Once a motorcycle engine’s power output has been maximized with an aftermarket exhaust and electronics that’s pretty much the end of the road for most of us. Power adders require dedication and some mechanical savviness, and while their reward is huge they can be a little much for the average street guy looking for the most from his motor.
Nobody will ever know the...
Nobody will ever know the secret that’s giving you an advantage. The coils are visibly larger than the stock sticks but fit just fine.
Because our CBR1000RR is on loan from Honda we can only install bolt-on parts. It needs to be returned as it was loaned to us: bone stock and preferably not crashed. After the exhaust, fueling and electronics, we figured that was the end of the road. Its 159 horsepower was certainly respectable, but it sure would be nice to cross the 160 threshold. It seemed the search for more power had ended until a product found its way to us making what seemed like outlandish claims. The idea of changing out the coil stacks hadn’t occurred to anybody in the office, but Weapon X sent a set of its high-powered sticks—so in they went.
Accessing the plugs on the CBR is no easy task, so plan to spend some time disassembling the airbox and shrinking your hand to pull the plugs from the compact engine compartment. The new coils plugged directly into the factory connectors, then the airbox and bodywork were reassembled. This all seemed easy enough, but not without some undertones of magic snake oil. After all, gaining up to 5 horsepower by simply changing some coils felt a bit far-fetched.
Horsepower and torque are...
Horsepower and torque are increased throughout the entire rev range by simply swapping out the coils.
Well, it wasn’t. OK, so we didn’t get a full five horsepower, but 3.5 horses at the wheel and 3 LB-FT of torque ain’t too shabby considering the work involved. No tuning required—just swap the stock coil sticks for the beefier Weapon X parts and let ‘er rip. Due to the increased spark the air/fuel ratio leaned out by about a half point so we added a little fuel via the Power Commander. It didn’t produce any more power but simply brought the AFR back down to a reasonable 13.5:1.
Aside from the bump in power there’s a less exciting benefit—gas mileage. The Weapon X coils produce a more efficient and powerful spark that equates to a four-mile per gallon better range than the stock coils. That might not be a big deal, but it all eventually adds up and the idea of the mod paying for itself over the long haul can be considered. While aftermarket coils might not seem quite as cool (or obvious at least) as a new exhaust or chrome wheels, they could be what’s missing from giving you an advantage over other riders. Drag racers and road racers alike would certainly welcome any extra ponies they can find, and imagine what another three to five horsepower could do for your ET at the strip or down the front straight at your local track. SSB
NEXT MONTH: Chassis mods to maximize the power.