The issues of fuel injectors and "adventure" bikes

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Mambo Dave, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    Granted, this is coming from racing, but the issues that James West (and others?) had with clogged fuel injectors (KTM bike) in the current Dakar terrain (by only stage 5), and his explaining of it not being particularly a quick thing to have to change out an injector, has me questioning the need for, or role of, fuel injection for the average non-supported guy who is adventure-traveling through the middle of a sandy or dusty nowhere... most likely without a spare injector.

    It seems to me that carbs are a little more forgiving to finer dust particles, and a single carb is, of course, the simplest device to use or maintain to keep a bike going.

    So if total HP isn't a huge factor in adventure riding, where instead actually making it to a destination can be close to a life or death factor, why would I want fuel injectors again?
    #1
  2. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    It goes without saying, the more complicated something is, the more susceptible to failure, and the more difficult it will be to repair.

    So the real question is if EFIs advantages outweigh its possible liabilities as you will actually be using it. Do you plan on doing the Dakar, or just doing occasional unpaved roads?

    Carbs appeal to me because they will basically last forever, don't "break down" and will survive serious abuse, but I also recognize EFIs advantages in power and economy that it provides in normal real world conditions.
    #2
  3. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    My fuel injected dirt bike hasn't had a single hiccup in the fuel injection, so I'd be fairly confident to run FI on an ADV rig.

    I'm not so sure I'd consider a carb less complicated than fuel injection, just more well known and familiar. I'm geek so digital tech doesn't really bother me.
    #3
  4. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Dust in the air doesn't clog injectors, stale fuel or filthy fuel does. Ideally, the refueling setup should have better filtering and the tank vent system needs a fine filter on it as well. Sounds like poor preparation to me.
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  5. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    My Adventure bike is carbureted. Gravity never breaks. :1drink
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  6. oldschoolsk8ter

    oldschoolsk8ter Adventurer

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    I'm with Dakez on this one! For an ADV bike I would not want injectors or a fuel pump to have to consider.

    Why build a system for what you can get for free. :deal
    #6
  7. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    I guess I shouldn't even be asking because I have yet to ride in a third world country, but I was thinking the same, and the buying of fuel from road-side tanks and people with dirty funnels strikes me as sort of common on such trips.

    I guess I was asking more for if I ever am able to travel abroad and start putting in dirty fuel, or fueling while in some type of dust storm.

    I'll take your word for it that stale or dirty fuel caused West's clogged injector, and that fuel injection isn't a problem for traveling through, say, Haiti. :D
    #7
  8. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Coffee filters work great to filter 3rd World gas as it is poured into the tank. :D
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  9. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Melitta plastic filter cone and paper filters. Cheap and light.
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  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    If you are not racing it isn't an issue. You can cary a spare, or clean it along the way. Knowing what you are doing is the key factor for a traveler.

    Jim :brow
    #10
  11. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Racing has nothing to do with it, Jim. Where and how a person rides...empty lonely places of the west, alone...give me a carburator over FI any day of the week.
    #11
  12. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I do not think FI adds any power on its own.
    And the injectors are not what I would worry about, its the fuel pump that gives more problems, bigger to carry, harder to replace.

    FI is good for altitude changes and convienience, push the button and go, but otherwise its just something ready to go tits up.
    And don't compare a crappy cv carb to FI, compare a good pumper carb to FI.
    CV carbs and FI came around to improve emissions, then both were set lean.
    There is nothing worse in my book then a lean sluggish CV carb.
    #12
  13. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    I'm willing to bet that everyone that thinks carbs are better are over 60. Maybe 50.

    Injection works better, everywhere. Get better fuel filters. And my carb'd 950 has a fuel pump.

    I bet you guys also griped when electronic ignitions replaced points (can't fix it by the side of the road!).

    Move into the 21st century, because they are not going back to carbs, no matter how much you 7 or 8 guys cry about it.
    #13
  14. oldschoolsk8ter

    oldschoolsk8ter Adventurer

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    I'm 29 and choose Carb for ADV, Street Bike/high performance track bike and I would change my tune.
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  15. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I always said carburetor was French for "don't touch this"

    The reliability of both I think is proven, racing probably isn't a good example to compare to real world usage. My last ATV and my Jeep are fuel injected....both saw some horrible conditions (okay not third world but beaten off-road) without a hickup. The Jeep is 15 years old and hasn't had ANY fuel related issues...probably should change that factory fuel filter one of these days :evil
    #15
  16. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I think anyone on this board would agree with you on that, but its got nothing to do with fuel....

    :lol3
    #16
  17. GoUglyEarly

    GoUglyEarly Boots Still Clean

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    My buddy's 21st century XR400 is persona non grata at le DMV.

    The 21st century sucks. Too many laws:smile6
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  18. Ragin Rabbi

    Ragin Rabbi Semper Fidelis

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    I thought there was a difference between a Rally Bike and an Adventure Bike. But what do I know.
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  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Racing was the subject, I responded to it!

    However, injection is no more likely to fail than a carb, and IMHO less so!

    Jim :brow
    #19
  20. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    EFI vs Carbs...

    While you can get the same max power from both systems, the EFI will be more efficient over the entire range of operating conditions compared to a single carb set up (read singe set up for multiple carbs if that is required). Efficient here means fuel used over the distance traveled.

    Why do racers then prefer EFI? Because they can carry less fuel = less weight ... And they start better and run better over the entire rev/load range.

    Any delay in racing is seen as a bad thing. A blocked carby would be seen in the same light as a blocked injector. A well trained person faced with either situation would be able to 'fix' it in similar times. In fact a EFI system can be faster due if well designed for fast servicing (eg the injector can be set up to be removed without removing anything else.
    ---------------------
    The 'problem' with EFI is there is a lack of general knowledge by the backyard mechanic and the general public. That will change over time. The backyard mechanic will either learn or die off.
    #20