Tech Info

Evaluating the G450X with LeoVince X3 and PowerCommander V

Evaluating the G450X with LeoVince X3 and PowerCommander V

Comparing dyno runs of the stock G450X exhaust canister with the LeoVince X3 slip-on. Then tuning a PowerCommander V to optimize the fueling and compare it to the previous two results.

The G450X is an extraordinary motorcycle.  Having moved on from my first F650GS, to an R1150GS, then a HP2, followed by the F800GS, my bikes have always been on the other side of 200kg.  Compared to my previous bikes, the first ride on the G450X felt like a mountain bike – with a throttle!

The background

The G450X has a power switch/plug, located on the right side. Insert the “Power plug”, and the standard 30kW (40.8hp) “Normal mode” becomes 38kW (51.7hp) “Sport mode” (numbers according to the claimed spec). It should be noted that this is engine power, not wheel power, as measured by the dyno – it is generally accepted that the wheel power is expected to be 10-15% less than the engine power.

Most owners never read the owner’s manual and thus probably don’t realize that in Sport mode the G450X operates in “open loop”, which means it no longer uses the Oxygen (Lambda) sensor to control the Air-Fuel mixture to comply to the Euro-III emission specs. So what? you might ask. Well, your stock exhaust canister contains a 3 way catalytic converter, which will be permanently damaged/degraded when running the engine in Sport mode! This is why you fit a non-cat slip-on (or full system)… Besides not containing a catalytic converter, the slip-on has less flow restriction, and hence allows more air to pass through the heart of your G450X. BMW suggests the Akrapovic system, however as an experiment we decided to give the LeoVince X3 a try – at around 1/3 of the price.

Of course the wonderful thing about the Sport mode is the fact that it runs in open-loop, which makes it the perfect base for a piggyback system, such as a Power Commander, with which you can fine tune the fuel-trim, without the closed-loop lambda system interfering with your modified fuel maps…

The Process

We purchased a LeoVince X3 as well as a Power Commander V for the G450X. We fitted the Power Commander V with little effort, and the plan was to do a run with the stock exhaust canister, followed by replacing the stock canister with the LeoVince X3 and comparing it to the stock canister. Both of these would be done with a “zero map”, which means the Power Commander has a zero net effect on the stock fueling. There after our expert tuner would optimize the Power Commander fueling map and once again compare the results to the previous two.

The results

The results were dramatic, and I believe the screen captures speak a thousand words! The first graph shows the Power (hp) across the rev range for the three test scenarios. The blue run is with the original canister and stock fueling, the red run is the LeoVince X3 slip-on with stock fueling and the green run is the X3 with modified fueling map.

It is quite obvious that addition of the LeoVince X3 has quite a dramatic influence on the power output. However even more dramatic is the power gain once the fueling is fine tuned!

Below are the torque graphs for the respective scenarios.

You will be pardoned for thinking that we had to ad fuel during the fine tuning of the Power Commander mapping, to get the gains from the red to the green graphs… Quite to my surprise, this was not the case. Below are the air-fuel ratio graphs (remember red is the X3 with stock fueling and the green is the X3 with modified fueling). Naturally we could not measure the Air-Fuel ratio of the Stock canister, as it contains the 3 way catalytic converter – One never measures the A/F ration after the cat as the would not be a true representation of the A/F ratio.

You will notice that the X3 with stock fueling runs considerably richer (a lower value signifies a richer air-fuel ratio).  According to our expert tuner this is not uncommon! And to give you an idea of just how much the stock unit was over fueling, I’ve included a screenshot of a portion of the fueling map that shows the rev range 3750 to 7500 rpm. The columns are %TPS (Throttle Position Sensor).

For those of you that don’t know the details of a Power Commander V, the values in the cells are % of stock, thus a value of -12 signifies a value of 12% less than stock. You can see that the modified map, (resulting in an average air-fuel ratio of around 13.2) is leaner by 10 to 20% compared to the stock fueling… imagine what that means in terms fuel consumption and additional distance in your next race!


The first thing we were asked was whether the G450X could switch between Normal mode and Sport mode in real time? Contrary to what a lot of people say, the answer is a definitive NO! We initially proved this on the dyno, doing a run, then switching power plug modes and doing another run and comparing the results. We did this both ways and in each case proved that the ECU reads the state of the Power Switch at Ignition ON, and stays in that mode, independent of the change in position of the switch, until the next Ignition ON cycle.

Later we also confirmed this with GS-911 (Diagnostic Tool for BMW motorcycles). From the KMS-K16 ECU we can read the Power mode of the ECU (Normal or Sport) and it clearly only changes after the next Ignition ON cycle. Interestingly enough the ECU also has a Power Mode Memory feature, which is a flag that is set in the ECU once the ECU is switched into Sport mode the first time (i.e. the ECU keeps track of whether its ever been in Sport mode or not).

Ultimately we concluded the following:

  • the KMS-K16 ECU reads the position of the Power Switch/Plug only at Ignition ON
  • the slip-on alone has a significant increase in power
  • the Power Commander V is small, light-weight and easy to fit, and the additional power gain more than justifies the purchase, fitment and tuning of the Power Commander
  • the stock ECU severely over-fuels and fine tuning the fueling map will have a significant effect on your fuel consumption, extending your range significantly

The only modification we had on our bike was the LeoVince X3 slip-on. The air filter was stock (we ran a couple of runs without the air filter with no significant change in the power and torque curves, negating the necessity to change or modify the air filter).

You can download the Power Commander V map file (.pvm):

HEX_G450X_LeoVinceX3_StockAirFilter (right-click, save as…)

NOTE: in standard mode the bike already runs very lean with its stock map… hence you should NOT run the PowerCommander map with the bike in Standard mode – make sure it is in SPORT mode!


More information on the G450X is available on our G450X Tech Info page, including full Wiring Diagram.