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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Stay away from carbs!"... Are they that bad?

Ok Lords of two-wheeled lunacy... I have been looking around and for some reason I do find my self drawn to the cbr900rr's. From what I can tell they are great bikes and they fall into my price range. But every time I see older bikes brought up the same thing comes up.... Stay away from carbs get a bike that has fuel injection. I don't mind working on things but are carbs so much of a pain that I should cross the 900rr of my possibility list?
 

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UnicycleMode
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Anyone that says carbs are a pain are a fucking retard. Seriously. Entitlement generation bullshit!! I grew up with nothing but carbs, on cars, on bikes, on everything. They are far more tunable, they are far easier to understand, and far easier to maintain than fuel injected vehicles.



Ever ridden a EFI bike with a huge, fat, nasty flat spot in the middle of the rev's? I have, it's not much fun when you pour on the coals and a bike goes flat and doesn't pull. If a carb'd bike does that, something is seriously wrong.






The 900RR didn't earn the title of "one of the greatest bikes ever designed", and maintain that title throughout the EFI years as of late just by being "good enough". The few times i stripped my 900 down and got into the carbs it was never ever the issue that was arising, ever. They work flawlessly. Unlike EFI systems that can be anything from a sensor to a clogged fuel filter, and until you track down exactly the issue you are plagued with shit running and no real direction aside from replace parts until it works right again. No. Thanks. I'll take my dinosaur era carbs when given the choice.




(In short without the ranting, carbs are fantastic. EFI is good, but if you desire perfection and precision, carbs are where it is at! Both are fuel metering and delivering devices, just that carbs work on what the engine is doing, and, EFI works on what the engine SHOULD be doing.)
 

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Remi's Dad
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I'd say for me just the cost of it sways me to believe that anyone that prefers EFI over carbs doesn't really grasp how simple they are.

"i can't get these cone filters to work with my carbs, carbs are junk." Well the same problems present themselves in a much more complicated manor with EFI.
 

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UnicycleMode
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Wow you kinda single handedly made me feel great about wanting a 900rr! I'm a fan of carbs on performance vehicles over efi. I hate wiring lol



The 900RR is the greatest performance bike of all time in my eyes. That, and the Bandit 1200, they stun, amaze, and pre-date anything with as much character and appeal. Sure you can buy a new, EFI, superbike/supersport and you'll get a ton of awesome miles out of them, but when you tell someone you owned a GSXR, R1, ZX, etc. they can relate. When you tell someone you had a 1st gen 900RR, or a steel frame monster wheelie machine like a 96-99 Bandit 1200, people have stories to SHARE with you. ;)



Seriously, my rant is just flapping off at the mouth with too much beer in me. It's Friday, I worked all day, my knuckles are chewed up and my eyes burn from the fumes of welding, I'm worn out and on edge. So take my initial post with a grain of salt, EFI is good, but not great. There is much more to behold in this world of motorcycling when you embrace the lovely sound and feel of carbs. I will never own a EFI bike that I didn't research and know for a fact was either a good solid running setup, or in need of well documented modification to function as intended. But, any and all carb bikes are easily adjusted and readily modified to suit any tuners fancy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow you kinda single handedly made me feel great about wanting a 900rr! I'm a fan of carbs on performance vehicles over efi. I hate wiring lol



The 900RR is the greatest performance bike of all time in my eyes. That, and the Bandit 1200, they stun, amaze, and pre-date anything with as much character and appeal. Sure you can buy a new, EFI, superbike/supersport and you'll get a ton of awesome miles out of them, but when you tell someone you owned a GSXR, R1, ZX, etc. they can relate. When you tell someone you had a 1st gen 900RR, or a steel frame monster wheelie machine like a 96-99 Bandit 1200, people have stories to SHARE with you.




Seriously, my rant is just flapping off at the mouth with too much beer in me. It's Friday, I worked all day, my knuckles are chewed up and my eyes burn from the fumes of welding, I'm worn out and on edge. So take my initial post with a grain of salt, EFI is good, but not great. There is much more to behold in this world of motorcycling when you embrace the lovely sound and feel of carbs. I will never own a EFI bike that I didn't research and know for a fact was either a good solid running setup, or in need of well documented modification to function as intended. But, any and all carb bikes are easily adjusted and readily modified to suit any tuners fancy.
Oh I understand what your saying. Just gives me hope that carbs are valid option and shouldn't be deciding factor. I had a bandit 1200 behind me today on my way home with my daughter.
 

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Nothing wrong with a carbed bike provided they are maintained and jetted properly. All three of mine have carburetors.

But to say that carburetors are superior to EFI is to be just as ignorant as telling someone to stay away from a motorcycle that has carbs.

With most carbs you have 4 or 5 tuning circuits - air screw, pilot, needle/needle jet, and main. Sometimes you have an pump jet or my KX250 has an electronically controlled "Power" jet. Extreme variations in altitude requires you to re-jet. A CV carb is better at handling this then a non-CV, but you are trading off throttle response for convenience.

EFI can be tuned by RPM, load (vacuum), throttle sensor, spark, gear posistion, etc... and is usually self adjusting to environmental factors and to a limited extent, modifications, if it has an open loop system. Also EFI generally has much better cold starting manors.

With either method of fuel delivery, it comes down to how well it fuels - the proper sized (and clean) jets/needle, or a well mapped fuel table.

Obviously I wouldn't shy away from buying a carbed bike, and there is something very satisfying about swapping brass or needle clip positions (or needle tapers) until the bike pulls great at any RPM, but if I could buy two essentially identical bikes with the only difference being carbs or not, I'd go EFI.

As to which one is ultimately better?

What does MotoGP use? What does F-1 use? Can you buy a new Ferrari (or any new sports car for that matter) with a carburetor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All valid points! But when it comes down to it tecnichans make more money chasing sensor and electrical gremlins then adjusting a carb.
(my opinion not claming facts)
 

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i cant fart
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Re: "Stay away from carbs!"... Are they that bad?

All valid points! But when it comes down to it tecnichans make more money chasing sensor and electrical gremlins then adjusting a carb.
(my opinion not claming facts)
haaaaa!!! take a set of 4 cylinder carbs to a shop and see how much they quote u to rebuild them. and thats even if theyre willing to do it like that and not require u to bring the bike... "to verify proper operation before giving back to customer"




on that note, i prefer efi, but i also think everyone needs to know how to clean, rebuild and tune carbs, my first couple sets of carbs were a nightmare but now that if done 2 million sets, it seems like im doing a new set of carbs every week i swear, i think my friends know i know how to do it and just take the easy way out, "hey Dr. J, can u help me with my carbs?" which usually means can u do it for me while i stand around drinking your beer)



anyways

 

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hate us cuz they ainus
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^ +1000 there is no way a carb can be tuned as well a good efi setup. Now with that being said the benefits of efi are usually just a broader tq curve and extra fuel economy out right power should be within a few HP of each other
 

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UnicycleMode
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^ +1000 there is no way a carb can be tuned as well a good efi setup. Now with that being said the benefits of efi are usually just a broader tq curve and extra fuel economy out right power should be within a few HP of each other


(Re-reading my reply, maybe it is just a matter of opinion. :))



I hear this pretty often and really want to know what the difference is to some people between a near perfect fuel curve on a dyno pull with carbs versus EFI. They are both doing the same job and when both are tuned correctly will put the same amount of fuel and air into the engine at the same time. Unless carbs are on a sloppy tune, they should work all the same as a good EFI map. Air density, humidity, altitude, all play a part in how any engine works regardless of the fuel metering system in place. I just don't understand the idea that somehow electronically controlled is better than a mechanical system in terms of rideability and operation. Seems it just removes the cold start step of things, and doesn't come out of adjustment as easily, but syncing throttle bodies is all the same as syncing carbs, writing a map for EFI is not much less thought involved than swapping jets too.

Despite the fact EFI has been available for bikes since the 70's, it still seems that a carburetor is still king when it comes to simplicity and easy adjustment. Could even go as far as saying, "Ask Guy Martin how his EFI system worked out at Pikes Peak.", despite the adjust-ability of EFI, had he been running carbs, a simple jet swap would have had him boosting to the clouds and setting a reasonable time, and maybe even prompting a return to try to beat his previous time.


Not trying to start an argument, but genuinely curious what experiences prompt the idea that EFI is superior to carbs when both can be dialed in pretty well and both suffer from the same limitations when taken to extremes in temperature, humidity, and altitude.



Cool vid I came across quite some time ago having the EFI vs Carb discussion with a friend that swore up and down that replacing EFI on a superbike engine would ruin the thing proper. The car this engine went into had some incredibly smooth bottom end response and made just as much top end power as when it was using EFI.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well Rob I'm just up here in Maine so I got to make a trip down your way once I get a bike. Got to go to a wedding in littleton in August. Me and my buddy hoped we had bikes by then but it's not looking good.
 
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