My Terrible Tuning Experience With Pro 6 Cycle | GTAMotorcycle.com

My Terrible Tuning Experience With Pro 6 Cycle

Boosted_H22A

Well-known member
In early June I went to Pro 6 Cycle to have my 2008 GSX-R 750 tuned after installing a full R77 Yosh exhaust, K&N filter, and Power Commander 5. After hearing some great things about their shop and reading a few great reviews I thought for sure they would be the place to get what I wanted out of my bike.

On my tune day everything seemed to go great. There was nothing that concerned them and the bike ended up making 130whp which I was more than pleased with. Under WOT the bike ran great, but in the low end something felt a little off. It was hesitate and gurgle when leaving a light, or when cruising at partial throttle. I talked with a couple people and they said it was normal for the power commander to have this issue down low. So I let it be for a few more days until we got a hot week where the temperature was above 30 degrees. This is when it got worse, and I mean really bad. The bike just ran like complete crap. Hesitating and gurgling all the time, and made virtually no low end power. After owning a boosted car for many years I knew right away that the bike had to be running rich. Sure enough I noticed the bike was smoking like crazy on acceleration and my exhaust was black! I gave Pro 6 a call and spoke with John who told me it was all because of my full exhaust and that the bike wasnt meant to make power bellow 7,000. I said that`s fine, but the bike runs like crap. It has nothing to do with power and that I was going to put on another dyno.

I had taken my bike to Orillia Motorsports when it was stock for a baseline dyno pull and I was going to put it on after my tuning at Pro 6 to see a true difference. When I took the bike there I asked him to do an AFR datalog to see if my suspicions were true. As soon as the bike started moving on the dyno it would dip in from a good 14.x AFR right down to 10.3-10.4 AFR. It sounded terrible on the dyno from idle until about 5,500 where the AFR would jump back up to around 12.0 and ended up making 131whp on his dyno in top end. It was obviously the problem was in the tuning. I called John and told him my problem. He dealt with it very well and said come in for a clean up tune at no charge. I was pleased to bring my bike back down to get this problem resolved.

So they put the bike back on the dyno and do their fuel adjustments. I take the bike around the block and sure enough it is running like crap again, but not as bad as before probably because it was a cooler day. I waited another couple days with it and once again when it got hot outside the bike was a complete disaster. It was smoking again, so I did an oil change at 2,000km's and the oil just reeked of gas. I called John back and explained the bike is still a mess, and once again he said it was normal and that it was all because of my full exhaust system. I said it nothing to do with the exhaust since the bike ran flawless with the power commander supplied BASEMAP and that it had to do with their tuning! So I put the basemap back in and the bike ran perfect. It was obviously back down in power in the top end, but it was so much more enjoyable because it wasn't running like crap. After a little while the bike stopped smoking too!!! A basemap ran much better than their 3 hour tune!

I was thinking to myself how could a shop with so much experience botch such a simple tune! So I asked John if they used a wideband for tuning.......NOPE!!..... I was shocked to hear this and said how do you tune partial throttle? Do you smell the exhaust! The top end is one thing. You can throw the fuel at it until it stops making power, then pull some back, but the low end is another thing. I told him that I will be taking the bike to another dyno to have it tuned PROPERLY with a wideband. I took it to Orillia Motorsports where I should have done it from the beginning and the bike came back PERFECT! Made the same power on a stupid hot day as Pro 6's tune, but the bike was mint down low. What a difference in response and torque and pulled so smoothly through the whole powerband. So I left Orillia Motorsports paying $180 for a perfect tune, where I paid $310 at Pro 6 for a crap one!!

I called John back and explained to him that the bike is perfect now and makes great power. I wondered if thought I was full of it, so I told him I would gladly put it on their dyno again to show them. At this point I said it would only be fair if I was given some sort of a refund. I was willing to accept up to 50% back since I only got 50% of a tune. He said this wasn't possible and that we could work something out with a store credit! Even will all of the ******** I had to go through I calmly agreed with him and said I would be down to buy some new tires in probably a month or so. So I now needed tires and asked him what I had for a store credit, and well that store credit turned into him giving me some discounts on parts. I said I don't need parts, I need tires, and he said there was nothing he could do for me. I thought in the beginning that he would have good customer service, but after putting up with this ******** for a month and having to spend more money elsewhere he basically screwed me completely over.

That's my story. Sorry it was a long one.
 

Shaman

Well-known member
Pro6 has been pretty good to me, but I would be just as frustrated in your case. Tuning can be difficult, but if you charge to tune a bike then you damned well better do a good job at it.
 

Shaman

Well-known member
Any shop can make a wrong decision or make a mistake. Pro6 has been good to me - so don't mistake me, I'm not judging them on other's testimony. That said, if a company tunes a bike - at all - they should make good on the way that bike runs. Period.

I just chose Z1 Cycletech to do valve work and some other work including tuning on my new 600, myself. I think the best shop around for that work (unless you want to drive to Patrice Gouyette's shop or maybe Fast Company) is Z1, from everything I've read. They've built some hellish bikes!
 

rbjeepthing

Well-known member
If they didn't use a wide-band then they shouldn't claim to be able to tune. If the review is correct which just due to the amount of detail involved I would hope a shop (Pro6) with what I hear has a good reputation would want to take this as a learning experience and possibly want to educate themselves on the correct way to do things to improve.

There is a big difference in tuning for peak HP and tuning for drive-ability. It appears at this time Pro6 only does the latter.
 

reciprocity

Well-known member
Site Supporter
If they didn't use a wide-band then they shouldn't claim to be able to tune. If the review is correct which just due to the amount of detail involved I would hope a shop (Pro6) with what I hear has a good reputation would want to take this as a learning experience and possibly want to educate themselves on the correct way to do things to improve.

There is a big difference in tuning for peak HP and tuning for drive-ability. It appears at this time Pro6 only does the latter.

you sure about that??

tuning can be done, and done VERY well without wide band components.

The BEST tuner in this country rarely uses one hand the bikes that come out of that organization are a step above everyone else's
 

boooya

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Wheelers did mine, took him almost 3 hours but he's the kind of guy that's not in any hurry lol.
I was gonna take it to pro 6 but jut decided to get it done while I was at the gap.
Couldn't be happier with the results :).
In your situation I think you handled it well and kept your cool about it.
 

rbjeepthing

Well-known member
you sure about that??

tuning can be done, and done VERY well without wide band components.

The BEST tuner in this country rarely uses one hand the bikes that come out of that organization are a step above everyone else's
100% How does he/she verify AFR's? I do agree experience counts for a lot as well however I firmly feel it's no substitute for a wide-band. The shop and team I used to work for built a lot of boosted vehicles over the years and I've dealt with a lot of tuners. When you pop a motor that costs $15,000+ due to a bad tune you learn very quickly how to verify things correctly. The last motor we popped had absolutely zero indications of an issue but at redline was reading 16:0:1. Due to it being within 200rpm of the rev limiter which was cutting ignition not fuel this was not detectible to the driver and the fail safe on the ECU. It only presented itself when we viewed the data logged AFR's from the wide-band.
 

Brian P

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Moderator
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you sure about that??

tuning can be done, and done VERY well without wide band components.

The BEST tuner in this country rarely uses one hand the bikes that come out of that organization are a step above everyone else's
While it's true that tuning can be done up to a certain point without instrumentation ... having that instrumentation is a tremendous labour saver and you can spot little issues before they become big. Not having that instrumentation available meant they didn't spot the problem with the original poster's bike ...

Tuning the part-load region is much more difficult and time consuming than tuning for maximum full throttle power. Most people won't pay for the full cost of doing it ... OEMs put thousands of hours into calibration on every powertrain - that's what it takes to do it properly. I'd wager that the original poster's bike is still not optimum, it's just better by enough to no longer show the problem; it's pretty likely that they cut and pasted from a generic map to straighten it out. At the price point that most people are willing to pay, there is NOTHING wrong with using that approach - why re-invent the wheel ...
 

Brian P

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Moderator
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Bazzaz auto tune WTF
Still only works up to a point. It doesn't work all that well for the all-important transition between shut throttle and slightly-cracked-open throttle. It's another tool in the tuner's arsenal but not the be-all and end-all.

FWIW I use an air/fuel gauge mounted to the bike and make map adjustments (or carb jetting changes) manually based on what the gauge is telling me and based on how the bike runs.
 

sixstring

Well-known member
FWIW I use an air/fuel gauge mounted to the bike and make map adjustments (or carb jetting changes) manually based on what the gauge is telling me and based on how the bike runs.
+1 to that. I need to get a bung welded to my exhaust.
 

Mr.Azim

Well-known member
Still only works up to a point. It doesn't work all that well for the all-important transition between shut throttle and slightly-cracked-open throttle. It's another tool in the tuner's arsenal but not the be-all and end-all.

FWIW I use an air/fuel gauge mounted to the bike and make map adjustments (or carb jetting changes) manually based on what the gauge is telling me and based on how the bike runs.
I have an Auto tuner and Brian is correct.... it works well up to a certain extent... but I use my R6 to race now so keeping it above 8K RPM is the only place it sees ride time other than in the pits and it will still pop on the odd occasion because it can't keep up with the quick 100% to 0% to 25% to 100% throttle inputs racing requires.
Brian's got it right: he can monitor his bike and make manual changes as needed when needed.

But that being said... one reason why people get auto tuners is so that they can make changes as needed without a dyno. Fuel/Air tuning is like suspension tuning: it's always progressing and changing based on where or how you are riding. You will never be 100% satisfied with a single tune... maybe reasonably satisfied, but not OMFGZOMGERS impressed.

A lot of shops will offer sliding scale prices for re-tunes after the first. But it's too bad the OP experienced a decline in performance after his first tune.

What was the Rear Wheel HP before the tune/parts?
 
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Brian P

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Moderator
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Actually, I'm really happy with my self-developed ZX10R PowerCommander map. Power is there (really no change), fuel consumption is vastly improved, throttle response is good and the off-to-on transition is good.

BUT ... it took a solid month of tweaking, followed by occasional adjustments in the months afterward whenever I ran into a set of circumstances that hadn't been accounted for in that first month.

I did the off-to-on-throttle calibration on a steep downhill in the North Carolina mountains. At a given RPM, shut the throttle (deceleration fuel cut - gauge goes to off-the-scale lean, which is normal), then gradually crack it open and take note of the air/fuel ratio just as the injectors come back on. This is a circumstance where you intentionally want the engine to make as little power as possible. In the interest of low fuel consumption, I have it set so that it is as lean as I can get away with when the injectors come back on.

Even IF you found a shop/tuner willing to do this sort of thing, who would pay shop rate for doing it, and deal with the number of come-backs to adjust that one specific cell in the map where you discover an issue a month after the fact? No one would want to pay it and no shop would want to deal with the come-backs. Only way to do it right is to get the knowledge then do it yourself.
 
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Mr.Azim

Well-known member
A huge misconception in this tuning service industry is it's a one-stop deal. That is inexplicably far from the truth.

Another question for the OP: Since you were getting a Yoshimura installed... why not find a shop that tunes using the Yosh box? It basically just tunes using the stock ECU... no need for a power commander or bazzaz and just as effective.

Never saw a complaint from a Yosh Box customer when I was at Rider's Choice (but that was when Ryan Gill was doing the tuning). It's more specialized equipment compared to a PC tune... so the few shops that do have it are the only ones who know how to use it.
 
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TwistedKestrel

King of GTAM
Site Supporter
This is an interesting story ... if true, doesn't reflect well on them. It's kind of a head-scratcher, considering their reputation - sounds like a fairly lazy tune or someone is making changes across the whole map.

I remember going to pro 6 when I was a total noob and went down there for some valve shims. I bought 8 shims. 6 were the wrong size...
I can kinda understand this. A shop could have a big tray of shims that could easily get mixed up. Not a big deal for the shop if they have the whole tray in front of them, because they would mic the shims before they used them anyway... it would be a PITA if you had to go back and swap them.
 

Boosted_H22A

Well-known member
Sorry for the late replies. ^I never attempted to make any adjustments to the tune. I only put the basemap back in because it got to the point of me being worried that their tune might washout a cylinder.

Pro 6 is the best shop around. This isn't normal or we don't have the full story
I can assure you that I am not leaving anything out.

What was the Rear Wheel HP before the tune/parts?
The bike made 123whp SAE bone stock.

A huge misconception in this tuning service industry is it's a one-stop deal. That is inexplicably far from the truth.

Another question for the OP: Since you were getting a Yoshimura installed... why not find a shop that tunes using the Yosh box? It basically just tunes using the stock ECU... no need for a power commander or bazzaz and just as effective.

Never saw a complaint from a Yosh Box customer when I was at Rider's Choice (but that was when Ryan Gill was doing the tuning). It's more specialized equipment compared to a PC tune... so the few shops that do have it are the only ones who know how to use it.
I was looking into that, but I had an outstanding deal on a brand new PC5 that I couldn't pass up.
 
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overlordjd

Well-known member
I was thinking to myself how could a shop with so much experience botch such a simple tune! So I asked John if they used a wideband for tuning.......NOPE!!..... I was shocked to hear this and said how do you tune partial throttle? Do you smell the exhaust! The top end is one thing. You can throw the fuel at it until it stops making power, then pull some back, but the low end is another thing. I told him that I will be taking the bike to another dyno to have it tuned PROPERLY with a wideband. I took it to Orillia Motorsports where I should have done it from the beginning and the bike came back PERFECT! Made the same power on a stupid hot day as Pro 6's tune, but the bike was mint down low. What a difference in response and torque and pulled so smoothly through the whole powerband. So I left Orillia Motorsports paying $180 for a perfect tune, where I paid $310 at Pro 6 for a crap one!!
I've had very good experiences with pro 6 but found out yesterday that they did not use a wide band sensor for tuning. I was a bit dissapointed as I wanted to verify the AFR readings my Autotune was reading.

I would still shop there as they usually have great prices for certain things but would probably go to a shop that uses wideband for tuning purposes.
 

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