Power Commander

2012 Honda CBR600RR Project Bike 1

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(Above) We sourced LighTech controls mated to Renthal grips and CRG brake and clutch levers. (Below) The LighTech rearsets offer lots of adjustment in terms of footpeg position and shift and brake pedal length.Honda left a void in the American road racing scene after it exited AMA road racing competition a few years back. Its decision affected more than the pro ranks and fans, also resulting in a noticeable drop in the number of Hondas on the grids of regional amateur and club races. Was it because Big Red’s line of CBR sportbikes lacked performance to compete at a grass roots level? To find out, we went about the business of converting a street-legal Honda CBR600RR into a dedicated road racer.

Over the last decade or so, the evolution of sportbike design has advanced so much that it makes it challenging for some of us to do the necessary modifications at home. So rather than scream cuss words while fumbling around the garage, we enlisted the savvy of Jett Tuning, a Southern California-based motorcycle performance shop.

Due to a riding mishap I had at the track earlier in the year I handed over the CBR already crashed. (Hey, at least I got it out of the way). Fortunately, it was a simple low slide tip-over and the bike didn’t roll or flip so the damage was minimal aside from bodywork and controls.

After peeling away the scraped fairings, Jett replaced some of the broken hard parts. New clip-on style handlebars and foot controls were sourced from LighTech (distributed by Canadian company OPP Racing). The components are fabricated from aluminum and feature an anodized black coating. The rearsets also offer full adjustment in terms of footpeg position and brake and shift lever length and height. We also installed LighTech frame sliders, swingarm spools, and chain adjusters, plus a red anodized steering stem nut just for some extra bling. New adjustable front brake and clutch levers were sourced from CRG while a tacky set of Renthal Road Race Full Diamond Grips were fitted onto the bars.

Although the stock Showa suspension performs adequately at a track day pace, when you’re hanging it all on the line during a race it’s key to have the proper spring rates and suspension valving based on your weight and/or riding level/skill. Having heard great things about Georgia-based suspension tuner, Traxxion Dynamics, we sent off the fork  for service.

Traxxion Dynamics fitted heavier fork springs as well as its gas-charged cartridge fork kit designed for racing.

Traxxion swapped the OE progressive coil springs for a pair of constant-rate springs (0.975 kg) according to my weight (180 pounds). It also fitted its proprietary AK-GAS cartridge kit. The set-up consists of a pair of pressurized and gas charged cartridges allowing for more consistent damping control. The $1999 kit retains the stock fork tubes which makes it legal for competition in virtually all race series.

Out back, Jett replaced the OEM Showa shock for a unit from JRi. The aftermarket piece is assembled in North Carolina utilizing an all-aluminum body with a piggyback-style gas-charged reservoir. It offers four-way adjustment for spring preload, high-and-low-speed compression and rebound damping. Furthermore it also has a built-in ride height adjuster. JRI fitted a 10.7 kg steel shock spring, again based on my weight.

Although production racing limits the modifications you can do to many components including the brakes, there are still some cost-effective improvements to be had. We started by replacing the front discs with a pair of Galfer Front Wave Rotors. The discs are the same diameter as stock (310mm) but 0.5mm thicker for better durability. The rotors were paired with race-only carbon ceramic brakes pads, which enhance stopping power and feel at the lever. Since we’re only going to be competing in production-classes the original Tokico calipers had to be retained however they are augmented through Galfer Colored Sport Bike Brake Lines front and rear.

One of the most expensive aspects of racing can be engine building with aftermarket go-fast parts, including pistons, cams, etc. So instead of trying to spend lots of money with internal motor upgrades we opted to try and squeeze the most amount of power out of the stock engine. First, we ditched the restrictive stock pipe for a Yoshimura RS-5 Exhaust System (stainless-steel header/mid-pipe and carbon fiber muffler).

 

The Yoshimura RS-5 exhaust added power, reduced weight and helped make the bike faster on the dyno.

Ethell spent about 2.5 hours on his in-house Dynojet 250i dynamometer creating a map for the Yosh pipe as well as the type of race fuel we were going to race on (VP Racing Fuels MR12). All said and done Ethel was able to extract 14.8 additional peak horsepower (119.03 total) at 14,100 rpm (1300 higher as compared to stock). Peak torque was also increased by 2.76 lb-ft at 11,500 rpm (300 higher than stock). While more top-end power is always good what’s really impressive is the increase in horsepower and torque throughout the powerband once the engine is spinning over 5000 revs. Also of note is the big improvement in over-rev with the engine pulling longer and harder before the rev-limiter shuts the engine down at 15,500 rpm.

 

(Above) With the fitment of a Yoshimura RS-5 exhaust system and VP Racing Fuels MR12 race gas our CBR600RR produced almost 14% more horsepower compared to stock. (Below) We had Escondido, California’s MC Pro Designs paint our racebike in the same color scheme as a 2012 production bike at a cost of $750, without the fuel tank.

With the engine and chassis modifications completed it was time to drain engine coolant and replace it with a non-glycol based coolant, like Redline’s Redline Water Wetter. This is done to prevent slimy engine coolant from spilling on the track in a crash. Lastly, some of the fasteners including the brake caliper bolts, and any other bolt that holds fluid must be drilled and safety wired in order to prevent them from coming loose on track and potentially causing an accident. Since Honda uses high-quality steel fasteners the drilling process proved to be time consuming taking well over the 3.5-hours of labor ($350) Jett billed us for.

Next up was to source bodywork. It just so happened that our friend, John Hensley, had a brand-new set of Sharkskinz fairings gathering dust in his garage. Fortunately, Hensley’s set included the race-style tail section that replaces the squishy stock seat for thinner foam seat pad. Although the foam pad is less comfortable it enhances the rider’s feel of the road, tire and shock. We also invested in a Zero Gravity Double Bubble Windscreen thereby enhancing the aerodynamics of the motorcycle as well as creating more room for larger rider’s to tuck out of wind blast. Once we got the bodywork fitted we dropped it off at MC Pro Designs in Escondido, California where it replicated the 2012 CBR600RR’s original paint scheme.

Stay tuned for the following part of our CBR600RR project bike story in which we test each of the modifications by competing at Southern California’s Auto Club Speedway to with America’s oldest road racing series: WERA Motorcycle Racing Club.

 
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Power Commander 5 Video Install for 2012-13 ZX-14R Models

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New Power Commander 5 install video for 2012-13 ZX-14R models. Two more additional install videos should be finished and uploaded by the end of this week. (Quickshifter install and Ignition Module install.) Both installations will be on the 2012 ZX-14R. Stay tuned.

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Honda CBR600RR Project Bike Engine Notes

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After a few months of preparation by the motorcycle tuning aces at Camarillo, California-based Jett Tuning, our Honda CBR600RR project racer was finally ready to hit the racetrack. We raced it last September with the WERA Motorcycle Racing club at Southern California’s Auto Club Speedway. Here are some concise notes regarding the performance aspects of the machine with an in-depth reviews coming soon:

ENGINE POWER / TUNEABILITY: While the CBR600RR has some serious mid-range ‘oomph for a 600cc Inline Four, it doesn’t generate an abundance of peak power. In an effort to get a little more juice, without breaking the piggy bank, we fitted a Yoshimura RS-5 Full Exhaust (stainless-steel header and mid-pipe, carbon fiber muffler). The fuel-injection and ignition timing maps were then modified via a Dynojet Power Commander V. We also poured in a few gallons of VP Racing Fuel’s new nostril burning MR12 race gas.

The difference compared to a stocker was considerable with the engine offering more pull at all rpm. Top-end power still wasn’t spectacular as it flattened out toward redline, however it generated power evenly with lots of over-rev—giving the rider some leeway. I was also amazed with the level engine tune-ability courtesy of the Power Commander. With it installed you can tune zero, two, five, 15, 20, 40, 60, and 100-degree throttle angle openings as well as every 250 rpm. Only problem is that you need a person capable of inputting the right numbers in the right tables on the computer screen and that’s where Jett Tuning comes in to play. It’s crazy how quickly, owner John Ethell, can modify the maps. Like I’m talking about less a couple minutes right at the track. I guess it’s no surprise as Ethell has wrenched for some of the greatest pro racers ever including Miguel Duhamel, Ben Bostrom, Jake Zemke and Nicky Hayden just to name a few.

We tested a lot of maps during practice and got the bike’s fueling and throttle response dialed-in to perfection come race time which was impressive considering we had some fuel overeating problems due to the 110-plus degree ambient temperature (more on that later).

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Up North Sled TV Project Yamaha Nytro Part 2

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Up North Sled TV Project Yamaha Nytro Part 2 testing results from adding a Dynojet PowerCommander V, K & N air filter, Barkers exhaust and Schmidt Brothers Racing clutch kit on a 2009 Yamaha Nytro.

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ASA and RideNow RZR XP4 with Power Commander V

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Dynojet Research Inc. and Ridenow Powersports support the ASA RZR XP raffle. “The raffle revenue is used to support ASA’s legal, legislative, public safety and natural resource stewardship activities, all directed toward maintaining access to public land for motorized recreation. “ For more information click here

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New Project Bike – Bonneville

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From Dusty:

So here we are, October 2011 and Dynojet/F&L Racing still holds the record for the fastest Open wheel Motorcycle at 206mph.  One of the first things I thought when we broke the record was “how long will it last?  I sure hope a long time”.  But on the other hand I was always hoping for someone to come up and challenge it.  I have been asked over and over when are you going back and my normal reply is “Why?  We have the record, why go out and tear up the equipment to better ourselves? “ Some guys that go to Bonneville feel a draw or need to return over and over again and personally I don’t have that.  Maybe it is because technically the record came pretty easy for us.  We broke records on our first outing and reached our ultimate goal of going over 200mph a year later.  Some guys have been out there 10+ years trying to break a record.  My drive comes from competition.  There have been a few teams that have gone after our record the last couple years only to come up very short.  During every event I would check the daily stats wondering if we needed to get the crew together but it never came.  Until Speedweek of 2011.  Paul Powell Performance with rider James Hight came awefully close!  Actually they took one of our records set at 187mph.  They upped the ante to 201mph in the MPS-BG class which is very close to our 206mph and got our wheels rolling.  With World Finals in less than 2 weeks it is very likely that they may surpass us and unfortunately we can not make it this year.  The bike is ready, the team is ready but logistics are keeping me away.  Which leads me to why I am writing this blog.

Dynojet has decided to build another project bike.  Actually this all started back in 2008 when our bike was stolen.   At that time we had another CBR600RR 2007 model, that we started to transform into a LSR bike as we thought for sure we would never see our beloved 2003 model again.  We didn’t get to far along in the project when the 2003 was recovered and if you read the earlier posts you know the rest of that story.  But on to new challenges.  With many of the parts lying around and 10 months until SpeedWeek now is the time to get going.  A few calls to our loyal sponsors and some begging from some others and the  engine is ready to go together.

Thanks to Orient Express for giving us the “good guy deal” on the Carillo Rods and CP Pistons.  We had these built up custom instead of using off the shelf units like last time for increased longevity.  Louie from L&L motorsports built up the custom exhaust header and will be doing more fabrication on this project once we get the engine back together.  IHI turbo is on board again and sent us the same unit we used on the other bike.  Actually we may go to a bigger unit.  I am looking for 20+lbs of boost on this model which should get us in the 275hp range! 

Did anyone make a knobbie tire yet that will go over 200mph!

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DYNOJET’S FRANK IS TOP BTCC ROOKIE & FANS’ CHOICE

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Frank Wrathall ended his maiden season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on a high note at Silverstone today, confirmed as the championship’s top rookie and also as the BTCC fans’ favourite driver of 2011.

Not only that, but the Dynojet Racing Toyota driver put in the performance of the day to storm from 25th on the grid in the championship finale through to ninth place at the chequered flag in a virtuoso display on his way to claiming his second top-10 finish of the weekend.

Frank, 25, went into the last of the day’s three races buoyed by having received the BTCC.net Forum Fans Trophy in recognition of his stellar performances during his maiden season in the UK’s most popular race series.

Organised by members of the fan forum on the championship’s official website, the prize is richly coveted by all BTCC drivers, not least because each of the fans voting contributes towards the cost of the handsome trophy.

The award was handed to Frank during the Silverstone pit lane walkabout by one of the contest organisers, David Hughes.

“It was a bit of a shock when I first heard that I had won,” said Frank. “I am more than pleased to accept the award, which I see as being not just for me but for the whole team. It really shows that people appreciate what we have been through this year and what we have achieved. It’s been an incredible journey from start to finish.

“It’s great that the fans feel a part of what you are trying to achieve. The support we have had from day one, when we were struggling to finish races, has meant a lot not just to me but to everyone in Dynojet Racing. Even on your worst days the fans’ support seems to give you a little lift.”

Race 1
A technical problem at the start of the first of today’s BTCC races left Frank and his Dynojet Racing Toyota Avensis with a mountain to climb. After a very slow green flag lap Wrathall took up ninth spot on the start grid with an overheating engine, and that hampered his pace when the lights flashed out.

“I had a problem at the start,” said Frank. “Basically I couldn’t get full power until Becketts Corner, and by that point I was down in 19th.”

There followed a gutsy drive back into contention, the Toyota man picking off rivals with every lap to move up to 14th by mid-distance. “I had to push really hard, made some good moves, and then I got caught up in a scrap with Paul O’Neill. Where my car was stronger he was holding me up but where he was stronger I wasn’t able to get past.”

The pressure told eventually on O’Neill, his Chevrolet expiring on the 17th lap, and Frank then profited from others’ misfortunes to claw his way up to 10th by the end. It was nearly ninth: Wrathall passed Andy Neate’s Ford on the final bend, only for the Focus man to power back ahead and cross the line ahead by two-hundredths of a second.
“I’m a bit disappointed,” added Frank, “but to bring it home in the top 10 is good damage limitation.”

Race 2
A first-lap incident dashed Wrathall’s hopes of a top-10 finish in the second race of the Silverstone BTCC weekend. A clash between Wrathall’s Avensis and the Ford of Tom Chilton resulted in damage to the nearside door of the Avensis which required two pit stops to patch up, leaving Frank trailing the field.

Wrathall started 10th on the grid and had picked up several places when it all went wrong: “I made a good start, passed a couple of people around Becketts,” said Frank, “and I was right behind Andy Neate when he just lost it at the left-hander at Brooklands. I had to go on the grass to avoid him and when I came back on to the track I made contact with Tom Chilton. He had already committed to turning in and there was no avoiding it. It’s all very unfortunate because the car was good.”

His nearside door flapping in the breeze, Wrathall had no option but to pit for attention. Unfortunately his first stop failed to cure the problem and Frank had to call again for the application of yet more tank tape.

Just how well suited to the conditions was his Dynojet Avensis was evidenced by Wrathall setting the third-fastest lap of the race on his way to 25th place, two laps behind the winner, Gordon Shedden.

Race 3
Frank went on to put in a brilliant performance in the final round, more than making up for the disappointments of race two.

It was a brilliant against-the-odds drive, one which underlines his and the Dynojet team’s superb second-half pace in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Frank made a great start, claiming five scalps on the opening lap to move into 20th place and making up a further six places on lap two. On the fifth lap he passed Rob Collard’s BMW for 12th and then got the better of a long battle with Oliver Jackson (Vauxhall).

A drive-through penalty for Vauxhall independent James Nash promoted Wrathall to 11th, and then Frank moved into 10th when Mat Jackson’s Ford pitted with bodywork damage. That put Wrathall on to the tail of the championship front-running Hondas of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, and Frank managed to steal past Shedden at the final corner to snatch ninth from the Scotsman’s grasp.

“I’m smiling now,” said Frank. “I was so determined to end with a decent performance. It was always going to be hard to get into the top 10 from 25th on the grid, but I made a good start, the car was brilliant, getting stronger and stronger, and towards the end of the race it felt like I was one of the quickest people out there. To pass Shedden at the final corner was pretty sweet.

“We’ve had a tough day but we’ve definitely ended on a high with that performance. The whole team can be proud of that after fixing the car so quickly after the second race. To reflect on the job that they have done all year for me, I can’t fault them; they’ve been absolutely fantastic. The Toyota has been far better than I ever imagined, and that’s all thanks to the team.”

Frank ends the year 12th overall in the championship, the best-placed newcomer in the series, and 10th in the Independents Trophy. The highlights of Wrathall’s season came at the Knockhill and Rockingham circuits, at which he secured four podium finishes, with a best result of second.

The Dynojet Racing team enjoys the backing of Angel Springs, FUCHS Lubricants, Ginetta, K&N Filters, Arai Helmets and Graphix.

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