How to Tune a GSXR With Power Commander

Written by chris gilliland Google
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How to Tune a GSXR With Power Commander
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

A Power Commander is an important tool in fine-tuning your Suzuki GSX-R sport bike's fuel-injection system for peak performance. Traditionally, a GSX-R is set up on a Dynometer -- which measures the motorcycle's horsepower, torque and air to fuel ratio -- to provide a custom fuel curve that is programmed into the Power Commander through a software interface. While this will achieve the best results, doing so may be beyond most rider's budgets. Alternatively, a Power Commander offers a manual programming method, using the trio of buttons on its faceplate, providing a moderate performance increase with a few tuning sessions.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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    Test Ride

  1. 1

    Start your GSX-R and let it idle for three minutes, allowing it warm up to its operating temperature.

  2. 2

    Ride your GSX-R as you would for your intended riding environment. Racing will require more emphasis on top-end RPMs and higher speeds, while street riding will need a broader spread of power from low- to high-speed.

  3. 3

    Take note of any flat spots in performance -- a point at which power will decrease before increasing again -- or bogging, not accelerating, while riding. Make a mental note of the exact RPM range that these problem areas occur.

  4. 4

    Write down the results of your test ride on a sheet of paper once you return.

    Tuning the Power Commander

  1. 1

    Remove the passenger seat from your GSX-R, using the seat release mechanism under the tail fairing, to access the Power Commander.

  2. 2

    Hold down all three of the Power Commander's faceplate buttons and start your GSX-R. The Power Commander's LED gauge will illuminate briefly before settling at its lowest position, signifying that it is ready for programming.

  3. 3

    Adjust your GSX-R's fuel curve, using the faceplate buttons. The button on the left will adjust the low-end RPM range (0 - 4,500 RPM), the centre button controls the mid-range RPM (4,500 to 8,500 RPM) while the right button controls the top-end RPM range (8,500+ RPM).

  4. 4

    Select the button that controls your target RPM range, using your notes as a guide. Press the button once to enrichen - increase the amount of fuel - the target RPM range by one step, to eliminate a flat spot. Hold the button down momentarily to lean - decrease the amount of fuel - the target RPM range by one step, to eliminate bogging problems. Adjust all three RPM ranges as dictated by your notes.

  5. 5

    Leave the Power Commander undisturbed for 30 seconds. The Power Commander's gauge will illuminate completely for a few seconds, signifying that programming has ended. Test ride your GSX-R again.

Tips and warnings

  • Refer to your notes often to see how the changes made while tuning have affected your GSX-R's performance. If the problems appear to increase, reverse your tuning method (i.e. lean out the RPM range instead of enrichening it, and vice-versa).
  • For best results, load a fuel curve map that best fits your GSX-R's current set-up from the CD-ROM database included with your Power Commander to provide a solid baseline to tune your motorcycle. Refer to the Power Commander's users guide for more information.
  • Don't make excessive changes in a single change. Drastically altering your GSX-R's fuel curve can be detrimental to its performance. Instead, make changes incrementally and observe how they affect performance.

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