Your experience mirrors mine, I felt most of the improvement with the Akra catless headers.I took the flapper out almost immediately after getting the bike and installed a servo buddy so no warning lights on that. I used the unit garage stainless piece to get rid of the flapper unit.
The catless headers are a huge improvement to the bike across the rev range. Also they sound ridiculously good and the bike revs instantly and very openly with them on. Also at low revs they aren't much louder than stock. The bike is absolutely great with just headers alone. Like, totally do not need to tune it for any more performance for street use IMO.
I think the Bren unit for me was more about making sure the engine is not running lean or on the lean spectrum at all. After adding it, I can tell that more fuel is flowing and the engine is producing the same power without sounding like it is working as hard. It's still a mean little piglet, just more alive. No clue on dyno but subjectively I'm very happy with how it is all working together vs. stock.
I have to say my experience has been the same. This really woke the bike up.Hope everyone is doing well and social distancing both at home and on an R9t, I just wanted to share my brief experience with the Bren tune.
I recently bought one of the 2017+ BrenTuning Stage 2 handhelds for my 2019 R9T Scrambler. I began looking into tuning the bike because it felt lean from the factory - kinda buzzy all over especially above 5k, jerky in 1st and 2nd, and doing a little bit of detonation (loud metallic ping from right cylinder head) on quick clutch in revs. That only happened a handful of times over the first few hundred miles but it was not pleasant to hear happen. This could have just been due to a new non run-in motor but it did feel lean to me. I read about booster plugs and other options like rapid bike but I wanted to tune from the ECU without spoofing anything, to keep the bike outwardly stock and easily revertible to stock. This led me to Bren. I read lots of good reviews, saw that Nate Kern seemingly liked their tune, and decided to give it a shot during the recent group buy.
I broke the bike in per the manual, got the run in service completed, and then installed Akrapovic titanium catless headers about a week ago. That REALLY woke the bike up and made a huge difference in drivability - smoothed out 75% of the jerkiness I had been feeling, and the gears also felt wider (slightly more powerful feeling). These bikes should definitely be equipped with headers, its just not the same bike with that cat on it... Anecdotally I do feel like the ECU on the 2019 adjusted the AF ratios over the first few hours or so I was riding catless with no tune.
I then put the Bren tune on the bike today, and you can definitely tell that the boxer is getting additional fuel over what the stock ECU was giving it. It is sneaky how fast it is now, the engine is not working as hard and is making more power. I love it.
Regarding dealing with Bren, I have nothing but two thumbs up. Yes, you need a PC, and you have to download very basic software onto that PC to tune your bike, but it wasn't hard. Make sure to update both the tuning software and the handheld device firmware prior to hooking up to your BMW. Also I had the factory firmware updated at the dealership before attaching the Bren unit just to follow the Bren instructions to the T. You download your stock file to the Dimsport handheld, upload your stock ecu file through the pc program to a server in Italy at Dimsport, and then Bren gets the file from them and tunes it and sends it back to you to load onto your bike. This whole process took about 5 days for me, but I wasn't in a rush and Dimsport was closed due to the corona virus for most of the wait time. Turn around once things were in Bren's hand was quick.
Bren answered all my emails timely and I feel like they know exactly what they are doing with the BMWs as we sit here in 2020.
Now I just need a suspension and I'm done!
One more update ... BT have released a new handheld that covers both pre-2016 bikes and 2017+ bikes.
This isn't apparent from the website.
I've just ordered mine so just waiting for it to arrive - no doubt sunshine will be gone when it gets here!
Did you sort out the problem with Bren?Hi all. I've been fighting with the handheld v2 from BrenTuning since they came out and I'm singing the early adopter blues. I have a late 2018 R nineT and this is my only performance mod. The engine braking was much less (better), winter cold idle was a bit worse, and I could see better fueling in almost every gear. Almost. Fourth gear bogs down badly under heavy acceleration between 3k and 5k.
Has anyone else noticed the engine bogging down under load in fourth with the tune from the Handheld v2?
No. Brentuning (Chris) said they have hundreds of units sold with no issues. That seemed to be a good enough answer for him. I went back to the stock tune and now have a $700 piece of pretty ugly desk art.Did you sort out the problem with Bren?
Did you consider asking for a refund or replacement? Personally I've always found Chris pretty decent to deal with.No. Brentuning (Chris) said they have hundreds of units sold with no issues. That seemed to be a good enough answer for him. I went back to the stock tune and now have a $700 piece of pretty ugly desk art.
I don’t like to cost folk business but I would be very guarded with a recommendation if ever asked.
Exactly. When I shift into 4th and add throttle, the note sounds like a potato was shoved into my pipes (don’t try this at home) and the acceleration is almost zero. The folks at BrenTuning worked a ‘test’ tune for me to try and it seemed better; however, it still feels like it bogs down under hard acceleration.This definitely sucks...so the problem you're having is the bogging down on 4th gear at full throttle?
That is great support. Bricked ECUs are a real issue on these systems. Even the dealer avoids unnecessary flashes because of the issue. They are stable enough if left alone; still, BT's support with yours is perfect.@ [email protected] your having that problem. I’m going to try to replicate that 4th gear scenario as you mentioned. Although trying to think of a time where I would be in a position of needing to go WOT @ 4th gear as I’d normally just downshift for more power or evasive maneuver. Thinking the only time that I’ve seen such a 4th gear scenario @ WOT was during the Dyno run (when the Tech went WOT in the 4th gear, I think).
As for there customer support, they’ve been spot on. I had a version 1 on my 2017 (and had to do the ECU Mail-in option at the time as that was all they offered for 2017+) then recently upgraded to Version 2 Tablet. Thus had to resend in ECU so that they can set back to baseline (protocol for Version 2 Tablet purchase). Somewhere in that process and once returned back to me, the ECU became bricked and was toast upon ECU reinstall (dead bike). The whole time we stayed in constant communications and they work quick to respond and resolve issues. They were very fair to work with.......in fact they recommended I just go purchase another ECU! I was feeling pretty uneasy about the whole process but they completely backed their support and refunded my purchase of a brand new ECU and paid for the install/programming by local dealer, granted I paid initially out of pocket, but sent them the bill and they sent me a complete check to cover all expenses. Surprisingly I was only down for like 12 days (including shipment of ECU from Deutschland to my BMW USA dealer).
Anyhow having said all that, stay in communication with them. Hopefully you can get a Dyno run completed with data and surely they should be able to work a good file for you.
Hopefully it works out for you in the end, however if you end up finding a different tuning company please do share (my only experiences for R9T tuners have been with BT and Hilltop (no comment but stay away from HT, different saga altogether).
Maybe the RapidBike Evo maybe better suited for you (as I was curious at one point on this route) and just still maybe I am......
...but not my experience.That is great support. Bricked ECUs are a real issue on these systems. Even the dealer avoids unnecessary flashes because of the issue. They are stable enough if left alone; still, BT's support with yours is perfect.