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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
My rear tire has been on back order, but I'm finally picking it up mounted today! I can get back to tuning. I've done a few more neutral sweeps from idle to redline in the meantime. I've run it from stock (5 @ 1100 to 25 @ 3500+) timing, all the way up to 11 @ 1100 to 31 @ 3500+ timing. Keep in mind, none of this was at anywhere close to WOT.

Below 5000, I saw improvements up until 9-29 advancement range. Anything past this amount of advance shows no measurable improvement or even a loss. It looks like above ~5500 or 6000, there's no measurable difference between 28 degrees and 31 degrees, and only a slight improvement between 25 and 28.

But 5500 is 80 MPH anyways. I don't spend a lot of time at that speed. It's the 4000-5000 range that I was really looking to improve on.

I'll make one more ignition table and start riding it. Once the weather is consistently warm and I can be certain the gas stations are no longer running winter blend gasoline, I'll get another A/B test of MPG. I will also make an ignition table for people that just want to replace their ignition controller, don't want to pay the $500 for an OEM controller, and want stock settings.

I changed out the resistor used for my shift light LED. I was using 1K, driving the LED at ~13 mA. It wasn't very noticeable in sunlight. I'm now using 300 ohm, driving it at 43 mA (max rated current is 50mA) with a 15 volt supply. It's driving the LED very hard, but it's only on briefly so I'm not worried about burning it out. Now it's quite visible even in bright sunlight. I noticed it glows very dimly when the key is on and the light is supposed to be off, but it's only noticeable in low light (similar to how the "headlight" light on the instrument cluster glows dimly all the time).

The LED I am using is the "Super Yellow" LED.

More generally, it's a 5mm yellow LED rated for 20,000 mcd at 20mA and 2.1V with a view angle of 28 degrees. At 43mA, it puts out about 30,000 mcd. You can find brighter ones, but this seems sufficient.

I'll eventually draw up a wiring diagram, and add it to the very first post in this thread.

EDIT:
I also looked at the dwell time (the time the controller spends charging up the ignition coils). On a stock bike, it dwells 14.9 mS at 1,100 RPM and 2.7 mS at 8,000 RPM and is linear between those two points (9.8mS at 4,000 RPM). The new controller automatically adjusts the dwell as needed. It runs ~9 mS at 1,100 RPM and 2.7 mS at 8,000 RPM. However, it isn't linear, as it will lower dwell to compensate for rising battery voltage. By 3,000 RPM, it's already below 4 mS and by 4,500 RPM it's around 3.3 mS.

This equates to less power draw, and less heat in the ignition coils. In terms of actual numbers, the stock ignition draws 4.7 amps at 4,500 RPM whereas the new controller draws 1.8 amps at 4,500 RPM. This is less than half of the heating load on the ignition coils, keeping them cooler. Cooler coils give more spark energy, so this SHOULD help the hot start issue. That will be hard to prove, as the auto-dwell feature alone might help the hot start by greatly increasing the dwell time during cranking. Results still pending.

Stock dwell time (Red) compared to actually measured aftermarket dwell time (blue dots) on the vertical axis, VS RPM on the horizontal axis.
53231
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Here's my latest table that I'm going to try out.
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Across the top are RPMs, and across the left side are manifold vacuum measured in absolute pressure.
Red is idle range.
Green is wide open throttle
Purple is cruising 50-80 mph in 5th gear.
Blue is closed throttle decel (engine braking)
Yellow is no load (neutral) and holding those respective RPMs.
The area between blue and yellow is slight deceleration.
The area between green and yellow is acceleration.

I left wide open throttle at stock settings for 101 kPa (sea level with ear shave).
I'm about 900 ft above sea level so I see about 99 kPa max.
In my wide open throttle acceleration tests, I saw 96-97 kPA (which indicates 2-3 kPa of restriction).
The manual has ideal settings of 5 @ 1100 and 25 @ 3500 (+1/-2).
Kawasaki must consider this safe for all altitudes, but they wouldn't be considering an ear shave.
Thus I maxed out at 5-25 instead of 6-26. At my altitude, I'll probably hit 6-26 at WOT.

For idle, I found no improvement after 8 degrees. By setting the idle like this, the timing encourages the engine to idle at 1,100 RPM. Any slower and the timing cause the RPMs to rise. Any faster and the timing slows the engine down.

For cruise, I first adjusted the timing to get the maximum vacuum at any given RPM with no load (the Yellow circles).
Then I set the WOT timing. The program allows you to auto interpolate between two settings, so that's how I got my cruise timings.

Lastly for decel, I pulled the timing back considerably. This late ignition causes the burn to still continue after the exhaust valve opens, making a loud pop in the exhaust. Since the bike already runs extremely lean during decel (causing the mild pops we all know and love/hate), the pops aren't continuous. Rather it's about 1-2 a second.

I'm still running premium (93) at this time, but I plan to try out 87 octane with this table. I have the switch on my bars to revert to stock timing if anything sounds funny while running the 87 octane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I'm finally on to 87 octane fuel. 72 miles into the tank. How do my plugs look?

Front plugs
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Rear plugs
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Light Automotive tire Auto part Gas Engineering

53349
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Plugs look very lean.
I've asked 3 people and received 3 different opinions! LOL.

Well, in other news, I have measured an 8% improvement to MPGs with this controller. That's about another 11 miles of range per tank. At current gas prices, this mod will pay for itself in 37,000 miles!!! :ROFLMAO:

The added range is the big thing, because I wanted to do a highway trip at 80+ MPH and some of the gas stops are 110 miles apart. At those speeds, I'm not sure a stock bike could make it.
 

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I thought they looked lean at first glance but I don’t have years of experience to say definitively like others.

Interestingly, I just mentioned on another thread that cruising on this bike over 80 doesn’t feel as “solid” as say 65-70 does. Especially the front end. Maybe it’s me or the roads just flat out suck in my neck of the woods, but a little bump at that speed sometimes feels like it’s going to make the front end go into a dreaded wobble.
 

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I've asked 3 people and received 3 different opinions! LOL.

Well, in other news, I have measured an 8% improvement to MPGs with this controller. That's about another 11 miles of range per tank. At current gas prices, this mod will pay for itself in 37,000 miles!!! :ROFLMAO:

The added range is the big thing, because I wanted to do a highway trip at 80+ MPH and some of the gas stops are 110 miles apart. At those speeds, I'm not sure a stock bike could make it.
I don't see room for any doubt, those electrodes are WHITE.

Can I have an ashtray when you're done? :D

53354
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I don't see room for any doubt, those electrodes are WHITE.

Can I have an ashtray when you're done? :D

View attachment 53354
YIKES! I hope not!

The other two opinions were "Use a colder plug" and "Those look pretty good to me. Insulator looks good, base ring looks good. Hard to see timing mark on the left one, but the right one looks good." I don't/didn't mean to dismiss your opinion. I'm just not sure what to make of it, and how to get any sort of consensus from these three.

Maybe the color isn't coming through well in the images? I probably should not have put them on a blue background. Let me grab another set of pictures. I would have said light tan insulator and electrodes. In person, it looks like the 2nd to last row left side.

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I've asked 3 people and received 3 different opinions! LOL.

Well, in other news, I have measured an 8% improvement to MPGs with this controller. That's about another 11 miles of range per tank. At current gas prices, this mod will pay for itself in 37,000 miles!!! :ROFLMAO:

The added range is the big thing, because I wanted to do a highway trip at 80+ MPH and some of the gas stops are 110 miles apart. At those speeds, I'm not sure a stock bike could make it.
YIKES! I hope not!

The other two opinions were "Use a colder plug" and "Those look pretty good to me. Insulator looks good, base ring looks good. Hard to see timing mark on the left one, but the right one looks good." I don't/didn't mean to dismiss your opinion. I'm just not sure what to make of it, and how to get any sort of consensus from these three.

Maybe the color isn't coming through well in the images? I probably should not have put them on a blue background. Let me grab another set of pictures. I would have said light tan insulator and electrodes. In person, it looks like the 2nd to last row left side.

View attachment 53355
To me they look like even the side electrodes are whitish, but now I do recognize a touch of light gray on the sides..

The pic you marked is good. Maybe the camera flash has the other pics washed out?

You probably have room for some jetting of the carbs, but it depends if you want a scorching blast of power or best mpg. If your plugs look like the example you posted, you're good for mpg.

Are your carbs jetted at all? I forget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I haven't been in the carbs since buying it, so I don't know the jetting. I think it's stock jetting.

I pulled the plugs in my driveway so these are idle conditions. I really ought to pull them after a 60 mph cruise and a WOT pull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
These were pulled after a 3rd gear WOT run up to about 7k RPM. I hit the kill switch and the clutch, then pulled them when I came to rest. I only posted one rear plug. The front looked the same.
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Then I got up to a cruising speed at about 4.5k RPM and held my speed steady for awhile (about 65 mph) and same thing, clutch and kill switch.

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It was 83 degrees out today. Engine temperature was normal and there was no signs of detonation. I did discover my misfire off idle is electrical related. The controller is shortening the dwell time from 10 mS down to 1.3 mS, which is insufficient to spark! No idea why yet! Runs fine everywhere else. I posted more information about the dwell time problem here, but since it's an electrical problem specifically with this controller, I am going to continue that topic on this thread.

I emailed the company to see what they suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I noticed yesterday when I was looking at the reported dwell time, that the controller was reading a battery voltage that was 0.7 volts lower than my bar mounted volt meter. 0.7 volts is one diode worth, so I wondered what was up. The +12 was connected to the wire that comes off the run/stop switch. I have the direct coil wiring mod (the run/stop wire powers a relay, which switches in 14 ga wire to power the coils). I added a diode across that relay coil to prevent flyback voltage from damaging the new controller. I thought maybe had that wrong. Nope, that's correct.

Then I realized I had wired the controller (and relay) ground to the lockout circuit (neutral/kickstand/clutch). Normally you're supposed to run that lockout wire into one of the inputs, but I'm using both inputs for other purposes. Well, those lockouts are joined together in the Junction box using.....DIODES! So my controller "ground" has been ~0.7 volts instead of true ground!!! That 0.7 volts isn't constant either, but is going to vary with temperature and with load. That means my coils were also seeing that 0.7 volt drop, since they were connected between 12V and 0.7 volt. So....all things considered, I'm surprised it's worked as well as it has!

So I'm going to ground the controller directly, and use that interlock "ground" for the negative side of my direct coil relay. That way, the lockout circuit will cut power to the ignition coils, but not the controller. I'm not certain that this will lock out the starter motor, but I think that will be unaffected. I'm using the BK/W wire for the direct coil relay ground. I drew on the ignition system diagram to show how I will wire it. Also included in the drawing is the direct coil mod. I highly recommend the diode with this mod, as it prevents arcing across the switches. Originally, the BK/W was connected across, but now the wire coming off the controller will go direct to ground. A careful observer will notice the BK/Y wire goes to ground, but I had Ignitech wire up the harness to the BK/W wire, so I have to use what the harness is set up for. Mistakes were made, but nothing I can't correct. That might be enough to fix the problem!
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I don't think my wiring will affect this circuit.
53394
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
The rewire didn't fix the issue, but it was still incorrectly done. This didn't affect the starter interlock, and the engine properly shuts off with the kickstand/neutral/clutch system!

I set the dwell time to manual and set the dwell time range to 5-15 mS. It can't maintain 5 mS at redline, but it cleared up the off-idle misfire! It's now snappy! I recorded a couple of rides to compare how it runs on the different timing settings. I'll post those when I have a chance. I'm going on a long ride tomorrow (250+ miles). I think I can wrap this up soon! Not much more to adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
More data, for those interested!

I did two 3rd gear wide open throttle pulls back to back on the same stretch of road, turning around so that both pulls were in the same direction. The only difference between them is ignition timing.
The pull graphed in green is stock timing. The pull graphed in red is +1 degree (6-26). The rising line is RPM vs time. The thick vertical lines are 2 seconds apart. When I line up the left side (the point when I apply full throttle), you can see the red line starts gaining around 7k RPM. It ends up about 0.5 seconds ahead!

The fuzzy line is my attempt at graphing instantaneous acceleration. I averaged over 30 data points (2 seconds worth), and it was still pretty noisy. I'm not sure how much value it adds. It's less of a torque graph, and more of a comparison between red and green.. Higher = more acceleration.
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Here's a graph of the manifold pressure, pulling away from a stop and cruising at ~4100 RPM. I'm fairly heavy throttle (100 ~= full throttle, 30 ~= decel, 70 ~= idle). You can see the gear changes when the pressure drops with the closing throttle.
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Here is the engine RPM over the same time period. You can even see me "searching" for 6th gear HAHAHA! You can also see on the decel where I pull the clutch as it hits 2000 RPM.
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And here's what the timing is doing during that stretch (the negative dips are -10). So even at 60 MPH, my table has already pulled the timing back to WOT values (which is +1 from stock).
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There might be more I can push it by adjusting the intake pressures where it pulls timing back. At 4100 RPM, it hits WOT timing by 88 kPa. At 4800, it doesn't hit WOT timing until 93 kPa, and 5500+ RPM, it doesn't go to WOT timing until 97 kPa. Unfortunately I don't have graphs for cruising at this speed. I already managed 50 mpg while riding with a V-Strom 650 (fuel injected, smaller engine) and he got 51 mpg over the same ride, so I might be squeezing blood from a stone. I even richened the idle screws 1/2 turn.

I did try a hot start. Specifically parking after a ride and waiting 5 minutes. It started on the second attempt. It fired on the first attempt, but needed a touch of throttle to go. But never did it give me a problem! Later in the day when it was really hot, it backfired once on start, but still started right up. Sometimes I can hot start it with no throttle at all! The way the timing tables work, the idle timing (7) doesn't kick in until 900 RPM. Below that, it reverts to 5 degrees. When starting without throttle, it takes a bit to climb up from cranking RPM to 900 RPM where it then jumps quickly to 1100 RPM. When hot, it doesn't want to climb up to 900 RPM and dies. This is also due to my idle adjustment being nearly closed because of the +2 degrees at idle. Here was my hot start video (phone mounted on bike)

So, I have nothing more to solve! Maybe a slight tweak in the timing remains, but I'm satisfied with what I now have! Thanks for following along! I'll update the first post soon, and I might have a few more updates to follow after this. But otherwise, this has been a success! Thank you all for your help and listening to me ramble!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I have been taking more data logs of the ignition controller. I'm finding out some interesting things!
First, here is a "cold" start. It was in the mid 80s outside, but the engine had been sitting for hours.
I started it with full choke and -10 degree timing.
After 35 seconds, the RPM dropped by itself to just above idle. I turned off the choke and -10 timing and it went into a nice idle.
Granted, it was a little low at 1000, but that sudden drop in idle speed while on choke serves as a nice indicator that it's ready to come off choke!
It almost looks like a temperature controlled drop in idle.
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Second, I found that if the RPM drops below the lowest programmed value in the table, the timing goes to 0!
I was experimenting in my driveway, using the clutch without throttle to drag the idle down, and when it drops below 900, the timing drops too.
This only encourages the idle to drop more! It also makes it more hesitant to start without throttle.
I'm going to rework the table to include a value below 900 RPM. This would normally only come into effect during starting.
I have seen it dip below 900 when I come off choke too soon as well, and it struggles to recover.
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Third, I found that while cruising at a GPS indicated 80 MPH, I'm running +2 to +3 degrees advance (27-28).
The 2nd graph shows engine vacuum. Today's barometric pressure was 98.9 kPa, so cruising runs about 92 kPa or 7 kPa (2 inHg) of vacuum.
This is more than at 40-70 MPH, which runs +1 to +2 (26-27).
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Forth, at wide open throttle, the vacuum measures 1 kPa from 2000-4500 RPM (0.3 inHg).
This rises to 3 kPa (0.9 inHg) at 5000 RPM and 4 kPa (1.2 inHg) at 6500 RPM till redline.
From what I understand about carbureted engines, you cant get much better than that before you start having not enough vacuum to pull in fuel.
I'm really curious what WOT looks like on a bike with an ear shave. Not enough to do one to Veronica though.

Lastly, my idle still varies a bit from ~1050 just off choke to ~1160 when fully warmed up. I don't have a graph for that.
MUCH better than original, but still a bit of variance.

I made a change to the logging program so that storing the raw data bytes is optional, as well as the calculated speeds.
I also changed the formatting to make graphing in excel easier, and I added an average ignition advance from the two cylinders as a new column in the log.
IE, if one is at +26 and the other is at +27, it will show +26.5 as a single value.
Only the averaged number will show up on screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I uploaded a new table. Lowest point on the table is 300 RPM which I set to 5 degrees (stock timing). It will interpolate that up to 8 degrees at 900 RPM, 7 degrees at 1100 RPM, and 1 degree at 1300 RPM.
Before this change, it took about 1/2 second to recover from 600 RPM.
It would jump fairly quickly to just under 900 RPM, then once it rose above 900, it would rise to idle speed.
After this change, it takes 1/3 second to recover from 600 RPM.
It no longer pauses around 900 RPM.

It also now runs +2 to +3 (27 to 28 degrees) at 60 MPH cruise.
I bumped up 50 MPH and 70 MPH 1 degree as well, but I didn't cruise at those speeds today.

The log files are about 86 kB per minute (5.1 MB/hr).
This is down from 430 kB per minute (25.7 MB/hr) when I saved all the raw data bytes.

Unless a problem arises, I am officially done with my adjustments!
I'll upload the latest files to the 1st post, and update it with my best MPG.
My all time record was last year before this mod, I went 71.0 miles on 1.353 gal of fuel for 52.48 MPG!
Next best, I went 148.1 miles on 2.899 gal of fuel for 51.09 MPG.
I'm hoping for a solid 53+.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I updated the first post with the most up-to-date information. I also re-titled the thread to make it easier to find (probably no one is going to search for Ignitech).

I'm still missing an OEM replacement program for the controller, and the latest log software. I did update the picture of the map to reflect real-world data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I just got back from a 5 day 1500 mile trip to the Tail of the Dragon and back. We spent most of the trip on county roads (50-70 mph), did some interstate cruising (70-80), some high speed runs (topped out at GPS 104 MPH), and running as fast as my courage allowed through the Tail itself. We went from an altitude of around 300 to 5200 feet above sea level. Mileage ranged from 32.6 MPG to 51.8 MPG with most tanks running about 45-47 MPG. I never had any issue with my new ignition timing. No cold start or hot start problems. It never missed a beat even up to 5200 Ft elevation. I ran 87 octane the whole trip. Considering my luggage had the aerodynamic profile of a parachute (one of the guys riding with me said that my bike created wind buffeting for him!) I'm satisfied with how it ran.

I did return to stock timing during long descents so I didn't have 20 minutes of decel popping. I also turned it off during my Tail of the Dragon run, because the decel ignition retardation it adds just the slightest hint of jumpiness as it transitions from slight acceleration to slight engine braking. I only noticed it on that part of the trip when I was looking for absolute precision out of my bike. My tuning doesn't really effect wide open throttle anyways, so it wasn't needed for max acceleration.

As for the Tail itself, it is an excellent ride! Unfortunately I never dragged a peg, but the rider behind me said I came very close many times. Fortunately, I can say I lived to tell about my ride, and the only parts missing/scrapped on my bike are a little bit of my chicken strips.
 

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Can never do better than 34 mpg on mine.

The pushbutton timing profile is kinda cool.

I have a brand new set of chicken strips to throw away. 🙄 I never drag the pegs.
 
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