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RIVA Breaks Restrictive Hold of Stock ECUs on PWC Engines

Stock engine management systems have proved a difficult hurdle to clear for personal watercraft performance enthusiasts bent on pulling additional speed and performance from their craft. PWC aftermarket leader RIVA Racing, in conjunction with engine management hardware and software producer Athena’s GET DATA division, promises to break the restrictive hold stock ECUs have on personal watercraft engines, and as a result, open the door to significant performance gains. The just-released RIVA/Athena Pro-Series ECU is available for Sea-Doo models featuring iControl (including the RXP-X 260, RXT-X 260 and GTR 215) and Yamaha watercraft equipped with the brand’s 1.8-liter engine (including the FX HO and SHO models, as well as the VXR).

The RIVA/Athena Pro-Series ECU was developed to be a direct, plug-and-play replacement for its stock counterparts, units that RIVA maintains are saddled by restrictive programming from the manufacturer, in addition to comparatively slow processors. In contrast, the RIVA/Athena unit features enhanced engine control programming and a far faster processor. It takes an estimated 15 minutes to replace and install. The unit mounts in the identical position to the stock ECU using an anodized, CNC-machined aluminum mounting plate, and uses factory connectors to plug directly into the stock wiring harness. Once installed, it controls engine functions including fuel delivery, timing, rev limit, electronic throttle control and, for performance customers using turbochargers, electronic boost control. A knock-control function is designed to protect the engine.     

The aftermarket ECU is also fully programmable and designed to take the guesswork out of the process. Customers can download pre-calibrated maps from RIVA’s ECU Manager website (www.riva-athena.com), designed to perfectly complement any of the brand’s popular Stage kits or IJSBA-legal racing packages. Customers can also customize the RIVA maps using supplied software to match special applications.

Customer support options include both phone and email technical support, in addition to the RIVA performance forums and online documentation.

Sea-Doo-specific units will make it possible to eliminate the stock GPS-controlled speed limiter. End-users will also be able to diagnose and clear fault codes using the included software. Previously, this was possible only with the dealer-proprietary B.U.D.S. diagnostic tool. The ECU will also choose Sport mode, rather than Touring, as the default at startup, and retain all iControl functions including Intelligent Brake and Reverse.

In addition to diagnostics and map downloads, owners can use the second of the ECU’s two expansion connectors to add a number of accessories, all of which can be daisy-chained together. A Dash Logger display, featuring seven separate screens, enables the driver to monitor boost temperature, engine sensors, an accurate GPS-based top speed, as well as allow for a later download of all pertinent information for user review. The Logger operates in conjunction with the stock display unit, which can be mounted to the handlebar crossbar using an optional mount. Additional expansion modules include a boost controller, Lambda fuel-delivery controller and a dual-mapping switch to easily switch between an A and B map.

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, enable the craft to start in Sport mode, and retain all the stock iControl functions, including braking and electronic reverse, as well as retain the stock dash functions and warnings. 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. Instead, users can diagnose and clear fault codes using only a computer connection with the included software.

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