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#1 2017-03-12 11:50:39


Using TuneECU with Ducati 848, 1098 or 1198 - a comprehensive guide

This guide has been generated as a reference after many hours of trial and error and after reviewing other similar detail on Triumph and KTM forums. I have not found a complete guide for Ducati and TuneECU.

This guide is suitable for ...
This guide has been designed for owners of all 848, 1098 & 1198 models regardless of type. It could also be useful for other Ducati models using the IAW 5AM ECU eg: Hypermotard, Monster, ST, Multistrada and others, but please check before proceeding.

The guide is based on experience and successful use and is factually written. TuneECU is not a toy or a game and used incorrectly can seriously damage your engine. You use this guide at your own risk.

Links / Resources
To learn more about what TuneECU can do click here. If you're already familiar with the capabilities then read on ...

What You Need
TuneECU can be installed on PC & Android devices. For this guide we will focus on Android as this is the only version supported for Ducati ECUs, and allows reflashing / reprogramming.

  • An android device such as a tablet or smartphone

  • The correct cables to connect the android device to the Ducati of choice

  • The full TuneECU software downloaded from the Google Play store. Ignore the lite version. The full version costs £8.

Android tablet running TuneECU
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Cables required
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TuneECU software on Play

A Note on Cables
Most problems experienced with TuneECU are down to the type of cable being used. The key component is an ODBII cable that contains an FTDI FL232RL chipset. There are many ODBII FTDI cables available across eBay and Amazon at cheap prices but few with the FL232RL chipset. Don't be tempted to buy what on the surface seems to be the right cable. If it's not mentioning that it contains the FL232RL then it almost certainly won't.

Those in the UK can order a complete cable kit from LonElec for ~£23. Highly recommended, but please share other genuine cable suppliers.

Connecting cables and starting TuneECU
remove the left hand fairing panel from your Ducati and then the battery box cover. The diagnostic connector cable is at the bottom and to the left of the battery tucked in to the battery box. Remove the diagnostic cable cap. Connect the cables to the Ducati and the android device. Connect the negative (black) crocodile clip to the frame or engine and the positive (red) crocodile clip to the positive terminal of the battery. This will prevent any potential damage to your ECU by connecting the terminals incorrectly. The blue light on the ODBII cable will illuminate.

Switch on Android device and fire up TuneECU, before switching on the bike. My experience is that switching on the bike before TuneECU causes TuneECU to freeze. When TuneECU has started, switch on the bike. Do not start the engine. At this point TuneECU software will prompt you to "Allow TuneECU to connect using USB". Click OK. (if you're using bluetooth go to the bluetooth section below). TuneECU software will initiate and connect. To access ECU features, click "ECU" ... "Connect". A red light will flash in the bottom left corner of TuneECU. After a few seconds this will turn green. You're now connected and you can start to explore your Ducati ECU features.

Bluetooth connectivity

Battery Drain
Using TuneECU drains the battery fast, and you're likely to have the ignition on for many minutes playing with the settings. As the voltage drops TuneECU operations can be affected, particularly when writing new maps to the ECU. The battery voltage must be kept as high as possible and above 12.5V. One of the weakest parts of any Ducati is the battery / starting system. If the battery is weak or low continue with the following tips:

  • Charge the battery before using TuneECU

  • Keep a trickle charger connected whilst using TuneECU

  • Connect a car battery in parallel whilst using TuneECU

  • Remove the headlight fuse when using TuneECU (15A fuse second from left in the fuse box)

Maps, Hex files, Tunes
New "Maps" or "Hex files" or "Tunes" can be found at the TuneECU Ducati Tune List. These are listed by Ducati model. Each has a "Tune number" and "Description". The "Tune number" is the Ducati part number or reference number of the original ECU. The "Description" is generally not very descriptive. Choosing the right map for your Ducati and  current setup starts with a few google searches based on this part number.

For example: 22A7LN37.hex OEM      1098     After a few google searches reveals that this is the Standard Ducati 1098 UK map.

Almost all of the Ducati TuneECU maps are OEM, or original maps designed and developed by Ducati for various engine set ups or configurations across various model variants.

Download selected maps from the TuneECU website to the android device. Store these maps in the \TuneECU folder.

Reading a map from the ECU
It's good practice, before writing a new map, to read and save a copy of your current map stored in the ECU. This gives a "restore" or reference point if any new map doesn't meet your expectations. Unless you've had your bike from day 1, and you've completed all your own servicing, you will never really know if the ECU has been remapped at some stage.

To read a map from your ECU, click "ECU" and "Read map". The map will begin uploading to TuneECU. When complete, save this map with a unique name that refers to your Ducati and current state.

Writing a new map to the ECU
Once TuneECU is correctly connected, click "Map" ... "Open map". Choose a map hex file from the file list. The map will be displayed as a series of colours across a grid. To write the new map to the ECU, click "ECU" ... "Write map". The writing (or flashing) process will begin. The existing map is first erased, then the new map is written. This process takes around 3 or 4 minutes to complete. Once complete switch of TuneECU and the Ducati ignition. Your new map is ready to use.

The dreaded "Download Failed" error
If you're experiencing this issue don't be initially alarmed. You've initiated a new map to be written to the ECU, the erasing process has completed and the upload / writing process has failed with the error "Download Failed". This leaves your ECU with no map loaded and your Ducati cannot be started or used.

There are 2 main issues that can cause this. One is mentioned above and is due to battery voltage fluctuations. The other, and more commonly, is due to the incorrect cable being used. With a good battery and / or connected to another power source combined with the correct cable with FL232RL chipset this issue will be resolved.

To resolve this issue reconnect with the correct cables and charged battery and ensure a Hex map is loaded to TuneECU. TuneECU will prompt to connect and fail 3 times each time requesting you to switch off the ignition and switch on again. On the 3rd time you'll be prompted to enter a recovery mode, click Yes and the current map will be written to the ECU.


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