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Hi, all. New here, but I've searched a fair bit on this topic, and I'm bringing in my own experience (not a total n00b).

I've seen a lot of discussion around tuning and warranty voiding, etc. Just to be clear, a tuned ECU will void the warranty in certain circumstances (obviously it will not void your warranty brake calipers).

I've seen some discussion on the KDS/dealer not being able to pick up the contents of a flashed ECU. However, if the manufacturer asks for the ECU to be sent in (how common is this?), they are able to identify that it has been flashed. More specifically, even if you have flashed back to stock, there is a flash counter that can be picked up.

Questions:

- has anyone experienced trouble from the dealer or Kawasaki with reverting their ECU back to stock?
- is there a necessity for the ZX10 to have a tune to accommodate just an exhaust (cat/resonator delete), I understand that they run lean - but how lean and in what circumstances? The reason I'm asking is around risk - risk of damage to motor, or risk of voiding warranty?

This may or not be an important topic here. Just so you're aware, I'm coming from the Aprilia world where there are many problems and risks to consider.

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the party!

Reflashing has many benefits for just an exhaust, but you can run a slip-on without reflashing. That includes the ones that delete the catalytic converter also. That won't hurt the motor. The benefit of that is weight reduction though. Unless you're able to modify the fueling, the benefits of an exhaust are lost and can bring down the performance some if left stock. Full systems are a bit different.

The KDS system can detect a reflash if the changes are still in there. That can void the warranty if a claim is made related to the engine and ECU. I don't think a flash counter is stored on these like the car industry has gone to. If the ECU isn't back to stock when they try to verify the claim, then they can deny the claim. Depending on the claim and if the service center has a KDS, Kawi may request the ECU sent back. How many times has that happened? Who knows. The more important question is, how many warranty claims have been made against a Kawasaki motor? :wink:
 

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Just to be clear, a tuned ECU will void the warranty in certain circumstances (obviously it will not void your warranty brake calipers).

the manufacturer has to prove that the modification (the tune in this case) is the actual cause of the problem in order to deny a warranty claim... some dealers will just try to tell you a tuned ecu voids warranty because they just want to avoid issues but thats not actually the case... for instance if your engine had a mechanical failure like a spun bearing, they would have to prove the tune actually caused it in order to legally deny the claim, which is highly unlikely... the problem is that it would be a long drawn out process and back and forth argument etc.
 

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From previous models, the ECU does have a flash counter. Most dealerships cannot access this, but if ECU is sent back to Japan, they could access this. NEVER actually heard of a dealership doing this, unless something sounds really sketchy on the story
 

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the manufacturer has to prove that the modification (the tune in this case) is the actual cause of the problem in order to deny a warranty claim...
I believe what you're citing is something along the lines of the Magnussen-Moss act.

I'm sorry to say, but for ECUs, this is not the case.

The ECU is considered an emission related component. For on-road vehicles in the US (I am sure this law applies everywhere with emission standards), it is against Federal law to tamper with it.

If you try to fight the manufacturer (telling them to prove it), they will counter with the fact that an emissions device has been tampered with. You can't go to court to battle this, if that's the case.
 

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I believe what you're citing is something along the lines of the Magnussen-Moss act.

I'm sorry to say, but for ECUs, this is not the case.

The ECU is considered an emission related component. For on-road vehicles in the US (I am sure this law applies everywhere with emission standards), it is against Federal law to tamper with it.

If you try to fight the manufacturer (telling them to prove it), they will counter with the fact that an emissions device has been tampered with. You can't go to court to battle this, if that's the case.
thanks for the info... i stand corrected.
 

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That law sounds awesome and powerful until its time to use it. People hear about it and repeat it without thinking things through. What really happens is the dealer/manufacture says "NO". At that point, the law probably does protect you but the only way to find out is to hire a lawyer. Its a Civil thing, now. No poilice, or DAoffice is there to pay your way, or protect you.

You'll need a lawyer who specializes in Lemon Laws. If they have a good, winnable case, their fees can be paid by the losing manufacturer. Those fees can be ok on a 50,000 car. Its laughable on your 3000.00 dollar motorcycle repair.

But, lets say you are a rich guy. You have f-you money and want to make a point. and decide to pay your lawyer. At some point, it will be like ZX Zvezda said. Its time to admit you broke a federal law when you modified your "emissions device" I dont know what happens then. I suppose you point out that all your friends did it, too, and their bikes are fine?

If a warranty really matters to you, wait until it expires to modify your bike. If you dont care, the go for it. Our bikes really durable, and forgiving, but a person cant have it both ways.
 

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I just purchased an ECU for my 2019 zx10 from ebay for less than $300. i will send off to get flashed. if i need to take my bike into the dealer i will switch to the stock ECU. ive done this on my previous 2012 zx10 so not to void the warranty.
i actually haven't installed an aftermarket exhaust or air filter, etc. on my 2019, but just acquired the ECU for future installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just purchased an ECU for my 2019 zx10 from ebay for less than $300. i will send off to get flashed. if i need to take my bike into the dealer i will switch to the stock ECU. ive done this on my previous 2012 zx10 so not to void the warranty.
i actually haven't installed an aftermarket exhaust or air filter, etc. on my 2019, but just acquired the ECU for future installation.
Thanks for the tip.

Do you know if you'll have to do any ECU learning requiring a diagnostic tool when you plug in the new ECU? For example, throttle learning, handle learning, etc.? This is common on Italian bikes such as Aprilia (it calibrates the settings).

Or can you just plug it in and you'll be good to go?
 

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Thanks for the tip.

Do you know if you'll have to do any ECU learning requiring a diagnostic tool when you plug in the new ECU? For example, throttle learning, handle learning, etc.? This is common on Italian bikes such as Aprilia (it calibrates the settings).

Or can you just plug it in and you'll be good to go?
No, it's just plug n play, no worries.
 

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so I took some screen shots and tried to redact any personal info as well as log numbers just because The email says it could be an issue to share it in a disclaimer at the bottom. But I'm not trying to make this claim without some context and proof. I figure so long as I don't expose specific details such as the agent spoken to I should be good. If kawi sees this and wants it down let me know it's done. Sum of the images, the warranty has a clause stating that any unmentioned or not specifically listed modifications can be authorized if done so in writing to Kawasaki. That's what I did. I don't care if I was given a blanket statement saying what they did as long as they have me an allowance which the last image can easily be seen does just that. Also, in the good ole' USA a mod would have to be shown to be directly responsible to have caused a failure to be able to void a warranty, I have seen people talk about using the wrong oil or filter, as long as it was designed for a machine such as ours it can't nor won't void the warranty. using car oil I can see causing an issue and this is well documented. Flash the ecu and unless you messed with timing enough to cause catastrophic failure due to knock ping, other such crap etc. or from an overheat due to running far to lean far to long which all falls under failure to properly maintain and upkeep vehicle clauses kawi already has written into the warranty, you will be fine. Write them, ask, if they say no then send them a copy of the warranty and point out where it says it needs to be in writing. It's kinda like a track waiver for off road only parts. Also, so what if you break a fed emmision law, that doesn't hold water in a warranty repair unless it is done by the feds. It isn't so the two are unrelated. Can you possibly face a fine for the legal miss step, sure but kawi isn't the one who can or will cause that. You run that risk just running an aftermarket pipe since none are actually legal to my knowledge. Twobros states this on thier website as well, federally aftermarket exhaust just isn't legit period. It isn't going to void your warranty for a spun bearing or catastrophic engine failure that is unrelated, period
 

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unless you split the case or mess with internals without having it done at an authorized kawi service center, all is well. Even then, don't forget to flash back to stock the ECU for warranty repair, and if doing cams or any internal mods and you are worried about the warranty, have them done at a kawi stealership and use kawi parts to avoid a warranty issue. kit cams included. Crank and such, good luck with that but everything external or anything internal if done with kawi parts at a kawi service location should be legit.
 
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