Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Tech Q&A for the VTX 1800 - PLEASE keep this section tech-oriented only!

Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:44 pm

First off, your site is amazing and full of great info!

I picked up an 07 1800r from my local dealer last July. Basically stock, salesman said all fluids were changed about a month before I bought it... Ya right.

Anyways, I added a set of Vance and Hines big shots to it. Now looking at the barons big air kit and understand I need a fuel manager then.

Looking at the cobra then read about the pc v. I think from my reading that the pc v would give better results and actually create a custom map from my understanding.

I'm not downing the cobra, just don't know the best route to take.

Thanks for any info and guidance!
Ben

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:36 am

First, thanks for the kudos. I'm always glad to hear it helps people out.

Before we get into managers at all, let me just say that just because you're adding pipes and an intake doesn't mean you HAVE to add a manager. Will it make a difference and make the bike run better? Absolutely, but it is very rarely mandatory to the point of saving damage to the motor. I always put this caveat out there because too many shops want to upsell you and push you into something telling you horror stories of people who didn't do the same. Is it better? Yes. Is it mandatory? Very unlikely.

Now, when we're talking about fuel managers there is a lot to determine. The Powrpro is one of the newer generation of "install it and forget it" managers that don't require tweaking. Older models were the Cobra FI2k, Dobeck/Techlusion TFI, and PC3 just to name the ones I can remember, lol... The FI2k and TFI unit had 3 potentiometers (variable resistors) called "pots" that you adjusted for low/mid/high RPM ranges and they did their thing. The shortcomings of these units was that they could only add fuel, not take fuel away, so you couldn't really "tune" them. The PC3 requires a fuel map, it can both add and remove fuel, but still needs tuning and without a good dyno shop some guys spend months fiddling with maps to get dialed in. The beginning of these set and forget tuners was the HPP many years ago which was followed by the B&B (what I have on my bike) but neither of these are still available. Jump forward to the PCV and this new Cobra unit. The Cobra is self-adjusting based strictly on sensor input, while the PCV still uses maps that have to be loaded and tweaked OR you can buy the "auto tune" option for the PCV that makes it a self-tuning unit by using an O2 sensor.
PCV:
http://www.powercommander.com/powercomm ... der_v.aspx
Auto Tune:
http://www.powercommander.com/powercomm ... otune.aspx
The PCV is a darn nice unit, but as the premiere name in tuning it fetches a premier price.

Techlusion now has a newer, improved version of their old TFI unit which uses 4 pots:
http://www.techlusion.com/shopping/view ... asp?pid=54
This page and video helps explain how it works:
http://www.techlusion.com/TFI/adjustTFI.asp

Techlusion also has a unit called the EJK (electronic jet kit):
http://www.electronicjetkit.com/EJKkeyfeatures.asp
http://www.electronicjetkit.com/Cruiser ... er=9120273
This is supposed to be their newest and best technology, and these are guys who know tuning pretty well. They actually build tuners that are re-branded for other companies. This is a good tutorial that explains the pros/cons of many of the kits that are available options:
http://www.electronicjetkit.com/EFIcontrollers.asp
Obviously, keep in mind that this is written by Techlusion, but the facts are still all laid out there in one place.

So legitimate costs and value depend a lot on what you want/expect from your unit. The PCV is, by far, the most expensive because you have the unit itself and then possibly the auto-tune OR paying for a custom map. The custom map is not a necessity, but without it you'll need to learn to fiddle with the unit yourself.
The Cobra is supposed to be a decent unit, but I have very limited experience with them because most of my customers still run the older PC3 units. If it truly works as advertised, then I think it's good value for the money.
The Techlusion units are nice but will also require some hands-on tweaking. There is a lot of tutorial info on the TFI and EJK units on the Dobeck website if you want to read it. Techlusion also offers additional options like an installable air/fuel ratio gauge:
http://www.dobeckperformance.com/GEN4/G ... nology.asp
Or they rent air/fuel gauges so you can buy your unit, tune it yourself, and then return it to them.
http://www.dobeckperformance.com/SAFR/S ... ictool.asp
This rental A/F deal is something that has been intriguing me ever since I first heard about, but it's not an expense I can incur right now since I don't do a whole lot of tuning anymore.

If you ask me what I prefer, I prefer the B&B I have but it's not available anymore. Of these others it's very hard to say. I think that each has it's pros and cons and it's largely personal preference based on the amount of tinkering you want to do with your bike.

Read up on this info, ask questions if you have any, and if I can get you prices on any of these let me know - I'd be happy to sell you whatever you choose. :thumb:
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby 03vtx1800cTitan » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:14 am

I have that Cobra Power Pro. FI 2000 i think is the model. It is a plug and forget.

My bike had a lot of problems back firing. It completely cleared up the issue.

NOT SAYING THE OTHERS DON''T WORK....

This is just what i have experienced.. I purchased it 1 or 2 seasons ago. The only thing i have ever had to do with it was the ground wire connector broke. The bike started acting up. I started tinkering. found wire pulled out of the ground connector. Put another terminal on it and the problem corrected itself.


The people that are on this page are very helpful and are quick to respond. I don't know how much time and effort this page has saved me but it def. has saved pulling my hair out.

:buddy: Special shout out to bare and big bad. :buddy:
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby big bad » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:52 pm

Only thing i can add is that when you go with a o2 set up you ca loose the ability to tune it by seat of the pants. If you like to mess with stuff you can tune it for mileage or torque by playing with it. Most people don't invest that kind of time. The power commander has I boat load of features most of them don't apply to the vtx so you are paying for the ability to see make calculated corrections and see where you were through a range.

Most dyno guys like power commander because they have dynos that interface direct with them. In the end they all do a job, all a little differently, all have a little bit different adjustability.
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:17 pm

First, thanks for the kudos. I'm always glad to hear it helps people out.


You're site is the go-to for amazing write ups and easy to follow guides. Helped me tons when I tore down my ride this winter and did maintenance for the 1st time. Buddy said I was nuts to tear it down that far, engine and frame basically. I said he was nuts to pay someone to do it for him!

The Cobra is self-adjusting based strictly on sensor input, while the PCV still uses maps that have to be loaded and tweaked OR you can buy the "auto tune" option for the PCV that makes it a self-tuning unit by using an O2 sensor.
PCV:
http://www.powercommander.com/powercomm ... der_v.aspx
Auto Tune:
http://www.powercommander.com/powercomm ... otune.aspx
The PCV is a darn nice unit, but as the premiere name in tuning it fetches a premier price.


I was looking into these 2. Not really keen on the 3/4 pots to adjust. I think from what I've read the Cobra does a good job adjusting, BUT, it's only sensing what the injector is doing. I read that in the 80 cycles / sec that it reads, it takes the reading and sends +1 to the injector if the next reading comes greater it adds another +1 and so on. I am sure it does a great job as the reviews from everyone that has it says it's great. But, how great? how does it compare to the PC V with autotune or the EJK?

I do like the idea of plug and play - which keeps bringing me back to the Cobra. The PC V with auto tune, seems like a great unit. Will learn and write the map for you from my understanding. Then you can have it "listen" and give suggestions on changing the tabs. (there is a guy on facebook that just put this in and I've been beating info out of him)

Thing with the PC V & Autotune ...

The PCV is a darn nice unit, but as the premiere name in tuning it fetches a premier price.


Then the EJK unit - wow, seems like allot of options and adjustability at a fraction of the cost of both cobra and PC. The rental of their A/F gauge is also intriguing (here comes another one) BUT, to purchase it and the unit would put the cost between the cobra and the PC V with AutoTune. From my readings, It seems the EJK unit is full of options much like the PC V.

As I said, I just have pipes on the ride now, get an occasional decel pop, but not often at all. I did desmog and pair valve removal and that really cleaned up things allot. I was looking at doing the Duc's K&N air cleaner mod, especially with the advanced auto deals you posted the other day. But I did some image searching on google and wasn't too keen on the looks of the filter. I plan on going with the Baron's big air kit when I make my decisions.

My research will continue, when I decide my direction, I will talk to you about pricing.

Thanks for the info and everyone else with their replies.

Ben
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:40 pm

I actually wish I could do more business with Dobeck (EJK) because they're good people with a good product. I don't know why more people don't know much about them or use their stuff, perhaps their marketing is a little behind the times. Heck, even I didn't know about the EJK and their A/F rental device until I spoke with them on the phone last year to answer some questions. I've got a bike with the Cobra unit in right now, it's here because the bike isn't running right... I haven't been able to nail down the source of the problem just yet, I'll post back here if it ends up being the Cobra unit.

The PCV I've installed, but not with the Auto Tune feature yet. Many people are comfortable with the idea of the PCV, but the added expense of the auto tune runs them off.

My experience says that if you're going to have a system that tunes itself than you need an O2 sensor to do it right, but I'm not the engineer who designs this stuff so I could certainly be wrong. I don't like the older "pot" units because they can't subtract fuel from the system. If you think you're going to be changing pipes/intake a lot then an auto-tuning unit (Cobra or PCV w/ auto tune) may be your best bet, but if you think you're going to stick with one setup than perhaps the EJK or PCV without auto tune would suffice. Heck, even without buying an EJK you can still rent their A/F device and tune your setup - PCV or otherwise.

All food for thought and why I say that there is no clear winner, it depends on the end user.
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:32 pm

Bareass172 wrote:My experience says that if you're going to have a system that tunes itself than you need an O2 sensor to do it right, but I'm not the engineer who designs this stuff so I could certainly be wrong. I don't like the older "pot" units because they can't subtract fuel from the system. If you think you're going to be changing pipes/intake a lot then an auto-tuning unit (Cobra or PCV w/ auto tune) may be your best bet, but if you think you're going to stick with one setup than perhaps the EJK or PCV without auto tune would suffice. Heck, even without buying an EJK you can still rent their A/F device and tune your setup - PCV or otherwise.

All food for thought and why I say that there is no clear winner, it depends on the end user.


I totally agree with your thoughts on an auto tuning manager needs an o2 sensor to really be effective.

I don't forsee any changes with exhaust or intake. I really like the way the EJK unit sounds. The ability to rent the a/f device sounds good but figure $26 round trip shipping and $20/week rental, doesn't take long before you're better off to bite the cost and buy it. Then always have the ability to play with the tune.

I've got some time before this project comes up, hoping to do it before end of this season. Preparing for a Canada trip late June/early July and don't think the funds will be available till after.

Again, appreciate the thoughts and insight on the different units available. I'll read up more.

Ben

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:15 pm

Doing some searching last night at work and this morning for info on the EJK unit and I ran across some great threads with amazing info.

http://www.riderforums.com/general-mean-streak/79288-dobeck-ejk-3-5-fuel-controller-install.html

http://www.riderforums.com/mean-streak-performance-upgrades/63562-dobeck-gen-3-5-vs-power-commander-3-a.html

I PM'd ToyTech from riderforums (yes, joined another forum), he said -

Ben,
I am happy to answer what ever questions I can for you. I am not familiar with your bikes fueling needs but as far as the EJK goes, it doesn't get much easier to use than this unit. Probably the easiest way to use and personalize the tune without getting one of their SAFR gauges is to just attach it temporarily to your tank or somewhere you can see it when riding. The LED's on the unit show in real time what it is doing. As you progress through each "zone" the colors change so that you can tell when your in cruising mode and how early that the accelleration mode or wide open throttle mode kicks in. Depending on the riding that you do, you may want the accelleration mode to come in later to preserve some MPG and so on. Depending on where you decide to finally locate the unit, you can adjust these settings at any time in just a few seconds.
If you order one of these units, get ahold of Gehrig Dye at 1-406-388-2377 or gehrig@dobeckperformance.com and make sure he knows I sent you and that you are a member of this forum. You should get a discount.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.


I also PM'd a guy from the VTXCAFE that has one installed -


Hi Ben,

It was very easy to install and tune. I bought the model that just plugs into the existing fuel injection plugs, so no cutting or splicing of wires was neccesary. The bike ran great with the stock settings, right out of the box. I ran it for about 6 months without any tuning, and was happy. I messed with it after that only because I thought I might be able to get that last tiny bit of extra power, and ended up only adjusting it a tiny bit. They way it works is you have three color LED's. Green for cruising (about 80% of the time this is the fuel setting you'll be using), Yellow for acceleration (like an accelerator pump in a carb), and red for full throttle.

You press a button in sequence to add or subtract fuel (make the mixture richer or leaner) in each of the three settings. You can adjust in 1/2 steps to fine tune the fuel mixture. The number of LED's lit shows the fuel setting. As delivered, green was set to 4, yellow to 2, and red to 6. I increased green to 4.5, yellow to 3, and left red alone at 6. Adjusting took less than 5 minutes. My settings are for Dallas TX, which is about 300ft. above sea level, and the air temp was about 75 degrees.

I think Illinois is also about the same altitude. If you lived at high altitude you might want to adjust a little leaner than my settings. Also, if you want maximum fuel economy, leave the settings stock. My settings made a noticeable change in my mileage of maybe 1 or 1 1/2 mpg less than stock. Changing settings is really easy, so you could experiment to see what works. The instructions come with a chart of stock settings, so you can always bring it back if you mess anything up.

There are more advanced settings for fuel transition RPM points that I left alone. No need to mess with them, they work fine right out of the box.

I'm very happy with the unit. It makes my bike run overall much better than without it. 1800's already have plenty of power, so that's not the best reason to use a fuel tuner. Overall "rideability" is. It cured the hesitation when accelerating, stopped the minor popping when decelerating, and smoothed out the idle on my bike.

Good luck, and if you have any other questions, feel free to reply.

Best Regards,

Steve



I think I'll forgo the Barons big air kit, decap the stock air box and pick up the EJK. Later, I'll get the barons kit and then the SAFR tuning kit from Dobeck.

Bare, I appreciate all the info you supplied me with! :thumb: I didn't know about this unit until you mentioned it. It seems like it is exactly what I need and with the SAFR unit, I'll get A/F feedback and ability to fine tune it to my needs. I don't think this kind of "tweaking" is possible with the Cobra unit.

Again, THANKS!
Ben
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:54 pm

No problem, I like Dobeck a lot and have been a dealer with them for years. The unfortunate thing is that so many people don't know about them that most get stuck in the "I need a Power Commander" mindset. The guys at Dobeck are knowledgeable and friendly every single time I've spoken with them over the years. If you want a price on one, let me know.
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Thu May 01, 2014 7:40 pm

Delivery date for Saturday, I have a full tank of gas in the bike and rain still in the forecast until Saturday... looks like Saturday morning ride burn fuel to do the install will be in order....

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Fri May 02, 2014 2:19 am

All this talk has big bad looking at one of these with the SAFR too. ;)
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Fri May 02, 2014 3:32 am

Bareass172 wrote:All this talk has big bad looking at one of these with the SAFR too. ;)


Just wants to be like me .... Understandable, line is long... pick a # and wait :pop:

So, I've been anticipating the unit. Doing more reading, and found out that the EJK gen. 3 unit, which is what the VTX uses. Will only add fuel to the stock map. I read this in the thread of the 1st link I posted to the ridersforum and the mean streak. I verified this in the download you gave me as well.

BUT - The stock (recommended base setting from Dobeck) setting on the EJK really is adding allot of fuel to the stock map. They have the settings at green - 4 / yellow -2 / red - 6 for the vtx and the mean streak with the 3.5 is 4-4-4.

Is the stock map from Honda running that lean? It says we can't subtract fuel from the stock map but wow, them are quite different settings. I realize it all depends how the stock maps are written. They also offer the gen 3 for the mean streak - 2.5 - 3.5-1.5 are the settings on that.

Also, if the setting is at .5 is that as close to the stock map as the unit is able to get then?

Sorry - I read allot at work and do allot of research on things. Always nervous to do something but once I get going, I realize everyone that replied to my questions was right. I have your instructions for valve adjustment about memorized..... :huh:
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby big bad » Fri May 02, 2014 6:53 am

Ian most certainly a victim of peer pressure.
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Fri May 02, 2014 12:38 pm

WsW-WYATT-EARP wrote:So, I've been anticipating the unit. Doing more reading, and found out that the EJK gen. 3 unit, which is what the VTX uses. Will only add fuel to the stock map. I read this in the thread of the 1st link I posted to the ridersforum and the mean streak. I verified this in the download you gave me as well.

Oh wow, I actually didn't realize this myself. I looked at the gen 3.5 information thinking that was what the VTX used, I just had to double check to see that you're right - it's gen 3 and you cannot remove fuel. :huh:

Hmmmmm...

WsW-WYATT-EARP wrote:BUT - The stock (recommended base setting from Dobeck) setting on the EJK really is adding allot of fuel to the stock map. They have the settings at green - 4 / yellow -2 / red - 6 for the vtx and the mean streak with the 3.5 is 4-4-4. Is the stock map from Honda running that lean? It says we can't subtract fuel from the stock map but wow, them are quite different settings. I realize it all depends how the stock maps are written. They also offer the gen 3 for the mean streak - 2.5 - 3.5-1.5 are the settings on that.

If you really want to know if the stock map is rich or lean you can skim through all the PC3 maps I have on my website (you said you like to research!):
http://tech.bareasschoppers.com/resourc ... -pc3-maps/
I'd pay special attention to the maps that are made on dynos since everything else is "seat of the pants". But these will show you where the A/F sniffers thought the bike needed more or less fuel. It typically seems (in my experience) that the places that usually need fuel removed are the very top end (80-100% throttle) around 1500-2500 RPM, and then sometimes again on the very high end of RPM's in the mid throttle range (around 50%). With that said, I've seen exceptions to every rule and no 2 bikes run perfectly on the exact same map. It's just extra info if you're looking for something else to read. The dynojet software will also combine maps but I forget how many. A fun thing would be to combine every dyno map you can find into one "master map" (the software averages all the numbers) and see what that tells you. :pop:

WsW-WYATT-EARP wrote:Also, if the setting is at .5 is that as close to the stock map as the unit is able to get then?

I don't know about this, I always assumed that you could at least get to 0 to make it a "pass-through" and effectively disable the unit. I can email Dobeck if you want.

WsW-WYATT-EARP wrote:Sorry - I read allot at work and do allot of research on things. Always nervous to do something but once I get going, I realize everyone that replied to my questions was right. I have your instructions for valve adjustment about memorized..... :huh:

No need to apologize, this is how you learn AND I don't think anyone ever told me they were "too prepared" to do something new. I'm always glad to hear that I've helped someone gather the courage to try a new, daunting task. :thumb:

I exchanged a few emails with Dobeck today already, we're talking about possibly doing the R&D on an AFR+ unit for the VTX. The AFR+ is the unit that has the EJK and SAFR in one unit. As a result you pay less for one unit instead of two and this also allows the manager side of it to function, at least partially, in a closed loop. Closed loop is what we have in our cars and such, it monitors sensors and adjusts A/F as necessary so no mapping is necessary. Now the AFR+ would not be true closed loop, per Dobeck's explanation:

"The AFR+ does have closed loop (auto-tune) capabilities. The AFR+ has 3 fuel zones; green, yellow and red. The green adjustment zone is open loop and can only add/pull a set amount of fuel. Yellow and Red are our close loop zones. You can set the AFR value for the yellow and red adjustment modes and it will close loop to that targeted value anytime it is in that fuel zone."

So it's kind of the best of all worlds. You can set it for your bike, but then it will self-adjust around that setting as necessary.

We'll see what happens with this moving forward, I think Dobeck (like most companies now) is somewhat apprehensive about developing a unit for a bike that's been out of production for 6 years already.
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Fri May 02, 2014 1:24 pm

The thing with the EJK is we are dealing with zones. We can adjust when the zones kick in and turn off and turn them on and off.

We can't add different amounts of fuel at certain throttle position. Have to look to get the best average performance across each zone.

I still believe this is much better than the cobra powrpro as there is control over it but not as good as the pc v unit where you can adjust the map at every throttle position.

It's what I'm looking for and with the SAFR unit, I think I'll have allot of fun with it. I don't want to spend $$$$ at a dyno or try map after map trying to get one I'm happy with. Like you said no 2 bikes are the same.

Just passing along some info. Not that I like to research, when my machine at work is running, I have time to research. This is all new territory for me, doing my own wrenching. I am learning tons quickly and having fun doing it.

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby Bareass172 » Fri May 02, 2014 2:57 pm

Well, it's this kind of discussion that keeps me current and sharp on what's in the market. I knew about the Cobra unit but had only limited time to read about it. I'm much better versed on it now and agree that this is a better unit because you can tweak it. I agree that you can do more with a PCV, but it also has drawbacks. The Dobeck units account for load in each and every gear, the PCV is a static fuel map in all gears regardless of load - this is the biggest discrepancy I am aware of between the units.

At the end of the day, as long as you're having fun with it that's what counts. ;)
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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Fri May 02, 2014 7:51 pm

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=324808

More reading on the powrpro.

Still trying to wrap my head around it all.

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Sun May 04, 2014 3:44 pm

Ben got a package!

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Put a quarter on it for size.

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Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Sun May 04, 2014 3:55 pm

Install was quick and easy. Pull seat and tank. Pull air cleaner and the injectors are right on top.
Run the wiring up the frame, pull the plug from one injector plug that into the EJK and the EJK into the injector. Very easy installation.

Connect the ground wire, I decided to put my unit in the right side cover, then I don't have to pull the seat when I start messing with the setting later.

Power it up and the red & green lights alternate, start the bike and 3 - 5 seconds of scrolling green lights the unit gives a solid 3 green lights.

The whole process took about 45 minutes. Most of which was air cleaner and gas tank removal and reinstall.

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WsW-WYATT-EARP
 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:21 pm
Bike: '07 Honda VTX 1800r

Re: Cobra fi2000 powrpro vs power commander v with auto tune

Postby WsW-WYATT-EARP » Sun May 04, 2014 4:00 pm

We went out for about 100 miles today. Initial thoughts, much smoother acceleration and roll ons. Really pulls hard when you want it to, hit rev limiter my first time today. I filled up with gas right away, like I said, 100 miles so far on the tank. I usually see the fuel light between 140/150. I'll update fuel mileage when I get that info, we were 2up for the 100 miles.

Very happy so far!

Thanks again Bare! Appreciate all the help and info!

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WsW-WYATT-EARP
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:21 pm
Bike: '07 Honda VTX 1800r

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