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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Tier 1 Tuners

“Stop tuning fuel – let the Tier 1
do it for you”

Feeling out of his depth in this puddle, Robin Bradley reports on a new fuel injector tuner being sold by Boise, Idaho based distributor HardDrive

Ever since the 1980s the Dobeck name has been inextricably linked to the motorcycle tuning market.

The Tier 1 +CCT adds a ‘Closed Loop’ control to a currently installed fuel injection system and “takes the rider from an estimate that doesn’t take account of the conditions and circumstances in which he is riding - to an optimum state of tune that does”

The connections with the early carb jet kits and subsequent development of fuel injection tuning, especially under the Dynojet name (and others), has left an indelible mark on the performance market - the Harley aftermarket and custom V-twin sector included.
The brain child of Mike Dobeck, the brother of Mark - the Dobeck most usually associated with the history of the Dynojet name - the Tier 1 Tuner is the latest iteration of a family mathematical prowess. Now, I may be wrong and willingly stand to be corrected, but in many respects it appears (to this technically less than adept observer) that by using unique amounts of fuel to determine the correct calibration with which to manage the fuel injection, is a leap of lateral thinking that takes Harley aftermarket tuning in an all new direction.
The theory of using the motorcycle’s own acceleration (as an alternate to the intermediary of a dynamometer) to calibrate the performance of fuel injectors is not new as such. Indeed, in Europe such tuners available on the market.
Such systems may be using a stock narrow band O2 sensor rather than wide band O2 sensors, and unlike the +CCT still require human intervention to select target values for the O2 sensors to track. So these appear to be “semi-automatic” at best.
Dobeck says that in many ways the +CCT process is “identical to the acceleration measuring and tuning procedures used in today’s most popular tuning dynamometers, such as those made by Dynojet and other companies. But the important thing to remember is that the time between consecutive cycles of power and between fuel adjustments on a dynamometer are measured in minutes and are based on one style of load or acceleration simulation at any given time.” 

The Tier1 Tuner I saw for the first time at the 2018 WPS/HardDrive vendor/sales rep product seminars at Boise Idaho in January appears to be a real-world application of that ‘dynamic’ theory. One that bypasses the immediate need for a dynamometer and conventional sampled power curve and fuel ratio maps by using real-time riding data, while riding, so-called ‘dynamic tuning’.
At a stroke the advantages and disadvantages of both the main types of dynamometer used by motorcycle tuners – eddy current or inertia – are replaced by what Tier 1 calls CCT (Consecutive Cycle Tuning). This is measurement of the acceleration of the crank inside the motorcycle’s engine as the bike is ridden, and using the data to instantaneously tune the fuel injection “on the fly” when in power mode operation.
The +CCT is acceleration optimizer technology, and has a time between consecutive cycles of power and tuning of fuel that is measured in milliseconds and is based on real time/real life constant riding feedback. This feedback allows for the changing conditions and will optimize acceleration by compensating for the constantly changing real life riding conditions – what gear the rider is in, rider weight and riding style, solo or two-up, luggage, head/tail winds, altitude, temperature, uphill or downhill – factors that are otherwise constantly and substantially affecting the performance mode operations of the motorcycle and the effectiveness of the conventional open loop power mode map.”
Functional base maps are still needed for the +CCT to work with, but Dobeck says that “fuel maps, be they stock or custom performance maps, are made by people. They represent the best efforts of a person. For the first time ever, we have advanced the technology to require no human interactions.”

Mike Dobeck: “Fuel maps, be they stock or custom performance maps, are made by people. They represent the best efforts of a person. For the first time ever, we have advanced the technology to require no human interactions”

“In effect, +CCT adds a “closed loop” control system to a currently installed fuel injection system. The oxygen sensors in common use today use this kind of system in cruise, but not under power. Existing open loop technology typically achieves only around 70 percent optimization under power. The +CCT closed loop technology cuts this 30 percent margin of variability to 5 percent or less, resulting in 95 percent optimization under real life conditions.
“Performance and emissions are two different issues, and taken with the three percent margin of error built in to the stock ECU, the outcome of conventional fuel injection tuners can only ever be, at best, an estimate. The +CCT moves the needle – it takes the rider from an estimate that doesn’t take account of the conditions and circumstances in which he is riding - to an optimum state of tune that does.”
Tier 1 Tuners are a standalone performance product that require no other modifications, so are ideal for stock bikes or those that have already had some performance upgrades, and already have custom fuel maps installed, either via factory downloads or by using products like RaceTuner, Dynojet Vision or V&H FuelPak FP3.
By using the bike’s own inertia instead of the acceleration of a dyno drum (or an Eddy current brake and power calibration) the +CCT empirically measures and tests every squirt of fuel and delivers a measurement and calibration that is guaranteed to make the bike perform better, irrespective of whether or not the bike is stock or modified.
“Instead of having to make do with just one or two fuel values to cover a 500 rpm range, you can now have three to over 50 fuel values optimizing the same 500 rpm range, all in real time under your real life driving conditions. When racing through first gear, there may only be time for three or four optimizations, but when you pull out to pass that truck, but don’t feel like downshifting, you have the potential for over 50 optimizations, and you will feel the difference,” says Dobeck.
“When a stock bike or a well mapped modified bike uses the +CCT acceleration optimizer, every episode of riding under power generates its own unique fuel map adjustments, resulting in a percentage of adjustments that usually falls into the -5 to +20 percent range – that is the margin that takes the bike up to 95 percent optimization.”
Although +CCT is designed for use in power mode operation, during its development a unique anti-popping feature was designed to diminish popping and not interfere with the stock O2 sensor system.
Dobeck is prepared to put his money where his mouth is. Whether a bike is stock, has an air filter and exhaust upgrade, with or without performance cam installed, or is a fully built engine with a custom fuel map, he says that if the bike runs well, +CCT will make it run better. His company offers a 15-day trial period and if a dealer or his/her customer isn’t happy with the results that using the +CCT produces, he will provide a full refund including return shipping cost.