FI Engine vs Carburetor Engine

Carburetor vs Fuel Injection in Bikes

Check their history, working, cost differences, advantages & disadvantages

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09 May 2022
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 Two wheelers with internal combustion engines in India are powered either by carburetors or a fuel injection system.

Carburetors have been in existence since the 1800s and have traditionally been used in motorcycles ever since they were first made. Fuel injection systems, on the other hand, are a relatively new discovery and have been in existence since the 1930s. However, their use in two wheeler engines gained traction only since the 1980s.

Some individuals prefer carburetor fueled bikes due to the simplicity and ease of maintenance, whereas others prefer fuel injection purely due to the increase in efficiency and performance that it offers.

If you’re planning to buy a two wheeler in the near future and are left wondering ‘which is best - fuel injection or carburetor?’, then this article can help you out. Continue reading to find out the details.

History of Carburetors

Samuel Morey, an American inventor, invented the first ever carburetor in 1826. However, it was used widely in internal combustion engines only from the late 1870s and early 1880s. And since then, carburetors have been used to deliver fuel to two wheeler engines up until this day.

How do Carburetor Engines Work?

To be able to understand whether fuel injection is better than carburetors, you need to first know how a carburetor works.

A carburetor is a small device that is designed to mix both air and fuel and deliver the mix to the combustion chamber, where it is burned to produce power. There are two ends to a carburetor. One end is connected to the air filter and the other leads straight to the engine cylinder. Between the two ends is a narrow tube called the venturi.

Now, when you twist the throttle in a two wheeler, it opens a valve near the engine cylinder. The opening of the valve combined with the narrow opening in the venturi creates a low pressure pocket. This low pressure pocket helps draw the air and the fuel in the carburetor into the engine, where it is burned to generate power.

History of Fuel Injection

Fuel injection systems have been in use in diesel engines since the late 1930s. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that petrol-powered engines also embraced this technology. Despite being more sophisticated and delivering better performance, when it came to carburetor vs fuel injection, manufacturers continued with carburetors. However that has changed of late, with almost all new two wheelers featuring fuel injection systems.

How Does the Fuel Injection System Work?

Now that you’ve seen what carburetors do, let’s take a look at a fuel injection system.

A carburetor is a purely mechanical device. A fuel injection system, on the other hand, comes with several sensitive electronics and sensors that work in tandem with the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of a motorcycle to deliver fuel.

In a fuel injection system, there’s a dedicated injector inside the combustion chamber. It also features a fuel pump inside the tank, which delivers fuel to the injector at high pressures. Upon receiving the fuel at high pressure, the injector proceeds to deliver it into the combustion chamber as a finely atomised mist, where it is burned to generate power.

The ECU of the bike is responsible for controlling the amount of fuel that the injector delivers. And to determine the ideal amount of fuel to be delivered, the ECU takes a host of parameters into consideration such as the throttle position, the engine speed, the engine temperature, and more.

Cost Difference Between Carburetor & Fuel Injected Bikes

When it comes to the debate of fuel injection vs carburetor and which is better in bikes, carburetors win in terms of the overall cost. Since they’re mechanical in nature and feature a simple design, they’re far more cost effective than fuel injection systems, which are known to be complex and rely on several other electronics and sensors to work.

Here’s an example that can give you a better idea of the cost difference of an FI engine vs a carburetor engine.

The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V was first launched with both a carburetor system as well as a fuel injection system. The fuel injected model of the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V was costlier by around Rs. 12,700 compared to the carburetor version.

This hefty cost difference was due to the complex nature of the fuel injection system, since it required changes to the combustion chamber to accommodate the fuel injector, a dedicated ECU, a fuel pump, and several other sensors to function.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Carburetor and Fuel Injection System

As the carburetor vs fuel injection discussion continues, here’s a look at the various advantages and disadvantages of both of these systems.

Advantages of Carburetor vs Fuel Injection Systems

Carburetor

Fuel Injection System

They feature a simple design and are easy to maintain.

Since fuel is atomised into a fine mist, combustion is cleaner.

They’re relatively inexpensive.

They provide faster and sharper throttle response with very little lag.

They can be manually tuned or adjusted according to the needs and requirements of the user.

They’re very fuel efficient and deliver better performance than carburetors.

They can easily be serviced without having to dismantle the engine.

They don’t have to be maintained or serviced frequently.

Disadvantages of Carburetor vs Fuel Injection Systems

Carburetor

Fuel Injection System

They’re very old in terms of technology.

They’re very expensive and can cost a lot to replace.

With a carburetor, there’s usually a slight delay in the throttle response.

Repairing or replacing a fuel injection system is very complex and usually involves dismantling the engine.

The mixture of air and fuel is not always consistent.

They cannot be manually tuned or adjusted according to the needs and requirements of the user.

Conclusion

With this, you must now be aware of which is the best - fuel injection or carburetor. Although a fuel injection system is more expensive and harder to repair, it’s generally more long-lasting. It also delivers better performance and fuel efficiency figures compared to a carburetor. And finally, it improves engine response, eliminates excessive vibrations, and produces reduced emissions.

That said, if you’re worried about the high cost difference between carburetor vs fuel injection systems putting you off from owning your favourite two wheeler, you can always avail a two wheeler loan to fund your purchase. At Bajaj MARKETS, you can find a plethora of two wheeler loans from multiple providers. You can take a look at the different rates of interest on offer, compare the different loan offers, and choose the one that fits your needs; it is as simple as that.