January 24, 2017

Triumph Street Twin - BoosterPlug Review

I've done nearly 800km since I got the bike last month. Not much admittedly, but enough to get a feel of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of this bike.
Nothing ugly, a little bad and a whole lot of good to be honest.

The Bad for me are the rear shocks, which when riding 2 up, quickly show their limits. For now I will change the setting of the spring compression to make them harder, but sooner or later new shocks (probably YSS) will have to be installed.

The Good is obviously the look, but most of all the pleasure I get from riding it. The smooth and relaxed way it weaves through traffic, but also the grunt coupled with a satisfying sound when you open the throttle in a more decisive manner.

So far I haven't done much modifying on the bike, and I don't intend to do any major work on it. For that I have the Yamaha SR. I added a few cosmetic bits, but mostly practical touring add-ons, like a SW-Motech GPS holder and Motech semi-rigid saddlebags.

The only performance enhancing change was the so-called BoosterPlug, which seems to get very good reviews online. In short, the BoosterPlug is a small device that fools the ECU into thinking that ambient temperature is 20degrees lower than it is in reality, thus enriching the air-fuel mix. This offers several advantages, but more about this later.

 The BoosterPlug came 10 days after ordering it on ebay. The price is nearly 148$ (free shipping), but the declared value was about 50$, which I thought was a nice touch. You never know how customs feel about your stuff and how much they're going to rob you.

Packed contained the plug, instructions and promotional material.

Installation was super easy and done in just 5 minutes. Basically, just unplug the sensor on the air box and put the BoosterPlug in line. Finally find a place for the new sensor that is not close to heat sources like the engine, radiator or exhaust pipes. Done

Original sensor on the air box
New sensor. I placed it here because it fits nicely. Not sure if it's aerated enough...maybe worth trying different placements.
Result: After installing it, I went on a short ride (about 10km) to see if there were any changes.
I can say that I share what most other reviewers said about it. I found throttle response to be smoother and more responsive, the bike seems to run smoother and "rounder" and torque feels stronger.
What I didn't feel, was smoother gear changes, contrary to what several other users said. I think (hope) I will get that when I change to oil for the first time this week.
Someone commented about the increased fuel consumption. Yes, it will use more fuel, but not all the time. The company claims that it only enrichens the mix when you really need it: when accelerating. During constant cruising speed, the air-fuel ratio turns back to normal.

VERDICT: Although the changes are not drastic, they are noticeable and improve the bike's performance. The price could be a bit lower to be honest, but if we compare it to other such devices (see sticker), there's not much to complain about. 

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