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RIVA Racing/Athena ECU provides power

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Jeff Hemmel, Contributing Writer
March 22, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Modification offers plug-and-play engine management solution

RIVA Racing has announced that the company’s long-awaited RIVA/Athena Pro-Series ECU for Sea-Doo iControl watercraft is now available and shipping. Developed in conjunction with Athena, a well-established manufacturer of engine management hardware and software that produces engine management solutions for both OEM and aftermarket applications, the performance-oriented electronic control unit (ECU) is designed to work with Sea-Doo’s popular iControl models with Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) that use the stock Bosch ECU. That list of craft includes the RXP-X 260, RXT-X 260 and GTR 215.

ECUs for Yamaha watercraft using the company’s flagship 1.8-liter engine also were scheduled to begin shipping by mid-March.

‘Huge performance gains’

According to RIVA owner Dave Bamdas, original factory ECUs are a huge barrier to increasing performance due to their comparatively slow processors and the manufacturer’s restrictive programming.

“The RIVA/Athena ECU is a direct high-performance replacement for the original Bosch unit,” Bamdas said of the now-shipping Sea-Doo unit. “This unit delivers huge performance gains through enhanced engine control programming and a lightning fast processor.”

The RIVA/Athena ECU controls all engine functions, including fuel delivery, timing, rev limit and electronic throttle control. Contained within a rugged, waterproof housing and using factory connectors, it mounts in the exact location as the stock ECU and plugs directly into the existing factory wiring harness.

“That is a huge benefit to reliability over other aftermarket ECUs,” Bamdas said.

The Dash Logger display unit is one of many add-ons available for the RIVA Racing/Athena Pro-Series ECU.

According to RIVA estimates, the ECU will take about 15 minutes to install, and just several minutes to program to match a customer’s individual performance modifications. The unit is fully programmable; users can load MAPs or specific engine configuration files to match their craft’s specific level of modification. RIVA has developed a wide variety of downloadable MAP files to complement both the brand’s performance packages, as well as their IJSBA-legal racing packages. Files can be downloaded at the RIVA ECU Manager website at riva-athena.com.

Controllable features

The list of parameters that can be controlled by the performance MAPs include fuel, timing, rev limit, and — for those running turbochargers — electronic boost control. End users can also customize the RIVA MAPs for special applications using the supplied software. The Sea-Doo unit’s features include the ability to eliminate the restrictive stock GPS speed limiter and to enable the craft to start in Sport mode and retain all the stock iControl functions, including braking and electronic reverse. It also retains the stock dash functions and warnings.

The Dash Logger display unit is ready for action on a Yamaha FZR.

RIVA/Athena ECUs also include a barometric sensor that can compensate for changes in altitude, knock-control engine protection and an easy-to-use diagnostic system that monitors all engine sensors. Of particular note to dealers, the unit does not require the Sea-Doo dealer-proprietary B.U.D.S. tool; users can diagnose and clear fault codes using only a computer connection with the included software.

Add-ons available

Like many modern plug-and-play devices, the ECU has two auxiliary connections. The first is to connect with a computer for diagnostic purposes or to download MAP files. The second expansion connector is to accommodate a growing list of add-ons.

Most prominent is the add-on Dash Logger display unit, which enables a driver to keep tabs on information like boost temperature, all engine sensors, a true GPS-monitored top speed and a logging feature that can be used to download all information for later review. Seven separate screens are available to monitor all the relevant information provided.

Other expansion modules include a waterproof, dual mapping switch, which can be used to toggle between an A and B MAP; a boost controller; and a Lambda controller to fine-tune fuel delivery. All modules can be daisy-chained together.

The new RIVA Racing/Athena Pro-Series ECU is available for Sea-Doo (left) and Yamaha watercraft. It works with Sea-Doo’s iBR units, including the RXP-X 260, RXT-X 260 and GTR 215, along with Yamaha craft that use its 1.8-liter engine.

Included in the kit is the RIVA/Athena unit itself, along with an anodized CNC-machined billet aluminum mounting plate, a communications cable for the computer connection and printed instructions.

RIVA is promising dedicated tech support for consumers, including online documentation, performance forums and both email and phone technical support.

“We offer a wide selection of packages that are targeted at different customer needs and performance goals,” Bamdas said. “Recreational Stage 1-4 performance kits deliver up to 80 mph depending on the level of performance desired. We also offer IJSBA racing specification packages to match Stock Class, Limited Class & Open Class rules. The RIVA/Athena ECU can easily be loaded with a specific MAP (engine calibration) to match the RIVA Performance Kit that suits the customer.

“It’s the ultimate solution for a performance enthusiast’s engine management needs. It’s cost-efficient, easy to use, rugged and reliable, fully programmable and backed by RIVA Racing.”

 

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