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vt400 (make it more powerfull)

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by adadrian, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. hi everyone,

    i just recently purchased a brand new vt400, (its my 2nd bike, upgrading from a vtr250)

    now i've noticed its quite..........quiet!

    if i do get a custom exhaust, will it increase my horsepower or torque on my vt400? i kind of dont want to cough up 1000 dollars just to make the thing sound nicer.
    i plan to keep this bike for quite (quite) a few years untill i upgrade to a bigger bike.

    are there any other things i can do (legally) to get some more horsepower out of this thing??

    any opinions will be appreciated

    thanks adrian

    Attached Files:

  2. sell it
    • Like Like x 2
  3. There is no cheap and easy way to increase the power output, even the VT750 isn't exactly a powerhouse.

    Pipes and tuning will release a bit more torque but are unlikely to improve horsepower much.
  4. Pipes will gain yuo about 9/10ths of bugger all, but it will sound (IMHO) better. I haven't got any experience with the VT400 specifically though so I do not know what is available.

    Air intake can increase performance. There's likely a engine mod chip available too which can get you a decent increase, but even 10% (which is an optomisic figure) of the power output by a 400 carrying that kind of weight might be underwealming for the price it will cost you, and minimal return you will get resale.

    My advice is maybe get the pipes if you can find them at a decent price to help the bike last you a bit longer, then save your pennies for a mid range cruiser. 750, 800, 900 cc range will generally last you a long time.
  5. i love my vt400 and i dont care that people say "sell it get another fast one"

    i just want nice ways to upgrade it and get more power out of my beast
    • Like Like x 1

  6. well there is nothing you can really do to be honest.

    anything that might give you more power will give you shit all at best, perhaps a few hp. but it wont be worth the money to do so.

    get pipes, at least it will sound faster.
  7. Lose weight
    • Like Like x 1
  8. It's the same as people spending big $$ to get something more out of a CB400. At the end of the day it's just a 400cc engine and no amount of tinkering etc is going to change that fact.
  9. nitrous kit could give you an extra 100hp for about a minute.

    'would probably be worth it to.
  10. There are plenty of ways to upgrade it but there isn't any way to get a significant power increase.

    If you like your bike then great, be happy with it or put some bling on it and make it look good.

    But you need to accept that there isn't any reliable, easy way to make it go much faster.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. well even if its just increasing the torque thats good enough for me as i'd notice it :)
  12. always ride down hill
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Dude, good on you for loving the bike you have.

    I loved my 250 Eliminator. In fact, I want it back. However, the bad news is that if you want to get more power than upgrading that power plant is going to be expensive and unrewarding. Not trying to diss your bike, I remember considering the VT400 myself at one stage. It's just that if power is what you want than you are looking in the wrong place.

    For what it is worth, I could mod the hell out of my 800 to get more power, but if power is my aim than I'd likely just be better off buying the C90 or 109 and being done with it.

    I suggest, and I could be wrong here, that what you actually want is to *feel* more power, not *have* more power. If so, than get the exhaust, and be sure to keep your stock one somwhere.
  14. how much is the average price of a "chip" to improve performance? what does it do? does it wear out the engine faster?
  15. Chips range from a few hundred bucks to near a thousand. May be hard to find for the 400 as I don't believe it's a big seller in the USA.

    They don't damage your engine, they just tune it. The way a bike is delivered in Aus is tuned to a compromise of higher efficiency, lower exhaust volume, lower emmisions, and power somewhere at the end of that list. It has to be because if you don't meet the other standards than it's not legal to sell here.

    Getting a chip and tuning it to your bike more or less allows you to go from the beige stock to what ever balls out performance your engine can manage at the expense of the others.
  16. Step one: Pipe it open up the intake. Your EFI system should compensate automatically so you are not running too lean. This will get your more power, but you will need to have it dynotuned and the map modified/a power commander installed so that your engine runs at its optimum. This is probably the most economical option but still expensive. Doing this tuning is in the hundreds of dollars, plus the cost of the pipes. To make it more economical, consider modifying your existing pipes to slash of the $1000 new pipes will cost you.

    Step two: High compression piston it. If there is a kit available for your bike, this can be the second most economical option after Step one, but if you have to get the pistons custom made, it can get quite expensive. If there's no kit, you'll also have to order the necessary gaskets from Honda. Installing high compression piston kits is possible to do by the home mechanic, because there are no specialised machines required, but you will need a good tool set.

    Step three:
    Big bore it. Again, if there's no kit, custom pistons are your only option. Big boring includes having your cylinders bored out (and there is the possibility that they will fu*k it up and junk your motor), and there is no guarantee that your gear box will be able to handle the extra stress over the long haul, or even over the top end's first running in period.

    Step four:
    Turbo it. Easily the most expensive option. Requires intensive tuning, lots of custom fabricated parts, lots of time, lots of effort and a FARK load of cashola. And v-twins aren't really the best candidates for a turboed engine, although it has been done with good success.

    Step five:
    Realize that there is no point in doing any of this on a little 400 learner's cruiser, and just take the most economical option of getting a little more pep out of your motor until you're off your restrictions and get a bigger bike, which is to open up the intake with a hole in the top of your airbox, a free-flowing air filter, taking the baffles out of your stock pipes, and letting your EFI system do the rest of the work. Without tuning, you're likely to take a bit of a hit in fuel economy but maybe you won't take too much of a hit. It's only a 400, after all. 5km/l isn't all that bad when the bike already gets 25km/l (guessing here). Tuning might get you back 2-3 km/l. You're not likely to recoup the cost of the tuning through fuel savings unless you keep the bike for yonks and yonks. Hey, maybe tuning to get the engine running at its best might even cause it to use more fuel, I don't know.
  17. Well, to explain, good EFI systems like the one on the Honda generally compensate for changes in air temperature, air density, fuel density, exhaust flow etc etc by leaning out or richening the mixture as required to keep the engine running at the best AFR they can get it to at all throttle positions while considering the cost of the EFI unit, emissions and fuel economy. Upgrading the chip does away with considerations to the cost of the unit (although there are some budget units out there like the power commander) and considerations to emissions, and makes the engine run at its very optimum at all throttle positions, increasing torque and improving the torque curve in a significant way, engine response in a big way and the horse power curve in a significant way and its nominal power out put in a small way. They have to make what they call a map, which is a graph plotted against how many times the engine revolves per minute (RPM), and how much fuel is best for that frequency of engine revolutions. When you install a freer flowing exhaust or open up the intake side (or both), most good EFI systems compensate automatically. However, it's not perfect which is why people install power commanders with pre-set chips or take their bikes to the dyno tuner.
  18. being realistic

    a 10% gain is quite large on any atmo engine when being tuned

    your bike has 33hp 10% is 3.3hp

    so intake pipes tune and its going to make at best 36.3hp say

    thats 26.7kw up from 24.27kw

    the money spent on pipes tune etc... will probably get you something bigger on trade in

    i have both bikes with bigger and smaller engines than yours, the big one has more torque than many small cars, the little one im always searching for more power, you can always ride a bigger bike slower.
  19. no
    excellent point.
  20. what i ment was, save the money trade it in and pu that towards a bigger bike...

    thing with cruisers is torque, small capacity engines just dont have it

    i can accelerate harder in 5th from 50km/h than a smaller capacity model could flatout in any gear as my ride has 1900cc and makes peak torque @2000rpm

    now my bike isnt fast by bike standards, but your never in the wrong gear, and even if you are your not, unlike you would be on a smaller scoot... ive had almost 30 bikes and now im pretty happy with my roadliner and vespa super, between them they cover everything i need