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Offline SRAD_Pitt

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RR headers / Rapidbike Evo install - my experience
« on: August 22, 2019, 08:09:21 AM »
Hi all,

Before I start I'd like to make a couple of points:
-I'm very happy with the bike now
-I was happy with the bike before
-Boredom after a few years of bike ownership can be expensive

I had read the 'RR headers another option' thread on here and was inspired, this seemed like a simple way of getting rid of the ugly CAT box and according to a few who had done the mod it was both cheap and gave more power - the difficult bit often seemed to be fitting the servo cables back onto the flapper valve on the RR headers.

I managed to find a set of cheap '15 headers, then spent quite a lot of time shopping for a slipon can that would fit. After a lot of research I settled on a nice looking Hindle carbon slipon, but when I went to order it I found that it was almost impossible to get it shipped from the US to Aus. Eventually I went with a Racefit Growler (yeah, it's too loud), which was made to order and arrived fairly quickly from the UK, complete with baffle and a set of earplugs.

Fitting the headers took about 5 hours - there's a torx screw that holds the oil cooler mount to the engine block that was very hard to remove - someone had either already had a go at it, or it was munted when the bike was assembled in the factory - I bought the bike new and can't think of any reason for it to have been removed.. It was almost a chance to get out my trusty set of bolt extractors, but with a lot of sweating and  swearing the bolt was eventually coaxed out.
The valve cables weren't too hard to deal with, they tuck in a bit tight, but they fit. There was no need to bend or straighten them.



I fired the bike up and went for a ride. It was a bit rough at first as the ECU got used to adapting to the new parts. As I rode it more the low end torque started to come back, but it never felt as quick as before, it seemed to be down on power right across the rev range. Apart from the lack of cat box, this was a disappointing result so far.

I had read a lot of good things on here about the Rapidbike Evo, so I ordered one from the Aus supplier. It arrived super quickly and the customer support was great - the guy had made a custom map based on my setup. I installed it in about an hour or so, half of that time was taken getting access under the tank. There's a connector for each of the eight injectors as well as the O2 sensors, TPS, crank sensor, etc. The only difficult one was the TPS - it has to be tapped with a supplied wire tapper and I'm not 100% sold on this method of getting a signal, but hey - it works.

It fired up fine and I took it for a ride. I was immediately impressed by the low down power, there seemed to be way more grunt below 6k revs - so far so good. I live right in the city, so it took a little while to find a place where I could give the bike some throttle and let it rev. Once I did, it was immediately obvious that there was a problem. The bike was either miss-firing or running super lean. Like piston - melting lean. It wouldn't even rev past about 9k. I got on the phone with Rapidbike and he suggested upping the fuel further up the rev range, but thought it was strange, as usually the module reduces fuel at higher revs.
I ended up playing around with it, setting it up to deliver a ridiculous amount of fuel above 7k, but it still ran lean up top in anything above 2nd gear. In fact, it wouldn't accelerate past 180kph - which is sh#t. I did some reading and discovered the top injectors only really kick in at above 7k rpm and this seemed like a good clue to the problem. I took the tank off again to check the top injectors were plugged in correctly and as I raised the tank the fuel line disconnected from the tank, it hadn't seated properly in the polystyrene mound that sits below the tank. I hoped that fuel delivery may have caused the problem. I took it for a ride. Nope.

I'd just moved jobs from one that required me to commute daily on the bike to another in the city where it was easier to just walk in to the office, the bike was so frustrating that I just parked it up behind the car and let it gather dust. I went from riding daily for the last four years to just letting the R sit for almost 2 months.

Eventually I found a mechanic to work on the bike, they do dyno tuning, analysis, even R&D... They refused to do dyno runs without doing a service as they like to know what state the bike is in, it's approaching 40,000 ks - so fine. They ask what you like about the bike and what you expect upon getting it back. They also ask you to set a budget, which is great.
Based on my description the guy guessed it was a fuel pump issue, I suggested it was the injectors, but I don't like to push a point with someone who knows more than me, so I let it go. I got a call a few days later saying 'there's something really wrong!', which was reassuring TBH. Another call a day later confirmed it was the top injectors that weren't firing and that this was being caused by the Rapidbike Evo module. To their credit, Rapidbike replaced it free of charge.

So, let me tally the costs...
headers $400
Missing rear support for headers (new from BMW) $100(!)
Racefit Growler $1007
Rapidbike module $817
Service, diagnisis, tune $840
That's $3164. [censored - unaccepatble, you risk being banned!] ]. Me.

How is it now? It feels like it has more low down torque and a little bit more top end. The throttle response is a little less smooth low down, but I don't mind that - it reminds me of an old, tuned Bandit 1200 I had, but with more top end. It looks a lot better IMO and it sounds great on full throttle, but it's a bit loud at a cruise - I might look at another slipon once I have some spare money.
The dyno says 157bhp at the wheel, which is about 170 at the crank, or the same as an early RSV4 - so not bad.

Check this out.. Look at that before curve, it must be what it's like to own an R9t. Poor fuckers - no wonder they never wave back.


« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 08:10:14 AM by SRAD_Pitt »

Offline SRAD_Pitt

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Re: RR headers / Rapidbike Evo install - my experience
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 10:58:26 AM »
I realise that this is extremely inaccurate - different dyno, different day, different continent...
Here's an overlay of the above graph (blue) on top of one from Cycle World (red). They match from 7-8k, so it must be true!


Offline stanksbeamen

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Re: RR headers / Rapidbike Evo install - my experience
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 03:35:58 AM »
Thanks for sharing, I purchased a RB evo from an RR. Rapidbike said they'll reprogram it free of cost, just have to ship it to them. I'll eventually get around to sending it to them and installing it but I agree that they're customer service has been great since I've owned a Rapidbike easy. I may try to do a dyno with the Rapidbike easy and then another with the evo, unfortunately I don't have stock dyno numbers for my bike.
2017 S1000R
1997 E36 M3

Offline Zig Zag

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Re: RR headers / Rapidbike Evo install - my experience
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 05:17:11 AM »

I got bored and went -1 on the front sprocket for $17. Goes like hell now.
Not bored anymore. :001:
You should remember that its peace of mind youre after and not just a fixed machine.
Robert Persig

Offline SRAD_Pitt

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Re: RR headers / Rapidbike Evo install - my experience
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 07:24:46 AM »
Yeah, mine's - 1 as well, but more so I can get out of first gear around town

 


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