We caught up with Colin Peabody from Performance Parts to get the lowdown on fuelling modules, what they do and why they benefit you…
Fuelling modules – what are they and why do you need one?
FB: Can you tell us what a fuelling module is, and what it consists off?
CP: In terms of the Rapid Bike products, there’s three different modules you can play around with. The first is the ‘Easy’, which is a basic fuel injection control module that alters the signal to the ECU to allow it to increase fuelling beyond normal limits that you’d have on a Euro 3 or Euro 4 machine. The ‘Evolution’ is next up, which is our best seller and is the middle of the road job which has a more complex design, modifying the ECU signals according to what’s needed for the bike and conditions. It also has a self-learning mode that constantly monitors the fuelling, which then changes the map for every little intricacy; from the temperature to the density of the air. The racing module is the third, which has all the same features as the Evolution, while working alongside things like the traction control and quickshifter and all the other electronics that help to control the bike perfectly – adapting the fuelling alongside those electronics.
FB: How do they work?
CP: They work by plugging into the bike, and adapting the ECU’s standard signal to the fuel injection side of the intake. Some other modules can’t deal with the ‘closed loop’, so will only provide a map that controls the fuelling ‘after’ the loop – which means problems at low rpm aren’t addressed. Basically the module sends a message from the brain of the bike, to manipulate the signal and make everything run better and smoother.
FB: What causes a road bike to have poor fuelling at low RPM?
CP: That’s really a more relevant question than ever. From
January 2017, stricter regulations came in for emissions than ever before, meaning that manufacturers are having to use far less fuel in their mixture, so typically they can’t run the bikes how they want; they’re running very snatchy, particularly on low revs due to the closed loop – which is where the ECU is constantly monitoring the exhaust fumes which calculates the fuel and air going into the engine to constantly comply. By manipulating the signal from the exhaust lambda sensor to the ECU, more fuel will be sent which allows the bike to run more freely – a sharper, crisper more responsive machine. We have guys that have been riding twenty years, get a new bike and find the throttle really snatchy and horrible – which is all thanks to Euro 4.
FB: How can you maximise those advantages?
CP: There are no boundaries! It’s an FIM approved racing product as a fuelling device which shows its potential, and there’s absolutely no calibration restrictions on the EVO and the Racing. You can open the whole engine however you want to go, so from a full exhaust system and racing filter to going banzai on internal engine work – the module will help to maximise every little change.
FB: How come fuelling isn’t perfect from the factory?
CP: As I said, it’s all thanks to the new European regulations – and it’s only going to get worse which is a real shame. Let’s put it this way, if manufacturers were able to fuel the bikes without any restriction, every modern bike would be fuelled very differently – and probably perfectly. They simply can’t get what they want and still be compliant, which is exactly why these little components exist.
FB: Is it more beneficial on a race bike?
CP: No, not at all. The benefits are easily as applicable, and perhaps even more appropriate on a road bike thanks to the massive improvement in the lower rev range and at slow speeds. It’s appropriate and handy for racing as it will let you unleash the engine’s full potential, but we sell a lot of the Easy range on things like Africa Twins… if you have a ride on one you’ll understand why!
FB: How easy is a module to install?
CP: Well the Easy is pretty damn easy – it’s literally just a plug and play job that really anyone can do without any drama. The Evo kit is slightly more complex as it uses a sub-wiring harness that piggy-backs onto the fuel injection system and plugs into the ECU with things like a throttle sensor. We would recommend you have some sort of mechanical knowledge to stick this in (or use a dealer) but crucially you do not need a dyno to set it up – so if you feel comfortable, you can get it on and ride away. If you want help getting it set up, we’ve got a growing dealer network that can help you set it up.
FB: Can they go wrong easily?
CP: No, not really. Everything can go wrong if you try hard enough, but to be honest any failures we’ve had have been through user error, or people not reading the instructions properly… as far as reliability goes though they’ve proven to be incredibly durable.
FB: Do you need to adjust them to find a perfect setting?
CP: Yes and no. As they’re constantly completely live, they adapt in live timing to find you the best setting, so it can be as easy as you want. If you’re after that truly bespoke setting though, there is the option to plug it into a laptop, and within permissible parameters you can change your own fuelling, and even reset it if you mess it up. It’s not too scary, as you can even set up your own base map rather than our predetermined one, which means you can have a perfectly refined map in three or four pretty simple steps. We also do a toggle switch which means you can change maps as well, which will help if you’re a full on endurance racer and want something smoother through a stint or even if you want to have options like a wet map and a dry map.
Plug and play, baby!
Don’t be fuellish, get a fuel module.