VFR1200F 2010-2011 ECU Reflash DIY. Free XDF. Interested? Here is how...

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by Alexxx, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Alexxx

    Alexxx New Member

    Dec 18, 2020
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    Hello riders,

    I consumed enough useful information from this forum and would like to give some back.
    So this is a very description of what's goin on and how to reflash your bike basically for free. However you gonna need some parts and some basic electronics skills and maybe a bit more than basic computer skills.

    We need:
    1. Flasher tool - provided, but need some care
    2. Flasher device - need to DIY
    3. Mapping file aka XDF - provided
    4. Your bin file (actual data dump of your ECU, or you can use mine)
    5. Few other tools like TunerPro RT and WinOLS to change maps.

    1. Flasher tool:
    I took old project called HondaEcu originally developed by Ryan Hope (who seems to be founder of MCUInnovations). The project was cloned at the state when it was under free license so we are NOT violating any licenses here. I don't know this guy but all the kudos to him. Also if you find his tool useful go and buy full commercial version, it should be way easier to set up.

    So I cloned his old project to my private space on git hub and tuned it a little so it can work.
    The project is based on Python, so to run it you need to install python programming language. I tested it on version 3.7.
    Here is download link.

    Then you need to download the flasher project.
    Unzip it,

    Install FTDI Drivers (OEM drivers for USB flasher device)

    Then you need to run \drivers\zadig-2.5.exe and install "libusbK" driver for flasher device (see section #2).

    Run \prepare.bat
    This will download all the required libraries, etc. and will start the flasher.
    You need to run prepere.bat only once.

    Next time just use run \start.bat and the flasher should start.


    2. Flasher device:
    The device is based on USB-to serial adapter on FTDI chipset. Here is what you need:

    FT232RL USB

    Breadboard to assemble optocoupler


    Power supply
    (you need at least 2.5Amps as the author says, but I tested on 2 and it worked, however I bought this 5A to be safe)

    Follow the guide as on the diagram: https://github.com/AlexKovalevich/HondaECU to assemble it all together. At the end you may get something like this:

    Now you can connect to your bike and read your bin file from your ecu. It will take around 45 minutes (write speed is about 3 times faster).

    3. XDF
    In order to know what to change in you bin file, you need to know what data is located at what address. This is what XDF file is for. It describes what different values in your bin file do what.
    To use it, you need TunerPro RT program. It can be found here: https://www.tunerpro.net/download/SetupTunerProFree_v500_9237.exe
    Free version allows changing bins, so free is enough.
    You need to load XDF: https://github.com/AlexKovalevich/HondaECU/blob/master/xdfs/VFR1200F_38770-MGE-773/38770-MGE-773.xdf
    and your bin, or mine bin https://github.com/AlexKovalevich/HondaECU/tree/master/bins/VFR1200F_38770-MGE

    I uploaded my stock bin and experimental where I changes fuel maps, removed 1st and 2nd restrictions and changed at what RPM my exhaust flapper should be opened.

    Note that this XDF I did completely by myself in winOLS which is attached as well, so I have full right to release it for free. This XDF may not have some know features for now like:
    -speed limiter
    -radiator fan temp
    I had a few ideas, but they appeared to be wrong. If someone wants to share bin from different ECU, this may help significantly to find speed limiter by comparing different bins. But because I am a software developer and don't have access to other bikes, I can't compare.

    Note, that this whole thing with bins and XDF makes me sad :) there are lot of crook who try to resell the same XDF for like 100euro, and I'm pretty sure they haven't even developed those xdfs by themselves. So being supported of open source software I just share my findings for free and I don't ask anything in return, except if you have any information that may help to improve the XDF or have some knowledge how to improve fuel map - please share.

    4. Once you change something in a bin file, it's checksum must be corrected. Checksum is a simple algorithm when computers sums all the bytes together and at the end sum must be equal to 0. This is used for verification of reads/writes. Normally on ECU forums those checksums plugins cost quite a few. I don't know why, just crooks. So, open ECU flasher, select Help > Validate Bin Checksum, open your updated bin file and you will see at the bottom of the program if checksum is good (=0) or bad (> 0).
    The original version did not show the actual checksum error value, I added it. So if EcuFlasher shows a value like 5, it is likely you need to go to TunerPro, open Checksum section, and increase your value by 5. Then retest in EcuFlasher again. You will figure out how your changes in TunerPro are reflected in EcuFlasher.
    Note that this checksum is only one byte long, it means that it can contain values in range only 0-255.
    So if your current checksum is 250, but EcuFlasher gives a number more then five (lets say 8), it is likely you'd need to add 5 out of that 8 to 255 and then start from the beginning, so it will be 3 or something like this. I'm not quite sure how exactly the math works there, but it is always easy to find out the pattern and find a correct value in a few attempts. The flasher may fix it for you when you write your bin to flash, but I haven't tested it.

    Well, I have covered TunerPro already. It is used for changing you bin and visualizing them. WinOLS is used for finding patterns in bin to create XDFs. Likely you won't need it.

    About my bin: I tried to apply maps from the company that makes ZBombs and from PowerCommander. Based on their data I tried to remove fuel gaps in maps completely, however it is winter now and I can't test it properly (I had only only 20 minutes ride, seems better :) ). Here is how it looks:
    Not sure if I'm doing the right thing :) I open to all the recommendations!

    I'm doing just out of curiosity, no commercial motivation.
    If you live in Ottawa, ON and have VFR1200F 2012 or newer, I'd be interested in reading your ECU to compare with mine, cause AFAIK it has some improvements. Comparing them can help to understand better how Honda tried to tackle the performance issues.

    Good luck with your flashing!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
    VFR1200-Olsen and Diving Pete like this.
  2. Dedukic

    Dedukic New Member

    Oct 2, 2021
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    Hi Allex,

    I have a 2011 manual bike. I'm planning to read the ECU sometime next week and try to remove the gear restriction. If it helps, I can send u my BIN.

    PS did the fuel remap help with throttle response (sometimes my bike just has a delay)
  3. VFR1200-Olsen

    VFR1200-Olsen New Member

    Oct 12, 2021
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    Hi Alex - Greetings from Denmark.
    Good Joob - did you find more maps to update the XDF file ?
    I will read my 2013 DCT model very soon and i can send you.
  4. Alexxx

    Alexxx New Member

    Dec 18, 2020
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    Hi Dedukic, Olsen,
    I'd be happy to see your BINs. I did not work on XDF any more because I have no other bins to compare with each other.
    About my BIN that I made based on ZBombs and PowerCommander mappings - I don't like like. It has strong lag around 3-4K RPM.

    The best results I could achieve is by
    1. copying default factory 3rd gear mapping to the 1,2,6th (Throttle Limiters / RPM to ETV and TBW)
    2. opening exhaust valve (Limiters/ ECGV) at on the and 2nd gear like on the 3rd (I think its 4K rpm instead of 6K).

    I don't have knowledge in how to configure fuel maps and ignition timings, this is why I hope that comparing bins between 2010,11 and 12 years will give me some clues how honda tried to improve the performance.

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