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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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  #46  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
ItĀ“ll need a little (2-3%) more gas at low revs with partial throttle openings. This is performed with SDS software (with a laptop, thatĀ“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 donĀ“t know if these are widely available (SDS probably not, because itĀ“s a tool that Suzuki dealers&workshops use).
You need the magic GIANT mobile phone looking diagnostic device and all the secret and impossible to get hold of fittings too...

The dealers don't like to share..... Most of them don't even know how to use it so don't buy it even !!

If you know another way, do tell.......
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  #47  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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Interesting. The local dealer denied there was any sort of problem and I was too disgusted with the rest of our interaction to argue. I'm not really interested in going back there, but if it would help me maneuver at slow speeds I'd try to muster the energy to do so.

Now, what was that about the advantages and ease-of-use of EFI? I was just out riding my carburated KLR today: 94,200 miles (that's 155,000 km) without a rebuild, a carb rebuild, or even replacing the fuel lines. The bike has run on all sorts of weird gasoline formulations on five continents, and it's been over 15,500 feet in the Andes (with stock jetting and no other mods). I added a filter in-line at about 50,000 miles, and I think I might have changed it once since then. I did break a choke cable once in Guatemala, and I've had water in the carb quite a few times. I had some episodes of what might have been vapor lock way back whenever-it-was.

But how foolproof is EFI during its first 94,000 miles? Do injectors ever get clogged? Do the little wiggly parts ever get worn and need replacing? Do fuel pumps last forever? (rhetorical questions)

Mark
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  #48  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post

But how foolproof is EFI during its first 94,000 miles? Do injectors ever get clogged? Do the little wiggly parts ever get worn and need replacing? Do fuel pumps last forever? (rhetorical questions)

Mark
I can't answer for bikes, but you won't find a truck or taxi runing carbs anywhere outside Africa or a few really backwards bits of the US. This is seventy year old technology (the injection bit) with stone age (1980's) electrics. There are plenty of million mile EFI vehicles out there. Only KTM and Rotax could actually manage to stuff it up!

Andy
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  #49  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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The thing is I see efi engine management as ignition. and I cant get my head around the fantastic cost of repairing an ignition fault on a modern vehicle.

I recently had a big end fail on my Enfield. the cost of having it replaced ( with a better one and better crank) as a drive in drive out deal from a dealer was about a third of the cost of an ignition fault on my Volvo.

this means an ignition fault is now far worse than having a crankshaft fail.

It does not make sense to me. Although it does really as although the cost of producing unrepairable electronics is very cheap buying those parts isn't. It is simply a cash cow for vehicle manufacturers. for example the old bean can sensor on BMW's, use to fail. it was Ā£90 odd to get a replacement from BMW, Ā£ 3.50 from specialist electronic component distributor. Trouble is the manufacturers either source obscure parts or encase the lot in plastic so you cant get at it.

Threewheel, in an earlier posting here you said that if you take a cv carb to bits you will see a dozen or so moving parts. This is precisely the point. You can see and bodge manufacture mechanical parts. you wont get your local garage fabricating a microprocessor, even all it does is time the advance on the ignition curve, but you will be able to bodge a little auto advance spring to get you home.
I have been riding since 1961 and I have NEVER been inconvenienced by carburettor problems. I will admit to having changed throttle cables when on an annual service they have seemed to be worn. I did once have a clutch cable fail , Friday evening where the then A11 now M11 joins the North Circular, but was able to ride clutchless back to Cornwall.
I just never even consider a carb might fail. ( other than with cv carbs I might carry a spare diaphragm, but it is better to have a good one in the carb than ageing in your spars pack.
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  #50  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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How many ECU's have failed vs CDI's? The point made and ignored was that you don't NEED all the sensors. How many pumps have failed (besides the KTM ones who don't seem to understand FI)? Most people wouldn't know how to repair a carby either. I know I wouldn't be able to, but I'm pretty confident fault finding an FI ignition issue with a diagram and MM.
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  #51  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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The problem with FI is that when it does go wrong (which is very rare), it's a total pain in the ass to fix..

Most of the electronics are encased, hidden and it usually always takes quite a bit of dis-assembly to diagnose.


Bare in mind that although a FI bike might not "need" all it's sensors, many are hard wired to shut down if they lose a sensor due to safety reason, law suits etc. Some bikes will hobble home with almost nothing working though. It really does depend on the bike..

Fuel pumps do fail on FI bikes (Aprilias and BMW's are bad for this) and yes you are stuffed without them.. It's a simple thing to replace though and many a carbed bike has a fuel pump and they fail too.

Injectors can clog up but there is always a decent filter in most bikes.
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  #52  
Old 4 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Interesting. The local dealer denied there was any sort of problem and I was too disgusted with the rest of our interaction to argue. I'm not really interested in going back there, but if it would help me maneuver at slow speeds I'd try to muster the energy to do so.

Any workshop, who have decent knowledge of FI, and tools to work with Suzuki, should be able to make those adjustments. IĀ“m no expert in that area, but it certainly did not look very complicated, and as I said it only took a few minutes. But the quality of the workshops, as well as their understanding about FI certainly varies (a lot!)

One correction: I just happened to meet the guy, who did the adjustments for my bikes (but this was a couple years back, so IĀ“d already forgotten).. anyway, he said that he does not use SDS for other than fault diagnostics, and uses a different software for FI tuning (his was provided by Pro-Bike, but there are probably many alternatives - and I would not be surprised, if some are publicly available). And this does not require a specific "tester", thatĀ“d cost a fortune.
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  #53  
Old 6 Jul 2011
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EFI - you've got to be kidding !

Deliberately provocative but VERY tongue-in-cheek subject line . . .

I'm stuck in Seoul awaiting a bike from the US that was meant to go on to UB but can't do to some air embargo so hunting for ways to Vladivostok. Currently building a row boat with a EFI outboard motor.

My KTM is an '06 and has a carburetor. The OEM fuel pump is rubbish and has long ago been replaced. It runs wonderfully with excellent throttle control and much better mileage (economy) than any FI Adventure's I'm familiar with. My "little" 530 EXC also has a carburetor. Both bikes have been re-jetted. The 530 would barely idle in it's "emissions approved" state.

The real question is silly - FI all the way. Uh, IF the FI is modern (it's not terribly modern on the LC8 (twin) KTM's. But if the FI is "modern" (like on many, many motorcycles, european and asian) - FI all the way.

I have these "flex jets" for managing my idle mixture screws (IMS) for jaunts between sea level and . . . 15,000'. FI doesn't need it. And yes, you can run carbed bikes over wide altitude ranges without adjustment but those tend to be the "beast of burden" engines, not anything with remotely "modern" performance.

As for the fuel contamination issues of FI. Well, change the filters regularly AND, more importantly, use a PUMP filter to winnow out dust and water at ingress, not egress, of the fuel tank. I have one that folds up into a very small bag that I use on my carbureted KTM when traveling far from home and/or in areas of variable fuel quality.

Yes, I CAN drain, clean, and re-jet my carbs in low light with very few tools. But who wants to ? Furthermore, FI gives you good throttle performance, good economy, adaptability to changing humidity and barometric conditions, high engine performance AND lower emissions.

Why hold onto an old technology whose "theory of operation" is rather unsightly ?

Kurt
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  #54  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Genghis9021 View Post

Yes, I CAN drain, clean, and re-jet my carbs in low light with very few tools. But who wants to ? Furthermore, FI gives you good throttle performance, good economy, adaptability to changing humidity and barometric conditions, high engine performance AND lower emissions.

Why hold onto an old technology whose "theory of operation" is rather unsightly ?

Kurt
Because it works. How old is the technology of the stone hand axe? Have you never struck something with a stone or half brick?

On my 2,500 mile trip to Poland I averaged 96mpg which is about what I normally get ever since I had it, including short runs to the shops. Using a carbed 500cc bike.
That is good enough for me.
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  #55  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Once you chopped up your fire wood with a stone hand axe do you use a flint and tinder to light it? Than sit near it under the bear skin tarp?


Did these arguments about old and new went on with CDI's became common place as well? I don't go back that far, but when I was intoduced to CDI's I was told to take a spare.
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  #56  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Back in the upper jurassic period I was trained to find ABS faults with a pin out box and a multimeter. The pin out box made life a whole lot easier as the ECU had 54 pins on one plug, so counting 9 pins from the left on the middle row and holding the probe on that pin while crouching in the footwell wasn't fun. Most dealerships however wouldn't buy one as they could diagnose a basic air system with an adjustable spanner and a pack of woodbines. The few who bought the pin out box and stopped thinking of the ECU as some mystic alien with superpowers then became seriously annoying as they made money from the shamanistic expulsion of electronic bogey men from trucks. Me telling some prat of a workshop manager that I'd driven 200 miles to pull off the connectors where he'd wired a mobile phone into the ABS modulator wires instead of power and earth only made them think of me as a super priest sent to expell the false prophets who'd been swapping ECU's for a month.

Ten years later the dinosaurs are extinct and every dealership has a laptop. They didn't spend days dancing round the truck wearing wet leaves and carrying a dead chicken, they plugged in and were told which wire was shorted in five minutes.

Five years after that you can buy a OBD2 reader in Argos (like Walmart) and do it at home.

Give it another five years and Touratech will sell you one built into a GPS and phone.

If you like hot bulb ignition and acetylene lamps go for it, otherwise it's just machinery that needs the right tools and knowledge. The fact that it's better machinery is why they call it progress. Find me a truck with drum brakes and a carbed petrol engine and I'll show you a haulage company not making any money (or a weekend play thing).

Andy
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  #57  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
The problem with FI is that when it does go wrong (which is very rare), it's a total pain in the ass to fix..

Most of the electronics are encased, hidden and it usually always takes quite a bit of dis-assembly to diagnose.


Bare in mind that although a FI bike might not "need" all it's sensors, many are hard wired to shut down if they lose a sensor due to safety reason, law suits etc. Some bikes will hobble home with almost nothing working though. It really does depend on the bike..

Fuel pumps do fail on FI bikes (Aprilias and BMW's are bad for this) and yes you are stuffed without them.. It's a simple thing to replace though and many a carbed bike has a fuel pump and they fail too.

Injectors can clog up but there is always a decent filter in most bikes.
Going back to my 'electronics cost nothing' theory, it comes down to the manufacturers having the will to produce some electronics with built in redundancy, fail safe modes (bypassing faulty sensors, for example) and diagnostics which will ensure that the ECU itself is not the cause of a roadside failure. You will still have to carry a replacement fuel pump and possibly essential sensors that can't be bypassed by the electronics in a fail safe situation.

Of course, the manufacturers have no desire to do this as FI bikes are selling well enough and in general are incredibly reliable.

Overall I don't think there can be any argument that FI is much better than a carburator in most situations. However, if you are considering which is better for a travel bike where you may be in very remote locations, and even further from an equipped service centre, it would be interesting to know how many bikes have suffered a terminal failure due to FI or a carb - I'm guessing, but don't think anyone will have had to put their bike on a truck to the nearest town due to a faulty carb!
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  #58  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Sad to say I would have to tow mine. Wouldn't even know where to begin. Even though I understand the principles of the workings.
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  #59  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Once you chopped up your fire wood with a stone hand axe do you use a flint and tinder to light it? Than sit near it under the bear skin tarp?


Did these arguments about old and new went on with CDI's became common place as well? I don't go back that far, but when I was intoduced to CDI's I was told to take a spare.
I did not say not to use any technology, just dont throw away things that work. As for careers I spent 1969 till my retirement servicing computers. By that I mean mainframes, not pc's although I did build my own PC in 1979 and wrote my own bios and operating system for it. This was in the days when computers did as they were told and you did not need a lawyer around to negotiate removing a file. As for using old technology, how old do you think screw threads are ? No doubt when the manufacturers start to spot weld your engine together to make it user tamper proof to comply with Euro6 emissions you will herald it as a great achievement now you don't have screws coming loose.
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  #60  
Old 8 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Sad to say I would have to tow mine. Wouldn't even know where to begin. Even though I understand the principles of the workings.
Do you own a multimeter and a wiring diagram?

If I had a tenner for every electronic vehicle system I'd been to see to replaced chafed wires of blown fuses, my choice of motorcycles might be extended beyond 10 year old Triumphs.

Andy
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