What Year Did Harley Start Fuel Injection To Replace The Carburetor System?

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What Year Did Harley Start Fuel Injection

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the technology of fuel injection, and what year did Harley start fuel injection? If so, then you’re in the right place. You will find all the answers you’re looking for.

The year in which Harley-Davidson started using fuel injection was 1995. Harley-Davidson introduced the Electronic Fuel Engine as an option for the Electra Glide’s 30th-anniversary edition. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that it became a standard practice. 

In this article, you will get to know all about when did Harley start fuel injection, when was it made mandatory, what was used before EFI, and a lot more. Continue reading to know more.

What year did Harley start fuel injection?

Harley-Davidson bikes normally come with fuel injection systems. However, this wasn’t always the case. Previously, Harley-Davidson models used to come with carburetors. Harley-Davidson officially introduced the Electronic Fuel Injection or EFI system as an option. It debuted with the 30th-anniversary edition of Electra Glide. EFI would end up becoming a standard on all Harley-Davidson bikes, including the Harley-Davidson Sportsters 2007 line.

The Harley-Davidson Sportster bikes have been featuring EFI since 2007. The Softails, Buells, and Dynas all come with fuel injection since 2007. Previously, EFI was available as an option since 1996. For the last two and a half decades, the changes in Harley-Davidson’s EFI technology have been met with skepticism. The best way of finding out whether your bike is fuel injected or not would be to turn on the main switch. Then, simply toggle the engine kill switch. If you’re hearing a whining sound coming from inside the right side of the tank, it likely features fuel injection. In case you hear nothing, then your bike has a carburetor.

The biggest reason why the EFI system has replaced carburetors on Harley-Davidson bikes is that it is less pollutant. Moreover, the EFI system is also more fuel-efficient as compared to carburetors while it also offers better overall performance.

The carburetor system getting replaced by the EFI system in Harley-Davidson bikes

Throughout the years, Harley-Davidson has used a carburetor with the engines the brand has produced. These have ranged from the vintage Knucklehead, Shovelhead, and Panhead to the new Twin Cam engines. Fuel injection technology was introduced as an option for Harley-Davidson’s FL-series Touring bikes starting with the 1996 model. But what year did Harley go to fuel injection as a standard practice? The answer to that is 2007. Since 2007, it has become standard equipment on every Twin Cam engine model, which includes Softail, Dyna, and Touring models. Only the old-school Sportster Series model featured the carbureted Evolution engine. However, 2008 saw the series losing carburetors to an electronic sequential port fuel injected systems.

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The new generations of Harley-Davidson riders are not only younger, but they’re making more tech-savvy choices. The carburetor system is a simple system with no electronic aspects that require expert mechanical attention. The new EFI systems are tech-savvy and will generate better peak power while offering better fuel management. The phasing out of carburetors was partly because of the pressure exerted on the factories by the Environmental Protection Agency. The fuel-air mixture will be better controlled by fuel injection systems, which results in decreased emissions.

Fuel Injection vs Carburetor – What are the differences?

Both the fuel injection system and carburetor act as the primary fuel suppliers to the engine. While carburetor will mix the air and fuel in it while supplying the mixture to the engine. The fuel injector will spray fuel directly into the engine. The amount of fuel supply will differ due to the different mechanisms used in the two of them. But which is the better system for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle? Fuel injectors will offer far better performance thanks to the high-power output, fuel-efficiency, engine speed, and low emissions.

Carburetors, on the other hand, will need minimum maintenance. They’re economical and far easier to replace. If you’re looking for high-performance, a fuel injection is the better option for you. If you have a tight budget, a carburetor should be the preferred option.

In a carburetor, the air and fuel get mixed, and then the mixture will enter the engine from the carburetor. Meanwhile, with fuel injectors, the fuel and air will mix only after coming into the engine. The fuel will be sprayed into the engine via the fuel injector.

The carburetor will work on the mechanical linkages and components. You can manually set the needed air-fuel ratio. The mechanical components will control the air-fuel mixture depending on the ratio set by the operator. The fuel injector, on the other hand, will be controlled by an Electronic Control Unit or ECU. It will determine the amount of fuel sprayed into the engine and the air-fuel ratio in the engine. The ratio will be determined depending on the data obtained by ECU from several sensors.

These sensors will include a crank-shaft position sensor, throttle position sensor, and cam-shaft position sensor among others. These sensors will continuously send information to the ECU. The ECU will then determine the ratio dynamically depending on the engine load, temperature, riding conditions, speed, and more. All of them are automated and electronically controlled. The air-fuel ratio cannot be set manually and will be dynamically operated by the ECU.

Performance of fuel injection against different parameters

You need to know about the difference between fuel injection systems and carburetors. After that, it is important to find out their performance in terms of different parameters. The important parameters worth considering are engine performance, fuel efficiency, cold start, replacement durability, cost, emissions, and more.

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Fuel efficiency

Carburetors mix a definite amount of fuel in the air-fuel mixture depending on the tuning. This is why there isn’t any dynamic ratio adjustment to be made. For fuel injections, ECU will regularly change the ratio as it varies the amount of fuel entering the engine. This will be done base on the information it is receiving from the sensors. As a result, the fuel will be managed in a better way in fuel injection systems. This is why fuel efficiency will be higher in Harley-Davidson bikes with fuel injections than bikes with carburetors.

Engine performance

With all the things remaining the same, the power output will be better in Harley-Davidson bikes with fuel injection systems. The engine performance of bikes with carburetors cannot match the performance of bikes with EFI systems. The higher output for the same RPM will result in higher speed for bikes with fuel injector systems.

Cold start

In colder climates, bikes with a carburetor will be very difficult to start. Even if you’ve turned on the choke, the bike would struggle to start often. The problem will be more prevalent in bikes with carburetors while it’ll be very less with fuel injection bikes. The cold start will never be an issue in bikes with fuel injection systems.

Maintenance and repair

Carburetors will operate on a mechanical system. Even if someone isn’t an expert at bike repairing, they can easily do the maintenance and tuning of carburetor systems. Fuel injectors will come with a comparatively more complex system. Add to that the ECU components that are attached to it to control the fuel spraying into the engine.

The injection sound will be more complex and can’t be handled easily by every Harley-Davidson bike owner. The repair and maintenance of bikes having an EFI system must be carried out by experts in the service centers.

Carburetors are far easier to repair and maintain as compared to bikes with fuel injection systems.

Replacement

Carburetors do not come with any electronic components. The disassociation with electronic components will make them far easier to remove from bikes and replace with new ones. When the carburetor gets damaged, you can either take it to a mechanic or fix it yourself. Moreover, you can even replace it yourself.

Fuel injection systems, on the other hand, are ECU controlled and come with many electronic components included. Association with ECU and electronic components will make the EFI system a difficult system to replace. If your fuel injector gets damaged, you will have to take it to the service center. An expert mechanic will be able to replace the fuel injection system with a new one. While the replacement of fuel injectors might become easier in the future, carburetors are currently easier to remove and replace.

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Emissions

Emissions like sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, and other greenhouse gases are extremely harmful to the environment. The government and regulatory bodies have been imposing restrictions on bikes with high carbon emissions. It is important for modern Harley-Davidson bikes to have emissions as low as possible.

Fuel injection Harley-Davidson bikes are definitely hands-down better than bikes with carburetors. This is the case as fuel injection bikes are continuously changing the air-fuel mixture to optimum levels. This will be based on the riding parameters, engine, and other factors. As a result, there will be less unnecessary burning of fuel. This will, in turn, lead to lower emissions as compared to bikes with carburetor systems.

Durability

There isn’t a lot of difference between a fuel injection system and a carburetor in terms of longevity and durability. Both of them will last longer if you’re maintaining your Harley-Davidson bike with regular servicing. Some may argue that fuel injection systems don’t last long if you don’t take proper care of your bike. However, the same will hold true for bikes with carburetors. In fact, if you aren’t maintaining your bike, all components would be vulnerable to damage, including the carburetor and fuel injector.

Cost

Any components that are associated with the carburetor will come at a very low cost. The components of the fuel injection system will be much costlier in comparison. The cost disparity is there because the technological improvement present in the EFI system needs a higher cost of production. 

Total vehicle cost

As fuel injection systems are costlier than compared to carburetors, the same applies to bikes with fuel injection systems. This is the case because of the technology and high functionality. All things remaining the same, bikes with carburetors are economically feasible compared to bikes with a fuel injection system.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know all about fuel injection systems and when did Harley start fuelinjection for its bikes. The Engine Fuel Injection system was introduced with a Harley-Davidson bike for the first time in 1995. The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide 30th-anniversary edition became the first bike to have this technology. It took until 2007 for the system to become a standard practice, as all Dyna, Softail, and Buell models since then have been coming with the Fuel Injection system.

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