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VFC III vs. Power Commander V - Which Fueller ???


Victory Fuel Controller Generation 3 (VFC-III) ($259.00) vs. Power Commander V

Have you ever wondered just how good the Lloydz VFC III is? How about the Power Commander V? Will either work well with the Victory engine? If so, which develops more horsepower? Which brings a smoother ride. Does the VFC III outgun the mighty Power Commander V on torque? Why does one cost about 40% less than the other? With the advent of closed looped fuel injected engines becoming de rigueur in so many street motorcycles, I thought a user-based comparison between the highly rated Lloydz VFC III (VFC III) and the well-respected Power Commander V (PCV) was in order.

To start, I have no affiliation to either Lloydz or Power Commander. I am, like you, a consumer who is looking for answers regarding the performance of my motorcycle. I have ridden a plethora of motorcycles for over 40+ years, riding Harley Davidsons (HD) exclusively for about last 35 years. Recently I switched brands and joined the Victory clan. I was looking for something that was similar (in some ways) to the cruising/touring HD experience but more up to date and more exclusive. But I do not wish to slide into that conversation today.

I ordered my 09 Victory Vision Ness Signature Edition and before delivery I asked to have among other things some performance equipment installed: Lloydz Cams, Victory Stage 1 Level 1 mufflers, Lloydz Intake Plate, Ness Air Filter, and a Llyodz VFC III. The installation was transparent for me since I had not even seen the bike in its stock form before delivery. I rode the bike with those “improvements” for about 15,000 Kilometers.

I knew that the motor was not performing as well as I expected and decided to remedy the situation. I swapped the mufflers for Ness Big Honkers. No real seat of the pants measurable improvement, but it sure sounded a lot better. Still not satisfied I began to research performance for the big Victory Vision. I spoke with Arlen Ness, his performance service folks, Lloyd Greer at Lloydz, Jarz Performance Ltd., local Pacific Northwest Victory dealers and researched the ubiquitous World Wide Web.

After a lot of reading, email, telephone calls and general discussion it became apparent that a new ECM from Lloydz ($250.00) was required to squeeze more power out of my beast. The ECM upgrade helped. It seemed to alter the timing to provide a much smoother tip in on the throttle along with a bit more power. Over all response improved remarkably well for such a simple addition.

I still felt that there should be more power, especially in the mid range. I had been informed that with all the alterations the motor should be pushing 120 HP and it still didn’t feel like 120 HP. I had modified many a HD motor and I knew what 120 HP should feel like. Although there was nothing terribly wrong with the way my motor ran, I knew it fell short of expectations. I added a Lloydz Idle Air Control Valve (IAC) for $72.00 in an effort to stop the ever-present exhaust popping and backfiring on deceleration. The valve worked as promised and reduced the irritating noise significantly.

Feeling a bit frustrated, I decided to have the bike dyno-tuned at a well-regarded local performance shop. My baseline run produced 112 HP and 111 ft/lbs of torque. Not a bad run. We tuned the VFC III as best we could with the help of an expert tuner, the dyno and computers. With the limited controls of the VFC III we managed to squeeze a bit more out of the beast with a final run of 116 HP and 115 ft/lbs of torque. Finally I was approaching the elusive promised 120 HP. I took the bike home a rode it for a few days. I was pretty pleased with the power, except, even with all the tuning (read $$$) the motor was not running smoothly. It had an irritating surge at 1800 RPM, ran overly rich in the low RPM which reduced the popping exhaust but made for a notchy ride and the top end was running lean (and hot).

I was becoming frustrated. I had owned performance HDs for years and put up with their idiosyncrasies but always found a solution and ended up satisfied eventually. I reasoned that the big Victory could be tamed as well.

I have used Power Commanders for years on my HDs and decided to give it a shot. I installed a PCV ($369) and gave it to my tuner to dyno-tune the beast. The resulting numbers were not hugely different from the tuned VFC III. The PCV produced 119+ HP and 116+ ft/lbs. However, several things improved remarkably.

Firstly, the mid range torque between 2500 and 3500 RPM improved with over 8 ft/lbs. Secondly the pesky surge at 1800 RPM virtually disappeared (I’ll tune that out completely when the monsoons abate). Thirdly the air/fuel chart smoothed out to almost a straight line. Fourthly, the bike finally ran absolutely smoothly and finally, the motor responded immediately to even subtle throttle input.

OK, I know that 3 HP and 1 ft/lb of torque at wide-open throttle (WOP) is not earth shattering. However, an addition of 8 ft/lbs of torque in the very critical midrange is very noticeable, particularly in 4th, 5th and 6th gears. The seat of the pants increase is significant. The diminished deceleration surge is a great by product of the PCV and the smooth air/fuel supply provides an astonishingly more pleasant riding experience. The bike now responds to the throttle instantly at any RPM, sure it prefers midrange and up due to the cams, but it is such a pleasure to ride now, it feels like a new bike. The difference between the initial VFC III at 112 HP and 111 ft/lbs of torque and the PCV tuned 119 and 116 ft/lbs of torque added on top of a more responsive throttle and smooth acceleration curve makes for a totally satisfying difference. I now know that I have squeezed virtually the last drop of power and drivability out of my motor.

In no way do I frown on the VFC III. I believe it is a good fuel controller, primarily because the adjustments on it treat the electronic fuel delivery like a carburetor with minimal adjustments that limit its tunability. Having said that, many riders with minor motor modifications will be well served with the VFC III. It allows for virtual road-side tuning and does not require a dyno tune, albeit, improvements can be had with such a tune.

The PCV is the latest Power Commander and it is specifically calibrated and hard wired to meet the needs of a Victory Vision installation (as is the VFC III). The PCV has been reduced in size by almost one half of its predecessor and it fits under the saddle easily. The wiring harness hooks directly to the fuel injectors (as does the VFC III). When installing either, don’t forget to disconnect the O2 Sensors or neither will run as designed. Based upon my modifications and experience, the PCV provided so much more real performance, smoothness, throttle response and drivability than the VFC III that I heartily recommend it to those who have an extra few bucks for the unit and the dyno tune, you will not be disappointed.
Last update on November 17 2010, 3:15 am by vickness.
Shiny Side Up!









Vicky by ness178









2009 Ness Vision & 2011 Ness XC









Lloydz Camz, Air Intake Plate, Power Commander V, IAC, ECM, HID, Heated Danny Gray Saddle & Grips, Ness (Dublin) modifications including; Air Filters, Honkers, Chassis Lowering, Body Work, Paint, Twin Stebels, & Hawg Wired/Sirius Audio.


119+ HP & 116+ ft/lbs.
great info. thanks for the hard work.
Excellent write up. Thanks for the detailed explanation, with your experience on both units.
Good write up.

I started with a VFC II on my Kingpin. What I liked about it was ease of tuning... what I didn't like was the compromises that had to be made, it was never 'perfect'. It ran good and made good power, it just wasn't 'seamless'.

The bike went to Lloydz and they put a PC III on it and dyno tuned it. Yes, seamless. Much closer to 'perfect'. Drivability was much better and fuel mileage was averaging 45-46 mpg.

You have more control over the fuel curves and the ability to tune each cylinder individually, plus you can go leaner or richer. With a VFC you can only go richer. The only downside is that you pretty much HAVE TO get the bike tuned on a dyno as the PC is far too complicated for seat-of-the-pants tuning.
2006 Victory Kingpin
110 Cubic Inches -- S&S stroker crank/Lloydz big bore, ductile iron liners, 11:1 Wiseco pistons, massaged heads,
VM1-HP cams, S&S springs/retainers, RPW Thor pipe, Torque Tubes, PC-III, Rivera Pro clutch spring,
31 tooth pulley w/Buell belt. Dyno: http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w225/half_crazy...
Thx for your input. Glad your VFCII is working so well for your KP. The newer VFCIII does allow somewhat more flexibility by permitting adjustment to both more or less fuel to the equation I am informed. However, the PCV still allows for adjustment in 250 RPM increments which makes for an absolutely flat air/fuel curve line, which, in the end, is what ride/drive-ability is really all about.

Looks like you have one wild ride there. I imagine you surprise more than a few riders and drivers once in awhile????

Cheers
Shiny Side Up!









Vicky by ness178









2009 Ness Vision & 2011 Ness XC









Lloydz Camz, Air Intake Plate, Power Commander V, IAC, ECM, HID, Heated Danny Gray Saddle & Grips, Ness (Dublin) modifications including; Air Filters, Honkers, Chassis Lowering, Body Work, Paint, Twin Stebels, & Hawg Wired/Sirius Audio.


119+ HP & 116+ ft/lbs.
Quote:
Originally posted by: vickness

Thx for your input. Glad your VFCII is working so well for your KP.


I think you mis-read my post. I have a PC-III now.



Quote:
Originally posted by: vickness

Looks like you have one wild ride there. I imagine you surprise more than a few riders and drivers once in awhile????



Once or twice...
http://www.youtube.com/user/HalfCrazy520?feature=m...
Last update on November 22 2010, 1:25 pm by Half_Crazy.
2006 Victory Kingpin
110 Cubic Inches -- S&S stroker crank/Lloydz big bore, ductile iron liners, 11:1 Wiseco pistons, massaged heads,
VM1-HP cams, S&S springs/retainers, RPW Thor pipe, Torque Tubes, PC-III, Rivera Pro clutch spring,
31 tooth pulley w/Buell belt. Dyno: http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w225/half_crazy...
I did. Did mean the PCIII
Shiny Side Up!









Vicky by ness178









2009 Ness Vision & 2011 Ness XC









Lloydz Camz, Air Intake Plate, Power Commander V, IAC, ECM, HID, Heated Danny Gray Saddle & Grips, Ness (Dublin) modifications including; Air Filters, Honkers, Chassis Lowering, Body Work, Paint, Twin Stebels, & Hawg Wired/Sirius Audio.


119+ HP & 116+ ft/lbs.
I'm starting to see a pattern here, people having better results with the PCV. I'm wondering how close the PCV with the auto-tune without dynoing will come to one without the auto-tune that has been dyno tuned??
2010 XC
I don't have any personal experience with the "Auto-tune" module, however, I was informed by the pros who handle the Power Commander line locally here, that the new module works well, but not as well as a custom tune with a dyno. Makes sense. I suspect one of the major differences between the two systems is that a dyno tuned set-up is correct 100% of the time anywhere in the power band if set up correctly, while the "Auto-tune" module makes its changes to air/fuel on the fly. The latter is not as precise or consistent (in my opinion). However, the "Auto-tune" set-up has the advantage of not requiring a dyno tuning session and will self adjust (if the marketing material is correct) on the fly which will presumably allow for additions to the motor without further tuning. That might be great for the owner who adds one power enhancing item at a time over a year or two vs. the build it, tune it and run it rider.

Based upon my scenario, and years of consumer experience with Power Commander, I chose the the PCV since virtually all my modifications were completed for the foreseeable future and I knew that the dyno tune method was best for my application. In the past I have had great expeirences with this set-up. Once a bike is tuned, get outta the way, it's ready to go!

I am certain someone with some real mechanical knowledge & experience with the two systems will chime in shortly.
Shiny Side Up!









Vicky by ness178









2009 Ness Vision & 2011 Ness XC









Lloydz Camz, Air Intake Plate, Power Commander V, IAC, ECM, HID, Heated Danny Gray Saddle & Grips, Ness (Dublin) modifications including; Air Filters, Honkers, Chassis Lowering, Body Work, Paint, Twin Stebels, & Hawg Wired/Sirius Audio.


119+ HP & 116+ ft/lbs.
I have been considering the PCV with AT.

I tried several mangers on my 07 Ultra but never could get satisfied with the results.
Added the PCV and AT. Fuelmoto installed a canned map with my configurations. Rode it for a few days and was pleasantly impressed. Installed the AT, it got better. Put it on a dyno and the tuner said it was good, the only improvement would cost me mpg, which I did not want. I tour not race. I ended up with 92 hp and 100 tq. I was a happy camper

When I get finished with my custom I am working I will do something then. $$ are all tied until then

Thank you for a in depth report