Carburated VS. Fuel Injected

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by pilsnerbuck, May 19, 2009.

  1. pilsnerbuck

    pilsnerbuck Member

    I am in the market for a bike and I am curious to get some feedback on whether to focus on a carburated or a fuel injected engine. Does it really matter? What do you see are the advantages and disadvantages of each? I have been told that there is a slight hesitation on a bike with fuel injection but they are more fuel efficient than a carburated bike. True, not true, insignificant? What else should I consider when shopping around?
  2. fatboygreg07

    fatboygreg07 Member

    Fuel inj. is definitely more efficient, As far as mileage goes I doubt you'll notice, (i mean @ 40 mpg whos really counting?) I guess it basically boils down to personal opinion, But fuel injection definitely reduces amount of tinkering you'll need to do though! Oh, and I don't think you'll ever feel the hesitation.
  3. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

    I have a very simplistic view of your dilema. Apparently you are looking at previously owned bikes, some of which have been upgraded to Stage I. If you don't plan to upgrade beyond Stage I, go with EFI. However, if you like to play, experiment and/or plan on more elegant upgrades like displacement, compression, heads, cams, etc., go for the carb.

  4. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Give me a carb please so I can tinker when I change my pipes or my cams or my air cleaner. Or when something goes wrong on a trip.
  5. magmini

    magmini Banned

    i would have to agree . if you are gonna just ride the bike go with the e.f.i. . if you want to (and don't mind) tinkering with it then the carb is easier to change things and lot cheaper . the e.f.i. will requier some type of "programer" to re-calibrate the e.f.i. when you make a change . either way it will be worth the pain !
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    As always with these types of questions, the answer starts with "that depends"!!

    I love my little carb bike. Simplicity in the theory of operation, much fewer electronic or electrical stuff to go wrong, VERY easy to fiddle with, and easy to customize with just a few jet changes/idle screw adjustments. Buy I do my own work. And with the TFI on the '03 UC, it is sorta like a carbed bike in terms of tweakin' the fuel delivery. But the big bike still has all that electrical stuff on it that can go wrong and is less obvious from a problem-solving standpoint. But I really like that bike too. Just for different reasons.

    So the answer to your questions is, "that depends ..."!

  7. silentflyer

    silentflyer Active Member

    The KISS principal of engineering, the carb is much easier to work on.....some how the engineers are always messing with that concept....

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Two trains of thought working here regarding Carb vs EFI...advantages:

    EFI - Upside: It is the wave of the future, virtually maintenance free, virtually no warm up, consistant A/F mixture over entire RPM range. Limited aftermarket support right now, some "supplement" HD factory specs / EPA certified standards, but only a few are certified to do so legally, and enforcement of smog and sound emissions mandated testing is coming.
    Downside: expensive to work on and tune to get sorted if A/F changes are needed such as Stage I mods. Complexity, requires high pressure fuel pump, fuel lines and relative black art of 2D & 3D mapping is "daunting" due to all the sensors and electronics used to support it and all must be in working order or dead bike, a low or dead battery also means the "end of the party...if far from home"

    Carb - Upside: Old school, less complexity, does not require electrical power, easier to "tune" and less expensive over the life of the bike. Plenty of aftermarket support, and things haven't changed much over a long, long time.
    Downside: does require periodic maintenance or cleaning, as neoprene parts "groove" and deteriorate over shorter period of time over the life of the bike. May be harder to get parts for later on...but for now easy to obtain parts, deterioration is gradual and may go undetected until too late.

    Which do I prefer - being "new" to the HD brotherhood, I opted for carb model, being a little "old school", opportunity, convenience, easiest to work on and be "one" with, and because it was the first one that pushed all the right buttons for me...decent out of the box performance, easiest to sort out Stage 1 mods, least amount of complexity. :s

    Don't get me wrong, I love technology...the fact that even my 2004 ride has electric start, breakerless ignition, oil wetted clutch, belt drive, rubber engine mounts, dual disc brakes and security system...along with 85% of my old 93 Katana's sporting prowness, only with a more relaxed ride that I can share 2-up comfortably, there was little not to like, HD is #1 :D
  9. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

    I will go with fuel injection,once you understand it fuel injection is simple.I have run race cars with injection and carbs,and I have rebuilt and tuned more then my fair share of carbs over the years,for racing applications you have to baffle a carb and you still get a small amount of throttle bump out of the corners,never with fuel injection.The principals are the same.Air + fuel. With a carb you need the air rushing down the throat to atomize the fuel that is basically leaking in from a jet,with fuel injection you have air coming in to provide volume for fuel that is being fogged out of an injector already 85% atomized providing efficiency. Not long ago I was almost afraid to play with aspects of my bike,I think I was intimidated by HD. But I have been researching and working on it and they are no different then any other iron. Bosch supplies any size injector that you wish to run with for these bikes and you can get different size throttle bodies. The throttle bodies are also thick enough that you can bore and polish them for an extreme build.That said,if you get more efficiency and can deliver more fuel at a greater burn rate what is the downside? None! JMHO