Tested: GET RX1-EVO & LC GPA
In late 2016, when GET (the electronic division of Italian performance specialist, Athena) released its LC GPA (Launch Control GET Power Assist) device, this groundbreaking new technology opened up a whole new world of tunability, especially for Honda owners. And thanks to the guys from the Australian distributors for GET, Bikes & Bits Importers, we got the opportunity to fit GET’s new RX1 Evo ECU (with bar-mounted map switch) and the LC GPA unit to Transmoto’s 2016 CRF250R project bike, ridden and raced by Victorian test pilot, Bret Trigg.
After using the technology for several months now, here’s what Triggy reckons about its impact on both the performance and tunability of the CRF250R – a bike he liked so much, he bought!
WHAT IS IT?
GET’s RX1-Evo is a programmable ECU that’s made specifically for off-road fuel-injected four-stroke single-cylinder battery-less dirt bike engines. With faster processing speeds than a standard ECU, GET’s RX1-Evo ECU is designed to boost engine performance and allow the reprogramming of the ECU’s mapping parameters in finer increments, and it includes a bar-mounted dual-map switch.
GET’s LC GPA (Launch Control GET Power Assist) technology is a display unit that gives you access to 10 engine ‘power assist’ settings to suit your riding style and/or changing track conditions. The GPA also converts into a LED tacho display to help you get out of the gates consistently faster.
WHY WE RATE IT
Everyone wants more power out of their bike. But sometimes – such as when the terrain you’re riding offers poor traction – more power doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go faster. In fact, it often means the reverse. Riding dirt bikes fast is all about being able to get that power to the ground as efficiently as possible; about maximising traction so the rear wheel hooks up and drives. And both of these GET products – the ECU and the LC GPA unit – are designed specifically with that in mind.
First up, fitting GET’s RX1-Evo (which replaces the bike’s standard ECU) instantly made my Honda’s engine better suited to varying conditions because it comes with a bar-mounted map switch that let me toggle between two maps – a race map for maximum power and a traction map for more slippery conditions. But it also improved the bike’s power.
I had been riding and racing my 2016 CRF250R using the stock engine mapping and a Yoshimura RS-9 Dual exhaust system. And as soon as SPMX’s Steve Powell installed the RX1-Evo ECU, there was a noticeable boost in the bike’s power, torque and throttle response. With the power spread out over a broader RPM range, the timing of my gear changes became less critical and the engine was happier to be short-shifted. And that made the bike a lot easier to ride fast across a variety of conditions – from softer tracks with lots of traction to hardpack tracks with minimal traction. The exhaust note sounded beefier with the GET ECU fitted, too.
I’ve always been a bit averse to electronic technology, and it did take me a little while to get my head around the LC GPA device. But it needn’t have because this technology is easy to use. To ensure it was out of the way but easy to see, I mounted the LC GPA display on my front guard with a couple of zip-ties, and the CRF’s original map switch is then used to engage/disengage the Launch Control and adjust the LC GPA settings.
I found it really easy to navigate my way through the LC GPA settings to adjusting the amount of power assistance, depending on the track conditions. For a track like Victoria’s Ride Park – which tends to provide quite a bit of grip – I’d normally run the GPA on a setting of 1 or 2; or sometimes, none at all. Then later in the day, when the track was rougher, drier and became hardpack in sections, I’d dial in the GPA setting to somewhere between 3 and 5. On a sandy track, I generally found that I didn’t need much power assist. That said, on rough sand tracks, running the GPA on 2 did seem the keep the rear wheel tracking straighter over rollers and square-edged bumps.
Hardpack track is where LC GPA technology really shines, because it genuinely helps the rear wheel find traction. On most hardpack tracks I’ve been racing on, I’d end up running the GPA on 5 or 6. Especially later in the motos, when I’d start to tire, the traction assist is a huge benefit – mainly because it made up for any poor throttle control and stopped the rear-end from getting too sideways on the really slick patches. For the GPA to kick in, it feels like you have to be using 25% or more throttle; meaning it’s subtle and only affects the power delivery where and when it really needs to.
The GPA’s ability to be used as a LED tacho display is also a great feature because it lets you find the RPM range that works best for your starting technique on various types of terrain. Even though some riders say they can hear or feel the bike’s revs, it’s not easy when there are 39 other revving bikes on a startline. I found that being able to see how much the bike was revving (via the number of LED lights lit up) allowed me to know exactly where I was in the rev range and consistently get better starts. And with the GPA mounted on the front guard, I can simultaneously look at it and watch the gate drop. And as everyone knows, a good start is half the battle in motocross racing.
$1199 (includes RX1-Evo ECU, bar-mounted GPA map switch, WiFi-COM2 and LC GPA). The Honda-specific ECU tuner (the WiFi-COM2 device, used to re-map your Honda’s standard ECU) is available separately for $395.
BBI (Bikes and Bits Importers) – http://www.bbimporters.com.au
TAKING STOCK OF GET’s TECHNOLOGY…
- Two years ago, when GET stepped up its presence in Australia, we investigated the Italian company’s cutting-edge ECUs and associated technology and produced a series of three videos that captured our experience with the GET products. To help launch the product in Oz, we collaborated with GET to also produce a dedicated Transmoto “Dirt Journal” – a digital flipbook to explain the products, our feedback about them, and a list of GET’s Advanced Tuning Centres in Australia.
- In mid-2016, we first showcased GET’s new WiFi-COM2 technology that Honda has now chosen to manage the electronic systems in its motocross bikes (from model-year 2013 onwards). In short, the GET WiFi-COM2 (when combined with the free WiGET App) makes it quick and easy for Honda owners to modify their stock ECU’s mapping using a smartphone or tablet. Prior to this new device, it was only possible to use GET’s technology to modify a GET (ie, aftermarket) ECU.
- We took our 2016-model Honda CRF250R project bike to Steve Powell – owner of Melbourne-based performance specialist, SPMX – to take us through the process of using GET’s WiFi-COM2 to modify the bike’s mapping. As Powell explains in the video, the high-tech WiFi-COM2 device plugs straight into the bike’s fuel pump connector, which then allows you to modify the stock ECU’s fuel and ignition parameters within safe ranges via your smartphone.
- In late 2016, GET released its Honda-specific, super-advanced LC GPA (Launch Control GET Power Assist) device, which opened up a whole new world of traction control tunability for Honda owners, plus the ability to convert your GPA unit into a LED tacho display to help you make consistently fast starts.