ECM BASICS

ECM BASICS

 

The Engine Control Module or ECM is the "brain" of a Buell motorcycle.  Fuel delivery and ignition timing are among the tasks performed based on input from various sensors and switches.  From the factory, an ECM is programmed with a calibration for a motorcycle that must meet federal emissions standards. When performance upgrades like exhaust systems are installed, an ECM with a stock calibration is no longer optimized to compensate for these changes which can cause poor performance and possibly even engine damage.  A calibration suitable for the bike's configuration should be used.  This can be a pre-made tuning made for a bike with a specific configuration, or a custom calibration developed by a tuner using a dynamometer and/or datalog files.  Fortunately for Buell owners, there are very simple and cost-effective options available. 

​ECM TERMINOLOGY

 

​The tuning files available from this site are ready to install. Tuning expertise and software is not required.  However, in order to properly understand the process of programming an ECM, one should know the definitions of the following terms:

 

MAPS


Fuel and timing maps are used by the ECM to schedule fuel delivery and the ignition timing based on parameters such as RPM and throttle position.  Although critical for the health and performance of your engine, they are only a portion of what is on the ECM's memory.  Maps alone cannot be loaded onto an ECM.  They must be added onto the EEPROM file (defined below), which is then burned onto the ECM.    

 

EEPROM

From Wikipedia: EEPROM (also written E2PROM and pronounced "e-e-prom", "double-e-prom" or "e-squared-prom") stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory and is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices to store relatively small amounts of data but allowing individual bytes to be erased and reprogrammed.

EEPROM FILE

Also known as Binary, Bin, and XPR file.  This contains all of the settings and maps used by the ECM, as well as stored trouble codes and Adaptive Fuel Value.  When an ECM is reprogrammed it is this file that is "burned" onto the EEPROM.  Not to be confused with the firmware on the ECM which cannot be updated by the user. 

FIRMWARE VERSION

Throughout Buell's history, many different ECM firmware versions were released.  As many as three versions were used during a single model year.  EEPROM files from one firmware version are not compatible with others.  This is something that has made it difficult to "share" maps and tuning files, and for people to understand the process of programming Buell ECMs.  However, settings (like maps) from can be transposed from one version to another using tuning software.  The firmware version of your ECM can be found on the EcmDroid home page next to ECM ID.  You will need to know this before trying to burn a new file onto your bike.

        

The following is a list of Buell ECM Firmware versions from Ecmspy.com:

BUEGC Tube frame - 1999-2002
BUEIA Tube frame - 1999-2002
BUEJA Tube frame - 1999-2002
BUEKA Tube frame - 1999-2002
BUECB XB9 -2003
BUEGB XB - 2004
BUEIB XB - 2005-2007
B2RIB XB - 2005-2007 (Factory Race ECM)
BUEIC XB - 2005-2007 (Japan only)
BUEOD XB - 2008 and later
BUEWD XB, 1125 - 2008+
BUEYD XB, 1125 - 2008+

BUEZD XB, 1125 - 2008+
BUE1D XB, 1125 - 2008+
B3R1D XB, 1125 - 2008+ (EBR Race ECM)
BUE2D XB, 1125 - 2008+
BUE3D XB, 1125 - 2008+
B3R3D XB, 1125 - 2008+ (EBR Race ECM)

It is imperative that the EEPROM file being loaded onto the ECM matches the firmware version.  

*Fast Fact:  Buell ECMs can be re-flashed to the latest firmware version at many Harley Davidson dealerships.  The typical cost is $40 - $50 and it takes less than 30 minutes.  This is highly recommended for owners of 2008+ DDFI3 motorcycles that do not have BUE2D firmware.

STOCK ECM VS RACE ECM

The term "Race ECM" is often misused.  Many people associate this term with performance/aftermarket ECMs marked with "race use only" and the common misperception is that they are a different piece of hardware than stock units, which they are not.  The only difference is the engraving which is due to the fact that a non-emissions compliant tuning is installed.  Therefore, these tunings can be saved and then burned onto a stock ECM making it a carbon copy.

       

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