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Old 01-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #76
slartidbartfast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmpireExpeditions View Post
I agree that knock sensors should be fitted. Obviously they don't exist on older non efi bikes either so both could go bang.
I'm thinking of fitting a knock sensor and light to my dash...
The knock sensors for my R1100GS are either side of my head and work just fine, even with earplugs in.

My R80RT has a great anti-knock system - The factory compression is just too low. Despite the ignition coil failure (and one charging rotor failure - replaced in a few minutes with the spare I was carrying) mine has proven to be the best touring bike I could ever have had for the money, and acceptably reliable given the number of miles I have put on it and the abominable conditions I have ridden it in. I have no illusions that it might be superior to much younger (fuel injected) touring machines however.

If you screw about with an R80 to try and get closer to the performance available from a modern (fuel injected) engine, you are going to create a bike that is more sensitive to ignition timing, mixture and fuel quality, and which will need more TLC to set up properly and keep running sweetly. If you like tinkering, that might be the perfect bike.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #77
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Judging from past cars, the Germans do not do electronics very well, and the Japanese do them VERY well.
I have known some old high mile BMW bikes (pre electronics) that just seem to run for ever.

In 1986 a friend had a newer Harley low rider which fried its electronic ignition in the city (over heated the unit I guess) and instead of spending the money for another electronic system I suggested points.
That was what he did, and he never had problems with it for many years.

On my old Daytona, I fit a Boyer in place of the points, set and forget, 5 years with no issues.

The only reason I like the electronic ignition is its stable and easy to set and forget, it never changes or wears, mark the spot and it can be set back after a rebuild or service. Very handy on multi cylinder bikes.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #78
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I agree, German cars are unreliable.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:41 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
Judging from past cars, the Germans do not do electronics very well, and the Japanese do them VERY well.
I have known some old high mile BMW bikes (pre electronics) that just seem to run for ever.
Get some experience with older (pre 1970) British bikes, then comment?

A word ... LUCAS.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:02 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Get some experience with older (pre 1970) British bikes, then comment?

A word ... LUCAS.
Once Lucas encapsulated their alternator stators, they were OK. The open ones suffered if the primary chain was neglected and threw rollers off. Most of Lucas's problems resulted from incompetent owners doing their own servicing and screwing things up. If you want to go back to DC charging systems, they ALL sucked, no matter who made them.

As far as Bosch goes, one of their first production electronic fuel injection systems was used in type 3 VWs in the late 1960s. The Japanese stuck with carburetors until the 1980s.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by ADW View Post
Yep. Like my buddy's F800GS last year that the battery died and, guess what, no power = no EFI. Dead on the road. The other two of us on the trip rode 1.5 hours to the nearest town that luckily had a NAPA store with a battery close enough to fit the GS.

This experience was quite unlike my other buddy's KLR that we bump started and continued to ride when his battery wouldn't restart him on the road on a different trip.

Carbs are easy to clean in the field, and require no computer or battery power to operate. Both EFI and carbs don't like dirt, but since I don't need electricity to run my carb, that's 50% less failure mode to worry about. Better for bad conditions in my opinion. I recognize the power and fuel economy advantages of FI, but the simplicity and ability to deal with it on the side of the trail drove me to pick a carbureted ADV bike.

Must be a shitty BMW thing. I had a battery die on my R1 a few years back on a trip and I could bump start it and get going no problem. Do I even need to mention my battery-less FI MX bike?
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj-brett View Post
judging from past cars, the Europeans do not do electronics very well, and the japanese do them very well.
I have known some old high mile bmw bikes (pre electronics) that just seem to run for ever.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
let's hear why most used Ducati for sale have really low miles ... 20k miles on a Ducati is a LOT of miles

OEM changed to electronics to gain accuracy in delivery of both fuel and ignition. both necessary to pass EPA regulation. OEM in their quest for higher profits developed a strategy of planned obsolescence. for instance designs that required more and more specialized tools to service.

little things like producing bearings without grease ports. knowing that when factory grease does wear out. a major failure resulting in a forced trip to dealership. final drives are famous for taking dumps ... needing major service every 50k miles or so... VS R80 G/S monolever final drive are bathe in oil and typically last life of bike.

new BMW motorcycle are among the worst .. sure all those fancy gizmo like traction control, ABS, etc are super cool... but ah... what happens when they go down... ever priced out a new ABS control module? take a guess where that part is coming from?

you are dreaming if you think new BMW motorcyles are more reliable than my R80 G/S. this is assuming both are in same condition. for instance my R80 G/S has gone though a frame-off rebuilt ... engine balanced to 1/10 gram, tranny refreshed, new wiring harness, all bearings/seals replaced, shocks front and rear revalved, upgrade alternator, new cables, carbs refresh, etc. etc.

all it takes is one major breakdown to financially end a trip. there's many documented instances of almost new R800GS engines taking a dump in the middle of no where. but hey it's a new BMW GS motorcycle and supposed to go anywhere... it's not suppose to break... arggghhhh.

did you know R800GS doesn't contain a knock sensor... so if/when one gets a load of bad fuel ... resulting knocking can quickly destroy engine. it's easy to miss when one is wearing helmets...most importantly most folks are not aware of this issue... BMW is certainly not going to advertise this... new BMW ... more reliable than my old R80 G/S .... ya right..

by the way ... if one's R800GS ever start running funny after a refuel... STOP .... don't proceed, take your helmet off listen to motor for knocks as motor is gently rev'd up. if you hear knocks ... drain fuel, put in clean fuel, go on your way vs knocks can destroy your engine in short order!

Delusions, you haz them.

planned obsolescence? are we talking about points or electronic ignition? What special tools are needed to fix electronic ignition? You're talking out of your ass. I have 150k between k1200s and r1200gs and have never had an electronics issue, and the plugs in the GS last 50k easily.

Bearings without grease ports? WTF are you talking about? I'm not aware of any mfg, car or bike putting grease ports on in this day and age. Final drives taking dumps? pretty small percentage considering how many have been sold, and I never even serviced the FD on ANY of my 7 bmws so equipped, including 2 airheads.

And whats with this nonsense "VS R80 G/S monolever final drive are bathe in oil and typically last life of bike. "
You don't think new FDs are bathed in oil? You're making a fool out of yourself.

Here's a real laugher:

"you are dreaming if you think new BMW motorcyles are more reliable than my R80 G/S. this is assuming both are in same condition. for instance my R80 G/S has gone though a frame-off rebuilt ... engine balanced to 1/10 gram, tranny refreshed, new wiring harness, all bearings/seals replaced, shocks front and rear revalved, upgrade alternator, new cables, carbs refresh, etc. etc. "

How many miles were on your R80gs when you had to do a frame off rebuild? You conveniently left out that part. I haven't had to do that on my r12gs, and its got 125k miles on it.

Finally, a tank of bad fuel is not going to destroy an engine just because it doesn't have knock sensor. You really have lost it and show you really are clueless as to the workings of simple mechanics. Wouldn't there be a lot of destroyed engines if this is the case?

I'm with Jim, this is a luddite thread that started out as a debate between FI and carbs and has now devolved into
longing for the good old days when bikes were "reliable".

Here's the news, my R75/5 and R65Ls were the most unreliable bikes I've owned. The R65LS alone had these failures
before 50k miles.

Oil soaked clutch
Broken shift linkage in transmission (warranty)
Dual coils exploded 60 miles outside Waco
Open in the alternator rotor (common problem but not everyone carries a spare because its so unreliable)
paint peeling off wheels
leaky FD
carb diaphrams
throttle linkage\gears
diode board
floats sticking in carbs spilling fuel everywhere.
rotting exhaust pipes
alternator too weak to keep battery charged in town
difficult to start in cold weather.

I finally sold it after 12 years and only 90k miles, and it likely needed a top end rebuild.

What really irritates airhead lovers is the superior mileage my r1200gs gets, I was lucky to get 40mpg
on my airheads on the highway but can average 45mpg around town now. How can a motor with twice the displacement
get better mileage? FI and electronic ignition thats how, and running out of gas will leave you just as starnded
as these new "unreliable" bikes do.


You've convinced me though, I can make my reliable r1200gs even more reliable by fitting carbs, converting to points
and condenser, changing to monolever FD. I'm also gonna ditch the hydraulics and switch to drum brakes and cables to make it bulletproof.


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Old 01-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric2 View Post
Delusions, you haz them.

planned obsolescence? are we talking about points or electronic ignition? What special tools are needed to fix electronic ignition? You're talking out of your ass. I have 150k between k1200s and r1200gs and have never had an electronics issue, and the plugs in the GS last 50k easily.

Bearings without grease ports? WTF are you talking about? I'm not aware of any mfg, car or bike putting grease ports on in this day and age. Final drives taking dumps? pretty small percentage considering how many have been sold, and I never even serviced the FD on ANY of my 7 bmws so equipped, including 2 airheads.

And whats with this nonsense "VS R80 G/S monolever final drive are bathe in oil and typically last life of bike. "
You don't think new FDs are bathed in oil? You're making a fool out of yourself.

Here's a real laugher:

"you are dreaming if you think new BMW motorcycles are more reliable than my R80 G/S. this is assuming both are in same condition. for instance my R80 G/S has gone though a frame-off rebuilt ... engine balanced to 1/10 gram, tranny refreshed, new wiring harness, all bearings/seals replaced, shocks front and rear revalved, upgrade alternator, new cables, carbs refresh, etc. etc. "

How many miles were on your R80gs when you had to do a frame off rebuild? You conveniently left out that part. I haven't had to do that on my r12gs, and its got 125k miles on it.

Finally, a tank of bad fuel is not going to destroy an engine just because it doesn't have knock sensor. You really have lost it and show you really are clueless as to the workings of simple mechanics. Wouldn't there be a lot of destroyed engines if this is the case?

I'm with Jim, this is a luddite thread that started out as a debate between FI and carbs and has now devolved into
longing for the good old days when bikes were "reliable".

Here's the news, my R75/5 and R65Ls were the most unreliable bikes I've owned. The R65LS alone had these failures
before 50k miles.

Oil soaked clutch
Broken shift linkage in transmission (warranty)
Dual coils exploded 60 miles outside Waco
Open in the alternator rotor (common problem but not everyone carries a spare because its so unreliable)
paint peeling off wheels
leaky FD
carb diaphrams
throttle linkage\gears
diode board
floats sticking in carbs spilling fuel everywhere.
rotting exhaust pipes
alternator too weak to keep battery charged in town
difficult to start in cold weather.

I finally sold it after 12 years and only 90k miles, and it likely needed a top end rebuild.

What really irritates airhead lovers is the superior mileage my r1200gs gets, I was lucky to get 40mpg
on my airheads on the highway but can average 45mpg around town now. How can a motor with twice the displacement
get better mileage? FI and electronic ignition thats how, and running out of gas will leave you just as starnded
as these new "unreliable" bikes do.

You've convinced me though, I can make my reliable r1200gs even more reliable by fitting carbs, converting to points
and condenser, changing to monolever FD. I'm also gonna ditch the hydraulics and switch to drum brakes and cables to make it bulletproof.
BS ... I can back up everything I've posted.

1. mfg starting with Mercedes Benz in the 60's would change parts just to make it slightly different to give it another part number. for example a waterpump that bolted identical to another one, except flanges were changed to prevent mating with fan blade. chassis numbers were required to order correct parts.

2. Ball joints and U-joints routinely made with grease zerts now had none .. when factory grease was gone, metal to metal contact destroyed joints. bearings with access to allow repack with grease are now sealed. when factory grease is gone... bearing destroys itself.

3. legislation had to introduced to force mfg to provide computer access codes to allow aftermarket mechanics to work on modern computer controlled systems. without computer access, it's impossible to work on new computer controlled systems.

4. all sorts of designs implemented to change what was a simple job into a money $$$ making operation. example: replacing fuel pump requires dropping fuel tank ... having to remove entire front end to work on motor for late model diesel pickups.. etc. etc.. NO way this was by accident

5. Monolever rear ends on G/S are bathed in oil and typically last life of bike.

6. there's many documented instances of F8 engines destroyed .. teardown reveled cratered pistons, etc... massive damage caused by engine detonation.

7. it's well known paralever rear ends and newer routinely take dumps after 50k or so miles. some dump with less miles, others go 150k without problems. Stators on F8 routines take dumps after about 45k miles... etc. etc..

points/condenser may need more attention, but they can be gotten back up every time vs electronic ignitions have zero maintenance, but if they puke you are walking... there would not be so many aftermarket electronic ignitions for airheads, if BMW airhead electronic ignitions were dead reliable. NO mfg is going to make a product with no demand.

it's all a trade off ... for me I'd rather put up with higher maintenance and know I can get my bike running again.
there's many threads on Adv documenting everything posted above...

getting tired of typing ... you must be in a vacuum if you have not seen above. ALL bikes need maintenance ... never have I claimed Airheads need no maintenance.

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:23 AM   #85
NJ-Brett
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I had a bunch of them from when they were new, till now, and never had problems.
If you know how to go through things and prevent problems, they never happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Get some experience with older (pre 1970) British bikes, then comment?

A word ... LUCAS.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #86
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My old KTM 950 had carbs. I bought it new. It was a crude running motorcycle and even suffered carb icing under damp conditions below 50F. I suffered through 60k miles on it. I got used to it, though. Sudden death syndrome and all...

My sons TZ and Aprilia road racers were carbed. Very finicky jetting that would change through a given day.

Our 600 road racers were FI. In a few seconds could remap for fuels or whatever. Amazing things for tuning.

My Yam 250R is my first FI dual sport. I rode it as high as 12,600 feet on Grayback Mountain in CO, plus all the other passes along the CDR. Always ran perfect.

My newest is a KTM 690R. Another perfectly fueling motor. My son's KTM 350 EXC-F is another example of a motor that fuels perfectly in all conditions.

When was the last automobile fuels with carbs? 1980 maybe?

I'd never go back to carbs, even if I was riding RTW. Failures are so rare, and I can get parts shipped no matter where I am.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:40 PM   #87
slartidbartfast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
BS ... I can back up everything I've posted.

1. mfg starting with Mercedes Benz in the 60's would change parts just to make it slightly different to give it another part number. for example a waterpump that bolted identical to another one, except flanges were changed to prevent mating with fan blade. chassis numbers were required to order correct parts.
Some airhead parts swap like lego - some newer stuff also between similar models. It's now easier to redesign parts rather than having to tweak old designs which has more to do with CAD and CNC manufacturing than profiteering. Besides I don't see the relationship to reliability.

Quote:
2. Ball joints and U-joints routinely made with grease zerts now had none .. when factory grease was gone, metal to metal contact destroyed joints. bearings with access to allow repack with grease are now sealed. when factory grease is gone... bearing destroys itself.
Old designs needed a squirt of grease every oil change and STILL wore out eventually (you're kidding yourself if you believe otherwise). Sealed bearings are (usually) sealed because that keeps the grease in and means they don't need external greasing, not to ensure they'll wear out without maintenance. I see that as an improvement (despite a few known exceptions)

Quote:
3. legislation had to introduced to force mfg to provide computer access codes to allow aftermarket mechanics to work on modern computer controlled systems. without computer access, it's impossible to work on new computer controlled systems.
legislation? I think the manufacturers either offered the information or hackers found it out anyway

Quote:
4. all sorts of designs implemented to change what was a simple job into a money $$$ making operation. example: replacing fuel pump requires dropping fuel tank ... having to remove entire front end to work on motor for late model diesel pickups.. etc. etc.. NO way this was by accident
I've come across a few things like that - peculiar fasteners to prevent the average mechanic getting at certain things without buying special tools. Probably has more to do with government-required anti-tamper features and liability though. Some designs create maintenance difficulties but are intended for easier, faster, simpler, more modular assembly. Compact installation to minimize the size of the hood and reduce frontal area for fuel efficiency is the likely driving force behind crowded under-hood areas. In the case of diesel pickups, the engines don't (or shouldn't) need nearly as frequent attention as the "good old days" when you had room to stand beside the engine under the hood - Back then, of course the engines had 1/3 the HP, gave 1/3 the fuel economy and needed mechanical maintenance every few thousand miles with major overhaul usually at no more than 100K. Diesel pickups didn't exist and you also probably didn't have A/C or half the other "essential" features of a modern vehicle.

Quote:
5. Monolever rear ends on G/S are bathed in oil and typically last life of bike.
Are we talking about modern engineering designs in general or the issues peculiar to paralever BMWs in-particular?

Quote:
6. there's many documented instances of F8 engines destroyed .. teardown reveled cratered pistons, etc... massive damage caused by engine detonation.
Fewer than the instances of airhead engines eating valves via several modes of failure I'll bet - or losing oil pressure due to the filter can receding into the engine or the filter O-ring not being compressed just right, or simply wearing out in the days before nikasil bores, etc., etc. There is NO DOUBT that MTBF is less for the newer designs - and you're not fixing a holed piston by the side of the road on any bike, old or new.

Quote:
7. it's well known paralever rear ends and newer routinely take dumps after 50k or so miles. some dump with less miles, others go 150k without problems. Stators on F8 routines take dumps after about 45k miles... etc. etc..
Well known to whom? Oh damn - I guess my 1100 is living on borrowed time then - LOL. Airhead transmissions fail by breaking springs, eating thrust bearings, etc., etc. at lower mileage than that and the alternator rotors, voltage regulators, rectifier boards and various other electrical bits can and do let go at any mileage. Then there's the fiddly bean can advance systems and crackomatic coils. My oilhead has not been perfectly reliable but I guarantee I've put on several thousand happy travelling miles while some poor R80 G/S owner was trying to do regular maintenance on his bike and work-around some of the above issues.

Quote:
points/condenser may need more attention, but they can be gotten back up every time vs electronic ignitions have zero maintenance, but if they puke you are walking... there would not be so many aftermarket electronic ignitions for airheads, if BMW airhead electronic ignitions were dead reliable. NO mfg is going to make a product with no demand.

it's all a trade off ... for me I'd rather put up with higher maintenance and know I can get my bike running again.
...and I'd rather be out riding and know that the chance of needing to try and get my bike running again is much less
Quote:
there's many threads on Adv documenting everything posted above...

getting tired of typing ... you must be in a vacuum if you have not seen above. ALL bikes need maintenance ... never have I claimed Airheads need no maintenance.
So if you admit that airheads need more maintenance to keep them running, how exactly can you still defend the position that they are more reliable? Sorry but that seems self-contradctory
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:47 PM   #88
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
Some airhead parts swap like lego - some newer stuff also between similar models. It's now easier to redesign parts rather than having to tweak old designs which has more to do with CAD and CNC manufacturing than profiteering. Besides I don't see the relationship to reliability.

Old designs needed a squirt of grease every oil change and STILL wore out eventually (you're kidding yourself if you believe otherwise). Sealed bearings are (usually) sealed because that keeps the grease in and means they don't need external greasing, not to ensure they'll wear out without maintenance. I see that as an improvement (despite a few known exceptions)

legislation? I think the manufacturers either offered the information or hackers found it out anyway

I've come across a few things like that - peculiar fasteners to prevent the average mechanic getting at certain things without buying special tools. Probably has more to do with government-required anti-tamper features and liability though. Some designs create maintenance difficulties but are intended for easier, faster, simpler, more modular assembly. Compact installation to minimize the size of the hood and reduce frontal area for fuel efficiency is the likely driving force behind crowded under-hood areas. In the case of diesel pickups, the engines don't (or shouldn't) need nearly as frequent attention as the "good old days" when you had room to stand beside the engine under the hood - Back then, of course the engines had 1/3 the HP, gave 1/3 the fuel economy and needed mechanical maintenance every few thousand miles with major overhaul usually at no more than 100K. Diesel pickups didn't exist and you also probably didn't have A/C or half the other "essential" features of a modern vehicle.

Are we talking about modern engineering designs in general or the issues peculiar to paralever BMWs in-particular?

Fewer than the instances of airhead engines eating valves via several modes of failure I'll bet - or losing oil pressure due to the filter can receding into the engine or the filter O-ring not being compressed just right, or simply wearing out in the days before nikasil bores, etc., etc. There is NO DOUBT that MTBF is less for the newer designs - and you're not fixing a holed piston by the side of the road on any bike, old or new.

Well known to whom? Oh damn - I guess my 1100 is living on borrowed time then - LOL. Airhead transmissions fail by breaking springs, eating thrust bearings, etc., etc. at lower mileage than that and the alternator rotors, voltage regulators, rectifier boards and various other electrical bits can and do let go at any mileage. Then there's the fiddly bean can advance systems and crackomatic coils. My oilhead has not been perfectly reliable but I guarantee I've put on several thousand happy travelling miles while some poor R80 G/S owner was trying to do regular maintenance on his bike and work-around some of the above issues.

...and I'd rather be out riding and know that the chance of needing to try and get my bike running again is much less
So if you admit that airheads need more maintenance to keep them running, how exactly can you still defend the position that they are more reliable? Sorry but that seems self-contradctory
good grief ... do you actually believe that horseshit?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #89
John Smallberries
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My 2c to the OP question

In Sept 2011 I did the "Intro to Adventure" and "Base Camp Alpha" excursions with RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, CA (fantastic!). Riding buddy, Dave, ended up in this slot in the Jawbone area:

In the drop, he broke off the electrical connector to the LH fuel injector:

Leaving him with a "600GS". Our RawHyde leader was able to limp the bike out, but he was done for the trip.

The moral of the story to me wasn't "shoulda had a carb", but "shoulda bought a Touratech fuel injector protector"
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:45 PM   #90
Paebr332
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It is obvious that the carb lovers have never heard of reliability engineering.

And before you start with your "my carbed bikes have never failed but my buddies EFI bike has..." just remember that data is not the plural of anecdote.

Carbs are dead in cars and trucks and soon in bikes. Not because of some nefarious conspiracy between government and OEM parts makers. It's because EFI is demonstrably better.
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