What is EFI and why should you want it



EFIEFI stands for Electronic Fuel Injection, and is simply a way of dispensing the air-fuel mixture into the engine, in the most optimum way possible. Most of you must have heard about Carburetors, which used to be the mainstay in scooters.

Oh I fondly remember the most important part of a scooter’s service used to be breaking down the carburetor and cleaning it with petrol. We have come a long way since then, and all cars use EFI now, but all commuter bikes still rely on carburetors. If your bike comes with a fuel knob, you don’t have EFI, that’s the simplest way to put it! 

What are the advantages of EFI?

EFI systems have quite a few advantages over the old carburetor ones:

  1. It works closely with the Engine Control Unit (ECU), to make sure that the air-fuel mixture is always perfect, and optimum combustion occurs.
  2. EFI vehicles have higher mileage, because of point no. 1.
  3. EFI vehicles have cleaner emissions, so you can have that smug look on your face.
  4. Vehicles with EFI can be taken to high-altitude areas without any problem. Carburetor bike may need upjetting etc.
  5. Vehicles with EFI generally don’t have cold start issues, as compared to massive problems with carb machines.
  6. EFI vehicles are generally smoother than their carb counterparts.

What are the disadvantages of EFI?

Well, there aren’t any disadvantages to having a nice piece of tech in your bike, except when the times are bad. Any roadside mechanic can fix a carb, but you will need specialized workshops and people to deal with chip trouble. It is worthwhile to mention that I have never heard of any breakdowns because the EFI system failed.

Also, fuel injected bikes are generally costlier than their carb counterparts. So that comes into the equation for some people. It’s rather obvious, if you think about it, just like phones with faster processor and ram are costlier than their slower counterparts.

Should you go for an EFI machine?

Absolutely. EFI is a technology that is already a necessity for cars, and will soon be for motorcycles. It is helpful in every way, and hasn’t shown any gremlins as far as my knowledge goes. This goes out to those future Royal Enfield buyers in particular – go for the model with EFI, maybe you will get lesser trouble in the long run!

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  1. Siddhaarth

    Hi Akhil. First of all, kudos to this brilliant blog of yours. I stumbled upon this by chance and have been gobbling through the articles for the past hour. As a consumer I must admit the clarity of the reviews and the honest opinions. Am currently planning a Ladakh trip next year, and all the reviews certainly makes it easy to make decisions. Had been going bonkers with luggage and gear decisions.

    And as a fellow rider, a tip of the helmet; for all the aptly put problems and experiences. Really loved the “three T’s” article.

    Now to come to the point, I have been on Enfields and on KTMs too. Love the both of them for very different reasons. Almost booked a 390 last week. My only concern was with the conundrum of EFI. Being wuite ignorant on this front, I want some doubts cleared. Does the EFI engine require a specific type of fuel? The KTM showroom I visited suggested that it is better to use High Octane fuels, and looking for such would be an issue on our highways. Since I wanted to make it from Bangalore to Ladakh, I wouldnt want this to be a problem. But since you have made it from Mumbai, I would assume you would have had to use something other than Shell from time to time? Does it make a difference? Would it really be an issue over a period of time?
    This is what stopped me from booking the 390. Need your help with this.

    1. AK

      Thanks man! Glad you like what you see 🙂
      As far as requirement of high octane fuel for 390 goes, I have been using regular fuel since the last 18,532 kms, and no issues at all 🙂 I personally feel that high octane fuels are a sham, it is just regular fuel with higher price, never used it ever. Friends of mine who are using it haven’t reported any benefits either.
      I have ridden through some really desolate areas, and even one time had to use very bad quality fuel (my bike won’t go above 106 kmph). The Duke 390 is a tough machine, you can do things to it that you really shouldn’t, and it would still run like a dream. My suggestion would be go for it without second thoughts.

    2. Siddhaarth

      Thanks a ton for clearing it up. Needed a first hand opinion.
      See you on the road soon!

      1. AK

        You bet!