You ask, we answer: Does flash tuning the ECU give noticable benefits?

Posted: 30 Oct 2013

Yamaha R1

Aaron Gord got in touch with us via Facebook to ask a question about his Yamaha R1. We put his question to one of our experts, who provided the following response.


I have a Yamaha R1 4C8 08, would flash tuning the ECU give me any noticeable benefits?


Flash tuning is a flash name for installing new parameters of the fuel and ignition maps contained within the ECM (Electronic Control Module). On a standard bike it is a pointless exercise. But to match, for example, a different exhaust and air filter to the engine it is a necessity. The problem is finding a company who has the means to modify a standard ECM – and the truth is there aren’t many who can. There are companies who claim to be able to re-programme various ECM on an exchange basis but how they can do this off the bike is beyond us; each bike runs differently, and with differing aftermarket exhausts etc, no bike is ever the same. Some specialist tuning shops will have access to computer software and a dynamometer rolling road to modify some ECM while the machine is running on the dyno (replicates riding). This is assuming the ECM isn’t locked. Yamaha used to list a racing ECM but the software package to get the best out of it was expensive. If you are changing the exhaust system and air filter, the usual route to get compatibility with the engine is with a Dynojet Power Commander unit that piggybacks the standard ECM and can be adjusted to allow for changes in the air-fuel ratio and more. As always, it needs the skill of a dyno operator to get the best out of such devices. It's probably also worth noting it could well have implications for your insurance.

 or !

Latest Advice
  • ZZR600
    Grand Designs part six - fixing the discs
  • Yamaha YZF-R6
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Yamaha YZF-R6
  • ZZR600 speedo
    Grand Designs part five - flying speedos and profitable exhausts
  • GBU
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale