To get the most out of your Triumph, a custom tune is hard to beat if you want to transform your riding experience. Whether your bike is stock or heavily modified, getting a tune that is tailored to your riding style and applications can be game changing.
We recently posted a Tuning Guide to offer a starting point resource to find out when and how you can or should tune your bike depending on your model, especially if you’ve installed British Customs parts. In the process of developing this guide, we had the team at DNK Tuneworks provide us with custom tunes for some of our bikes.
After using their ECU send-in process, we noticed night and day differences in how our bikes rode. We definitely wanted to sit down and get to know DNK Tuneworks a little more and learn about their process.
Since releasing their first tunes for the Thruxton R in late 2019, DNK Tuneworks has quickly grown to be a strong player on the Triumph scene, providing a tuning service that is thorough, creative, and efficient, making high quality tuning accessible for riders with any modern Triumph to achieve the fullest potential out of their bikes.
British Customs and DNK Tuneworks have a bit in common: like us, they’re a small team of motorcycle enthusiasts, but while we’re obsessed with Triumph modern classics, they have a passion for Triumph motorcycles as a whole. At the head of DNK is Danielle Koran, whose life story really gives you insight into the quality and impressive caliber of work you’re getting with one of their tunes, no matter the model.
One thing becomes clear when you speak with Danielle - she’s got a mind that’s both creative and analytical, and she doesn’t like to compromise when it comes to performance and integrity. Her rich and expansive history working with cars directly informs her work with motorcycles and it shows. She goes all in when it comes to her passions, and getting to know her, it made a lot of sense how some of these passions seem to have compounded into what makes DNK unique.
“I wasn’t willing to (sell my ECU tunes) until I had been able to more thoroughly do my diligent research, testing and development.”
Danielle’s background is pretty impressive. As a kid her interest in vehicles started young with riding dirt bikes, go-karts, and inheriting her dad’s love for classic cars. Her passion for cars grew as she got older and she later had the impressive job of becoming a Mercedes-AMG technician. Not just anyone can do that, and in this role she grew to become devoted to achieving top performance with a methodical and iterative process.
Later on she had the difficult experience of being diagnosed with Leukemia. Despite the long battle against her blood that ensued, she still freelanced with motosports giants like Mountune USA, the hot hatch partner of what used to be “Ford Racing,” along with companies such as Roush Performance and Shelby American. These experiences sparked her interest in tuning, becoming one of the first people using HP Tuners back in the early 2000’s on her LS2 powered Pontiac GTO. It’s safe to say that she knows her stuff, and she’s passionate about doing it right.
“...we’re far more concerned about how the bike performs in terms of how you actually use it most of the time.”
So how did her rich expanse of knowledge about cars and their performance turn toward motorcycles?
“It was sort of by accident,” she told us. “I had formed a friendship with Brian Ballard (owner of A&J Cycles). I started experimenting with tuning my own motorcycles back in the summer of 2019 and he took an interest in what I was doing, encouraging me to take it beyond my personal bike, even offering to sell my ECU tuning work. But I wasn’t willing to do so until I had been able to more thoroughly do my diligent research, testing and development.”
65 different builds and months of road testing and trips to the dyno later, Danielle was finally satisfied enough to release something just for the Thruxton R, and DNK Tuneworks was born.
“We still stick to this slow, iterative development cycle today to ensure that we can stand proudly beside anything that we release to the public when we start tuning on a new model or platform. For example, much of our time in 2021 was spent on the new Trident, getting all tuning aspects perfected, and it’s paid off. Despite being only a year old the Trident has since become one of our most in demand bikes to tune.”
Designing and testing is a major pillar of how we like to approach motorcycle customization at British Customs, and we really respect and relate to DNK Tuneworks’ thorough process of developing and testing their tunes. We could really feel it when riding too, and what sets their tunes apart is also how they look at the bike’s performance as a whole; a customized tune should be custom to the rider’s actual applications.
“From the start, and a great reason why we’ve found success, is that we’re far more concerned about how the bike performs in terms of how you actually use it most of the time. You don’t just go wide open on a bike and nothing else, so we spend far more hours than one should dialing in just the right amount of throttle response at 23% throttle if we know that the intention is regular everyday riding. But if you do grab a handful of throttle, the intent is different, and we make sure that the throttle curve meets your expectations.”
A properly tuned motorcycle can completely change your riding experience and it takes a skilled tuner to be able to translate what your bike needs into code that the bike can understand.
You can learn more about how you can get a tune from DNK by watching the video below, or learn more about tuning in general as it relates to British Customs products by reading our Tuning Guide.