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Sportster Models 883, 883 Custom, 1200 Custom, 883L, 1200L, 1200S, 1200 Roadster, XR1200, and the Nightster.
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2009, 09:24 AM
sailorrudy sailorrudy is offline
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Default Difference between carb and efi on sportster

I test drove an 05 1200 and it was sick, missed, coughed, ugh. Then drove a new 1200, ran like a well made clock. Is it really that much of a diff between carbed and efi? The HD salesman said HD had to make the carbed run lean for EPA requirements. Add an air cleaner and pipes everything will be ok. I want a used one for a 2nd bike. I don't mind carbed if the one I drove was bad. Suggestions???
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:48 AM
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There is nothing wrong with either a carbed or EFI motor. Both come tuned very lean from the factory and can be retuned to run well. Retuning a carb bike is pretty inexpensive, usually less than $100.00, compared to typically hunderds of dollars for an EFI bike.

Sounds like the carbed bike you rode was worse than typical and as a used bike had other problems. Apples & Oranges comparison.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:50 AM
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It sounds like the 05 is in bad need of a tune up. I have a 96 1200 and it runs like a scalded dog, no hick ups, back fires.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:12 AM
Zenmervolt Zenmervolt is offline
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There's no reason that a properly-tuned carbed bike would run like you described. Something's wrong with it.

In the practical world, the differences between EFI and carbs are minor. A properly setup carb might be a little bit more persnickety when temps are cold, but even then it shouldn't be anything worse than maybe having to crank the bike over twice (and then only if it's really cold).

Carb:
Pro: Cheaper to tune. Easier to work on. One less electrical thing to potentially go wrong. Many aftermarket carbs available.
Con: Not as flexible as EFI. Can be occasionally slightly more temperamental.

EFI:
Pro: Almost infinitely flexible with a good tuner. Slight benefit in ease of starting. Superior fuel metering ability.
Con: Fully-flexible tuning requires expensive ($500+) programming tool that can only be used on one bike (VIN locked). Complexity of tuning software can be confusing. Parts are proprietary.

Overall, I prefer EFI for engines I don't plan to spend huge amounts of time tinkering with, but there's no reason for a good carb setup to be noticeably worse than a good EFI setup.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:15 AM
Zenmervolt Zenmervolt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorrudy View Post
The HD salesman said HD had to make the carbed run lean for EPA requirements. Add an air cleaner and pipes everything will be ok.
If it was running lean to begin with, adding a free-er flowing air filter and pipes would make things worse, not better. Your salesman needs to spend some time in remedial study with a mechanic.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:40 AM
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prolly nothing wrong with the first bike you rode, just needs to have the carb jetted from the description you wrote. efi will act the same way if it is not tuned after adding an air filter and exhaust.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:43 AM
mbwannabe1 mbwannabe1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenmervolt View Post
If it was running lean to begin with, adding a free-er flowing air filter and pipes would make things worse, not better. Your salesman needs to spend some time in remedial study with a mechanic.
Zenmervolt is right that a free breathing A/C will make a carb a little leaner, and an EFI a LOT leaner. Often people will strip accessories off and put the stock parts back on a bike before trading it in, so the bike might have been tuned/jetted for pipes and A/C. Now with stock parts back on, it's rich.

Remember this, a salesman isn't there to make your bike run right. The saleman's goal is 1) make the sale by "explaining" any negatives, and 2) talk you into as many accessories and services as possible.

If they can't fix it BEFORE the sale, stay away from that bike. Their only interest is to turn their problem into your problem.

Last edited by mbwannabe1; 03-23-2009 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbwannabe1 View Post
If they can't fix it BEFORE the sale, stay away from that bike. Their only interest is to turn their problem into your problem.
+1.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:59 AM
 
 
 
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05, 2004, 883, carb, carburetor, davidson, efi, fuel, harley, injected, kind, make, run, sporster, sportster, tuneup


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