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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, in another topic Digito mentioned he switched from an EU to an USA ECU on his 2001 FI Bird and that he could feel 'those 164 vs 152 hp really exist'. I can't blame him, because that misinformation is found everywhere, and Wikipedia doesn't help in this regard either. So I replied with an explanation, but let me also set the record straight here, for google and forum search purposes. I replied the following:

When Honda started selling the carburated Blackbird (in Europe) they rated it at 164 horsepower or 121 kW.
With the introduction of FI in 1999, they again rated the Blackbird at 164 horsepower and 121 kW but this time they added (DIN) behind the 164 horsepower, so 164 hp (DIN).
Then in 2000, a year BEFORE the introduction of the European wide version with catalytic converter, so the SAME SPEC bike as in 1999, they gave two ratings: 164 hp / 121 kW (DIN) and 152 hp / 112 kW (95/1/EC). This is where the 152 hp originates, not because it is European, not because of a cat, just because it is a different metric, like DIN, BHP, STD, SAE etc.
In 2001 they dropped the 164 (DIN) all together and the press info only mentions 152 hp (95/1/EC). From this year onwards all European bikes have a catalytic converter, but Honda claimed that by tweaking some stuff, the hp and torque remained the same between the non-cat FI ('99-'00) and cat FI bikes ('01-'07).

If I'm not mistaking the USA never introduced a Bird with cat, and they might indeed have a different mapping that gives a different sensation during acceleration, but not one with 12 hp extra! Also a 2001 FI-cat Bird might indeed Dyno different than a 2000 FI Bird, BUT THEY BOTH HAVE A CLAIMED 164 AND 152 HP!!!

When I explained the above on a Dutch forum once, someone replied with some general user experiences. The non-cat FI Birds ('99-'00) are supposed to be the most powerful, followed by the carbies ('96-'98) and finally the digidash and catted Birds '(01-'07).

Wikipidia claims the following for 2002, which I don't see mentioned in the 2002 press kit, but anyway:
New EFI mapping to comply with emission standards[SUP][which?][/SUP] and eliminate abrupt throttle response at low speeds.Manufacturer's power and torque figures reduced to 152 hp (113.3 kW) and 87.8 ft-lb (119 Nm)
This seems wrong on many levels, but what I do know is that when I first rode my 2003 FI Bird, it felt less powerful or less torque rich on acceleration than my 1997 Bird. After some time my conclusion was that this indeed had to do with throttle response, the carbie being more on-off in the first degrees of twist, while the FI was more gradual and thus gave more control, but when you twist it wide open, it goes just as fast as the carbie.

It would be interesting to put well-maintained, completely stock Birds (with new chain and tires) on the same dyno from each iteration, but I am willing to believe non-catted Birds are the strongest stock. But if you put a full exhaust system and PC3 on a catted Bird you also end up with up to 160 rwhp, so I've heard. I also know of someone who maintains many many Blackbirds and has owned many as well, and he once rode a 100 hp French version without even noticing the missing horsepower. So while I don't doubt that the bike felt different to Digito after the EU to USA ECU swap, I remain a bit skeptical :)

By the way, the German (G-type) catted version for 2000 did have a lower hp figure, but that was still 160 hp / 118 kW (DIN) and 150 hp / 110 kW (95/1/EC).

Anyone care to chime in on the horsepower debate? No need to mention the Silver ones are the fastest though, we all know that already. :cool:
 

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I believe that there is also a 100hp version for France & possibly Belgium.

The Crab version had restrictors in the inlets
 

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I'd be up for a comparison test on a dyno, think it could be interesting, would need a broad cross section of bikes- anyone else in uk? - 2006 model, std powertrain etc, but with pre cat silencers
 

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bladebird
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HI mine is a 99 and on a dyno it peaked at 9500 rpm and produced 129.9 bhp to the rear wheel i would only
believe 164 bhp if i see for my self other people have mentioned this before and got nowhere 164 on a dyno
but i willing to stand corrected on it and mine is standard all but venom end cans
 

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I believe that there is also a 100hp version for France & possibly Belgium.

The Crab version had restrictors in the inlets
And in Sweden as well. Mine is 72kW according to the papers. But the inlet resrictors is long gone before I bought it so its now a "normal one" (and with some extra :hotsmile: )
 

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HI mine is a 99 and on a dyno it peaked at 9500 rpm and produced 129.9 bhp to the rear wheel i would only
believe 164 bhp if i see for my self other people have mentioned this before and got nowhere 164 on a dyno
but i willing to stand corrected on it and mine is standard all but venom end cans
AFAIK, the 164 quoted is the theoretical output AT THE CRANK, and this assumes the engine is built to the original design tolerances, which will never happen in a mass production system (u seen the quotes for how quickly they put these engines together).

The bottom line is that you would never see near that figure unless the engine had been blue printed (ie stripped and built to orig design spec)- not cheap and def not at rear wheel after transmission losses
 

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This has came up before. Your speculation about the digital dash Birds being the lowest hp is correct everywhere in the world except the US (excluding California, who are only allowed Euro spec bikes for the 01-up Birds). You will see that a lot or 99-00 owners "upgrade" to an 01-up FPR. It has a slightly higher pressure that allows for better fuel atomization. We all know that allows for a more complete fuel burn, better emissions and more power from a given amount of fuel (because its energy isn't sent out the exhaust as unburned fuel).

01-up UK and Cali bikes have cats and o2 sensors to constantly adjust for cleaner emissions, the 49 state US bikes do not have this. They are like the 99-00 but with higher fuel pressure and a different map to take advantage of the better fuel atomization. Since a finer spray of fuel burns more completely (especially at higher rpm) more fuel has to be dumped into the the engine to prevent a lean condition. These bikes don't have 02 sensors so it is done through the MAP in the ECU.

Now to your 164 BHP question. keep in mind that the carbie was not ram air and the 99-00 was dealing with lower fuel pressure. That 164 hp can only be recreated on the dyno IF are in a wind tunnel to simulate the speed of the bike. The ram air DOES work and you CAN feel the difference between a a carbie and a FI ram air Bird after 100mph.

I have a 98 carbie and an 01, 49 state US bike. The carbie is a little quiker from 0-100 (I'd guess because it weighs less and the CV carbs keep the intake velocity higher during acceleration) but after 100mph the 01 seems like it has more than a 12hp advantage. More like 20hp because as the air pressure in the air box increases so does the amount of fuel dumped into the engine.

My carbie is stock except for an OEM 99-up header with around 15k miles. My 01 is stock except for a PC3 (actually removed fuel instead of putting more in) and has over 100k miles.

Also the carbies do not have a knock sensor so they run lower timing advance to prevent spark knock. The FI Birds will run as much timing advance as the fuel allows without spark knock (more power). The carbies also has a slightly more aggressive exhaust cam (per Honda specs).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes I believe most stock Birds do around 130 horsepower at the wheel on a dyno. My rich as fudge 1997 carbie with dynojet stage 1 kit (and emulsion tube wear) did 136.2 hp @ 9266 rpm, 114 Nm @ 7241 rpm (DIN). The Honda figures I quoted are indeed at the crank.

Where could I find the quotes about how quickly they put the engines together?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@commrad: nowadays bike manufacturers usually quote a power figure with RAM (for pissing contests and marketing purposes) and without RAM. I don't know if Honda was quoting with or without RAM for the FI Birds, they don't specify. But I would guess they considered any RAM gains a bonus.

I believe you when you say they have a different FPR and matching map in the US, but is there any proof for this in Honda documentation?
 

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I believe you when you say they have a different FPR and matching map in the US, but is there any proof for this in Honda documentation?
I don't have the honda engineering notes in front of me lol but the fact that 49 state Birds use a unique ECU is a huge clue considering they are virtually identical to 99-00 Birds (except the gauges). If this wasn't the case they would use the same ECU as the 99-00 Birds. I have a 99 parts bike and tried the ECU on my 01. It ran but you can definitely tell there is a difference in the Map. It was ridable and ran ok, just didn't feel as refined, like having a PC on with the wrong program.
 

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Let's look at some basic facts and put all the b.s. to rest.First off I worked at Honda dealers from '87 to 2011 and followed the Blackbird from introduction to infinity with some integrity.Every time a dyno test has been run I'm usuallly there to read about it.The 164 hp # is just pure hype,lies,crap call it what you will.Every chain driven bike that I have ever seen AND know of both crank and rear wheel hp # there is about a 10% difference every time-152 crank-137 back wheel-close enough,reality would have it at 134-136.WHICH IS WHAT EVERY MAGAZINE TEST EVER CLAIMED ON THE FIRST CARBIES AND F.I.​'s
NOBODY in the world will get 160hp ON ANY BIRD WITH ANY BRAND OF EXHAUST and a pc3.
I have drag raced a stock carby and stock f.i. Birds,can't really say or remember any low end difference but I'm sure there would be a difference just by the nature of cv carbs and f.i. The f.i. can often be lean down low approaching mid range,this is true for any brand not just Honda.
The carb model could never pull the mph of the f.i. it was always about 3 mph down.Granted this was 1 carb model vs 1 f.i. model and the carb model was borrowed off the showroom floor so I never knew the history other than it was just serviced,but I'd say they were in a very similar state of tune.
The XX ram air starts to work at 90 mph (Sport Rider Oct 1999) and steadily increases.It will hit 107 mph in the 1/8 (Partsguy-2002-2004).
 

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Actually AFAIC it's a moot point. The bike is about 19 years old and they started on design late 93, it's a mid nineties bike with a few updates. Whether it's 130hp or 137hp rwhp is not that shocking today. Most if not all 1000cc sport bikes have 160-180 rwhp and are at least 100-150lbs lighter. It's no contest, we can't keep up cause we are to old and portly. Kind of like a lot of the owners.

Here's how a lot of mis-info about hp numbers started.


Today, about 75% of the entire world's hp values are a mess of dynojet "hp" and dynojet dyno clones' rough approximations of dynojet horsepower , some brake dyno mfgr's "dynojet channel" that's "+/- 10% of a dj number" , some dynos that out exaggerate the dj numbers and imply that they know what the transmission hp and crank hp is, and even other dynos with the most expensive brochure that read whatever the user wants them to read, True, Real, SF and DJ..... or make up your own inflation factor (sigh...)


All because some guy thought that a 1985 over bored 1400cc prerelease version V Max made 145 crank hp according to the marketing dept. and he couldn't have his "new" inertia dyno read 90 hp on a stock dealership V-Max. Well, he was correct at 90-95 effective hp, but he made it read 120 to sell more of his dynos. And that's where the chassis dyno hp mess started. Read more about inflated hp numbers


You need a steady state dyno for accurate numbers IMO. Most bikes will show a tad lower number than the Dynojet type, but will be a truer number. Now with that said they are only numbers and you can not compare numbers from one dyno to another. Hell it's even hard to compare numbers on the same dyno days apart. It's only a meter that measures if your doing things better or worse. Even the numbers don't tell the whole story. You now need to run the bike against electronic timing to see if you are faster or slower.

If your in to fine tuning and testing then you need a dyno as one of your tools. Otherwise dyno numbers are useless except for bragging rights. Go with the Dynojets if you want big numbers. Or see one of the motorcycle factories marketing firms......................


Edit added: Take a look at these numbers for a lot of bikes. Even tells what mods are done

True Rear Wheel Horsepower
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Sure, I won't argue that dyno figures are super useful by themselves, or that the factory figures matter in terms of performance, but my initial point was more about the misinformation in general regarding the 164 and 152 hp.
I always like when a magazine tests for example the new S1000RR, R1M, RSV4 etc on the same dyno, to see how they compare. Example. As I said I'd be equally interested in a comparison between Blackbirds, to see the relative performance, not the absolute performance.

I don't have the honda engineering notes in front of me lol but the fact that 49 state Birds use a unique ECU is a huge clue considering they are virtually identical to 99-00 Birds (except the gauges). If this wasn't the case they would use the same ECU as the 99-00 Birds. I have a 99 parts bike and tried the ECU on my 01. It ran but you can definitely tell there is a difference in the Map. It was ridable and ran ok, just didn't feel as refined, like having a PC on with the wrong program.
A unique ECU in terms of parts number? Or unique how?

Of course in itself it is very unlikely that after completely changing the fuel delivery system (from carb to FI) you would end up with exactly the same hp figure, even though it's probably possible in theory by smart Honda engineers... Then again, by the time the FI with cat came out in 2001 the hp race was more than over and lost (Hayabusa, ZX12R), so no need to lie about maintaining 164 hp.

As a side note, on the same dyno as I got my 136 hp, they had the chart of a PGM FI Bird with Power Commander and maybe also exhaust and it had around 150 rwhp but the exact same 'dip' at 5.250 rpm (if you can call 85 Nm a dip...)

The dip on my ex-carbie:


Originally Posted by mcrivit mine runs fine with k&n dyno jet and exhaust..fitting an ignition advancer soon to see if /or what difference it makes


Funny to see he has the exact same dip, even though it's 250 rpm higher up. Maybe has something to do with the geometry of the XX engine/head/cams/carbs/airbox? (but FI Birds have the same dip, so maybe not carbs and airbox)
 

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Sure, I won't argue that dyno figures are super useful by themselves, or that the factory figures matter in terms of performance, but my initial point was more about the misinformation in general regarding the 164 and 152 hp.
I always like when a magazine tests for example the new S1000RR, R1M, RSV4 etc on the same dyno, to see how they compare. Example. As I said I'd be equally interested in a comparison between Blackbirds, to see the relative performance, not the absolute performance.
That's what the point of my post is. Depending on the dyno used by magazines depends on the hp they are going to report. I'm not sure how the factory gets it's figures. With car engines it was at one time a motor on an engine dyno with no accessories like alt, air-con etc.
I know the factory claims crank hp on bikes. Is this with or without a trans?

Now throw in the bikes are setup for the countries they are be delivered to. Jetting/ECU different to meet emissions or average altitude where the country is located. Initially I have info that the bird is 161hp when they came out in 97. (Honda at crank)The 164 I've read is the addition of ram air, an extra 3/4hp on top. The 152 I've read was when the cats got put on. Though the only factory hp rating I've seen is 161 reported for both carb and Fi up to 2001 then 152 after with cats.

I've seen it written about weight, hp and speed in different numbers in different mags. Most go with what ever the factory(marketing) hands out or from other mags that reported those numbers first and never do a check on them. Honda is not the only one with different numbers. I've read about other bikes and their numbers are different also depending on the magazine reporting it. I don't think most of the media really cares to check validity of the numbers. So you'll get all kinds of different ones.

As far as carb vs FI the horsepower should be the same or very close if all else is the same. FI has nothing over carbs as far as horsepower being made. It has other advantages.

So if you take the variance of the DynoJet dyno 15% more than actual it works out. 161hp and deduct 15% enhanced variance it comes to 136hp. Just what most birds dyno at on steady state/good dyno's at the rear wheel. Does the factory use a % factor? Or is it really the parasitic loses from trans, chain, rear wheel drag that make the different numbers from engine dyno to chassis dyno? I prefer engine dynos over chassis for truer numbers. But it's not practical in every day use.

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Today, about 75% of the entire world's hp values are a mess of dynojet "hp" and dynojet dyno clones' rough approximations of dynojet horsepower , some brake dyno mfgr's "dynojet channel" that's "+/- 10% of a dj number" , some dynos that out exaggerate the dj numbers and imply that they know what the transmission hp and crank hp is, and even other dynos with the most expensive brochure that read whatever the user wants them to read, True, Real, SF and DJ..... or make up your own inflation factor (sigh...)
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Some Dynamometer companies add to measured rear wheel power readings a factor that is based on ESTIMATED rear wheel power losses (under what power conditions? 125cc? 1200cc? under coasting conditions? with a 3.00x17 bias ply tire? a 190x17 radial tire? New heavy radial tire vs. worn old, light, stock bias ply tire? Who knows?)

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In short, there is NO meaningful "average" tire to get a correct rear tire power transmission loss measurement for all bikes - so obviously, unless they actually measure the power lost in the rear tire, under driven load conditions, NO dyno company should BE ADDING incorrect power figures into the measured power. It's simply wrong.
The fact that they add varying amounts of power to the actual, "true" amount of power delivered and measured to the surface of the drive roller creates a situation that makes it an onerous task to compare power figures from different brands of dynamometer systems.




That's why I think you are seeing all the different numbers you have mentioned. The only way to find your "As I said I'd be equally interested in a comparison between Blackbirds, to see the relative performance, not the absolute performance." is to get a dozen or so Blackbirds and run them on the exact same dyno on the same day with pretty much the same ambient conditions. Now we could do this around the world at various locations and would need info on each dyno used. This way an average could be drawn up of each group then group to group. I think that would get things close. Otherwise it's a bullshit game of HP numbers to sell vehicles that's been going on for years called marketing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's why I think you are seeing all the different numbers you have mentioned.
The numbers I mention in the beginning are from the Honda press kits = marketing department.

The only way to find your "As I said I'd be equally interested in a comparison between Blackbirds, to see the relative performance, not the absolute performance." is to get a dozen or so Blackbirds and run them on the exact same dyno on the same day with pretty much the same ambient conditions. Now we could do this around the world at various locations and would need info on each dyno used. This way an average could be drawn up of each group then group to group.
Sounds like a challenge for those attending http://www.cbrxx.com/events-rides-ride-reports/27022-international-meeting-belgium-may-2016-a.html

Edit: event cancelled https://www.facebook.com/imxx.net
 

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Actually AFAIC it's a moot point. The bike is about 19 years old and they started on design late 93, it's a mid nineties bike with a few updates. Whether it's 130hp or 137hp rwhp is not that shocking today. Most if not all 1000cc sport bikes have 160-180 rwhp and are at least 100-150lbs lighter. It's no contest, we can't keep up cause we are to old and portly. Kind of like a lot of the owners.

True but it has enough HP to make this Portly owner smile all day long...and the new 1000CC sport bikes are as ugly as sin IMHO.
 

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Commrad has explained it pretty much to a T. I did a lot of digging a while back(also to put to rest the pc3 confusion) and came to exactly the same explanation as he has put forth. If you get the chance, read the sport rider article on ram air. If I remember the bird gained 6% at speeds well below its max. This is the reason the fi birds trap 2-3 mph higher in the quarter mile, its making 10+hp more at speed than the carb birds.
 
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