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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #31  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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FI is incomparably better than carburettion. The only negative to FI is that if your battery dies (including losing a single cell) then the FI is guaranteed to cease operation. However, putting this into context, there are many carburetted bikes that will also stop running if the battery dies.
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  #32  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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+1. Just like to add to that that there are now batteryless FI systems available. Wish I could retrofit that. FI is amazing at altitude. You may have to down shift because of the powerloss, but it still purrs as normal.
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  #33  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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After owning maybe a dozen bikes with carbs, I now own my first bike with EFI. No farting around with a choke, no blipping the throttle when starting the bike, no waiting for a cold engine to warm up, etc. Just push the starter button and it fires right up and runs smoothly. I think it's great!
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  #34  
Old 1 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post

Thank you very much Ted

Got it
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  #35  
Old 1 Jul 2011
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A wives tale is a false "perceived wisdom" handed down usually by older women.

Things like "if you wind the window down in your car and have moving air on your face, you are likely to catch a cold" and other rubbish like that. For a long time the perceived wisdom was that you needed an old bike and carburettors to ride around the world.

That has long since changed.

Sure you can still do it with an old bike and carbs, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the idea that you NEEDED carbs, or were somehow reckless and foolish to take a fuel injected bike has been proven terribly out of date.

The vast majority of bikes I have met in remote places all use EFI, and not one of them had a single issue with the EFI. I never met anyone who had to rebuild their injector on the road. I have met dozens and dozens who have partially or fully rebuilt their carb on the road. I never met anyone whose big bike trip was stopped because of failed ECU either. Not saying it never happens, just saying the reality (as opposed to the stories) for me is that EFI wins on pretty much every count every time. If you compare the amount of times an EFI system NEEDS to be tuned, modified, partially or fully rebuilt while on the road on a trip, compared to a carbed system, then you could only say that EFI is dozens of times more reliable than carbs.

The one bike to worry about is the issue prone 690 ... which seems to have a few fuel pump, fuel filter and voltage regulator issues.

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Hi Colebatch

I am not a native English speaking guy, could you please explain what is the meaning of WIVES in this sentence ? ))))

I have a R80 GS Basic which is a great adventure motorcycle IMHO! which is running on carbs and I am a member of Euroheads Group too.

If it has real meaning of wife (s), my wife (s) don't know any tales about carbs !

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  #36  
Old 1 Jul 2011
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I'd like to add (although this is based more on car experience than bikes, but I reckon it'll hold true) that the actual EFI system itself might be bullet-proof but there are a whole host of sensors that go with it, which in my book means more things that can go wrong or fail. Without the sensor arrays EFI wouldn't deliver the same benefits over carbs though - so it comes down to personal choice. I wouldn't be put off by either.
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  #37  
Old 1 Jul 2011
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Then there's the issue of high pressure fuel pumps. My KLR doesn't have a fuel pump; users of certain fuel injected bikes carry spares, since without a working fuel pump they're dead in the water. Plus the pickup screens, which can become clogged. And the whole issue of complex electronics, which may rarely fail (but certainly do, from time to time). The question of bump starts with dead batteries. The flat spot/surge on acceleration. Et cetera. Plus the fact that with fuel injection comes all sorts of other, unrelated electronics--all possible points of failure. Buying a fuel injected bike I'm buying an electronic wonder, not merely changing out the fuel delivery system.

I've got another bike with fuel injection (DL650). It's worked well for me, but in general so has my carburated KLR. The latter is comprehensible to me (mostly), while the former consists largely of mysterious sensors, processors, and wee little wires. Maybe I prefer the carburated bike for the same reason I prefer map-and-compass navigation to the GPS, and the soundtrack provided by landscapes themselves to my left-at-home MP3 player.

Of course I also miss points and condensers, but that doesn't mean I'd return to them voluntarily.

Mark
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  #38  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Sounds like you don't prefer it for the same reason Ted doesn't. Most people that grew up with engines didn't grow up with multi meters and a soldering iron. FI is as old as the hills and with the 5 or so sensors needed plus a constant power delivery on the older models (new models can be batteryless so the kick starter is back in vogue) and a constant fuel delivery at pressure (wouldn't call it high personally) is about it. The amount of moving parts is less and to me this is always a benefit leading to more robust systems in just about all engineering disciplines. Only problem is relying on the sensor technology, but I reckon this is proven to be a moo point. FI systems provide a 'get home' setting which isn't providing you with the performance that sensor read outs would, but it still goes. A dodgy carb stops you in your tracks. Fuel pumps are everywhere and with a bit of old fashioned ingenuity you can make something work. The screens are cleanable.

I know of a lot of people take way to many spares, but I haven't heard of anyone taking a spare pump. Or sensors (I bring an oil pressure sensor because of oil leaks). All I bring is some extra wire, connectors and battery powered soldering iron which usually gets some laughs. Only had to use it on my own electrical work. Having not grown up with engines I've learnt about electricity before the workings of 4 strokes. So am more comfortable working with Ohm's law than the laws of dynamics (probably not the proper terminology but than again I'm not a native speaker either ). Less dirty work also.
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  #39  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
FI is incomparably better than carburettion. The only negative to FI is that if your battery dies (including losing a single cell) then the FI is guaranteed to cease operation. However, putting this into context, there are many carburetted bikes that will also stop running if the battery dies.

Just about all bikes will stop running if the battery dies ,unless they have a permanent magnet alternator or use a magneto to provide the sparks .

They are many negatives to FI and the one that bugs me the most is the mapping ,try riding a Vstrom across a muddy field and you'll see what I mean ,the power comes on abruptly and is a bit like an on/off switch ,it's landed me on my arse a few times .It's fine on the tarmac but you can't feather the power in like a carbed bike .

Most people on this forum are travellers rather than mechanics and for them the best bet is to take a new or fairly recent bike and rely on the FI system [ there aren't many carburetted bikes available new these days].
And that's probably a goood thing because they shouldn't be messing with crap they don't understand ,Hells' teeth, most of the people who write ride reports are astonished when chains and sprockets wear out !


But for the old guard who insist on riding 20+ year old bikes ,well ,they'll have to put up with carbs for the most part anyway ,and they'll most likely love every minute of it .
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  #40  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Carbs at altitude

I can't add much to the debate about carbs and FI but I can respond directly to Uhuru's question.

I ride a 2008 DR 650 with a stock carburetor. I live and ride where you do in Colorado over high passes. I also have traveled on it in Mexico, and Central Asia. The stock carb runs fine without rejetting from sea level to 14000 feet. The bike makes about 35 hp so it is probably a bit slower than your F650 which I believe produces about 50 hp.

The DR650 is lighter and more agile, I think, and also quite tolerable on the highway. I've had no problems with mine (37,000 miles now) and trust it to go anywhere. It will, BTW, start and run with a dead battery.

The DR would be my choice, obviously, but I ride with guy who has a Dakar which has served him faithfully as well.

..................shu
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  #41  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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I just added a 650 V-Strom to my "fleet"..

I bought it as it was FI and people talked about great MPG's.

On a good run, It can do 250-280 miles from its 22L tank which is about the same as my Africa Twin was with its 750cc 20 year old design. (although, the AT was thirstier in town)

It's also got that twitchy on/off power delivery like most FI bikes which I also refuse to spend £250 on a powercommander to fix.


FI bikes are VERY reliable as long as they're not B*W's/Aprillia with their dodgy fuel pumps..

Then again, the Africa Twins have even worse fuel pumps although it's an easy fix..
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  #42  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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As a committed Linux user I adhere to the principals of “open source” and having control over all things software related and at the heart of FI is a computer and software. This makes FI bikes (and cars) problematic for me as their boxes are for the most part sealed and you are denied the ability to take control of the software that controls them.

Of course there is software that can give you control over (some of) your ECU's but as has been said by other posters, you are still constrained by the sensor suite the manufacturer has furnished your engine with. My biggest bugbear with ALL manufacturers is the narrow band lambda sensors they use when for a few pennies more they could fit wideband sensors that can transform the feel of an engine and give you infinite control over your fuelling. Without this simple feature you will never have decent fuelling on a FI bike as they are all now designed to conform to emissions regulations which in turn means the OEM's tune them to stoich and only stoich.

If manufacturers read these sites and in the unlikely event any of them wanted to build a serious RTW bike then they would sell the option of wideband sensors (one for each cylinder) and an interface to a computer with open source software.

Until that happens (as if!) junk the OEM ECU, junk the OEM lambda sensors and fit a megasquirt/microsquirt ECU together with some quality Bosch Wide-Band Lambda Sensors (LSU4) and with the free open source software take control of your bike back from the manufacturers, dealers and EU bureaucrats and tune it in whatever way you wish.

As Magnon said the components that make up an ECU are ridiculously cheap, in having a megatune made for you you can specify redundancy and ruggedised parts and multiple fail over features mean that if you have sensor failure the system still works. You can tune for any power, fuel quality or economy characteristics you desire for each gear sometimes (22:1 lean in top gear – lol) and have multiple maps you can switch to on the fly.

Megasquiting compels you to have a thorough understanding of your bikes ignition/injection, It's sometimes a steep learning curve and not for everyone but if you get into megasquirt beware, it is addictive but equally rewarding – how many KTM riders know that the rear cylinder is tuned differently to the front cylinder? Power Commander? - do me a favour! Lol.
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  #43  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I just added a 650 V-Strom to my "fleet"..

I bought it as it was FI and people talked about great MPG's.

On a good run, It can do 250-280 miles from its 22L tank which is about the same as my Africa Twin was with its 750cc 20 year old design. (although, the AT was thirstier in town)

It's also got that twitchy on/off power delivery like most FI bikes which I also refuse to spend £250 on a powercommander to fix.
I´ve owned a total five(!) AT´s in the past, one 650 and four 750´s, and now I´m on my 2nd DL650... and there´s a notable improvement in fuel economy. Might not be so apparent if riding slowly, but more speed & load on board, then it becomes obvious. If both are in standard form, the Honda is way more thirsty (not the only carb´d Honda to have this problem, check out XL650/XL1000) - I still love the AT, though!

DL650´s throttle response can be fixed, or at least made way better, in less than 5 minutes, and no need to install a Power Commander.
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  #44  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
DL650´s throttle response can be fixed, or at least made way better, in less than 5 minutes, and no need to install a Power Commander.
I'd like to hear more about this. Instructions, links, references....? Coaxing my DL along at low speeds is distinctly unpleasant.

Thanks.

Mark
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  #45  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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It´ll need a little (2-3%) more gas at low revs with partial throttle openings. This is performed with SDS software (with a laptop, that´ll be connected to the bike to reprogram the ECU). And there should be other softwares that are capable of doing this, too, but I don´t know if these are widely available (SDS probably not, because it´s a tool that Suzuki dealers&workshops use).
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