Cobra: Fi2000R auto-tuner will be a fuel injection game changer

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Later this year Cobra will begin marketing the Fi2000R PowrPro Tuner, a fuel-injection-tuning device that constantly monitors and adjusts. It will go on sale in February. The auto-tuner requires no external sensors, installing the same way as the standard Fi2000R.

Dealernews got a sneak peek at the upcoming product last week during LeMans' National Vendor Presentation. The photo above is of a PowerPoint slide presented to sales reps during Cobra’s presentation. The product is so new that Cobra didn't even display it during yesterday's Showcase trade show for dealers.

The company’s Camron Bussard called the PowrPro Tuner a fuel injection game changer. “The whole movement toward auto-tune is well on its way,” he said, “so we thought it was time to step up the game but not abandon our overall philosophy of providing an easily installed product that the average guy can use at home.”

Applications will be the same as for the standard Fi2000R. Each PowrPro Tuner will be preset for a specific motorcycle model, though the device is adjustable if necessary. There will be versions for bikes equipped with oxygen sensors, as well as CARB-approved versions.

The product's developer, Rick Botting, estimated that only 5 percent of motorcycle shops have access to a dyno, but nearly everyone who buys an exhaust system for a fuel-injected bike needs tuning. He said Cobra has had success with its regular Fi2000R for the past five or six years. But some riders, especially owners of sportbikes and high-performance cruisers, want to get every last bit of horsepower. These riders, he said, don’t like wondering whether the three adjustable dials are really in the right spots. These worries with all such tuner products led to auto-tune products.

“We weren’t real crazy about what everybody else had done, which was use a wide-band oxygen sensor to collect data so that they could tune,” Botting said. “In most cases, that requires drilling, grinding, modifying the exhaust systems that are on the bikes so that they can accept this wide-band oxygen sensor.”

Cobra spent 18 months developing a patented process requiring no external sensors. The PowrPro Tuner, Botting explained, can measure the rate of acceleration off the crankshaft and produce the same data as a dyno. “We took that data and married it to high-speed interactive fuel adjustment,” he said. “We create a virtual dyno graph in our software. At every squirt of the injector, we add fuel or subtract fuel and watch for an improvement in that graph. When we see an improvement, we keep it. We just keep going until we don’t see any improvement on the graph.

“So basically,” he continued, “We do the same thing electronically that you have with an experienced dyno operator. We just happen to be able to do it 60 or 80 times a second instead of maybe once every 15 minutes.”

The Fi2000R PowrPro Tuner can adjust the fuel injection system to any bike modification, Botting said.

Another way the device will benefit riders, Bussard explained, is by constantly adjusting to riding conditions. “If you’re riding uphill with a passenger on the back and just a headwind, it’s going to take that into account and give you the perfect horsepower for that,” he said. “If you’re going downhill with a tailwind, it’ll set so that you’re getting the most horsepower for those conditions.”

For track riders, the device will adjust the fuel injection to take into account contrasting winds on the straights.

“Every time the end user rolls on that throttle, it’s hunting and verifying that that bike is making the absolute maximum horsepower that it could achieve through air/fuel tuning,” Botting said.

The new Fi2000R will come with the same two year-warranty as the standard model. Retail pricing will be in the $500-to-$600 range, which Botting claimed is about $300 less than other auto-tune systems.

The easy installation will also lower the overall cost. Botting pointed out that all the late-model sportbikes have titanium head pipes onto which it’s difficult to weld a bung for a wide-band oxygen sensor. If the bike comes with oxygen sensors, he claimed, it nearly always has tiny 10 mm sensors, whereas the wide-band sensors are 18 mm. “So you’ve got some real installation issues with other auto-tune systems,” he said. “They create a real uphill battle when it comes to making the sale. This product doesn’t have any of those shortcomings.”