Monday, July 21, 2008

Patronising the Customer

The larger the corporation, the more disconnected it is with the customers. Take Suzuki for instance. Their patronizing attitude towards customers is very annoying. They sold me a top of the line sports bike. On paper, a 185 horsepower beast. In practice however, it does not come close to the Aprilia I used to ride in the Netherlands. Why is this?

Well, it turns out that not all GSX-R 1000 bikes are created equal. Those to be sold in North America have been neutered. This is probably because of the liability obsessed society. Now sure, I have no problem with a 300 km/h speed limiter they put on the North American bikes. It is unlikely I will ever hit the limiter. But then again, is a 310km/h bike so much worse than a 300km/h bike?

Far more worrying is what they have done with the ignition. To limit the power output in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear (the gears where you could be surprised by an unwanted wheelie), Suzuki changed the ignition timing.

Well then, a changed ignition timing. What is the result? A bike that runs rough, sounds unhealthy, picks up badly, and occasionally chokes or sometimes even stalls. It's very American to sell you the bad-ass hard-core image. But underneath, you have simply been sold an underachieving, rough running engine. Oh... and the icing on the cake: it will cause more polution, and use more petrol.

The Internet is the helping hand for the suckers like me, that got duped by Suzuki. It turns out that you need to fool the bike. By adding a single resistor to the wiring harness, you can dupe the bike's computer. It will think the bike is always in 5th gear. The 5th gear is the gear without any restrictions: normal ignition timing, and no speed limiter. The downside of this is that the gear-indicator on the cockpit always displays '5' or 'N'. I can no longer check what gear I am in.

Today I installed the Timing Retard Eliminator. And yes, it works. The bike is more lively, and picks up immediately. If you close and open gas, power is instant, where before it used to choke and sputter. This means that for tomorrow, I can do my motorcycle license examination on a proper sports bike. I'm pretty woried about it. It will be unlikely that I ace it, like I did my car license.


Brasto said...

Please note that with TRE installed you will invoke manufacturer's warranty.

Please note that with TRE activated you may end up smeared over the tarmac.

Some safety features are installed for your own protection

Brasto said...

Goodluck with your Driver License Test. Remember to be easy on the throttle and watch for pedestrians.

jacco said...

But didn't you do a test drive before you bought the bike? Kicked the tyres a bit?

wesley ooms said...

Check smithabusa. The ecu is a renesaas rm32. All details can be found on the net. With ecueditor, you can completely flash your gixxer ecu. Mine (from Netherlands :-) ) now easily goes all the way up to 13.000 rpm. I really like your blog. I'm a mechanical engineer. I was in vancouver in 2009 for my internship. My goal is to build a flying bike. At 200 km/h you need only a small amount of wing area to become airborn. More like Yves rossy or like a bat suit but instead of hanging from a wing, sitting on top of the wing.

Bram said...

A challenging project, Wesley. You would need some secondary propulsion. As soon as you lift off, the drag will bleed away all your speed immediately. Drag goes up with the square of the velocity. You can experience it on your GSX: if you close throttle at 250km/h and sit up, you are basically an air-brake and will instantly drop to half your speed or so.