Motorcycle Carburetor vs Fuel injection – What’s the Difference?

Motorcycle carburetor vs fuel injection

Fuel prices are on the rise. Fossil fuel is perishable. And we’re in the time when car and motorcycle manufacturers are trying to push the limit of technology to the edge. New motorcycles are being produced that are more powerful than ever before. With more power demands, there’s a larger need for more fuel.

But using more fuel isn’t practical if you think in longer terms: suppose next several hundred years. Fossil fuel can’t replenish itself anytime soon with the rate of its usage. There’s a high demand for it yet supply is very low, in pragmatic terms. There has to be something else. Something that is much more efficient.

Fuel injection is a new technology which is trying to make motorcycles more efficient than ever before. It can make an effective fuel usage within a limited boundary. In this guide we’ll look at both carburetors as well as fuel injection and talk about all the fundamentals you gotta know about both of these.

Let’s talk about both of these briefly so that ideas about both are clear to you. After that we’ll dive into their differences.

Carburetor

Carburetors have been the longest and most widely used tech used in motorcycles until now. It’s easy to maintain and clean, even you can clean a carburetor without removing it. They paved the way for modern engine technology and made use of advanced components in an engine.

The goal of this is simple: it atomizes the fuel in a vacuum chamber, rapidly mixes the molecules up with air and sends it through the combustion chamber to create fire sparks.

What you’ve just read was the most basic definition of a carburetor and its working principle. These are still the most popular and widely used tech in motorcycles. But a need for efficient fuel management is on the verge of coming and fuel injection is seemingly the future tech that’s going to replace most of the carburettor system.

Fuel Injection

Carburetor technology was doing well when it started. Cars started becoming high powered and more fuel was being needed. But manufacturers and environmentalists realized if this keeps going the way it was going at that time, it will wreak havoc on the environment and soon there’s going to be a time without fossil fuels.

That’s how fuel injection became necessary to be used in motorcycle engines. Unlike a carburetor, fuel injection uses sensors to use as minimally possible fuel to create combustion sparks in the engine as needed. The performance became much better while fuel usage got insanely lower.

Differences between Motorcycle carburetor vs fuel injection

We’ve learnt some basics about both of these. Now let’s dive into their differences

Maintenance

Carburetors are simple. There’s one large component and that’s all. There are no sensors or any moving parts. However, having a single part has some problems. For example: when there’s some damage anywhere on the carburetor chamber, the whole unit gets unusable.

A carburetor will last for quite some time with periodic faults once in a while. But since repairing it is easy and quick, you can easily repair a damaged carburetor.

On the other hand, a fuel injection system has a lot of sensors deployed throughout a motorcycle. There are sensors on the engine, in the fuel tank and there’s a wired connection on the onboard computer. The good thing is this system has hardly any downtime and it’s built solid. You won’t hear a fuel injection failing that often.

But if a damage ever occurs and that’s serious, you might end up paying quite a hefty amount. Because there are quite a few wiring connections and computers and batteries involved. Fixing such a complicated system can get very expensive depending on the brand.

Customization

You can’t do much change into a carburetor. The chamber is a single unit metal chamber and doesn’t leave much room for tinkering. A fuel injection has many areas where you can upgrade. Since there are quite a lot of moving parts in an fuel injection system, changing a few components can output varying results.

Mileage

A fuel injection system can provide 2 – 3 times higher mileage than a carburetor engine. It’s possible because of targeted fuel injection. The sensors check for points and the onboard computer determines the best point as well as the most efficient spray point.

It’s made possible by combining all the calculations of the computer and the sensors. Since there’s less fuel usage with FI (Fuel Injection) systems, the overall pollution is less with it as well.

Power increasing

There’s not much room for you to increase the raw output from a carburetor but it can be done with an FI system by using third party power FI components.

Cost

Setting up a carburetor system, replacing and fixing damages of it isn’t that expensive. Since they’ve been used for more than a century now, the technology has become cheaper and the mechanics are easily available without spending a lot.

On the other hand, an FI system is a complicated mini computer and setting one up, its maintenance and replacement – everything is expensive.

But if you consider running costs, or in other words, the cost of using fuel then you win by a landslide with an FI system. It is incredibly fuel efficient.

Repair

Repairs are common with a carburetor. As the unit works as a whole, damages are common and can be noticed quite often and the whole set will need to be repaired.

But things are different with an FI system. You don’t have a single system here but rather a set of components interconnected with one another availing themselves inputs and outputs. Generally, a single part will get faulty and if you can fix that, everything can get back to normal again.

But once in a while, there might be situations where the whole FI system is broken and in a situation like this, it will likely need to be replaced and it can be costly. But a complete Fi system failure isn’t much often noticed with motorcycles.

Final words

An FI system is expensive in the initial set-up phase. But can help you save a lot more money than you’d by using a carburetor system. One system excels at some features while fails at some. That’s how things are with both of these. You can’t get wrong with any of these choices. Choose whatever fits you best.

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