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Old May 1st 2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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BrenTuning Flash Development (Tech Talk)

I get a lot of questions regarding the BrenTuning Flash. I wanted to dedicate a thread to explaining the details and steps it took to get the flash from an idea to the motorcycle. BrenTuning already has an amazing reputation with the Ducati Panigale. I haven't spoke to one person that was disappointed with their flash for the 848/899/959/1199/1299. Deciding to create a flash for the newly developed V4 was just the next, inevitable step. BrenTuning usually buys their own bikes for R&D purposes and the Ducati V4 was no exception.



BrenTuning purchased their motorcycle around the same time as I did last year. Basically when the bike first dropped. I got a V4s and BrenTuning purchased a standard V4. It's nice to have the two different bikes for testing purposes to see if there's any differences, ECU-wise. I have already worked with BrenTuning on a few projects like my BMW S1000RR and Porsche Turbo. I was happy to volunteer my bike for any testing needed. With the purchase of my V4, I also purchased a Full Akra system and installed it myself. Some of you here have seen my videos on the installs.











A lot of people opt to have the dealership handle the install of the exhaust. Because I did it myself, I got a first hand sample of how bad these bikes are with exhaust and no flash. I had to ride my bike to a Ducati dealership that was 35 miles away. This gave me time to asses how the bike was with the new exhaust... it as horrible. The bike was sputtering, had dead spots, engine lights on the gauge cluster, just not a joy to ride at all. Not to mention it took me five minutes to start up once because it smelled like it was getting flooded with fuel.


Post Akra Flash

After Ducati flashed my bike with the official Akra/Ducati flash the bike seriously felt amazing. More power, more torque, snapped into gear, pretty much everything you can hope from an exhaust that cost more than most used motorcycles.

While the flash was great, I could see room for improvement. Acceleration was great but not exactly as smooth as I would like. Even stock it doesn't feel completely smooth. The bike also lays over up top. After about 10-11k RPM the bike feels like it levels off (power-wise). It's still brutal acceleration but just not making anymore power, which I thought was odd. Talking with other owners, they said the bike didn't feel good after a warm start (needed to be ridden for about 5 min to be smooth), the bike stalls at idle for no reason at times (same problem as the 1199 and 1299), any exhaust install results in check engine light on the dash and flat spots during acceleration.

While I got my exhaust done, BrenTuning got a slip-on system from Austin Racing. After they installed they said the bike felt horrible and had a check engine light. At this time there was no Termi Up-Map available for purchase and no solution for flashing. Akrapovic and Ducati really locked up their flash. When I went to the dealer for mine, they said each flash was VIN coded. So if I sold my system to another person and they tried to get the mapping, it wouldn't be possible.

This is where BrenTuning started their development of the V4 flash.



Where did BrenTuning start with the V4?

Development started almost immediately after BrenTuning purchased their bike. The first test was to see what the bike could do with no tuning at all. This test was done on their Mustang Dyno. They did a baseline, the next with the Sprint F1-85 Filter, the last test was the Sprint Filter and MR12 Race Fuel. See the video for results.



The V4 gained over 10whp from just a filter and race gas!


Adding Exhaust

BrenTuning wanted to continue testing to see what customers would encounter with an exhaust installed. They monitored the air/fuel ratio closely and test back to back power gains, with and without exhaust. See the video below.



As you can see, the bike did gain power up top.. but lost power in low to mid-range.

Why Would It Lose Power?

Changing the exhaust changes a lot of variables on the bike and as a result, the fueling needs to be changed to accommodate the new modification. There is no slip-on or full exhaust that will be immune to this without changing the fueling. The bike goes extremely lean (lack of fuel) in the low to mid range. This results in the dead spots people feel during acceleration. To be honest, if you were to add a slip-on system to a V4 and left another one stock and raced them light to light, the stock V4 would come out ahead. Long term effects of this may actually cause engine damage and warranty void. Ducati would see this as someone knowingly modifying their bike improperly and as a direct result, cause damage to the engine.

Not to worry! This is one of the primary reasons BrenTuning developed their flash for the V4.


Developing the Flash

Now that they collected data on their own bike, they started inviting local V4's to their shop for testing. They tested quite a few exhaust and mod combos. They needed to make sure that this issue was universal and they found that it was. All bikes with exhaust installed had issues with acceleration, flat spots, check engine lights, stalling, hard to start, etc.

They also found that the standard V4 actually has less mid-range torque than the V4s. This is not a limitation of the engine but a limitation of the software provided by Ducati. This is an easy fix but an interesting fact, none the less.




After finding out what was needed the next task was to get the programming on to the computer. This process required A LOT of R&D. They dissected the code from the stock computer and compared it to what Akra did and what Termi did. It wasn't enough to match the benefits of Akra or Termi, they had to do better. Between the Akra flash and the Termi flash, the Akra flash is far better from what I can see. The Termi flash makes good peak power over stock but low and mid-range are still very lean and needs adjusting.

I'll provide a graph soon.

Again, the Akra flash requires a purchase of their exhaust and is VIN coded at the Ducati dealership that you'll have to take it to after install.


Testing The New Flash

After months of testing and defining new tables, making changes, seeing how those changes effect the bike on the dyno and on the road, BrenTuning was ready to test the new flash. I was the first person outside of their own shop that got the pleasure of testing the initial flash. This was so new that they had to ship me their ECU from their own Ducati V4.



I rode the bike to a completely independent DynoJet in Oceanside, CA. The first test was a baseline with the Akra flash. The next test was the BrenTuning Flash. See the results on the video.





As you can see, it gained power over the Akra flash. I literally swapped computers out on the dyno to make sure results were as accurate as possible. You can also see the power curve is smoother. This is due to more accurate fueling.


Why a handheld?

Removing the computer on the V4 requires you you pull the side fairings and the tank, the handheld delivery method makes it much easier and more appealing for customers. Instead of removing the computer, you only have to remove your seat to get to the diagnostic port. Literally 20 seconds of work involved.


Why Is BrenTuning The Best Choice For The V4?

Compared to what's available, the benefits include:

-Customization of mod combos. BrenTuning has tested many setups and gathered data to ensure you get correct fueling

-Different maps for different fuels. 91, 93, 100, MR12 Race Fuel. All maps are optimized for peak performance and reliability

-Ignition optimization. Ignition has been tested in real time to make sure that not only do you get the most power but also make sure there's knocking

-Higher RPM limiter. You can choose from stock, 14,500 or 15,000. This change is in all gears, not just some gears and tested to make sure you won't have any issues

-No more stalling at idle for no reason

-No startup issues with exhaust installed

-Acceleration is now smooth through the entire RPM range

-Engine performs the same with the engine warm or hot

-Removing the software throttle restrictions allows the V4 to pull hard to redline. Any wide open throttle pulls after 10,000 RPM and you better hold on tight

-Read and clear check engine lights

-DIAGNOSTICALLY INVISIBLE




Data From Their Website









First Impressions From an Independent Source

Telling everyone this is great and all but I know everyone wants to see actual riding results. I invited someone over that also has a V4 so we could compare bikes. He has a stock V4 standard with stock exhaust. His only mod is a Sprint air filter (F1-85). Watch the video to see what he had to say.



You can see Ben likes the flash and thinks it's definitely worth it. I know people will say "well he has stock exhaust and you have Akra, not fair". As I explained above, without proper flashing or tuning, a stock exhaust bike will beat an exhaust bike that doesn't have tuning. There's just too much of a loss to overcome in the low to mid-range.

He's also a member on this forum and I'm sure he would be happy to answer questions.

I will also be taking my V4, a stock V4 and a Termi bike with the Termi flash to LA for testing on motorcycle.com's dyno. We will be doing back to back testing on all bikes to see who comes on top. The stock V4 will not be flashed. We will run a baseline, get a number and then flash it. This will tell us what a stock motorcycle with stock exhaust will gain with the BrenTuning flash. Then we will test my bike with the akra system. Then we will test the Termi bike that has the Termi up-map. We will compare all three. I'll be sure to make a video so you guys can see the results.

I will be adding to this thread with more info and updates so subscribe if you're interested and feel free to ask any questions.

Thanks!



***UPDATE 05/11/19***


As promised I got the data for the throttle restrictions and the Termi AFR curve vs stock.



Thottle Restrictions


You can see Ducati does not command 100% throttle in the ECU. This is much like how the V4R is restricted without the race kit. The BrenTuning Flash opens up commanded throttle even more to give you the power delivery it was meant to have without restrictions for emissions, etc.

Throttle unrestricted in race and non-race modes. This is a new option for people that want full power at only a commanded 90-100% throttle. Or if they want the same throttle map without aggressive traction control. This gives the user more pliability because they can adjust the traction on the bike without a loss in throttle or power in the ECU.



This represents the stock throttle mapping




This represents the BrenTuning Flashed throttle mapping





Termi T800 Mapping AFR (Air/Fuel Ratio) Data



This dyno graph below represents power, torque and AFR. This is a comparison between the stock file with slip-on exhaust and Termi's own T800 slip-on UpMap. You can see the Termi DOES make more power up top than stock.. but also loses power down low and seems to match power to about 10,000 RPM. Now most of us aren't riding at 10,000 RPM a lot of the time so just cruising around, there's no difference between the Termi mapping and the stock mapping. The only difference you would actually feel is above 10,000 RPM. So basically track riders.

You can see the AFR isn't that happy. There are 4 AFR (air/fuel ratio) lines at the bottom of the graph. These 4 lines represent front and rear banks. You can see how far off they are from each other when they should be a lot closer. To the left you can see the AFR point value. The AFR jumps to over 16.0 on one bank (extremely lean). As you can see the power curve follows those lean spikes with a massive power dip. This is why when people add slip-on exhaust, they feel they lose power down low. The bike can't make power being this lean.






Akra AFR (Air/Fuel Ratio) Data


Akra is better mapping than the Termi mapping. You can see below that the AFR data on the rear bank is spot on!.. But it doesn't trim for the front bank and you can see that get lean.

With BrenTuning you get AFR corrections for front and rear banks to make more power.





Timing Tables

Like most Ducatis, BrenTuning found the stock timing maps work pretty well on 91 and 93 octane pump gas. They have seen very little gain on advancing it but usually do so on bikes in-house with real-time datalogging and a perfect fuel mixture. Akrapovic maps are heavily timing retarded on full throttle. On MR12 the bike will make 10-12hp in some cases utilizing the factory ignition map so it's not undertimed by any means. Akra mapping is a more complete tune. The Termi mapping appears to use factory ignition and load targets with some very minor changes. I DO NOT RECOMMEND TERMI MAPPING.

Last edited by teh1337ftw; May 9th 2019 at 12:17 PM. Reason: More info
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Old May 1st 2019, 06:19 PM   #2
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Pretty nice sales and marketing pitch. Nice job BrenTuning.
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Old May 1st 2019, 07:48 PM   #3
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I don't work for BrenTuning but I'm happy to give them a good review for a good product and hopefully, along the way, educate owners on how these bikes work so they can make an educated decision themselves about modifying their bikes.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 05:11 AM   #4
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OK, you've got my interest
How does this work for me? I have a completely stock V4 S. What if I decide in the future to install a slip-on or a full system?
Do you have different setups for every system? (akra, termi, AR, arrow, ... and different air filters)
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Old May 2nd 2019, 06:39 AM   #5
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Ok, so I see the typical HP/Tq graph that everyone posts. and the exclusive reference to A/F manipulation as the optimizer. Can you post up the ignition maps, and the TPS/APS/ETV maps? Also, are you doing both pressure and throttle based tuning? or is the Bren just manipulating A/F to correct changes in modifications to peripheral systems (pipe,filter,octane). If you are just correcting A/F then you are partially tuning the bike and if you are doing it on a dyno then again you are getting a partial tune for a specific environment. Can you log actual real-world riding dynamics (ass in the seat time in the environment the bike lives in) and use the log data to optimize the tune or is it strictly a dyno tune focused on HP/Tq and I say that because that's what you referenced and emphasized in the post. Additionally, the advertisement referenced peak HP raise and raising the RPM floor. Again, nifty chit chat for bike night or if you are racing the bike but useless for 95% of the guys who own these bikes. The ability to reset service codes and do basic diagnostics is free using JPdiag.This is a canned A/F tuned solution. No two bikes are going to be the same and the lengthy laundry list of potential problems these bikes have outside fueling is not going to be solved by a simple MAP. Lastly, someone buy the guy on the dyno some new pants.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 09:53 AM   #6
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I Ride: 2017 Suzuki GSXR-1000 : 2019 Ducati V4R
Thank you for the information!

How about a V4R? Also, I am hoping a shop/tuner will be able to do custom tunes for our bikes.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by realnuts View Post
OK, you've got my interest
How does this work for me? I have a completely stock V4 S. What if I decide in the future to install a slip-on or a full system?
Do you have different setups for every system? (akra, termi, AR, arrow, ... and different air filters)
I will have stock to flashed numbers in the next couple weeks when we go to LA with three V4's for testing. The handheld contains multiple files. It comes with the stage 1 for 91 or 93 pump gas, a MR12 race gas map and the stock file. If in the future you wanted to add an exhaust, you would just need to contact them so they can send you revised files to accommodate those modifications. Then you would flash the new file into the bike and you're done. It's really simple.

Originally Posted by endodoc View Post
Ok, so I see the typical HP/Tq graph that everyone posts. and the exclusive reference to A/F manipulation as the optimizer. Can you post up the ignition maps, and the TPS/APS/ETV maps? Also, are you doing both pressure and throttle based tuning? or is the Bren just manipulating A/F to correct changes in modifications to peripheral systems (pipe,filter,octane). If you are just correcting A/F then you are partially tuning the bike and if you are doing it on a dyno then again you are getting a partial tune for a specific environment. Can you log actual real-world riding dynamics (ass in the seat time in the environment the bike lives in) and use the log data to optimize the tune or is it strictly a dyno tune focused on HP/Tq and I say that because that's what you referenced and emphasized in the post. Additionally, the advertisement referenced peak HP raise and raising the RPM floor. Again, nifty chit chat for bike night or if you are racing the bike but useless for 95% of the guys who own these bikes. The ability to reset service codes and do basic diagnostics is free using JPdiag.This is a canned A/F tuned solution. No two bikes are going to be the same and the lengthy laundry list of potential problems these bikes have outside fueling is not going to be solved by a simple MAP. Lastly, someone buy the guy on the dyno some new pants.
They probably won't send me proprietary timing maps that took them months to develop BUT I can post the ignition maps from akra and termi vs stock if you'd like. I can also post the stock vs flashed throttle model to show how it's been completely opened to 100% in every riding mode.

The tuning, they found, is best per bank. They did individual EGT's per cylinder and found that the two in front are pretty exact and the two in the rear are pretty exact.. but between the two is way off. One bank can be 12.5,the other could be 13.2. This is stock btw.

They have their own shop bike for R&D and yes, they do real world logging with bikes they have tested. Not just dyno queens. The handheld itself won't log but they have their own logging software. If you truly wanted to squeeze the extra couple of HP out of the bike, you could either take it to their shop for dyno tuning/testing or if you have someone knowledgeable with Ducati's (not many tuners do well with them), you could send the data to BrenTuning for a revised file.

You're 100% correct, most people with this bike will never see redline or full throttle and boasting peak numbers isn't for everyone. Looking at the graphs posted, the BrenTuning gains are across the entire RPM band, not just peak. Something like the Termi mapping is what you're talking about. You lose power in the low to mid-range but gain peak. Most people using that will literally think the bike got slower from light to light.. because it did. This flash isn't just peak, it's more mid-range, more low-end, more peak with a higher redline to those select track guys that need it. If you don't desire a higher redline, there's a drop down option on the website to leave it stock.

Yes, there are other solutions for reading engine faults and clearing codes but this is just one of the many functions of the handheld, not the only function.

Yes, essentially this is a canned tune. So is the Akra flash (which I loved), so is the Termi flash (which I don't like all), and so is stock (which is pretty far off as well). With over a year of R&D this canned tune is as close as it gets without custom tuning. You're probably leaving 2hp on the table by doing this canned tune.

As you said before, 95% of people are not going to care about this stuff, let alone custom tuning or even think about doing it. That's why they get the akra or termi mapping and stay happy. This is a step above both without having to buy expensive exhaust. Granted, with the termi you can buy outright but I'll post the AFR from that map and you can tell me if they even tried putting a bike on the dyno to correct fueling.

That dyno guy was actually pretty funny. Loved the socks more than the pants lol.

Originally Posted by shigeru View Post
Thank you for the information!

How about a V4R? Also, I am hoping a shop/tuner will be able to do custom tunes for our bikes.
They are working with 650ib and his V4R. To develop the flash properly, it will take time. Tons of data and logging needs to be done. I'm sure they will be working on it soon but there's already a BrenTuning V4 beta tester that said he raced a V4R and beat it on the freeway. This V4R had the race kit and flash.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 12:20 PM   #8
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I'm definitely interested in smoother throttle response and more low/mid range.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 07:13 PM   #9
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Good write up. Thanks for the details. Sounds like a good solution.
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Old May 3rd 2019, 06:44 PM   #10
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In for stock + flash data. Are you able to get updated canned tunes over the internet after the fact, as Brentune does more R&D?
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