First, let me inform y'all that I am in no way/shape/form and expert on anything to do with what Steve does. In addition, I am no mechanic nor do I claim to be! I teach a bunch of bratty 5th graders and ride motorcycles in an effort to find my sanity again after a day with the "kids"!
I met with Steve today at his home. He showed me his shop and we discussed motorcycles. He showed me his flash product and how it was wired. He gave a very thorough explanation of what he did, what he wants to accomplish and how everything works in coordination with his flash.
Steve did not
give me preconceived expectations as, I believe, he wants to make the best product with no manipulating the test subject (in this case, me!). If only my school board and superintendent listened to the teachers like Steve does with his clients!!!
Steve rode my 2018 Versys 650 while I jumped on his 2015 Versys 650. I have 6100 miles on mine, to include an 8-day adventure touring up from Florida to Clarksdale, MS, then east through Tennessee and into the Smokies, riding the Dragon and the Cherahala Parkway among other roads. So, I do have a little saddle time to get to know my Versys. With that, there have been no modifications to my Versys other than cosmetics (grip puppies, luggage, seat) and the only adjustments made have been to raise the shifting peg and the brake peg. Everything else on my bike is stock.
We pulled out of Steve's driveway and went up to the first stop sign. I immediately noticed a difference but I wanted to give that to the fact that maybe it's just the way Steve's bike had a different seat than mine, making a false impression. We rode for a few miles in the back streets of his neighborhood doing between 20 - 45 mph through turns and minor curves. For the first few miles I stayed in the lower gears, never going above 4th gear and over 45 mph. The feeling I got was that the bike ran to the throttle - meaning, I could totally tell a difference. The Versys rode with lower RPM's and felt as though the twist of the throttle controlled the speed. Not so much as it was a deterrence but, rather, the engine did what the throttle told it to, if that makes any sense.
We continued on to a 55 mph road and this was where I noticed a BIG change! Normally, for my Versys, I feel like I have an "in-between", meaning that when I hit 55 - 60 mph in 6th gear I always feel like it doesn't hold it's power while riding at this consistent speed.
***Let me put this into some context
- before my Versys my main motorcycle was my CTX700, manual. I did have short stints with a V-strom and then a NC700, DCT. But I always came back to the CTX. And before those bikes I was mostly shaft-driven VTX's and Intruders. So, the Versys has taken me some time to get used to knowing this bike can handle consistent speeds at higher RPM's. And I think I still have this mentality in the back of my mind, meaning I tend to catch myself shifting the Versys up gears quicker than necessary. When doing so I can feel the bike under-powered at certain speeds in certain gears, which obviously is normal for instance if you're going 35 mph in 6th gear!
Alright, now that's out of the way...we rode up through some faster roads and I was able to go at different speeds and used different gears to get a feel, if any, for how this flash was working. Let me tell y'all...Steve's flash WORKS!!! I could totally feel a difference in the power. Now, let's get one thing straight, if you're looking for this flash to make a 650cc motor perform like a 1000cc motor it ain't gonna happen. But if you're looking to make your 650cc into a bike with more..."grunt", so to speak, then Steve has done something well.
I'll explain further - no matter what gear I was in it ALWAYS felt like I had immediate power within a millimeter of a throttle twist. I compare that to MY Versys that feels like the power comes within a centimeter of a throttle twist. Let me say right now that I love my Versys the way it is as it has allowed me to learn with it and I think we're both a good team together! But with Steve's flash that power just always seems to be there, again, if this makes any sense. So, with my Versys I can feel a fraction of a second lag when throttling. Not enough to where I think it's a flaw because, comapared to any other motorcycle I've owned, the Versys is the tightest throttle response I've had.
Let me put it like this - if you ride your Versys in 6th gear and drop back and forth from, let's say 45 mph to 65 mph. You tend to feel like you have to juice it a bit going from the lower speed to the higher speed. On Steve's bike, it just didn't feel that way. It felt like I always had the response I needed...even if I didn't need it!
In summary, because I've already tried to explain too much with probably making very little sense, I really noticed a difference with Steve's flash compared to my bike. Steve has informed me he still wants to analyze and adjust but I can tell you now, if you're interested in this modification I really think it will be worth the expense AND you will enjoy the change.
Finally, I will say that this is not something I'm necessarily looking for as I am not a speedy kind of rider. Nor do I feel like my Versys is lacking anything. But I can say that after riding Steve's flashed bike today this device is definitely on my mind now!!! Again, I apologize for any lack of articulation. I'm sure Steve, or any other rider that's more knowledgeable with engines and mapping and flashing than I am can explain in more technical terms what I tried to say so have at it! Hopefully some of y'all can visit with Steve so he can show you proof positive. (Plus - he may buy you lunch like he did with me!!! Thanks again, Steve!
Please, feel free to ask me questions and I will try to answer then best I can. You know what you're looking for so by you explaining what you mean, can probably help me give you a more precise response!