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DocBusa

VFR1200F DCT - long time owners needed

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Hi Folks:  I am a 50-year old American who is stuck in Singapore for a while longer (thanks COVID).  I have been here a while, but was planning to return to USA this past March.  I am an engineering professor here and motorcycling is one of the few "affordable" hobbies here.  So, two days ago I traded my Ducati Monster even up for a 2011 DCT with 27k KM.  It looks a bit rough, typical for Singapore bikes, but seems to run well.  I am trying to figure a few things out and I would love to get advice.  What is key here is to not over invest.  In Singapore, we got 10-year certificates of entitlement.   The VFR is good until March 2022, so some time, but at that point I renew (currently around $4k for 10 years) or trash the bike.  

 

Here are things I am keen to know, thanks in advance:

1. Sport mode in the DCT feels like it gets stuck in 3rd gear.   It shifts up great, sometimes goes to 4th, but seems like it stays in 3rd and 4th a LOT.  I ramp up the RPMs and it just seems goofy.  In D everything seems fine to me.  Is this normal?

 

2.  The speedo is WAY off, like 90 km/hr is our max, but mine indicates closer to 100 when GPS says 90.  Anyway to rectify this one?

 

3.  I have read a lot about tricking the DCT to be in 3rd in order to release the power in 1 and 2.  I know about BAZZAZ and ECU remap, but both are north of $300 USD.  Any DYI or cheaper way to achieve this?

 

4.  Is it worth it to try to trick the exhaust servo to keep the flap open?  could get me into trouble here as well, but I hate to drop the $$$ for an aftermarket exhaust.  Ideas?

 

5.  On the ergos, I would love lower pegs and better seat.  The better seat I can probably get fabricated locally for small coin, the pegs... no idea.

 

6.  Lastly, it dumps a lot of hot air right on my feet.   Any way to divert that heat away from the feet?

 

I really appreciate the information on this cool, albeit "classic" bike.  Thank you!!!

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Hey Doc,

I like your choice in bikes.  I've got 78K on my 2010 1200FD and believe it is one of the best bikes I've owned, though not without some idiosyncrasies.  There is lot of content on this forum from 1200 owners that you can search, but I'll give you some quick answers to your posted questions.

 

Yes, Sport mode does have odd shift points sometimes.  It does hold 3rd for quite a long time when I use it but it seems to vary depending on the circumstances.   For the most part I don't use S mode.  I find it easier to paddle shift when I want to be sporty and then click into D when I'm done.

 

As far as the speedo, like most bikes it is inaccurate.  Check to make sure you have the correct tires. If that isn't the issue you can buy a speedo corrector such as the one from these guys:

https://www.healtech-electronics.com/product-advisor/

 

Unfortunately, you cannot use the Z-Bomb, or anything like it, on the FD model.  All these devices cross gear position indicator wires to fool the ECU into thinking the bike is in third gear when in 1st and 2nd.  The DCT needs to know the actual gear to coordinate up/down shifts, so these devices won't work on the FD model.  What most of us have done is have our ECU's reflashed by Guhl Motors: 

http://www.guhlmotors.com

There is a long thread on this in the archives.  No other way to recover the restricted HP in 1st and 2nd, sorry.  It's about $500 US if I recall.

 

There are several makers of gadgets that fool the ECU into thinking the exhaust servo is still attached, including HealTech above.  These  allow you to rig the flapper open without the FI light coming on.

 

The OEM seat looked cool, but was slippery and was poorly designed for a pillion.  I had a local seat guy redo mine to address these issues and make it suit my riding geometry and it came out great.  You should be able to do the same.

 

Again, there are some threads in the archive on the subject of pegs and bars.

 

I'm only bothered by hot air on my right foot.  It seems the air flows pretty closely to the fairing though, so if I move my foot to the right side of the peg it helps.

 

BTW, going from a Monster to a VFR1200FD is a pretty big change...literally.

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Re: the exhaust flapper.  Another option is to simply disconnect the wire that goes from the motor to the exhaust.  You can disconnect it at the motor (located in the right-side panel under the seat).  That way, the motor still works but it does not move the flapper, and the flapper remains open b/c that is it's default position.  The ECU doesn't know that you've disconnected the motor from the exhaust, so no error lights are thrown.   I used mine that way for 9 years before throwing an aftermarket exhaust on. 

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3 hours ago, eastbowl2 said:

Re: the exhaust flapper.  Another option is to simply disconnect the wire that goes from the motor to the exhaust.  You can disconnect it at the motor (located in the right-side panel under the seat).  That way, the motor still works but it does not move the flapper, and the flapper remains open b/c that is it's default position.  The ECU doesn't know that you've disconnected the motor from the exhaust, so no error lights are thrown.   I used mine that way for 9 years before throwing an aftermarket exhaust on. 

Thanks for clarifying this.  I left my servo on too when I removed the cable to install an aftermarket muffler but wasn't sure if the flapper stayed open on an OEM muffler if you just removed the cable.

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Forgot to answer the question regarding peg lowering.   I got a set from Knight Designs.   Lowers it about an inch and is perfect for me.  http://www.knightdesignllc.com/Products/Motorcycle/Honda/VFR1200/Honda-VFR1200F-Menu.html

 

And regarding the hot feet:  yep, that's normal.  Where I live it's mostly a good thing.  On real hot days, I'm sweltering anyway so I don't find it adds to the heat much.  On cold days/mornings, it is **cking awesome!  😉  I know that's not an issue where you are now, but honestly, for guys that ride in cooler weather, this is actually a huge benefit.  I've ridden in 2 degree celcius weather for 12 hour day trips (with electric jacket) and I'm fine.  But if my feet were not heated by the bike, there is no chance I'm out there for that long.  None.    Ok, off topic...

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Hi, sorry, meant to reply sooner.

 

1.  Can't help, don't have a DCT.

2.  Speedohealer?

3.  Guhl reflash, as mentioned above.

4.  Again, as above, just remove the cable from the servo to the flapper.

5.  Try Thurn Motorsports for the lowered pegs. I have a set on the passenger pegs of my 1200 and have used several other of their aftermarket products on both bikes and they are quality pieces of German engineering.

6.  No idea.

 

Best of luck with the bike, she's a stonkingly good machine!

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On 5/11/2020 at 1:02 AM, Marsman99 said:

As far as the speedo, like most bikes it is inaccurate.  Check to make sure you have the correct tires. If that isn't the issue you can buy a speedo corrector such as the one from these guys:

https://www.healtech-electronics.com/product-advisor/

 

Unfortunately, you cannot use the Z-Bomb, or anything like it, on the FD model.  All these devices cross gear position indicator wires to fool the ECU into thinking the bike is in third gear when in 1st and 2nd.  The DCT needs to know the actual gear to coordinate up/down shifts, so these devices won't work on the FD model.  What most of us have done is have our ECU's reflashed by Guhl Motors: 

http://www.guhlmotors.com

There is a long thread on this in the archives.  No other way to recover the restricted HP in 1st and 2nd, sorry.  It's about $500 US if I recall.

 

There are several makers of gadgets that fool the ECU into thinking the exhaust servo is still attached, including HealTech above.  These  allow you to rig the flapper open without the FI light coming on.

 

 

 Thanks for great response!   The tires question is great, it has Michelin Pilot Road tires, front is 120/70 ZR 17 and the rear is 190/50 ZR 17.   Correct for bike?

 

BAZZAZ recommended to me a $350 FI system, I assumed it would work since I told them DCT, but I could verify.  I would LOVE to use Guhl reflash, but sending my ECU to USA and getting it back would mean I go without the bike for weeks 😞    Any other solutions?  

 

Is there any advantage to keeping the exhaust open, even if no other mods....     Does it sound better?  Run better?  I heard it is possible to disconnect the cable somehow and the flapper will "default" to open.  If I lose performance, and it doesn't have a "cooler sound" there is no reason to do so.    

 

Thanks again!!!!

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On 5/11/2020 at 3:47 AM, eastbowl2 said:

Re: the exhaust flapper.  Another option is to simply disconnect the wire that goes from the motor to the exhaust.  You can disconnect it at the motor (located in the right-side panel under the seat).  That way, the motor still works but it does not move the flapper, and the flapper remains open b/c that is it's default position.  The ECU doesn't know that you've disconnected the motor from the exhaust, so no error lights are thrown.   I used mine that way for 9 years before throwing an aftermarket exhaust on. 

Is this worth the effort?  Better sound/better power?   If not, no worries.   I generally like the look of this VFR, EXCEPT, the exhaust.   that triangular can really distracts from the bike's otherwise brilliant lines...   IMO

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On 5/11/2020 at 8:25 AM, eastbowl2 said:

Forgot to answer the question regarding peg lowering.   I got a set from Knight Designs.   Lowers it about an inch and is perfect for me.  http://www.knightdesignllc.com/Products/Motorcycle/Honda/VFR1200/Honda-VFR1200F-Menu.html

 

And regarding the hot feet:  yep, that's normal.  Where I live it's mostly a good thing.  On real hot days, I'm sweltering anyway so I don't find it adds to the heat much.  On cold days/mornings, it is **cking awesome!  😉  I know that's not an issue where you are now, but honestly, for guys that ride in cooler weather, this is actually a huge benefit.  I've ridden in 2 degree celcius weather for 12 hour day trips (with electric jacket) and I'm fine.  But if my feet were not heated by the bike, there is no chance I'm out there for that long.  None.    Ok, off topic...

Thanks Eastbowl2, in fact, I am in discussions with Knight Designs on the cost to ship to Singapore.  That said, I really cannot invest a ton into this bike.   I do have Buell pegs at home (Arizona) that I can bring back when I go home next (who knows when.....).   Cheers

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3 hours ago, DocBusa said:

Is this worth the effort?  Better sound/better power?   If not, no worries.   I generally like the look of this VFR, EXCEPT, the exhaust.   that triangular can really distracts from the bike's otherwise brilliant lines...   IMO

It is simple to do and costs nothing so just unhook the cable.  If you like it great, if not just hook it back up.  I replaced my exhaust but if you want to save some coin I have seen some of the stock exhausts painted black and they look pretty good.  Disconnecting the cable and paint may could be a low cost option for ya.

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19 hours ago, gloryracing said:

It is simple to do and costs nothing so just unhook the cable.  If you like it great, if not just hook it back up.  I replaced my exhaust but if you want to save some coin I have seen some of the stock exhausts painted black and they look pretty good.  Disconnecting the cable and paint may could be a low cost option for ya.

Thank you, it is really simple to unhook?   Sounds like a cool project.  My seat is DAMN hard to remove though, I guess the lock is messed up somehow.  I am looking at your mods list in your signature.  WOW!!!    Could you please indulge me for a few questions?   

 

On the cat delete....    where is the cat located?  In the "muffler" or in the headers?   I thought it was further up where the four pipes collect and not in the "muffler" slip-on?  If I could remove the cat, would this be picked up during the "sniff" test at an inspection station?  I can probably find this out from the local guys....

 

If you had to rank those mods, any "must have" items?  I really need the Guhl remap the most, but logistically really sucks for me.... 😞

 

Thanks again

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, detaching the cable is easy.  Just have a look under the seat.   My seat has always been hard to remove as well.  If you push down on the pillion area the latch will unlock easier.   Then it is a technique to slide seat forward, or back,  before you lift.

 

Regarding best mods, for me it is suspension.  I ride pretty hard 2 up so the stock stuff just wouldn't cut it.  Speaking of stock , the slick seat wouldn't cut it either as pillion kept sliding  around.  The Guhl flash is nice but was not really necessary.  It gave me back 1st and 2nd on the gear indicator compared to the Z-bomb.

 

Cat delete saves a bunch of weight, less heat and is easy for a muffler shop to remove.  Oh...another advantage of the Guhl reflash is they can program in a map that should work with the cat delete, your selected can, air filter, etc.  

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The stock muffler weights a fecking ton.

 

Good enough reason to remove the ugly m-f.

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Doc,

The OEM rear tire is a 190/55.  If you have a 190/50 on the rear you'll observe roughly 5% higher readings on the speedo.  Add normal speedo error and you could be as high as 10% off.  The 50 profile is probably going to make the rear turn-in a little more effort as well.

 

Sounds like you're sorting out a plan for your bike.  In that context, I offer what I did.  Perhaps you'll find it useful.  After getting to know the bike, and reading all the input from the Gen7 pioneers on this site, my mod priorities became:

 

1) Suspension - OEM suspension was terrible.  OEM tires the same.  I went DMr reworked forks and DMr BD-40 shock.  IMO best bang for the buck in the US.  Any upgrade to suspension will be worth the effort.

2) Comfort - Bars and seat.  I went Heli bars and custom seat.  Bought it with all the OEM comfort accessories:  heated grips, deflectors, etc.

3) Radar Detector - This became a priority midway thru...:sad:

4) Performance - Not really a priority, but hey...who can resist more power?  Guhl flash, decat, DAM muffler, Bazzaz FI and mapper, K&N AF, PAIR, etc.  The decat and DAM combo resulted in the most significant increase in HP.  Since no one has dyno'd the FD model, the dyno'd F model map (for a modified bike) provided by Bazzaz works well on the FD...at the expense of mileage.  So, the 2-map switch option with the AFM mapper allows one to build an economy map and use their performance map with the flick of a switch.

 

I wasn't too concerned with weight, this is a heavy bike and you just aren't going to make it svelte.  But, ditching the boat anchor muffler was easy...weight, looks, sound and performance, and the DAM muffler works with the OEM panniers.

 

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Try the DCT reset before you spend money or time on a solution that might not be needed.

 

Here is a thread, there are others on this site:  

 

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The cat is the rectangular can under the bike.  See photo.  Removing or altering it would almost certainly be detected during an emissions test...that's the point of a catalytic converter.

 

No fuel controller such as the Bazzaz unit will fix the 1-2 gear restrictions, it's coded into the ECU.  For the DCT, Guhl is the only solution.  I believe Guhl ships worldwide, so the logistics are really just shipping to/fro.  If you can get all the body work off and tilt the tank up, you can easily remove/replace the ECU.  You'll love getting the bodywork off the first time...:ohmy:  Buy some of these in advance.

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Thanks All!   Much appreciated

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On 5/10/2020 at 2:47 AM, DocBusa said:

Here are things I am keen to know, thanks in advance:

1. Sport mode in the DCT feels like it gets stuck in 3rd gear.   It shifts up great, sometimes goes to 4th, but seems like it stays in 3rd and 4th a LOT.  I ramp up the RPMs and it just seems goofy.  In D everything seems fine to me.  Is this normal?


In sport mode the harder you ride (opening the throttle) the DCT learns this behavior and will keep it in 3rd or 4th much longer than “normal” riding.  Mine did this since new and is normal to me. (not goofy)

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Hey, i have a 2010 DCT in Australia. 

I picked up a seat from top sellerie, very happy with it. Talked to some local people about options but didn't want the factory seat being messed with so went for that option instead.

 

The restrictions in 1st and 2nd shit me off. However Ghul is not the only option. I didn't want to be without the bike for weeks waiting for the ECU to get there and come back. For alot less money I found someone who remote logged into my laptop and di it online for me. Took about 2 hours all up but cost me half as much, and wasn't without the bike at all. I didn't even have to pull the ECU out of the bike, I just plugged a usb cable from my laptop to the service port under the seat. It was seriously that easy. 1st and 2nd gear limitations gone, and whatever else you want changed at the same time. Have been riding like this for a few days and it is like a new bike.

 

https://www.facebook.com/sabsteef/

Thats his facebook page. I was a little hesitant at first but found another person from Qld that had already used his service. He was very happy so I went for it. No regrets. He is based in the Netherlands, but good english and given he does it online through your own laptop, it doesn't matter what country he is in.

 

 

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1 hour ago, VishChips said:

However Ghul is not the only option. I didn't want to be without the bike for weeks waiting for the ECU to get there and come back. For alot less money I found someone who remote logged into my laptop and di it online for me. Took about 2 hours all up but cost me half as much, and wasn't without the bike at all. I didn't even have to pull the ECU out of the bike, I just plugged a usb cable from my laptop to the service port under the seat. It was seriously that easy. 1st and 2nd gear limitations gone, and whatever else you want changed at the same time. Have been riding like this for a few days and it is like a new bike.

 

https://www.facebook.com/sabsteef/

Thats his facebook page. I was a little hesitant at first but found another person from Qld that had already used his service. He was very happy so I went for it. No regrets. He is based in the Netherlands, but good english and given he does it online through your own laptop, it doesn't matter what country he is in.

 

 

 

Wow.  This is a paradigm shift for Gen7 owners.  Good info indeed.  I assume he can eliminate the top speed restriction, install maps and adjust coolant temp. too? 

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17 hours ago, VishChips said:

Hey, i have a 2010 DCT in Australia. 

I picked up a seat from top sellerie, very happy with it. Talked to some local people about options but didn't want the factory seat being messed with so went for that option instead.

 

The restrictions in 1st and 2nd shit me off. However Ghul is not the only option. I didn't want to be without the bike for weeks waiting for the ECU to get there and come back. For alot less money I found someone who remote logged into my laptop and di it online for me. Took about 2 hours all up but cost me half as much, and wasn't without the bike at all. I didn't even have to pull the ECU out of the bike, I just plugged a usb cable from my laptop to the service port under the seat. It was seriously that easy. 1st and 2nd gear limitations gone, and whatever else you want changed at the same time. Have been riding like this for a few days and it is like a new bike.

 

https://www.facebook.com/sabsteef/

Thats his facebook page. I was a little hesitant at first but found another person from Qld that had already used his service. He was very happy so I went for it. No regrets. He is based in the Netherlands, but good english and given he does it online through your own laptop, it doesn't matter what country he is in.

 

 

This is super interesting and hopeful for me here in Singapore too.   We have a local top-notch shop, with a dyno.  I used them exclusively for my Ducati, but they have worked on VFRs as well, I saw one there last time around.  They said by SMS that they believe they can remap my VFR ECU because they have the dyno, BUT, it worries me because I read elsewhere on here that the DCT cannot be dyno'd....   Anyway, I would be extremely keen to know if this sounds logical, that is, a local shop can now do remaps themselves....?    The Guhl option still looks OK, but as stated, I hate to be without my bike for that long.   Thanks!

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The DCT bikes can't get out of 1st gear on a dyno.  You'd have to use a shop that had a front and rear wheel dyno.  Those are used for AWD car tuning and are rare.  

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Very interesting, but with tunes are they detectable by the dealership and can it be flashed back quickly if need be 🤠😎😁

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