James Stewart will not even ride a bike without a factory ECU. Remember that statement that we all heard recently? Well that is kind of an absurd statement, but it really got me thinking about this ECU craze. Are they really that good? Just how good is an aftermarket ECU? What does it do? Is it easy to use? Well I set out to find the answers to those questions when I called up Dan Truman from GET to have him send me out one of their GP1/RX1 EVO ECU’s for my 2017 Honda CRF450R.
Installing the ECU itself is a simple process, even for my novice mechanical skill-set. Getting the WiFiCOM box and launch control hooked up and set up takes a little bit of time and patience however. GET provides all the zip ties and mounting brackets you will need, but you will need to drill your front fender to install the launch control device bracket. Once you get all the wires set in a cozy place and the GPA launch control secure to your front fender and ready to ride; total prep time was around 75-90 minutes. We did this all at the track, so I could ride with the GET back to back with the stock ECU.
TEST TIP: It is always good (if possible) to change parts at the track so you have more of a back to back comparison.
Now you're probably asking yourself why does he need more power for that Honda? That sucker has a ton of power stock already. Well, you're right, I don't need more power, in fact I want to smooth the roll on a little, so I can roll my corners better and come out quicker. Dan preset two maps in the GET RX1 ECU with maps that were ready to go for pump and race gas, but you can also change that all yourself along with fuel, ignition, rev limit and run a diagnostics of your bike on your phone with the WiFi compatibility of GET app (that is free in your app store: iTunes & Google Play). After riding with the stock ECU for sometime and switching to the GET, I thought it would be too much bike for me. After riding with the RX1 EVO for a while I could tell two things immediately. It is very responsive to your throttle hand, but the rear wheel feels more connected to the ground. Yes, the CRF450R has more bottom end power with the GET on, but it isn't a light switch. With the LC GPA I was able to dial in how much hit (or in this case less of a hit) I want coming out of corners. The GPA is controlled by your stock map switch button/cluster on your Honda’s handlebars. Just like you would use the button to change your maps on your stock Honda’s ECU, the GET integrates the stock map switch to change the rate of change of your RPM spike. Holding the map switch button for 1-2 seconds lets you change curves and you can see what number you are on by way of an LED light on the GPA unit. On most tracks I went to I kept the GPA number in between 2-5 (there are a total of 10 curves you are able to choose from). On slick dry tracks, that had square edge I went to 5 on the GPA. On tackier, tight tracks with ruts I kept it on 2, as I could handle a little more pulling power out of corners. The GET ignition has a stronger pull, but with more control to the rear wheel with the GPA on. The Honda now also has a newfound broader mid-range along with a top end that pulls farther than stock. I have the ability to leave it in second gear down short straights instead of having to make the choice to shift to third before the next corner. The over-rev was lengthened 300 RPM’s further and although that doesn't sound like much it is noticeable when ringing the CRF450R’s neck out on long straights. I didn't go with an e-start accessory on the Honda so kicking and having the CRF450R fire was a little finicky at times when hot. With the GET ECU the Honda starts much easier when hot and runs very clean with zero popping on de-cel. There is also a launch control mode that I have used in a race that lets you know with blinking lights where your optimal RPM rate is (for a dirt start). I didn't notice a huge change in my starts with it on or off, but it is yet another feature of the GET RX1 EVO system.
The performance gains of the GET RX1 ECU are impressive. For $999.95 it is cheaper than a titanium muffler system, but also a little more time consuming to install. Once you learn how the system works and take full advantage of all the adjustably it offers I think it is a great buy. Is it something you need right away when you get your Honda CRF450R? No, but it could be your second or third option (after a muffler system and possibly a suspension re-valve) to consider when you upgrade your red machine. GET offers two other less expensive, but slightly less adjustable ECU versions with the GET PWR ECU with Wifi that is $589.00 and the $799.95 EVO Basic ECU with map switch. I am going to be riding more with this GET system and will be bringing it to Loretta’s with me in hopes to rip some holeshots, so standby for more updates on this electrical wonder. You can find all of GET’s products at getdata.it.
If you have any questions about this test, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org