What Does A Power Commander Do? Know It Here


If you own a motorbike, no doubt you've asked yourself the "what does a Power Commander do?" question. This query is one of the most commonly asked among bikers and riders alike. By reading this article, therefore, you can be sure that you are in excellent company.



At its most basic, a Power Commander is a device designed to modify the fuel map in a motorcycle. It mostly works on fuel injected motorbikes, which have stock computers with fuel maps set specifically to provide maximum power to your bike. In these bikes, the map keeps within the appropriate legal limits for noise and emissions.

The fuel map tends to vary from one bike to the next in terms of the size of the air box and flow, the exhaust restriction and type, the engine rpm, valve timing, injector body size, and several other factors.

The simplest answer to the "what does a Power Commander do?" question, therefore, is that it connects the fuel injectors and the stock computer. By so doing, it will give you the ability to make adjustments to the amount of fuel pumped to the engine.

This means that you can use the Power Commander to change the fuel-to-air ratio, thereby affecting how powerful your bike rides. As such, the PC (as it is commonly referred to as) is a handy tool that will show you the best increase in power especially when you use it together with exhaust and air box modifications.

NOTE: When you buy a Power Commander, it will come with recommendations regarding changes in mapping. Always stick to these recommendations. Some riders have been known to modify the fuel map to a level where the bike loses power. Others end up running too lean – which might burn up your bike's engine.

What A Power Commander Does

To better understand the comprehensive answer to the "what does a Power Commander do?" question, consider the information we've presented below:

Defining The Power Commander

Via Amazon.com

As mentioned above, a Power Commander is a unit used for adjusting fuel inject. To this end, it will plug in line with your motorcycle's electronic control unit (ECU). The best of these PCs use the original equipment style connectors meaning that you don't need to cut or splice the harness to link it to your bike. In fact, most installation projects take less than quarter of an hour (with some people taking as little as 10 minutes).

With a Power Commander, you will alter the fueling of your bike. In some instances, the PC might even prove useful for changing the ignition curves through the microprocessor added to the device.

Since most PCs are technological, you can use them to enjoy significant levels of adjustment without altering your motorcycle's ECU. Further, when you remove the Power Commander, the bike will resume its original stock condition.

It is also important to note that the best Power Commanders come complete with cable links and software programs. Use these to make changes from one fuel map to another, or between map files.

Power Changes With A PC

Video below show the performance of installing a Power Commander:

Apart from the "what does a Power Commander do?" question, most riders also enquire after the amount of power they can expect from a PC. Well, this will depend on many things.

However, you should keep in mind that the perfect fuel-to-air ratio should ensure that your bike's engine can produce the maximum possible power for the particular combination you've input.

Additionally, you need to understand that most street riders tend to spend the larger segment of their time riding on part-throttle conditions. This means that they will feel a significant improvement when they are on their bike.

That said, the right air-to-fuel ratio (say 13:2 to 1, or 12.9 to 1) will depend on such factors as the design of the combustion chamber engine, among many others.

Achieving 100 Percent Optimization

Check out this video for learning more about the procedure of installing a PC:

Before you try to optimize your bike 100%, you should first ask yourself whether it is necessary. After installing, your Power Commander will notice that your bike's performance will have improved significantly. Additionally, the PC would have stopped such annoying issues as pinging, surging, and overheating.

In such a state, your bike would be optimized by around 90%. To get to 100% or to establish a customized fuel map for particular applications, you should look for a dealer with the right training and equipment.

Although some dealers take advantage of the widespread ignorance among people who haven't asked the "what does a Power Commander do?" question, you might be lucky to find one who prefers fair pay for honest work. Once you do, they will make the right changes without damaging your bike, your street credibility, or your bank balance.

Tuning With A Power Commander

Use the advice below the next time you need to tune with a PC:

1. Alternate Maps

All PCs come with several alternate maps embedded on a CD-ROM, or available for download from the manufacturer's website. There are maps for Brand A and Brand B slip-on exhausts.

Even though these two maps are significantly different, it is this difference that will increase optimization for the combination you pick. However, if your bike's exhaust is Brand C, then you might use either Brand B or Brand A for tuning.

2. Base Map

Your Power Commander will also come with a given base map embedded in its microprocessor. This map would have been developed for improving most combinations that match its description.

Typically, any stock bike would have fuel curve segments that haven't been optimized for performance and drivability. Only by installing your Power Commander will you achieve higher optimization.


So, there you have it – all the answers to the "what does a Power Commander do?" question. Hopefully, this guide has served you well and given you a better idea about your PC, its usefulness, and how to tweak it for improved bike performance.

If you liked this article, or you have any questions about any content here (or any that we might have missed), please do post the question in the comments section below. We will provide further answers as soon as we see it.

Like and share this guide to help other riders out there grappling with the "what does a Power Commander do?" question.

    Peter Hanson

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of riding a motorcycle. The freedom on the ride is the greatest thing I have ever had in my life. As they said, I'd rather be a biker for a minute than a spectator for a lifetime. If you are also a biker, then we are friends. Let's talk about our motorcycles and rides.

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