Hilltop Motorcycle Remap
First up I will admit my bias: I've used them several times already over the years for my BMWs, so I'm already a 'happy customer', whatever that means.
The new ZX10 felt absolutely gutless after my remapped HP4 but it steered and handled beautifully and just seemed to 'fit' me better than the beemer. However I was hesitant to pull the trigger because of the engine (and to some extent the lack of feel through the brakes). Geoff (the tuner at Hilltop) assured me this was down to the Euro4 restrictions rather than any inherent fault of the engine. I know he does the engine work for at least 2 successful race teams using this bike, so I was happy to take his word for it. I bought the bike, ran it in, and then took it down for mapping.
I'd got the Akra end can and so purchased the link pipe to get rid of the cat. However when it on Geoff was not happy with the design. Because the end can was designed to fit the cat and the link pipe was designed to replace the cat in that setup there is a severe 'S' bend in the exhaust, enough Geoff reckons to knock 5-7 bhp off the top end. He showed me another zx10r he had in with a pipewerx link pipe and end can and you could see that the exhaust path was much straighter.
Anyway, it was what it was, so the bike went on the dyno for a base run, was mapped and then run again. I'll post up the chart ASAP but the bottom line is that the bike was transformed. There is now good, usable power in the midrange and the engine has a linear and predictable response, rather than the top end rush that was there before.
I've now bought and fitted the pipewerx can and link pipe so I will get back to Hilltop and get the dyno run done again. I know it's kind of pointless as it will be a different day with different weather conditions and so there can't be a direct comparison, but I'm curious anyway. And also Geoff reckons he has a more aggressive map based on feedback from racers that will give more power everywhere as long as I can commit to only using fuel of 97 RON or more, rather than the standard 95 RON. I think I can do that, although availability is sporadic where I live, so I'd have to go out of my way to fill up with it.
Geoff has a PDF copy of the race kit manual, so I will try and twist his arm to give me a copy, as I see people are asking for it here. Which brings me to an interesting thing about his remaps - they are apparently invisible to normal diagnostic equipment, which is why he does a lot of work for race teams - they want illegal strategies on their bikes and don't want to get caught with them. He can also overcome the limitations of manufacturer's race kit ECUs (i.e. ignition advance options are capped to a few degrees, presumably to stop ham handed people going too far and melting pistons) and apparently there is a good market for this. I can well believe this as there are often race bikes in the shop when I go in, some famous ones out the back away from prying eyes, but he gives me a look as a 'regular' customer, presumably because he's sure I'm not a plant.