Program A Power Commander

Power Commanders for motorcycles can be programmed in a variety of ways.

Power Commanders are units used to connect electrical systems, such as fuel injection or ignition settings, in motorcycles. The primary function of Power Commanders is to enhance the motorcycle’s performance without changing the engine. Most come in kits that are specific to a brand of motorcycle. For instance, Power Commander devices used for Yamahas are different than those for Suzukis or Harley-Davidsons. Most cost in the range of $350 to $400.


1. Program the unit, using a standard USB cable and the Power Commander software. Using the cable, connect the device to a computer. Install the software, either by downloading it from a website or by placing a CD in the computer hard drive. Once the software is installed, modify the settings to fit your bike by examining the various options and clicking on them with your cursor. Settings vary by device, but typically consist of a list of options that allow you to increase optimization for fuel injection, timing and other performance-related aspects.

2. Install the unit. Installing a Power Commander can be vary for each individual motorcycle. Follow the instructions specific to your bike. Generally, the first step is to find the customary connection harness, also called the “PCIII.” The PCIII is usually underneath the seat. Once you locate it, plug in the Power Commander.

3. Modify the settings. Since most Power Commanders are pre-programmed, chances are that all you need to do is install it to give your motorcycle optimal performance. But in addition to modifying the settings via computer, you can also do so directly on the device. Each Power Commander comes with an array of buttons that enable you to modify everything from electrical timing to injection. There are a few subtle differences between programming the Power Commander on the device itself and on a computer. The most obvious difference being that programming directly on the device allows you to modify the settings while riding the motorcycle. Set the buttons to the desired performance.

4. Test the unit. Perhaps the best aspect of making sure your Power Commander is programmed correctly is to test it out by riding your motorcycle. Take a test ride and then adjust the unit accordingly. As an aside, you can always return the Power Commander to its default settings if needed.