing and supposedly hurts fuel economy.
All the above gushing praise might lead some cynics among you to conclude that I have some financial interest in TTP, but I can assure you that I'm doing this simply as a satisfied customer. (Is that cheque in the post yet Mike?).
Of all my old workarounds I'm keeping my IAT (Intake air temperature) sensor relocation mod in place, I suspect Mike doesn't approve so I haven't told him...
This only affects things after a few miles when the airbox gets heated up and the EFI system senses this and weakens the mix and retards the timing slightly. This mod prevents this from happening and keeps up the performance and fine running over the duration of a longer trip, specially in the Summer. In the winter months the extra richness this mod provides ensures fine running in the coldest weather, but the fuel consumption goes down the toilet. Mind you it only takes minutes to replace the IAT sensor back in its OEM location if it bothers you. This mod is described on this thread: