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I'm sure this had already been asked or discussed before, and if so - apologies for the repetition! I'm about to buy a Bonnie and would appreciate some guidance please!

On my budget I can get a 2009/2010 SE or base. Needless to say - at this age we're talking fuel-injection! The T100, on the other hand would need to be a 2007 to get the price right, and that puts me in carb territory.

The problem is, I like the look of both styles equally and would be happy with either design. My last Bonnie was a '76 T140 and I remember the carbs being awkward to keep on song (please bear in mind I'm really not that technical). Plus I've ridden nothing but fuel injected bikes since the early 80's....!!!

Whatever I get will have some loud pipes fitted (Hyde probably) and some western bars too.

Any and all comments, advice and guidance would be gratefully received!

Thanks in advance!
Chris.



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Yes, the Keihin carbs are a far cry from the more primitive Amals that you remember. The Keihins are also linked together by a common shaft, this means long intervals before any balancing or synchronising is required. Their internal parts also get a much easier life due to the lack of significant vibration from the new Bonnie engines.
 

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I bought a 2005 T100 carb model a year ago - first bike since I sold my '76 T140V .

I too am techo challenged and I have had no problems at all - these carbies are nothing like the old Amals - they stay in one piece!

The Bonneville runs like a dream. I just dont fiddle with it - I leave that to the experts:D
 

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My carbie has required ridiculous amounts of fiddling and tuning time, I am sick of it and thinking I should sell it.

In fact, I had to tick up the idle once in the past four years via the convenient thumbscrew. Modern motorcycles should not require this much attention to keep on the road.

:D
 

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I have one of each, got a 06 Scrambler (carb) & a 09 Thruxton (EFI)
& to be honest no problems with either.

Carby Scram, might use slightly more fuel, smooth operation & has got a fuel tap.
Thrux EFI, does everthing well but a little jerky on the throttle in traffic.

I would base my purchase on the colour, pipes fitted & milage rather than EFI or Carby

cheers Terry
 

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I have a carbed Thruxton and a carbed CBR 600 (last year before FI). I really like the less peaky and more predictable power right up from low RPMs with the carbs. Test riding newer bikes - they don't seem as smooth.

However, my Thruxton gets brutal MPG and I understand the FI versions do a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well it certainly seems like carbs ain't what they used to be. You'll be telling me next that the brakes actually work...!!

Seriously - thanks for your words of wisdom!

All the best,
Chris.


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All the points mentioned are valid but from a personal point of view, I find tuning and diagnostic options far quicker and easier with EFI. If you are computer literate enough to join this forum and post here, then you should be able to use Tune ECU to download a tune for your bike. It takes 10 mins and you don`t get your hands dirty! That`s why I`d choose the EFI one.

:D

That, together with the fact that the absolute newest carb model you can get your hands on is going to be close to 5 years old and whilst the Twins are fairly bulletproof, all bikes can get age related issues, ie seals and rubbers hardening, solder joints drying out etc.
 

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carbs are easy and cheap to tune, with EFI if you modify more than pipes you will need a better tune than the dealer has, if you do not fiddle EFI can be great, though theres a lot more STUFF that can go wrong!!
 

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As a new rider, I kind of love the simplicity of a carbed bike. Do I have to pay a little more attention to temperature, idle speed, etc? Yeah. Sure. But I read a couple books on basic motorcycle maintenance and bought a Haynes shop manual and I wouldn't be TOTALLY uncomfortable taking a carb apart and doing basic work on it now. And I like that I understand what's going on when the engine sounds and reacts a certain way. That when it stalls at a red light 5 minutes after a cold start that it's not some major mechanical failure, it just needs some choke. That if it starts to idle a little slow while riding I just need to rev it a bit or at worst give the idle knob a bit of a twist. With EFI, I wouldn't have a clue how to trouble shoot any of those problems without going to a mechanic. Of course, the flip side is that with EFI you hopefully don't have to deal with as many of those issues. At the same time, since this is my first bike I kind of love how intimately I'm getting to know how she breathes. Somewhere down the line when I get an EFI bike ill feel that much more confident in adjusting the tuning because ill understand the physics.

In my brief experience, however, if I was in a really cold climate or planning on doing a lot of winter riding I would probably not want to deal with the headaches of a carbed bike.


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If you can afford it, get the EFI.

I'm sorry, but carbs are history (not bad, but HISTORY). Lord knows what we'll face for fuel requirements in the next decade. Some ECU tuner will figure it out.
 

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Grudgingly admit EFI is progress any way you measure fueling, but carbed Bonnes have nicer looking (read: skinnier) tanks - if that matters.
 

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If you can afford it, get the EFI.

I'm sorry, but carbs are history (not bad, but HISTORY)
Hmm, I'm waiting for the fallout from the 1087 boys... :popcorn
(That's a bold statement)
 

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Nothing wrong with carbs - my 2008 has carbs with 43,000 miles - but I'd recommend buying the newest bike you can. Things get old, dry out, wear out, etc.
If you don't have a problem with the dishonesty of FI dressed up as carbs get a FI bike.
 

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Just the $

No benefit of one over the other. Are you going to play big time then there is more info on carbs but that will be on flatslides! but give it time! If you are going to keep stock then no real tuning is needed so there is no benefit one over tother.
If the bike will be a keeper then maybe consider the new if you fancy or spend the leftovers on personalising you 2nd hand one.
Just remember that a new one will lose $ quick whereas the older one is more condition dependant.
At the end of the day it is al about the heart!(yours)
 

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If you can afford it, get the EFI.

I'm sorry, but carbs are history (not bad, but HISTORY). Lord knows what we'll face for fuel requirements in the next decade. Some ECU tuner will figure it out.
wait till you have your efi is 4 or 5 years old you may change your mind ,things will go bad and they wont be cheap to fix.Many if not most of the carb bikes made from 2001 to 2007 are still on the road with very little troubles .I dont think you will see that with the efi bikes ,they are about brand new and we see more post with people haveing troubles with them then when the carb bikes where new.
 

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wait till you have your efi is 4 or 5 years old you may change your mind ,things will go bad and they wont be cheap to fix.Many if not most of the carb bikes made from 2001 to 2007 are still on the road with very little troubles .I dont think you will see that with the efi bikes ,they are about brand new and we see more post with people haveing troubles with them then when the carb bikes where new.
Never really thought about that but you're probably right. Goes to what I said earlier - I am a total novice when it comes to bike maintenance but a few books and a shop manual and I feel like I could keep my stock carbs running damn near forever with a little experience. To even THINK about maintaining, let alone REPAIRING, an EFI system you'd need to drop hundreds of dollars on the diagnostic tools alone, and even then you probably still won't be able to actually fix much without taking it to a shop. Suddenly a bike that otherwise can hold its value like money in the bank becomes a junker after X number of years (whatever that turns out to be) without pouring a couple grand into maintenance. All that so you don't have to pull the choke knob on a chilly day?
 

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Never really thought about that but you're probably right. Goes to what I said earlier - I am a total novice when it comes to bike maintenance but a few books and a shop manual and I feel like I could keep my stock carbs running damn near forever with a little experience. To even THINK about maintaining, let alone REPAIRING, an EFI system you'd need to drop hundreds of dollars on the diagnostic tools alone, and even then you probably still won't be able to actually fix much without taking it to a shop. Suddenly a bike that otherwise can hold its value like money in the bank becomes a junker after X number of years (whatever that turns out to be) without pouring a couple grand into maintenance. All that so you don't have to pull the choke knob on a chilly day?
I'm sorry, but totally disagree. There is no reason to suspect that an EFI bike will be a "junker" in a few years because it uses an electronic system to control fueling rather than carbs. Think about it - how long have cars had EFI? Keep in mind the carb'd bikes use electronics for their ignition control, they don't use good ol' points & condenser. They use electronics for the charging system too.

As far as diagnostics, don't get sucked in to "need to take it to a dealer". Much of the diagnostic techniques are the same, we just have different "tools" available to us, such as TuneECU. And, given that carb'd bikes are no longer being produced, there will only be more after market parts and accessories (including software/tunes) available in the future.

As for riding experience, a properly tuned EFI is not snatchy or jerky, but smooth, without flatspots, hesitations hic-ups etc. that a lot of carb'd bikes have. I can flash a new tune into my bike in about 20 minutes and, while I'm at it, take a couple of minutes (literally) to perfectly balance the throttle bodies.

I have had many carb'd bikes in the past and have no problem with them. But, now I've tried EFI, it's the way to go.
 
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