It's Going to get Worse

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by bodine003, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

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    It is so rare as to be statistically insignificant. Virtually every car since the model T has had a fuel pump of one sort or another. Fuel pumps sometimes wear out or, in the case of electrical ones, the motor dies but it is pretty rare when you consider the number of vehicles out there. Now remove the pumps that failed or were replaced due to clogged screens and/or filters and the mis-diagnosed replacement by incompetent mechanics and you can get a better picture.
    #61
  2. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Again, we all have our own experiences and opinions. When I search "fuel pump failure" in the search of this forum it sure brings a fair amount of stuff up. Some of it relevant and some not but a number of issues just the same. ANd apparently KTM has had some issues based on the threads it pulls up:hmmmmm


    ETA: just to clarify. I am not saying FI isn’t statistically reliable but more likely I am paranoid when I know I am out in the boondocks and my only line to safety is my bike.
    #62
  3. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen DR Guy

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    The carb/efi argument isn't so much about reliability as it is about repairability. Particularly in remote locations without parts or professional mechanics. There's also the crap fuel argument, but that has about as much to do with the motor as the fueling system.

    Both have their pros and cons. Efi is less likely to have an issue it would seem. The carb is much easier to fix on the side if the road in the event of a problem. Parts availability for both is likely to be a problem on a cross continental ride and both can likely get parts overnighted if in a developed country. Both should probably pack a few spare parts anyway.

    As a mechanically inclined person, I tend to prefer the system I can fix or rig myself to limp back to civilization. I can clean out a clogged jet with a piece of wire, JB weld a broken needle or slide, send clean out a clogged fuel filter. With efi I'm looking at needing to carry and injector and either a fuel pump or at least the motor for it so I could swap them in event of a failure. Not a big deal, but not my preference.
    #63
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  4. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    Sure. I've heard of lots of things that can fail on a motorcycle, things you can't fix in the field. Even on carbureted bikes. People get very irrational about assessing risk, and bad stories travel further than good ones, but the probability of a failure and the impact of that failure are separate quantities. As you said, everybody has their own tolerance for this, but I'd bet that the number of people who can a) field service a carb and carry the parts and tools to do so b) ride where there is no choice if a problem occurs, is very small. For them, maybe... maybe... they'd be better off with an unreliable thing they can service versus a reliable one they can't. But for everybody else, I think it's really time to just accept that fuel injection is all grown up, and very low on the list of things that might fail on a bike.
    #64
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  5. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    My worst plugged jet story is the little jet on the hood of the truck for the windshield washers. Damn thing.

    Of course carbed bikes are likely to outnumber a million to one to date in production, but that's beside the point. Problem with carbs is gas sitting in the float bowl evaporating and leaving crud that clogs them up. EFI has it all over them there. As for problems, now there are the high performance things relating to EFI that have plagued performance people with carbs... but it's electronics vs jetting. Still EFI will eventually have it over carbs again. Just takes time and fact is if you don't screw with carbs for performance and do not leave them sit around with gas evaporating away in the float bowls, they're pretty much bomb proof too. With carbs it's all about riding the bike instead of letting it sit. EFI can survive that better since there isn't a bunch of fuel in them.
    #65
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  6. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    No argument. I just think that it's been true since time immemorial that a new thing eventually matures to the point where it's just better than the old thing, without qualification. Even if it's on a motorcycle. I suspect that fuel injection is just about there, and electronic engine management will finish the job once it's the norm. I think FI is in the same category as electric start, reliability wise. And if you're in a riding environment where the impact of a critical component failure is so great that you have to take serviceability over reliability, then you're talking about a different kind of machine in more ways than just how it's fueled. Which is cool, but has become an outlier of a use case.
    #66
  7. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    My father had a gorgeous 3/4 ton turbo diesel Suburban that he sold (traded) in 2011. General Motors simply couldn't manufacture a reliable injector pump for that generation of truck. After two pump replacements and the attendant, out-of-warranty repair bills, he had enough.


    Yes. They're a known issue in the V-Strom community (former owner here), particularly among the v1.0 bikes. The fuel pumps are especially sensitive to clogged filters, more so than average. The repair involves removal and replacement of the integral pump/filter assembly (which is located inside the fuel tank), or installing an external fuel filter that is more easily replaced. Either option requires some investment of time and cost. The use of an external filter will be either be a great solution, or a bodge, depending on the installer's fabrication skills.

    File the foregoing under "It's always something". That said, I appreciate FI and carburetion for what each system is, and does.
    #67
  8. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    That's the argument I don't understand (admittedly neither happened to me personally). Why is it easier to fix a carb than FI when both require uninstalling and then reinstalling a failed component?
    #68
  9. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen DR Guy

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    The difference is the carb can be worked on in the absence of spare parts. You can likely rig a solution to get to town with a malfunctioning carb. If the fuel pump or injector quits and you don't have a spare, you're walking. Admittedly it's unlikely to happen, but that's how it is.

    The basic concept with a carb is that a clogged jet can be cleaned out with a piece of wire or some WD40, a damaged slide can be put back together with some JB weld, and a broken needle could be JB welded back together or into place to get the bike moving again. I know it's not ideal, but you're less likely to be totally stranded with something you can work on in the absence of parts.

    I can see the argument both ways. Hopefully this helps explain the carb side of the argument for you.
    #69
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  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Plus what that E stands for - Electronic. If a carb has problems it's mechanical and usually fixable with minimal effort. Fry the electronics with EFI and you're in deeper doo to find the part and the price you will pay. Of course this is pretty much a moot point considering the reliability of most current EFI. I would be wary of first year, but not so much after there is proven performance.
    #70
  11. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    By replacing the faulty part? How is it different from electronics?
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  12. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Well, how many of carb faults can be fixed this way as opposed to having to replace the part?

    Also, 90% of all electric problems is bad contacts. If the carb can be sometimes fixed with WD40 and JB weld, electronics can be fixed with a pocket knife and an eraser or fine sandpaper. So how is it different?
    #72
  13. GreyThumper

    GreyThumper Long timer

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    Why is it going to get worse?

    People who enjoy toys and can afford it can knock themselves out, people who don't won't. I've got the level of tech that I think is worth getting. I don't think electronic suspension or infotainment on bikes is worth paying for, but I like safety features like ABS and traction control, so I've got that. If you're truly wary of technology, wouldn't you rather be into bicycles than motorcycles? (And some of those are pretty high tech as well).
    #73
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  14. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Re: carburetors -

    My experience has been that almost all problems encountered with carbs are self inflicted. Folks who don't know enough about them, or have no business whatsoever messing around with them start to take them apart and "service" or modify them, or change them, and presto... the problems begin.

    If set up and maintained properly, good carbs can run nicely indefinitely. It's when the metal butchers get their hands on them that the issues begin.

    Use the correct sized carb(s) for your engine, always use good quality fuel, get a good fuel filter and change it every year, use a good intake air filter. Simple. Folks decide to re-jet when it's not at all necessary - and have zero idea of what they are doing, use cheap, zero additive fuel, have no fuel filter, or never change the one that's there, and swap the stock filter for a "racing" filter... and then complain about the carb being crap. You'd be surprised at how many complainers have negated all five of those basics.

    That said, I still enjoy FI better! :-) (My Triumph has Carbs, my HD has FI, both run great).

    As far as all the new technology is concerned, obviously it's not for everyone, and no, it doesn't make one less of a man, or establish anyone as rich or poor, or effect penis length, nor riding skill or ability.

    It's a personal choice, anyone can either take it, or leave it. Savvy manufacturers can read what the public wants, and offer it up. if no one is taking, it lessens, if folks are buying more of it... it increases. Supply and Demand... or is it "Demand" and Supply? :confused.... :-)

    Common sense dictates that if folks weren't willing to pay extra for all this stuff, they wouldn't be offering it up. Plenty of overloaded tech bikes out there, and plenty of Spartan bikes out there, the buyer(s) makes the choice.. and drives the market.
    #74
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  15. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen DR Guy

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    You're clearly only interested in arguing and are making no attempt to understand what we're trying to explain. I'm done.
    #75
  16. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    One advantage of efi that nobody has mentioned is that if it has an issue it will warn you there's a problem, or shut the bike down before major damage is done.
    I had a Vacuum cap come off my Ural, leaning out the mix just enough to cause a valve to stick. Fortunately it was an easy fix not requiring anything to bee replaced, but it could have been a holed piston if I had been on the freeway rather than a local road.
    If that happened on a efi bike, the system would simply compensate for the vacuum leak.
    #76
  17. IronButt70

    IronButt70 You don't have to be crazy to do this but it helps

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    Ah yes. The good old carbed days. I fondly remember how much fun it was to keep the 4 carbs on my 72 Honda CB350/4 in sync. NOT. We have come a long way. :D
    #77
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  18. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    I'd be curious to hear the opinions of people who have had carbs and knew how to service them, and had contemporary fuel injection and knew how to service it. A lot of the bias against injection seems to come from people who know carburetors better and are therefore more comfortable with them. I wonder what a balanced, informed comparison looks like, including for extreme use. Those Dakar bikes all seem to be injected...
    #78
  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Availability and probably a couple hundred dollars in cost. But then I've never had a carb break. Fact is the only problem I've had in the field with carbs was a bad float level allowing gas to run out prematurely - got home before going empty thanks to "RES" setting. I have a scooter with a failing fuel pump that stops the engine from starting when it gets too warm, after getting to sit for around 2 hours or so it will start. A bit frustrating. Cost for a replacement pump from aftermarket - the known good one - was $60, now to tear apart about 1/4 of the scooter to get in there to replace the pump...

    I did have a Ford Crown Vic, 1985 - worst year ever for EFI. The thing ran like crap, only fix would have been to scrap the EFI and put on a carb or better version EFI. I have had bad ignition trigger coils - twice - on motorcycles. One when I bought it and the other fortunately failed in the alley beside the house just as I was leaving. $125 and a couple weeks for the rewind. New is around $700 or so and now no longer available.

    Electronics are peachy until they are not and they can take a crap in a fraction of a second from working to not. The bad part. Now the good part is the present day electronic stuff is great once dialed in by the mfr, but there are limits programmed into the system. Not many limits on carbs. Ya just jet it.
    #79
  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    They are both good until you screw with something for better performance or something stupid happens. I put 50,000 miles on my KLX650 only having my float needle stick once. I put about 200 miles on my scooter and learned that when the fuel pump gets too warm when sitting still after riding, it won't start for a couple hours, has to cool down. Turns out that was a problem with that model around that time. I've never had a carb fail while riding, only a bad float setting that needed corrected. I've never had EFI screw up due to old fuel in the float bowl, they don't have one. Most EFI experience is obviously with cars. Of course I've not had a carb problem with a car either.

    EFI is superior in most instances. Only time it isn't right now is when doing modifications where a bigger unit is needed, the electronics can get in the way. Some day maybe the bikes will get some sort of self teaching EFI like there is for cars. Get it dialed in close enough to run and it does its own adjustment through programming. THAT is way cool!
    #80