What Year Did Harley Start Fuel Injection?

Innovation has since changed how motorcycle systems work, from the gas engine to the carburetor; motorcycle manufacturers have evolved the machine to fit the needs of modern-day users. However, motorcyclists still desire to know the answer to the question of what year did Harley start fuel injection as this would help them to make an informed choice when purchasing their next bike. While a simple carburetor system is easier to fix, the fuel injection system is more economical and eco-friendly.

In 1995, Harley-Davidson motorcycles introduced Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). The Electra Glide became the first of their motorcycles to have the EFI as an option. Twelve years later, electric fuel injection became standard on all Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This article will take a simple approach to help readers understand what year Harley Davidson introduced fuel injection and why it is the preferred choice for many motorcycle enthusiasts.

Why Fuel Injection Has Replaced Carburetors On Harley Davidson Motorcycles?

The choice to use fuel injection or carburetors depends on the biker’s preference. Some bikers still use the carburetor, while others prefer the automatic operation of the fuel injection technology.

Why Fuel Injection Has Replaced Carburetors On Harley Davidson Motorcycles

However, one thing is sure: before choosing a fuel injector over a carb, other factors such as temperature and pressure are essential in the decision-making process. The following paragraph will highlight why fuel injection has replaced carburetors on Harley Davidson motorcycles.

1. Better Cold-Starting

 One advantage that the carb has over the fuel injection is its long-standing acceptance. Many mechanics possess a better insight into carburetor engines than fuel-injection engines. So, it will be easier for carburetor users to get their machines fixed. On the other hand, fuel injection took over carbs in current Harley-Davidson motorcycles because they provide better cold starting.

At low temperatures, a carburetor-controlled motorcycle will need time to get warmed up. This is because Carburetors make use of a choke system. The fuel in a cold engine sticks to the wall due to condensation, making the mixture too small for the engine to start.

The choke system adds fuel to the engine as compensation for the fuel stuck on the cylinder walls. Once the engines get warmed up, condensation is effectively reduced, and the choke is no longer needed.

Fuel injection performs better than the carburetor in this aspect because they don’t have problems with cold starts. Fuel injection does not use chokes or carburetors. The fuel injection uses a computer system to regulate the bike’s fuel system. With this regulated computer system, the bike’s tank only gets the precise amount of fuel needed.

2. Eco-Friendly

A well-calibrated EFI system produces more peak power because of its better fuel management. The phasing out of carbs by Harley-Davidson is also in part due to pressure from the environmental protection agencies. Fuel to air mixture is more controlled by fuel injection, which results in decreased emissions.

3. Better Mechanism Of The Injection System

Another reason the fuel injection system replaced carburetors is EFI’s better mechanism. It is a computer-controlled system. An ECU reads the various sensors located on the motorcycle. It determines how much fuel to let through to the engine based on this information.

The system makes the EFI very fuel-efficient. The computer will systematically open and close the injectors. The mechanism is based on the sensor input, and the computer programmed fuel map.

On the other hand, a carburetor is dependent on the air velocity entering the venturi. The momentum creates an air/fuel mixture that feeds the engine. The quality of the air/fuel mixture a carburetor produces is dependent on the velocity of the air that goes through it. The low consumption of fuel when using an injection system is another reason why Harley-Davidson started the fuel injection system.

4. Fuel-Intake

Finally, with a fuel injection system, the required fuel for each RPM is located in the fuel map. Once The ECU knows the amount of energy needed by the engine, the ECU will adjust fuel intake for the engine and air temperature intake.

The mixture may also get adjusted for barometric pressure and altitude. These EFI features make it easy to understand why Harley-Davidson motorcycles replaced their carburetors with them.

How Do You Tell If Your Harley Is Fuel Injected?

The question of what year did Harley start fuel injection isn’t answered if the bike user does not know how to check if their machines are fuel injected. It is easy to determine if a Harley runs a carb or fuel injection system. The following paragraph will highlight some simple ways to figure it out.

How Do You Tell If Your Harley Is Fuel Injected

User Manual

The manual is the easiest way to know if the motorcycle uses a fuel-injection system. The user manual tells the readers all they must know about the bike. Information such as the torque, power horse, how to change fluids is contained in the user manual. A user manual typically comes packed with the motorcycle, especially if it’s brand new. If the manual isn’t packed with the bike, user manuals can be gotten at stores for about 100 US dollars.

Toggle The Kill Switch

Another way to know if the motorcycle is fuel injected is to toggle the kill switch. The biker should turn on the main button and then toggle the kill switch. If a sound comes out from inside the right tank, it’s a fuel injection bike. If there is no sound, then it’s a carburetor motorcycle.

Remove The Cowling

Removing the cowling is also an effective way to know if the motorcycle is fuel injected. Bikers can remove the cowling and look to see any injectors. Carburetor and injector bikes both use a butterfly throttle valve. The difference is that the carburetor units won’t have injector wiring harnesses and fuel rails. An added tip is for users to check if a high electric fuel pump is present.


When one decides to buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, it is essential to know what year Harley Davidson started fuel injection to choose the model that will best suit their preferences. Those who seek an environmentally friendly motorcycle and fuel-conserving will benefit from a Harley Davidson bike that utilizes the fuel injection system.

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