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Motorcycle Fuel Management Buying Guide
Kyle Bradshaw of Cruiser Customizing will be talking about Motorcycle Fuel Management, why it’s important, and how to choose the best unit for your specific needs.
Fuel Management is simply a term used to describe the proper adjustment of air and fuel delivered to the motor for combustion. Too much or too little air or fuel and your motorcycle will run lousy, be unpredictable, and will suffer in both the performance and fuel economy categories. Maintaining the proper air/fuel ratio will also aid the long-term health of your engine since fuel acts as a cooling agent for your engine’s internal parts.
When your bike's engine has the proper air/fuel ratio metered to it, it can perform to its potential, run cooler and be a much more satisfying ride. Jet Kits and Fuel Managers increase horsepower and torque by optimizing stock lean air/fuel ratios.
Nearly every motorcycle benefits from the installation of a jet kit or fuel injection with
Better throttle response
Elimination of backfiring
And in some cases, increased fuel mileage
This is especially important when using aftermarket high flow air filter units and aftermarket exhaust systems that will cause the already lean factory settings to be even leaner.
|A Jet Kit is a series of components that are installed into a carburetor and allow you to adjust the amount of air and the amount of fuel being delivered to the motor at any given stage or throttle position. Typical components in a jet kit are listed below with a description of their specific functions|
With the transition of motorcycles from carburetion to fuel injection, there arose a need to “inform” the stock ECU (the computer that controls the fuel delivery on our motorcycle) of the modifications we have made to our air kits and exhausts. Techlusion, DynoJet, and Cobra have been leaders in this technology. There are really three different types of electronic fuel injection options in the motorcycle space and they all function differently.
These three general options are Pot Tuners, Map Tuners, and Auto Tuners, described below from the simplest technology to the most advanced:
Shown: Cobra Fi2000R O2 Fuel Management System - V-Star 950 / 950 Tourer (09 - up), Not for use in CA
This type of tuner has three pots (or adjustment screws) technically called potentiometers which allow you to adjust the fuel delivery of fuel curve at idle / above idle (Pot 1), while the engine is under load (Pot 2), and while at max RPM (Pot 3). Typically, these units come ready to run out of the box at a “base setting” with a certain percentage increase in fuel suitable for an aftermarket air kit and an exhaust pipe. If your bike runs funny after installing one of these units, you will adjust one setting at a time according to the troubleshooting guide provided. The most popular “Three Pot Tuners” are the Techlusion TFi, Cobra Fi2000, Arlen Ness Big Shot, and the Dynatek FI Controller.
Shown: Dynojet Research PowerCommander PCIII - Vulcan 1500 Classic Fi - Not for use in California
|This type of fuel management device plugs in line with your motorcycles stock fuel injection system. It uses OEM connectors and allows you to fully adjust the range of fuel your motorcycle receives. Once plugged in, you can type in or download a MAP to the fuel manager which tells your bike to add or subtract fuel based upon input data air and exhaust conditions. An example of air options are stock air, K&N filter, or hi-flow air kit. The exhaust options will typically be slip-on, full system, full system w/o baffles, and race exhaust. Two leaders in the MAP Tuner category are DynoJet with the Power Commander and Vance & Hines with the FuelPak.|
You might have guessed it... AutoTune units adjust air and fuel on the fly as you ride down the road! They analyze your bike’s performance and constantly tune the air / fuel ratio for ideal fuel delivery and optimum performance. This device is more expensive out of the box than the Pot or Map tuners above, but brings you the peace of mind that you always have the proper amount of fuel going to your motorcycle at all times!
While they both “autotune”, the Cobra PowrPro Tuner and the DynoJet AutoTune units functions quite differently and have drastically different “start-up requirements.”
|Cobra Fi2000 PowrPro Tuner is as plug and play as it gets! You simply plug this unit into your bike... and go ride! It may pop or run rough for a few seconds, but once it begins to read your bike it will adjust your “air fuel ratio“ up to 80 times per second! With every single squirt of your fuel injectors your bike will be getting optimum fuel ratios no matter your altitude, air intake, exhaust or any other external contributor or variable.||DynoJet Power Commander V with AutoTune adjusts air / fuel as you ride, but it requires you to first choose the closest maps to your application and then add the AutoTune kit to the PCV which requires the installation of a Wideband O2 sensor and controller. Once this installation is complete, the PCV and AutoTune will adjust your air fuel based upon the reading of the O2 sensor.|
Fuel management is a necessity for all motorcycles on the road. Regardless of your budget, mechanical abilities, or make / model of your motorcycle, you now have the information you need to choose the perfect fuel manager situation. Please see the videos below that may help answer more of your exhaust, air kit, and fuel management related questions.
Thank you for reading.
Until next time, take care and ride safe!
Kyle Bradshaw & the Cruiser Customizing Team
How Cobra Exhaust Pipes Are Made http://cruiser.mototribe.com/video/totw-cobra-chrome-made-usa
DynoJet Fuel Management http://cruiser.mototribe.com/video/motorcycle-fuel-management-totw-dynojet-specialist-dan-berkes