Vortex Ignition ECU

Anybody have one of these on their 2010-2013 YZ450F? And if you do was it a worthwhile investment?

I had one on my '06 YZ250f and it made a huge difference and was well worth the money. Having said that you can do quite a bit with the GYTR tuner on the '10 and newer 450 and it cost 1/3 of what the Vortex costs. I thought about getting the vortex until I saw what the cost was. Is the vortex better? I'm sure it is, especially if you have a heavily modified engine.

I bought a Vortex ECU for my 2012 YZ450 from Mike at MT Racing this year. I've been meaning to write up a review for months, but now is as good a time as any.

In a nut shell, forgo the GYTR and buy the Vortex. Single best thing I did to the bike, 2nd potentially being the engine relocation kit. It doesn't get you temp, hours, error codes, etc. which you'll need the tuner for, but otherwise the tuner is nearly worthless comparatively.

Prior to the the ECU I thought I had built a good map off the Jimmy Lewis YZ450 map in Dirt Rider. The bike pulled more smoothly, stalled less, and was more tractable. I use my bike off road, mainly, and for scrambles, and that map combined with the GYTR flywheel & FMF slip on was noticeably better than stock. At least I thought. My bike however didn't start in gear regularly, didn't start perfectly hot, hot stalled with too much throttle, was choppy down low, and needed to be clutched A LOT in slow stuff to stay smooth and not stall. All that after the GYTR power tuner.

After the ECU my bike starts in gear, in 2nd, in 3rd, cold or hot. TDC, kick, start. It start with less effort, the runs smoother at lower throttle openings and isn't jerky. It uses less fuel in every map I've tried, pulls noticeable smoother with less "steps" between power due to the gaps in the GYTR tuner, and it RIPS in the MX & "best power" maps. I've been running map 4 & 5 with the standard best power map, and they are so much smoother than I could have ever gotten with the tuner. Obviously, it feels like the bike was mapped on a dyno. And then when you switch back over to "standard" for map 1, the bike spins up and down faster like the cranks been lightened, feels like it revs higher than just 250rpm's more, and just pulls up top further and faster than you think it will each time, feeling like it's going to jump out of your hands. Also of note, it's now surprising when the bike stalls, not expected.

Take away? If you want your bike to be less "on & off" down low, pull smoother, make more power, "feel" like it spins up and down faster, stall less, or use different maps for different conditions, buy this. If you want to be able to start in 2nd gear, like Paul Whibley, buy this. It's 95%+ of the reason he gets the starts in terms of the bike. I would chock the rest up to new clutches. And, if you want the bike to start more easily + any other power/feel/gas mileage related need, buy this as it's a home run.

Great experience with Mike walking me through the differences between this and other systems like Dynojet, and amazing experience after bolting it on. Bike started first TDC kick in gear, and ripped straight away.

Details like the ability to have someone with the software play with timing, mapping from 0 rpm's up, starting map, TPS, etc. etc. is all icing on top as I doubt I'll ever need more than the maps included. Granted the cost of the software to play around with is a downside, and the cost of the product is high, but other options don't give the turners the same flexibility that I've seen (maybe the factory tools or the KHI ECU), don't cure the YZ's starting in gear issues, and don't seem to have the same off road maps dialed in.

Hope that helps! If I had it to do all over again I'd buy a skid plate, rad braces, hand guards, this, and slip on, engine relocation kit. and a 50t sprocket. Done.

Oh, and if you do use the Power Tuner today and buy the Vortex remember the Tuner won't work any longer (at least on mine it doesn't). So you'll lose track of hours unless you start keeping tab manually right away.

Another FYI on this product is Brian Garrahan raced this same model bike out west to the #1 D36 AMA Hare Scramble plate and hated it. Said it was lurchy, wouldn't start and wouldn't turn. He rode my bike recently and remarked how much better it felt on the throttle, how noticeably smoother it was down low and in 1st, and was amazed to see me kick it in gear, in sandals.

Thank you for the responses guys! @Joe846, I have a 2010 YZ450F, the Dubach slip-on, Injectioneering throttle body modification, Steahly flywheel weight, Recluse clutch, and Twin Air complete Air Box as my only engine modifications. I was interested in the Vortex, but wanted some real world comments on it as it is quite expensive. I found that the Injectioneering mod(and Wade was very helpful and promply returned the completed throttle body) and flywheel weight was the most beneficial, as it smoothed out the initial response and helped with the low to midrange transition. I like the stock motor as it is pretty much bullet proof, and I am a 50 year old MX'er so I do not need a power monster, but thought that it could use some improvement and your info has helped me with the next mod for my bike. Thank you very much for the info Joe, and I will get back to you when I get mine.

Definitely!  I'd get the map switch too if you have the spar cash.  I think what you'll realize is the Injectioneering mod is a good fix for a small range of RPM's, for an annoying YZ450 trait.  However, the Vortex fixes that (could be different feeling for all I know), and much more.


Good luck and hope you enjoy it.  P.S. I don't know this for a fact, but I have a feeling Mike at MT Racing would offer to update your Vortex ECU over the coming years if new maps/updates came out while you still owned it.  Stand up guy, and great to deal with.  Well worth paying full price.

I know you mentioned you had one on your 06 YZ250 - will the Vortex make a big difference on the carb'ed 450?

Yes, the vortex ignition makes a big difference on a carbureted bikes. You have to make sure that you get the one with the maps that you want. On my 06 250f MT Racing had one setup with mx/sx maps and another with endure/trail maps.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now