During a time when fuel efficiency contributes directly to environmental protection, advancements in motorcycling had to be made in the form of developing the fuel injection system.
While there is an ongoing debate still lingering as to whether or not carbureted engines are less effective and desirable than those with fuel injection systems, all modern motorcycles have been converted to the new system. And that his not a bad thing.
Thanks to fuel injection, a significant advancement in motorcycling, things like fuel efficiency, speed, handling, and ease of use for beginner riders have all seen major improvements.
Until the 1980s, most motorcycles came with carburetors, the standard method of fuel distribution. The motorcycle industry needed to incorporate modern electronics into its products to stay competitive with technological advancements. The industry kept up with technology and performance via the invention of fuel injection, even in diesel-powered bikes.
The primary function of a carburetor is straightforward in comparison to modern technology. It takes the fuel from the gas tank and delivers it straight to the motor.
A carburetor can be one of the most challenging parts to work on or adjust even by the most skilled motorcycle mechanic. Because of its small working parts, one must almost have the abilities of an antique clockmaker to sufficiently work on a carburetor.
Iconic to antique and vintage motorcycles, a bike with a kickstart is guaranteed to possess a carburetor. The two go together like peas and carrots.
Almost all vintage bike collectors prefer the carburetor for its historical and aesthetic value and practical simplicity; however, the carburetor became antiquated because it was impossible to incorporate new computer technology into the part.
Advancements in motorcycle technology made fuel injection standard on all motorcycles by the early 2000s. There were multiple advantages to this new technology through optimizing fuel through high pressure injection rather than the carburetor’s suction method to deliver fuel.
Due to the use of computer technology along with its sophisticated components, the perfect amount of fuel is delivered to the engine at the perfect time.
Today’s strict emissions require much from motorcycles. With carburetors, even when the bike is parked, gas vapors can still escape, where as they do not with fuel injection.
Through the use of fuel injection, the mixture of the fuel and air is more functional, thus creating more fuel efficiency. Due to more fuel efficiency, modern motorcycles now come equipped with fuel gauges and no longer require the use of two fuel tanks because there was no way to tell when the tank would run out of gas.
Also, they do not have a choke, and like lawnmower engines, they do not need to be primed, as both use an unnecessary amount of fuel.
Motorcycle racing has been around since they hit the road, and fuel injection offered a huge advancement in speed for bikes. Bikes with fuel injection provide higher output for the same rpm. These bikes accelerate more smoothly, providing better handling, and they are capable of more speed, thus making them better for racing purposes.
Another big check on the side of fuel injection is that an engine that has fuel injection is happy to start regardless of temperature without much prodding. However, a carburetor will often refuse to get going if it the weather outside is frightful.
Fuel Injection also eliminates the need for a leafy petcock, thus making starting the bike less of a hassle.
Fuel injection also provides more consistent performance. Where as a carb will need to be adjusted from time to time, fuel injection systems do not have the same need. However, if a fuel injection system goes out, it much more expensive to repair.
While you can change a motorcycle from a carbureted system to a fuel injection system though a conversion kit, it can be a very expensive undertaking, and not all carbureted motors are compatible with the newer fuel injection systems.
Ultimately, the matter comes down to cost efficiency and functionality for the rider.
Fuel injection can be like an adrenaline injection for newer generation of motorcycles where as a carburetor is more of a chemical peel for the antique and vintage age groups.
Through the use of fuel injection systems, the industry is doing its part to ensure that our environment receives less damage due to harmful emissions that are emitted through the antiquated carburetor systems of the past.
While many motorcycle purists prefer the carb to the fuel injection system, the industry continues to replace the fat from the carb with the lighter emissions provided by fuel injection.