Injection On Two Wheels - Do I Need To Upgrade My Motorcycle’s Fuel Injectors?

Modern motorcycle fuel management relies on very precise operation of the fuel injectors. These high-tech fuel injection systems offer premium performance, but can still suffer from the same issues that all fuel injectors face.

The Trouble With Fuel Injectors

Fuel injector problems can be difficult to diagnose in a motorcycle, but are most often discovered when experiencing issues with engine performance including:

  • Difficulty starting
  • Rough idling
  • Lack of power
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Emissions issues

Although not considered a maintenance item, fuel injectors are susceptible to several problems over time. These problems can vary, depending on the conditions over the life of an engine. There are four main points of failure on fuel injectors:

1. Internal Mechanical Failure

Internal mechanical failure occurs when moving parts inside the injector are damaged or worn. The nozzles and interior parts of fuel injectors are assembled with very fine tolerances. These fine tolerances are required to properly atomize fuel for combustion. Internal mechanical failure occurs when these parts break down and can be the result of high mileage or neglect. Motorcycles often see only seasonal use and tend to receive deferred maintenance, leaving their fuel injectors susceptible to mechanical failure.

2. Internal Leaks

Fuel injectors can develops cracks that will leak fuel into the cylinder. If the leak is severe enough it can fill up the cylinder with fuel. This can result in catastrophic engine failure from thinning of the engine oil or hydrolocking. Internal leaks are often the result of high mileage.

3. External Leaks

If an injector develops an external leak it's likely caused by a hardened or brittle O-ring. External leaks are especially problematic because they become a fire hazard by allowing fuel to leak out, coming into contact with a hot engine.

4. Clogged Nozzle

Fuel quality has a direct impact on the condition of fuel injector nozzles. It is possible for your motorcycles injector nozzles to corrode or build up hard deposits from the fuel. Poor fuel quality can accelerate the buildup of deposits or corrosion. Letting the engine sit without running for a long period of time can also add to the buildup of deposits from the fuel throughout the entire fuel system, including the injectors. Minor clogging can sometimes be corrected with a fuel system cleaner additive, but when injectors are severely clogged, consider cleaned and rebuilt injectors from TLF Performance Parts.


Preventative Maintenance Matters

The best preventative maintenance for motorcycle fuel injectors comes down to:

  • Using the best quality fuel.
  • Treating the fuel with stabilizer if the motorcycle is going to sit for more than a couple of weeks.
  • Installing high-quality motorycle fuel injectors. TLF Performance injectors use stainless steel and titanium for all internal components, premium brass filters, and Viton® nitrile rubber o-rings. Most injectors - even brand new OEM injectors - use lesser quality components.

Keep in mind that TLF Performance Parts is also one of the only companies in the world that will remanufacture hard to find injectors for older or speciality vehicles, service and repair injectors, or make fuel injectors for custom applications. Our clients for these services include collectors and museums, so if you're rebuilding a classic or speciality bike, contact our Founder and resident expert, Tom Folder - he'll guide you through the custom options TLF Performance can offer.