Recently Indian bike manufacturers have started implementing EFI systems to their current line-up. For people who are wondering what EFI is, it’s nothing but Electronic Fuel Injection, a simple in structure yet complex in operation unit that replaces the old-age carburetor. Why we need EFI at first place? Why can’t we run with the rock aged carburetor powered bikes? The answer is simple! The era of carburetor version will soon Phase out keeping the advantages of EFI in mind.

EFI engines are basically smart engines than any conventional carburetor version engines. The reason is the Diagnostic feature, Economy, Performance, and unmatched Reliability. To put it in simple terms the way a smart person behaves when compared to a normal symbian phone is the same case of an EFI powered engine compared to a conventional carburetor powered one.

Which motorcycles in India belong to the EFI category?

  • Yamaha R15
  • Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-FI
  • TVS Apache 160 RTR FI
  • Hero Honda Karizma ZMR
  • Honda Stunner FI and
  • Hero Honda Glamour FI (Which is almost discontinued)

Why these engines are smart?

Well for all questions my answer would be the same. They are smart enough to understand the rider’s requirement. The system is based on EFI that has some of the finest sensors that senses some of the most vital parameters needed for a safe and reliable ride. The system is controlled by its main brain which is the ECU/ECM. (ECU= Electronic Controlled Unit or ECM=Electronic Controlled Module.) All the sensors will start functioning as soon as the ignition key is turned on.

As soon as the ignition is On, the Bike starts checking its status by sending pulse to each and every sensor and gets back response data that are measured by the ECU and will display the status if something is malfunctioning. This way bike scans all the electronics which are on board and ensures everything is OK and safe.These sensors work almost on the count of milliseconds each and every time and keeps sending the relevant data to the ECU. Each time all the sensors send the data in pulse to the ECU, the data is stored in the ECU and can be retrieved later through their own software. In conventional engines these sensors are almost nil making the rider responsible for each and every aspect of the bike. This makes the user to take lot of time to understand all the parameters that are vital and start his own diagnostics.

The ECU map is designed or written such a way where rider can get optimum performance from the product to achieve mileage, speed, and reliability. ECU contains many critical information & other parameters which requires to calculate the speed, air density, air pressure, temperature, Crank position, Throttle position, Timing, rpm, Fuel pump sensor, Injector etc. ECU always needs the data from all the above said sensors so that optimum desired output is achieved and thats why these engines are called as Smart engines.

Every smart engines needs optimum care though it can take care of itself by Auto-sensing. All the manufacturers who manufacture EFI models, also make secondary ECU which is called OBD/FIDT. OBD (On Board Diagnostic Tool) or FIDT (Fuel Injection Diagnostic Tool). All the EFI models need this tool for diagnostics. The diagnostic tool shouts out the exact error code of the sensor that fails. Reading is only possible by using an FID scanner. But apart from these complicated diagnostic procedures, all companies also provide a malfunction light that lights up in the console in case of any malfunction. As the machines are equipped with sensors it takes one very less time to diagnose the problem and service. But the drawback is that our Indian market is not that mature enough to handle these systems, especially in two wheeler segment. In four wheeler segment we have EFI models from long time and also there are well trained service centers that can carry out these work in a jiffy. Here in the two wheeler industry the issue is diagnosing. Our mechanics are still not that well trained to handle EFI systems and hardly a handful. In conventional fueling system engine tinkering was very easy but thats not the case in EFI. I have noticed that in EFI when people go for high performance modifications they fail to achieve the actual power. Well reason is very simple, in a stock ECU the mapped parameters are for a stock bike which ensures optimal performance. When the person tries to modify for high performance purpose one should think twice. In my earlier articles I have pressured main points “Up-Jetting and Re-mapping”. In carburetor version fuel ratio can be changed manually just by changing the jets. But what about EFI models?

Well it is possible. Always possible but not by any rookie. ECU has digital parameters that can be altered only through a software. So it is necessary to change these codes for better performance. There are particular stages of parameters like Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Re-mapping. The meaning is that all the basic stock parameters will be re-configured for the performance that one wants, also if one doesn’t want to tamper the stock ECU, the privileged can always get a Piggy Back ECU. When rider installs any high performance filter he should also work on remapping. But in Stage 1, best is to change the parameters rather than installing any high performance filters. That will give exact idea of whats power. But my advice is always not to tinker any one’s brain unless and until that re-mapper is pro in doing that.

As all the sensors are depending on each other even if there is a small malfunction with regards to the engine breaking down, the ECU will automatically shutdown the machine preventing further loss to both the rider as well as to his Steed. Thats why these wonderful piece of technology comes at a premium demanding price but in due course of time this will definitely settle down.

We need to pass from Stone Age to Space Age with the speed of MACH-4?  Wonder whether we can! As time evolves things will change where one can see a four stroke TVS XL super equipped with an ECU that can be custom mapped!

– Chinmay Dangre

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  1. carburettor bikes still are best, and it will take atleast 20 years to completely phaseout carburettor.

    but carb bikes are still best.

    a 150 cc r15 which is FI give mileage of only 35-40.

    • thats because it revs upto 12000 rpm , makes 17 ps of power , goes 131kmph top whack with highest acceleration figure to 60 kmph as well as 100 kmph mark .so atleast know something about the bike’s figure before reporting anything , you just meant to say that EFI is not good as your carb bikes, that means you are saying against the world , mind you the whole world cant be wrong , and yes the R15 rules and it the best…..

  2. Dear sri,

    r15 is having instant throttle response; thats also b’casue of EFI. My r15 gives 50+ milage in city of kolhapur. Better first ride it and then bike will proove it.

  3. Carb bikes require one machine and two souls for tuning, but any idiot can snap on aftermarket ecu and destroy his machine and even the malfunction switah wont turn on.Piggybank is a stand alone ecu by racedynamics ONLY for CARS not bikes

  4. This could be the wave of the future…but for a home tinkerer whose hobby involves minor tuneup and adjustment of my own bikes, it would be a death knell. One more reason to collect older carburated bikes and hold onto them…they will be in HIGH demand! Not so easy to diagnose, but a lot cheaper to fix!


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