|How to get 80+ rwhp from a '01 Cal-Special
A list of modifications done to a 2001 California Special:
1. When the bike was brand new, the cam was replaced with one from a newer V11 Sport. The valve springs were not changed, as we originally thought the rpm limit set by the stock ECU would prevent any valve collision. (This would later come back to bite us). The stock air box was removed, and K&N filters were installed on the throttle bodies. An "H-pipe" under trans. exhaust crossover was installed, then a aftermarket set of turnout mufflers. These were then modified by slash cutting them on an angle, to about eighteen inches and shortening the baffle to fit. A Power Commander unit was installed. After engine break-in and dialing in the Power Commander, the engine output was dyno-ed at about 76 rwhp.
2. In January 2002 the owner was looking for more, and the heads were sent to Ferracci for port work. A baseline run done before any new work was completed showed 77.5 rwhp. After disassembly, the owner was informed the valves were bent (where we were bit). Although the valves were bent, it was not enough to show during a cylinder leak check. It was suggested to recess the valves into the heads and replace the springs with those from a V11 Sport. The valve springs had to be shimmed accordingly to maintain correct valve spring installed height.
After the valve work and porting the engine showed a gain of three horsepower to 80.5 rwhp.
3. In August 2002 the pistons were replaced with a set of drop-in 11:1 compression pistons developed by Fast by Ferracci. Per Ferracci's recommendations, the K&N air filters were removed, and the bottom of the stock airbox was re-installed with a washable element. This modification (pistons) made the most noticeable "seat of the pants" difference.
4. At this point the bike ran very strong. But the owner rides this bike hard, and felt just as the motor was coming alive, it would flatten out in the 7000 rpm range due to stock ECU programming. This is something the Power Commander unit cannot override. After having worked in the automobile repair industry for 20 years, I knew that ECU's can be reflashed, but I could'nt find any information on reflashing Marelli ECU's. So, the owner of this bike decided to purchase a V11s ECU. After it was installed and dialed in, we found the bike would pull cleanly to 8000+ rpm range.
After the ECU install, I was referred to Todd Eagan and the Guzzi Tech pages. Todd informed me it is indeed possible to reflash the ECU using a software package called Ultimap. A more cost effective way would have been to find a shop with the Ultimap software, and have a custom fuel map made specifically for the machine. As it is, the ECU from the V11s is probably not the best because the V11s uses larger throttle bodies compared to the California Special, and the base map on the V11s ECU would reflect that. Although, we were able to use it because of the adjustment afforded by the Power Commander. As they say "you learn a lot more from the things you do wrong, than the things you do right." We plan on taking this bike to a shop with a trained technician with Dynojet's 'Tuning Link' software, and have it properly dialed in. I will post the concluding results here.
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