(Credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha is making it far easier for motorcycle aficionados to tinker with their bikes, unveiling a new Power Tuner app that lets users make changes to a variety of functions within the bike. Bikers have long been able to tune their vehicles with just a screwdriver and other handy tools, but it is now very difficult to do that with all of the added digital technology and complex parts.

To simplify things for both neophytes and experienced technicians, Yamaha created the Power Tuner app, which gives riders up-to-date information on their bikes and allows them to make internal changes to certain functions depending on how they like to ride.

"Make fueling and ignition timing changes instantly and upload them to the bike via the onboard WiFi system for the ultimate in track-side tuning," Yamaha said in its release on the app.

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The app is free and is available for both iOS and Android, but only works with newer models of motorcycles. Yamaha designed the app to make it easy for new riders to understand how the bike works and ways to drastically change how the motorcycle runs on the road.

There are a number of visual aids and maps to simplify somewhat complex functions of the bike's system and Mike Ulrich, Yamaha's Off-Road Motorcycle Media Relations Manager, told Digital Trends that it was designed to provide guidance to riders and democratize motorcycle tuning, which can be difficult to do on your own. With just a smartphone, anyone can make changes to how their bike runs.

Even if you tried, Ulrich said it would be "impossible" to mess up your bike with the app, making it a handy tool for those who want to make changes to their motorcycle but were afraid of tinkering with something and breaking the whole bike.

With the Power Tuner app, riders are given tons of information about their bike that would have been hard to get in the past. The app has a a maintenance tracker and keeps tabs on throttle position, coolant temps, battery status, and RPMs.

But most important, people can use the app to change the fueling and firing of their bike, which can be complicated, difficult to do by hand, and costly if you have to take it in for servicing. Users can download a bunch of different maps that provide a preset baseline for the bike based on terrain. These maps explain a bunch of the bike's digital functions and allow you to tinker with things without the fear of destroying the whole thing.

Ulrich told Digital Trends that Yamaha would be releasing even more downloadable maps in the future as more and more people get newer bikes.

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  1. Yamaha created the Power Tuning app that lets people tune their motorcycles from their smartphones.
  2. The app also gives you a ton of information about your bike, how it runs and how you're using it.

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Jonathan is a Contributing Writer for CNET's Download.com. He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.