GIPro ATRE on Concours 1400 BACK to Review MAIN page

USA distributor:

Price: MSRP $162.99

A complete photo gallery of the installation process is here:

The GiPro ATRE is a programmable device that you can add to your bike to increase the low end torque out of the Concours 1400. Kawasaki has installed a secondary set of throttle plates, (refered to as sub throttles or secondary butterflies) that are electronically controlled by the ECU brain. They act to restrict the airflow into the intake at lower RPM's and don't open up until well into the upper rev ranges of the engine. The result is a slightly sluggish response from the throttle, and reduced torque at lower RPM's. The ECU allows the butterflies to open sooner when the bike is in 6th gear, and this is what the GiPro relies on to provide an increase in torque.

Some folks chose to actually remove these sub throttle plates, or “butterflies” from the bike altogether and add a Power Commander to remap the fuel mixture. However, this comes with it’s own set of problems, since the screws that hold them in have thread lock agent on them, and can sometime strip and break off when you try to remove them, leaving you no way to ever put them back in if you wanted. Additionally, the 2010 ABS/KACT bike now uses the sub throttle plates to shut down airflow as part of the traction control system, so removing them will have unknown consequences when the traction control engages. The beauty of the GiPro ATRE is that it allows you to get some of the same benefits of removing the butterflies, without having to actually go into the throttle body and physically take them out. You also don’t have to add a Power Commander with the GiPro ATRE, although you can if you want.

The way the device works is that it intercepts the signal sent from the gear position sensor before it gets to the ECU. It then alters the return signal to make the ECU think the bike is in a higher gear than it really is. This causes the ECU to open the butterflies at a lower RPM setting, and thus provide more low end torque.

Because the signal going to the ECU has been altered, the gear indicator on the meter panel will no longer be correct. The ECU communicates to the meter panel on the dash via the CAN bus, and the meter panel then decodes the signal from the ECU and displays the gear that the ECU instructs it to. The GiPro offers a solution to this by providing an alternate gear indicator that has a large display and can easily be attached via provided hook and loop fastener tape to a variety of locations on the bike. The GiPro comes with an optional red or blue LED display, and also has a built in light sensor that allows it to auto-adjust based on ambient brightness. This prevents the display from being overwhelmingly bright when riding at night while not being washed out by sun in the day, and is a much appreciated and well thought out feature. Even the sensitivity of the auto-adjust brightness feature is adjustable if you would like to further fine tune it, though I found no need to do so.

The GiPro ATRE has five selectable modes that you can put the system into, though only three of them work on the Concours14.

Mode # 0 This mode is off. In this mode, the stock gear indicator works like normal and matches what the GiPro indicator says.

Mode # 1 This mode does not work with this bike.

Mode # 2 This mode tells the ECU that is in fifth gear all the time

Mode # 3 This mode tells the ECU it is in sixth gear all the time. This is referred to as the "Hard" mode, and provides the most performance and torque in all gears.

Mode #4 In this mode, the GiPro tells the ECU it is in 6th gear when you are in gears 2-6. First gear operates as normal. This mode provides a softer throttle response in first gear and makes the bike a little more controllable at slow speeds.

I sampled the various modes, and the two I like the best are Modes 3 and 4. The bike responds better when the ECU thinks it is sixth gear and seems to provide more torque. Mode #2 seems to actually lessen the available torque when cruising in 6th gear, since it is telling the bike it actually in 5th. If you like a softer first gear response for slow speed riding and maneuvering, then mode #4 is probably the best choice.

Installation While installation is not a total plug and play operation, it isn't too hard to do. Easy to follow instructions along with wire tires and everything you need are included in the kit. You will need to remove the left side mid fairing panel under the gas tank on the 2010 bike to access the connector to the gear shift sensor. On the 2008 and 2009 bikes, you may be able to access this connector without removing any body work. You will need to separate the two halves of the green electrical connector for the gear shift sensor and extract a couple of the pins from it and transfer them over to the three pin GiPro connector (provided). This can take some patients if you have never worked with electrical connectors before, and will require a small jewlers screwdriver and possibly a magnifying glass to help see into the connector. The pins are released by lifting up on a small plastic tab in the connector body while pulling on the wire at the back side of the connector at the same time. Once you have the connector pin extracted out of the connector housing, you simply move it over to the GiPro connector and insert it and push it in until it locks. Then when the connectors are all in place, you simply reconnect the OEM connector, and plug in your newly added connector, and connect one additional wire to power from the bike. The only thing left to do is locate where you want the display on the dash and attach it with the provided hook and loop tape.

While the GiProATRE name implies it is a Timing Retard Eliminator, the main benefit it provides for the Concours14 has nothing to do with ignition timing, but more to do with how it affects the secondary butterfly valves. When activated in modes 3 or 4, it provides an immediately noticeable increase in low end grunt, and enhances what I refer to as the bikes “squirt-ability”. When you twist the throttle you not only get more torque, but you also get a noticeably faster throttle response. The device does indeed deliver on it’s promise of more low end torque.

While I wasn't able to put the bike on a dyno and test the differences, I did obtain a 3rd gear Dyno chart for the ZX14 with and without the GiPro ATRE from the folks at Healtech. I think you will see a noticable increase in low end torque from the dyno chart.

I also fully tested the traction control system on the 2010 bike with the GiPro ATRE engaged, and I’m happy to report that it had no impact on the system. The traction control worked exactly the same as it always did and engages and operates in the same smooth manner as with the GiPro turned off.

The alternate gear display takes a little getting used to, and I had to retrain myself where to look on the bike to see the display, but I got used to it pretty fast. I did have a couple occasions where the indicator read the wrong gear in 5th and 6th, but going through the “learn” procedure on the system seemed to clear it up for the most part. I think this may have to do with the function of the gear position sensor itself, since sometimes even the OEM display on the dash will read incorrectly, and it can be a bit slow to respond in the higher gears.

I do wish the display itself was smaller than it is. I think it would look less intrusive in the cockpit if it was about one half it's current overall size and depth. I also wish that the mode select button on the bottom of the unit was not recessed and was a little easier to get to.

I previously owned a 2008 Concours 14 that I removed the butterflies on and remapped with a Power Commander, so I have a pretty good idea of what kind of power increase that provides. My seat of the pants guesstimate would be that using the GiPro ATRE instead of removing the butterflies, gives you about 75%-80% of what totally removing them does.

All in all, I would say this is a very worthwhile modification, especially for an owner who doesn’t want to remove the butterflies and add a Power Commander but would still like some more torque and better throttle response. This will also offer owners of 2010 Concours a way to get more torque without hindering the traction control. Being able to switch modes on the fly is also a huge advantage, and you can very easily return the bike to stock with little effort. And when you factor in the cost savings of this as compared to some other performance modifications, it looks even more attractive. Minimal install fuss, low cost, and very effective. What more can I say?