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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 2 Jun 2015
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My 500 cc Enfield does around 95MPG touring fully loaded. It has a carb which had never been touched from new in 2005. So I have no idea how long it might take to fix should it fail. Seems reasonably economical to me.
When I had the BMW it had two bings. I set them up with some small service parts and again never touched them for about 4 years when I sold the bike. Never any issues. Likewise on old amals on Triumph twins from early 60's to late 70's and on my Tiger cub back in the early sixties. Only time I needed to touch any of them in over 100,000 miles was when the cub needed a new needle for its zenith carb.

With the thunderbird with three carbs.... so far so good Did need to change a rubber bit recently (rear tyre split).

What I have found over the years is it is a good thing to monitor your mpg regularly. It is nearly always the first measurable indication of something going off test.
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  #32  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Carburetor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the carberator has been around since 1876 and has been used on every kind of gas/petrol engine since in one form of another (other than deisel and steam)...So it seems reasonable that no matter where you are in the world, someone if they operate a gas engine either knows or knows someone that can fix it....

As for performance, I wouldn't worry about doing an indianapolis 500 on some of the stuff 'out there'...for me I'd be concerned about proven-time tested-fixability-just-in-case.

IMHO
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  #33  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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E.F.I. and the future for ADV travel bikes

Great points on both sides of this issue.
One interesting development that's fairly new ... and that could affect dual sport and ADV single cylinder bikes in the future ... is the use of EFI on modern motocross bikes.

Has anyone here seen a modern moto crosser stripped down? Anyone checked out how the EFI works?

The clever packaging and compactness of components and relative simplicity give hope that this sort of system could be adapted to a road legal dual sport single in the future.

It's taken the Big Four about 10 years to work the bugs out of Moto Cross EFI systems. Interesting that KTM were the LAST of the big players to go from a Carb to EFI on their race bikes.

Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda were out front on this and LOST many races early on due to EFI gremlins sidelining their bikes. Lots of documentation on early problems.

But in the last 4 or 5 years EFI "troubles" seem to be resolved ... although KTM's Super Cross/Moto Cross star Ryan Dungey was recently sidelined by what was probably an EFI problem.

By most accounts Moto Cross EFI systems are now bullet proof. This sort of usage is probably the very best testing regime you could have for an electronic fuel system. If it can survive Motocross, chances are good it will be good in the middle of Mongolia going under water with Colebatch and friends.

Not heard much on technical side of EFI R&D for MX bikes, but having recently seen a modern YZ450 up close and naked, I was stunned how tiny, lightweight and compact the entire system was. The mechanic explained where key components were located and what would need changing if you had a failure and what that might involve.

Pretty simple really. Un Plug, Plug in new bit. Small box to test components. He said he's NEVER seen ANY failure of any components yet.

Will any of this new technology filter down to street legal dual sport bikes like the KLR650, KLR Super Sherpa, XT250's, XR650L Hondas, DR650's, DRZ400S ??

It's clear that any "new" generation Dual sports still produced with carbs will have to up grade to EFI ... which way will they go? Big, heavy, expensive and overly complex systems as produced by BMW? Or something as elegant and simple as the system Yamaha are now using .... and evolving every season?

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  #34  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Fuel injection is by far a better system for day to day running of vehicles.

It's more efficient, more economical and semi-self adjusting. It's mostly very reliable and the technology is well established. Solid state electronics very rarely go wrong.

BUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this is no small but !! LOL

This only stands true where you are in a modern civilised world where there is a garage every 5 miles, a pocket full of recovery companies, mobile phones, next day delivery on parts etc.


Carbs, gravity fed fuel and natural aspiration are BY FAR simpler, BY FAR easier to diagnose and repair and BY FAR easier to bodge, repair and adjust, and any mechanic in the third world understands how it works.



Fuel injection bikes need fuel pumps and the electronics to run fuel pumps. They have servo controlled motors to let the bike idle. They need lambda sensors in their exhausts, MAF sensors in their airbox.


These are not things that can be bodged. If your fuel pump dies on half way down the silk road then you're going to be pretty much up sh*t creek. You'll be parked up in an overpriced hotel for 7 days while you search endlessly all over the internet on a crappy wifi connection trying to find out why your bike doesn't run and swearing that DHL want £150 to ship a £200 pump out to you which then customs will want 20% import tax on and you'll have to wait another two weeks for it to clear customs. If it's not lost in the post altogether. And unless you really KNOW it's the pump you might have to post out a controller too. It might be the TPS sensor though. Or maybe the idle actuator is dead.

If you carb stops working in the same place, a 14 year old mechanic with a few old tools will be able to find out what's wrong with it. Carbs are VERY VERY reliable if fed clean fuel. Injectors need the same.


In a nut shell. If you ride a simple FI bike like a 660 Tenere then you'll be very unlucky to break down but it will be more complicated to get sorted. A simple carbed gravity fed bike will be easier to fix in far off places but you're not going to get the same power and economy for the same size engine.


However.... In my opinion , all the best travel bikes are carburetorred. Not because it's better, but because that was all that was really around when they were made. The 90's was the golden era for travel bikes. Not just because they were well made, reliable, cheap and trust wrothy but THEY HAVE CHARACTER...

You can fall in love with an old Tenere or Africa twin. You can't fall in love with grey plastic, control units, and computers which pretty much want to ride the bike for you.. Which all the modern bikes really are.

So if you want an Africa Twin , XT600E, XT600 Tenere, Dominator, Transalp, F650 Dakar, KLE650, DR650 or XR650L etc etc, you're going to have a carb.


Wow... That was quite the rant.
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 17 Jan 2017 at 18:44.
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  #35  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Bikes

I used both FI and Carb during my RTW and I never broke down with a FI , the carb are fairly easy to fix and even if you do lose a bit of power at high altitude this should not be a big deal with a bike bigger than 300CC . Bad fuel and side road repairs on FI can be rough but even in Africa the quality of the fuel is getting better and better. The chance is your suspension will let you down before anything else
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  #36  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Great points on both sides of this issue.
One interesting development that's fairly new ... and that could affect dual sport and ADV single cylinder bikes in the future ... is the use of EFI on modern motocross bikes.

Has anyone here seen a modern moto crosser stripped down? Anyone checked out how the EFI works?



The clever packaging and compactness of components and relative simplicity give hope that this sort of system could be adapted to a road legal dual sport single in the future.
Husqvarna and KTM have run a road-legal ecu on enduros for a while.
G450X was also road-legal with 40hp, and as far as I know no other engine in this class have been made road-legal with the same power. (This is probably why CCM use this engine).

But most of the ecus run in a non-road-legal-mode, with a race-map and no lambda-sensor.

On the other hand, racing is not traveling. You don't change/clean the petrol filter every 15 hour on your traveler-bike. If a part lasts 100 hours on an enduro-bike it's fantastic, if the same part lasts less then 100kkm on a traveller-bike it's a disaster....


Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
It's clear that any "new" generation Dual sports still produced with carbs will have to up grade to EFI ...
In europe there are not possible to buy a new DS with carb(s). I think Yamaha is the only japanes company that has a road legal single cylinder DS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
which way will they go? Big, heavy, expensive and overly complex systems as produced by BMW? Or something as elegant and simple as the system Yamaha are now using .... and evolving every season?
As far as I know most system consists of the same parts, and the weight is more or less the same... How do you find BMW's system more complex then the one Yamaha is using?

Back to topic: I use carbs for touring and efi for racing and even if efi is very reliable I will probably keep it this way.
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  #37  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Probably the best being written on carb versus EFI.

I don't like the idea to take apart a carb in the middle of nowhere, in dust and rain and try then to figure out how all those tiny parts get together again. Yes, it's a matter of experience. But how many EFI have died, compared to defective carbs?

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  #38  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Its a simply choice for me and there are 100's of pages on this topic on the internet.


But to compare a simple mechanical carb to a FI bike saying the injector is a lot less complex is not true as its all the other parts that run the injector you have to include which carb bikes do not have which makes them really simple and ideal over a FI bike when fault finding and fixing

I have never had to push a carb bike but I have had to push a FI bike a few times....... then try fault finding the fuelling/cutting out issue and replacing parts you think it "could" be as there are lots of reasons why a FI will cut out and rarely its the injector itself


On a carb bike its pretty simple to fault find a fuelling/cutting out issue as usually you start and finish with the carb when looking
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  #39  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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You can repair a carby problem or breakdown on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, do that to a FI system.
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  #40  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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You can bodge FI just as well. You can bodge anything. I'm not saying it's easy, but where there is a will there's a way. We could explore that some more. What besides pressure and a throttle sensor does it really need to run on the average fuel map?

Anyway, point if that you rarely have to. How many cars have big FI problems. I never have on any vehicle I've owned or sat in/ on.
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  #41  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
You can fall in love with an old Tenere or Africa twin. You can't fall in love with grey plastic, control units, and computers which pretty much want to ride the bike for you.. Which all the modern bikes really are.

So if you want an Africa Twin , XT600E, XT600 Tenere, Dominator, Transalp, F650 Dakar, KLE650, DR650 or XR650L etc etc, you're going to have a carb.


Wow... That was quite the rant.
Can and have mate. I love it when my bike's brain turns itself off when I put it to the ground. Particularly in water. But that's me.

BTW the F650 Dakar was FI.
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  #42  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Anyway, point if that you rarely have to. How many cars have big FI problems. I never have on any vehicle I've owned or sat in/ on.
I usually have oldish cars and have had two pumps failing (both stopped me) and one injector-failure.
A friend of mine had a broken pump on a 990 ADV which spoiled his Morocco-tour. But still I see alot of benefits with EFI and it's the way to go..
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  #43  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
Husqvarna and KTM have run a road-legal ecu on enduros for a while.
I think you mean "road legal EFI"? KTM/Husky have had road legal EFI bikes for years (IE: KTM 690, EXC series)
Husky currently have NO road legal bikes in production in the USA. Under BMW they had the Terra and Strada, no longer produced. BOTH KTM and Husky were late using EFI on Race bikes. (at least here in Motocross/Supercross).

There are still MANY Carb bikes ridden and sold OUTSIDE OF THE EU. Millions in fact. This is the focus of my comment as some of the most popular RTW Enduro dual sport bikes use Carbs.

My point was ... could EFI Tech learned and developed from racing (motocross/super cross) trickle down to common dual sport bikes that still use Carbs? ... like KLR, DR, XR, XT once EFI is adapted to these bikes?

KTM/Husky had EFI years before and Beta tested their systems on Road legal bikes. I think the Japanese may go another way ... maybe the Japanese can IMPROVE on those systems over time from things they learn racing? Make them suitable and more reliable for a travel bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
On the other hand, racing is not traveling. You don't change/clean the petrol filter every 15 hour on your traveler-bike. If a part lasts 100 hours on an enduro-bike it's fantastic, if the same part lasts less then 100kkm on a traveller-bike it's a disaster....
Good point, and something I would hope the OEM's can improve upon. Seems the Japanese are quite good at reliability and longevity in their systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
In europe there are not possible to buy a new DS with carb(s). I think Yamaha is the only japanes company that has a road legal single cylinder DS.
Yes, but many Japanese Carb bikes are still sold in USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, Latin America and other parts of the world.

Regards Yamaha: I think you mean Yamaha are the only Japanese company to make a road legal EFI single cylinder, dual sport bike? Yes? (see WR250R)

Because, as of now ... ALL the Big Four make road legal single cylinder DS bikes ... and they ALL have Carbs!

In the USA, this is true. But Kawi make the KLX250S with EFI world wide, but USA model still gets a Carb!

All the Big Four and KTM sell small (50cc to 150cc) off road bikes (for kids). I don't know if you have these types of bikes in EU or not .. ?? here it's BIG business ... and just about every one use's a Carb.

No doubt OEM's will have to change soon as EURO 4 and USA EPA regulations get stronger, more restrictive, EFI is only way to go except elec. bikes.

To achieve this, EFI systems will have to be very simple, reliable and cheap ... or NO ONE will buy them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
As far as I know most system consists of the same parts, and the weight is more or less the same...How do you find BMW's system more complex then the one Yamaha is using?
Look at a KTM 690 EFI system (I have) from 5 years ago, look at components, integration, packaging. Now compare to a brand NEW 2015 Yamaha YZ450F ... I think you will see a few changes. I'm no expert here ... But I saw the new system ... it's just seems a lot smaller, simpler than earlier systems from KTM, BMW that i've seen.

A big R1200 GS is a nightmare of complexity. But of course one is looking at many interwoven systems all at once (EFI, TC, ABS, Power Modes, Elec. Suspension and more!)

True, the Yamaha is a pure RACE BIKE ... but perhaps components can be modified to adapt some of the new tech from Keihin or Bosch to work on Road Legal engines??
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  #44  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I Husky currently have NO road legal bikes in production in the USA.
So the FE350/501 isn't road-legal?


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
... but perhaps components can be modified to adapt some of the new tech from Keihin or Bosch to work on Road Legal engines??
Keihin is used for Road Legal engines, KTM, Husky...
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  #45  
Old 3 Jun 2015
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Yes, you're right! Husky skipped a year or two when KTM took over from BMW ... very few Husky models around here in the USA for a while ... and NO Road legal models until sometime last year.

Now, according to Web site ... they've a couple of road legal bikes at least. Good news! But none of my local dealers have them in stock ... yet.
All about $10,000 USD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
Keihin is used for Road Legal engines, KTM, Husky...
Yes ... I know ... Keihin is also used in Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki. Both ON and OFF road.
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