Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
The right way to do this, IF you want to do this, is to re-map the ECU. A plain old-fashioned advancer changes the timing by a fixed amount throughout the speed/load range, which isn't really the right solution.
If you read the documentation on the PowerCommander website, a version of the PowerCommander with adjustable ignition mapping is not available because fiddling with the ignition timing doesn't do much on modern bikes that are quite optimized right off the showroom floor. (I tend to suspect another reason it's not available because it would be too easy for people to adjust things that they shouldn't be adjusting, and blow something apart.)
This engine has a very high compression ratio in stock form. There is a big risk of detonation if the ignition timing is advanced too far. If the ignition timing is already at the best-torque point, any change to the ignition timing will result in a LOSS of power. If the ignition timing is detonation-limited, advancing it to best torque will require the use of higher-octane fuel ... and this engine already wants premium. If the ignition timing is retarded for emissions or noise reasons, this is only likely to be in the low-speed part-load range (the EPA test procedure is only under those conditions) and not at the full-load range, so no effect on power.
Methinks for normal street use, don't mess with it except maybe for the TRE. I have messed around on other bikes with ignition timing, and I really only found it useful on a non-stock carbureted bike to cover up a mid-range rich spot. The right solution would be to get the air/fuel ratio right ... with carbs, only SO much can be done; with EFI and your Power Commander, you can get it a lot closer. It's better to fix the problem at the source (wrong air/fuel ratio causing slow combustion) than to cover it up by advancing the timing ...
You could always buy the kit Kawasaki ECU for US$1700 and fiddle to your heart's content, if you insist upon it ... If you want to run high-octane "race fuel", there could be power to be found; with pump gas, I doubt there's much if you want to keep some safety margin against detonation ...
I messed around with bikes in my younger days, and I still mess with my race bike because it matters. For street bikes, I've learned why things are the way they are over the years, and I mostly leave them stock and just ride them ...
Helibars, MRA screen, Ohlins damper, reversed shift pattern, sorted suspension, braided lines, Michelin Pilot Power, all else stock 'coz it's fast enough!