Q: WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO REPROGRAM THE 2010 HONDA? A: Honda’s EFI reprogramming tool costs $400. If you have a Serial Interface unit from last year, you can upgrade and retool it to work on the 2010 CRF with three items. 1. 2010 software CD: With this software, you can install the EFI Setting Tool for the 2009 CRF450, 2010 CRF450 and 2010 CRF250, plus the necessary driver. The new software costs $66.95. 2. 2010 sub harness: This is a simple plug-in pigtail for the end of the Serial Interface Unit that will make your 2009 hardware compatible with the 2010 CRF’s all-new plug. It costs $34.95. 3. You’ll need a laptop PC (not a Mac) with Windows SE or higher to run the program and a 12-volt motorcycle battery to power the ECU without the bike running. Q: IS THE 2010 SOFTWARE BETTER THAN THE 2009 SOFTWARE? A: No, the software is identical. There is no differ- ence in functions or user interface at all. The reason for the update, and the reason that the 2009 software won’t work on a 2010 Honda, is that the baseline settings for the bikes and the tools aren’t compatible and won’t work together. This was very poor planning on Honda’s part.
For 2010, Honda made significant changes to the EFI settings on the CRF450 in an effort to create a more effective powerband. They also debuted the fuel-injected CRF250 and updated their EFI Setting Tool to be compatible with the new bikes. These events raised a whole bunch of questions about what exactly has changed and how the updated EFI program works, including compatibility between 2009 and 2010 ignition reprogramming tools. Most EFI neophytes will need answers to some basic questions in order to understand the answers to more technical questions—and first you have to know what questions to ask. So, the MXA wrecking crew put on their detective hats, hounded Honda R&D, tinkered with the mapping tool and figured out some questions (and their answers) about Honda’s EFI and how to reprogram it. Q: CAN YOU USE HONDA’S 2009 EFI TUNING SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE ON THE 2010 CRF? A: No. Neither the software nor hardware is compatible.
TRICKS TO REPROGRAMMING
YOUR 2010 HONDA The beginner’s guide to being a part-time Honda engineer
Connecting to the 2009 CRF450 was a tedious job involving
removing the gas tank. The 2010 takes less than a minute. Luckily, the 2009 EFI Setting Tool can be used with the aformentioned additions. Q: IS THE 2010 HARDWARE BETTER THAN THE 2009 HARDWARE? A: Yes. And what a difference one little connector makes. Changing maps on the 2009 CRF450 required removing the fuel tank and searching for the additional connector plug. When the MXA wrecking crew went to the track to test a bunch of maps last year, it was a full day of work without much riding. Conversely, there is only one connector on the 2010s, and it is conveniently located behind the right radiator for quick computer hookup. We’d still like to see Honda get rid of the external power supply. We’re not enduro guys, and we don’t want to carry bulky batteries around with us. Q: IS THE 2010 CRF450 POWERBAND BETTER THAN THE 2009? A: It’s a push. The 2010 CRF450 is easier to ride, but the 2009 felt more powerful. If you thought the 2009 ran a little better than the 2010, you aren’t alone, but the instantaneous response and low-end power of fuel injection catches many first-time EFI riders off guard. The sudden burst of low-end power was a common complaint on every EFI-equipped 450 (not just Honda), and Honda took that into account for 2010. The EFI settings were the only modification in the power department, so we