Carburetor Motorcycles vs. Fuel Injection

Motorcycle Carburetor

Any new Harley-Davidson bike you’ll find in Portland is a fuel-injected motorcycle. This means that the vehicle uses an electronic system to process the fuel, as opposed to the purely mechanical process of old-school carburetors. Fuel-injected motorcycles have come into their own relatively recently, and we still get questions about motorcycle fuel injection conversion kits and working with a motorcycle carburetor at Latus Motors Harley-Davidson. We cover important info on these questions and more below!

Carburetor vs. Fuel Injection Motorcycles

Carburetors were the way that all bikes mixed fuel and oxygen for a long period of time. In fact, there’s a legend that the first machine made by Harley and Davidson had a motorcycle carburetor made from an old tomato can!

Fuel injection is a recent development that has phased out motorcycle carburetors. The first fuel-injected motorcycle street bike came out in 1980, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that fuel-injected motorcycles became standard. We’ll cover the reasons why below.

Is there a Motorcycle Fuel Injection Conversion Kit? 

Sometimes, a Vancouver bike enthusiast wants to go old school and asks our service center about a motorcycle fuel injection conversion kit. Retrofitting your bike is possible, but it can be an involved process. You’ll need the manual and parts for the last model that used a motorcycle carburetor.

Carburetor vs. Fuel Injection Pros and Cons 

So, why exactly have fuel-injected motorcycles replaced motorcycle carburetors? There are a few reasons: 

  • Pollution: The hard fact is that carburetors pollute more than fuel-injected motorcycles. This doesn’t just have to do with emissions, but with the pollution that occurs when you have leakage from the more “open” carburetor systems. The closed fuel injection system fixes this. 
  • Repairs: One reason that some Gresham bikers like carburetors is that their simple mechanical systems are easier to tweak on the go. You can make up for this on a fuel-injected bike by scheduling service with a reliable service center, but some people still like the hands-on way they can handle a carburetor.
  • Peak Power: It’s actually a myth that carburetors are significantly less powerful than fuel injection systems. But the more efficient way that modern bikes use full does result in peak specs that are slightly better than carburetor counterparts. 

Get Motorcycle Tips from Latus Motors Harley-Davidson

We’re always happy to introduce Gladstone residents to the wonderful world of biking at Latus Motors Harley-Davidson. Whether you want to learn more about specific Harley models, or are curious about motorcycle engine specs, you can contact us today with any questions!

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870 E Berkeley St. • Gladstone, OR 97027

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Latus Motors Harley-Davidson 45.383731, -122.580852.