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R18 - Aftermarket ECU options

ADRO3

New member
As most of you probably already know R18 has a severely restricted lump of an engine possibly hiding potential of 10-20% more power just by derestricting it and letting it breathe.

If we would compare it to the closest Harley 107 or 114 M8 engine, with proper de-cat exhaust, more free breathing intake and derestricted intake tubes + getting it properly tuned we could see 100-120 HP from stock 91.

Right now there is yet to be released tuner or aftermarket ECU for Bmw R18 and that is the main problem. All of the new bikes stock from factory run very lean and further introducing free flowing exhaust and more air makes it very lean and potentially only hindering performance and longetivity compared to stock.

With R18B and Transcontinental I think there is a potentially big market for these aftermarket ECU solutions but none are currently available, year and a half after initial release of the motorcycle.

I have contacted all of the tuners offering ECU / remapping solutions and here are the results:

DIMSPORT/Rapid Bike - No intention at the moment to develop ECU for Bmw R18
PowerCommander - No response
Brentuning - They have started the development but they need someone lending them a bike to finish ECU development. They are from Michigan so if someone is local please get in touch with them so we can finally let this motorcycle breathe.

If you have any other pieces of information about aftermarket ECU for R18 please share.

p.s. I got also mixed information from local BMW mechanics telling me that modern ECU fitted to BMW R18 has the autotune capability via lambdas to overcome any additionally introduced leanness and compensate it automatically so we are free to "tune it".

p.p.s. There is a ton of custom R18 out there with full custom free exhaust and intake modifications, not sure if they just run stock ECU or is there some "secret" solution to adjust air and fuel levels.
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
As most of you probably already know R18 has a severely restricted lump of an engine possibly hiding potential of 10-20% more power just by derestricting it and letting it breathe.

If we would compare it to the closest Harley 107 or 114 M8 engine, with proper de-cat exhaust, more free breathing intake and derestricted intake tubes + getting it properly tuned we could see 100-120 HP from stock 91.

Right now there is yet to be released tuner or aftermarket ECU for Bmw R18 and that is the main problem. All of the new bikes stock from factory run very lean and further introducing free flowing exhaust and more air makes it very lean and potentially only hindering performance and longetivity compared to stock.

With R18B and Transcontinental I think there is a potentially big market for these aftermarket ECU solutions but none are currently available, year and a half after initial release of the motorcycle.

I have contacted all of the tuners offering ECU / remapping solutions and here are the results:

DIMSPORT/Rapid Bike - No intention at the moment to develop ECU for Bmw R18
PowerCommander - No response
Brentuning - They have started the development but they need someone lending them a bike to finish ECU development. They are from Michigan so if someone is local please get in touch with them so we can finally let this motorcycle breathe.

If you have any other pieces of information about aftermarket ECU for R18 please share.

p.s. I got also mixed information from local BMW mechanics telling me that modern ECU fitted to BMW R18 has the autotune capability via lambdas to overcome any additionally introduced leanness and compensate it automatically so we are free to "tune it".

p.p.s. There is a ton of custom R18 out there with full custom free exhaust and intake modifications, not sure if they just run stock ECU or is there some "secret" solution to adjust air and fuel levels.
I haven't done anything to the intake or cats or flaps but I did install Hattech mufflers that I special-ordered for off-road use only (great company and product by the way). Not ugly loud; the 02 sensors did their thing, and according to my seat-of-the-pants dyno the low end performance was improved and the high end unchanged, all as expected. My bike exhibits no "too lean" symptoms/conditions. Once a tuner is available I will open the intake, remove the cats and the butterfly flaps, get a good mix going and run it like God intended. I admit I have a love-hate relationship with BMW...I love this motorcycle and I hate the way BMW has treated the buyers (and PLEASE no more "pandemic/COVID/supply chain crap...BMW chose to compete in the American cruiser market and the other brands I deal with, including Harley - love it or hate it - have fully continued parts and accessory availability along with a full compliment of shop/service info & equipment. The ONLY brand I have had issues with over the past year is BMW).

BMW's new advertising for the R18 should be "Expensive unsupported motorcycle, fantastic motor, decent performance, poor factory support, no accessories, and crappy dealer service. The perfect motorcycle for determined hot-rodders and do-it-yourselfers."
 
I completely agree and I’m anxiously awaiting a commercial option or even feedback (with data) from a brave soul who throws caution to the wind and cuts out the cat (which would be a very simple but irreversible mod).
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
I completely agree and I’m anxiously awaiting a commercial option or even feedback (with data) from a brave soul who throws caution to the wind and cuts out the cat (which would be a very simple but irreversible mod).
Just do it Ninjabones!! Just do it! LOL
 

Caveman

New member
If I could absolutely confirm the stock ECU would retune itself I'd seriously consider cutting out all the excess junk in the stock pipes. I want the performance and sound but I'm not willing to pay $2500-3000 for an aftermarket exhaust. Besides, I really like the look of the stock duallies on my Classic. I think they perfectly fit the style of the bike. I just wish they allowed the bike to breathe a little better and were a bit louder.
 

MilwDave

New member
If I could absolutely confirm the stock ECU would retune itself I'd seriously consider cutting out all the excess junk in the stock pipes. I want the performance and sound but I'm not willing to pay $2500-3000 for an aftermarket exhaust. Besides, I really like the look of the stock duallies on my Classic. I think they perfectly fit the style of the bike. I just wish they allowed the bike to breathe a little better and were a bit louder.
Agreed, I bought the bike because of the retro styling and I love the mufflers. I wouldn’t even consider replacing them. But I am anxiously awaiting some skilled craftsman who will find a way to make them flow more freely.
 
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Black Dog

Well-known member
Agreed, I bought the bike because of the retro styling and I love the mufflers. I wouldn’t even consider replacing them. But I am anxiously awaiting some skilled craftsman who will find a way to make the flow more freely.
It is a very simple matter to accomplish, Evil Energy and about $150 and "Viola", mission accomplished.
 

Ddefoort2022

New member
I haven't done anything to the intake or cats or flaps but I did install Hattech mufflers that I special-ordered for off-road use only (great company and product by the way). Not ugly loud; the 02 sensors did their thing, and according to my seat-of-the-pants dyno the low end performance was improved and the high end unchanged, all as expected. My bike exhibits no "too lean" symptoms/conditions. Once a tuner is available I will open the intake, remove the cats and the butterfly flaps, get a good mix going and run it like God intended. I admit I have a love-hate relationship with BMW...I love this motorcycle and I hate the way BMW has treated the buyers (and PLEASE no more "pandemic/COVID/supply chain crap...BMW chose to compete in the American cruiser market and the other brands I deal with, including Harley - love it or hate it - have fully continued parts and accessory availability along with a full compliment of shop/service info & equipment. The ONLY brand I have had issues with over the past year is BMW).

BMW's new advertising for the R18 should be "Expensive unsupported motorcycle, fantastic motor, decent performance, poor factory support, no accessories, and crappy dealer service. The perfect motorcycle for determined hot-rodders and do-it-yourselfer
 

R18C

Member
NOTICE*
I am not advocating any of the following sites.This thread started with R18-aftermarket tuning options.

OPTIONS:


Caution*
I won't be doing anything till someone comes out with a plug n play.I am not cutting any any factory wires.
 

Squeeps

Member
I haven't done anything to the intake or cats or flaps but I did install Hattech mufflers that I special-ordered for off-road use only (great company and product by the way). Not ugly loud; the 02 sensors did their thing, and according to my seat-of-the-pants dyno the low end performance was improved and the high end unchanged, all as expected. My bike exhibits no "too lean" symptoms/conditions. Once a tuner is available I will open the intake, remove the cats and the butterfly flaps, get a good mix going and run it like God intended. I admit I have a love-hate relationship with BMW...I love this motorcycle and I hate the way BMW has treated the buyers (and PLEASE no more "pandemic/COVID/supply chain crap...BMW chose to compete in the American cruiser market and the other brands I deal with, including Harley - love it or hate it - have fully continued parts and accessory availability along with a full compliment of shop/service info & equipment. The ONLY brand I have had issues with over the past year is BMW).

BMW's new advertising for the R18 should be "Expensive unsupported motorcycle, fantastic motor, decent performance, poor factory support, no accessories, and crappy dealer service. The perfect motorcycle for determined hot-rodders and do-it-yourselfers."
I just want a service manual man 🙄
 
Please elaborate
There are a plethora of YouTube videos with instructions on how to cut a catalytic converter out. Here’s one:

Steps
—————-
1. Cut a “window” over the cat with a grinder
2. Pry out the substrate
3. Weld (or pay a welder) the “window” back on.
4. Report back to the group whether the engine grenades or not;)
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
I just want a service manual man 🙄
That “want” has been my biggest gripe since I bought my R18!! BMW’s failure to release it after all this time is inexcusable. They have pissed of the core group of riders they were trying to attract!!
 

MilwDave

New member
There are a plethora of YouTube videos with instructions on how to cut a catalytic converter out. Here’s one:

Steps
—————-
1. Cut a “window” over the cat with a grinder
2. Pry out the substrate
3. Weld (or pay a welder) the “window” back on.
4. Report back to the group whether the engine grenades or not;)
I’m not interested in decatting but rather opening up the factory fishtails.
 
I’m not interested in decatting but rather opening up the factory fishtails.
I’m curious about your rationale for that. What advantage do you perceive with that route, except perhaps environmental impact and maybe/possibly less impact on warranty (both valid I suppose). Unfortunately, that option would be infinitely more complicated and expensive.
 
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Black Dog

Well-known member
Looking for a little more rumble while maintaining the warranty.
Are you looking to actually do it yourself or just searching for "store bought Doodads"?
For the store bought Doodads, just take a number, ask no questions, have a seat, someone will be along to talk to you maybe someday.
 

MilwDave

New member
Are you looking to actually do it yourself or just searching for "store bought Doodads"?
For the store bought Doodads, just take a number, ask no questions, have a seat, someone will be along to talk to you maybe someday.
I doubt there will be a store-bought modification for the OEM mufflers and they aren't going anywhere on my bike.
 
As most of you probably already know R18 has a severely restricted lump of an engine possibly hiding potential of 10-20% more power just by derestricting it and letting it breathe.

If we would compare it to the closest Harley 107 or 114 M8 engine, with proper de-cat exhaust, more free breathing intake and derestricted intake tubes + getting it properly tuned we could see 100-120 HP from stock 91.

Right now there is yet to be released tuner or aftermarket ECU for Bmw R18 and that is the main problem. All of the new bikes stock from factory run very lean and further introducing free flowing exhaust and more air makes it very lean and potentially only hindering performance and longetivity compared to stock.

With R18B and Transcontinental I think there is a potentially big market for these aftermarket ECU solutions but none are currently available, year and a half after initial release of the motorcycle.

I have contacted all of the tuners offering ECU / remapping solutions and here are the results:

DIMSPORT/Rapid Bike - No intention at the moment to develop ECU for Bmw R18
PowerCommander - No response
Brentuning - They have started the development but they need someone lending them a bike to finish ECU development. They are from Michigan so if someone is local please get in touch with them so we can finally let this motorcycle breathe.

If you have any other pieces of information about aftermarket ECU for R18 please share.

p.s. I got also mixed information from local BMW mechanics telling me that modern ECU fitted to BMW R18 has the autotune capability via lambdas to overcome any additionally introduced leanness and compensate it automatically so we are free to "tune it".

p.p.s. There is a ton of custom R18 out there with full custom free exhaust and intake modifications, not sure if they just run stock ECU or is there some "secret" solution to adjust air and fuel levels.
I contacted Brentuning, possibly to be the loaner bike, but they are in Massachusetts, not Michigan. Not quite as convenient for me.
 
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