Modding your vehicle to get more power is a time honoured tradition amongst drivers and riders. To feed this habit, Malaysian outfit TuneBoss produces a range of ECUs for motorcycles in the sub-250 category, notably the Yamaha Y15ZR, YZF-R15 and R25.
Purely a locally designed, developed and manufactured product, TuneBoss is proud of its Malaysian origin and facilities which include a dynamometer (dyno) for testing. paultan.org, both the Bahasa Malaysia and English editions, were invited to put the new TuneBoss ECU through the paces at Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
On the day, there were two R15s for testing, one in stock condition, the other fitted with Stage 1 TuneBoss bolt-on upgrades. The other machine on test was a R25, fully done up with TuneBoss ECU, 300 cc big bore kit, high performance full-system exhaust, TuneBoss AIS Eliminator Cap with the cylinder head ported to accommodate the capacity increase and dyno tuning to make everything work together.
Another add-on by TuneBoss is the quickshifter, which has just undergone product testing and development and as yet does not have a price. So, with all these bits and bobs, what would a TuneBoss tune cost you?
For the R15, the TuneBoss ECU Stage 1 upgrade package costs RM699 with the rest of the parts such as rearsets, exhaust, air filter and upgraded braking system coming in under RM2,000. Being a touch more complicated, RM4,950 gets you everything on the 300 cc big-bore R25 we rode, as detailed above.
We were also informed TuneBoss is in the process of developing a performance cam for the R15, which will give more top-end power for Yamaha sports single. For comparison, the dyno chart of the stock R15 is compared against the TuneBoss R15, and a small but significant gain in power is shown.
For the stock ECU, power peaks at 15 hp at 9,744 rpm with no difference in torque. Adding the TuneBoss ECU with a slightly modded head and full system exhaust nets a 0.9 hp gain at 11,392 rpm.
While those of you driving cars might scoff at a nearly 1 hp gain, bear in mind the R15 is a small, light, single-cylinder motorcycle. That 0.9 hp gain represents a 6% increase in power.
So, moving onto the track, we had several rides on the stock R15 and the TuneBoss version and there was a small, but noticeable difference in the top speed. For the stock R15, we managed about 132 km/h on the front straight at SIC while the TuneBoss R15 was brushing the 139 km/h mark.
In the case of the TuneBoss big bore R25, riding it immediately brought back memories of thrashing a stock R3 around Buriram circuit earlier this year. Most apparent was the amount of pull afforded by twisting the throttle and the ability to regain corner speed after scrubbing it off in braking.
By the seat of the pants dyno, the difference in throttle response could be felt and the TuneBoss R15 felt a touch more responsive to throttle opening. However, it should be noted the big bore TuneBoss R25 we rode had just come back from a rebuild barely 48 hours previously and there was a noticeable lag in throttle response which is not the fault of the ECU but the cable adjustment, which we rode around.
Not a deal breaker by any means and some time spent in the shop adjusting cable free play would probably bring everything back to 100% again. Is money spent on a TuneBoss ECU, or any other sort of engine mod, worth it?
The answers is, as always, it depends. For the young rider wanting to squeeze every last ounce of performance from his 150 cc machine, the money spent well be worth it as at that level we are talking about a matter of very fine performance gains.
Still and all, there are worse ways of spending your money and buying performance upgrades for your motorcycle means you have no money to spend on drugs. If you ride a Yamaha Y15ZR, YZF-R15 or YZF-R25, check TuneBoss’ range of products for something to give you a kick in the pants.
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