Do I Need Fuel Injector Cleaning on My Motorcycle?

motorcycle fuel up, fuel injector cleaningFuel injector cleaning is even more important on your motorcycle than it is for your car.  To understand why let’s talk about all the things it accomplishes.

What Does Fuel Injector Cleaning Do?

  • Reduces the possibility of knock
  • Keeps fuel pressure where it should be
  • Improves engine balance

First, we want to say when we’re talking about fuel injector cleaning we aren’t talking about removing your fuel injectors and getting them sent to a lab to be professionally cleaned and flow checked.  That is an extremely expensive process and rarely necessary for car or motorcycle fuel injectors.  We are talking about simply adding some fuel injector cleaner to your gas tank next time you fill-up. 

Reduces the Possibility of Knock

One of the biggest things keeping your fuel injectors clean can accomplish is reducing the possibility of knock.  Knock, or pre-ignition is when the air/fuel mixture detonates before the spark ignites it.  Knocking can cause severe engine damage and can happen if you don’t have the right air-fuel mixture.  A dirty fuel injector can have poor atomization which in severe cases can cause knocking itself but more often leads to an incomplete burn and a dirty combustion chamber.  A dirty combustion chamber increases the compression ratio which can also lead to knocking and engine damage.  Keeping your fuel injectors clean can help reduce this possibility.

Constant Fuel Pressure

Your bike’s fuel injection system runs off the assumption that fuel pressure is constant, usually 35-50 PSI.  If fuel pressure changes drastically it will affect the motor’s ability to run correctly.  Low fuel pressure can lead to a lean condition which can cause extremely high cylinder temperatures and possible damage.  Using fuel injector cleaning agents can reduce deposits in the fuel system as well as helping keep fuel pressure constant.

Improves Engine Balance

Lastly, clean fuel injectors will lead to a balanced engine.  If each injector is delivering the same amount of fuel your engine will run smoothly.  If an injector is clogged and delivering less fuel your engine’s computer will increase fueling in the other cylinders leading to an imbalance.  Besides heat build-up, this also creates a motor that won’t idle well as well as vibrations.  Vibrations are the killer of all things and can shorten the life of your motor as well.

Motorcycle engines are high-performance motors and are built to run at the edge more so than the motor in your commuter car.  This extra performance increases responsiveness and the power to weight ratio of your motorcycle but it also makes your engine much more prone to the issues we’ve talked about above.  Your engine is also built from lightweight high-performance materials that won’t hold up under poor operating conditions like knocking or imbalances so it’s even more important to make sure everything is working properly.  If you let your motorcycle sit for the winter, it’s even more important to make sure your fuel system is up to snuff.  We recommend using PJ1 Fuel Injector Cleaner every oil change or at least once per year, but you can use it as often as every fill-up to really keep things right. 

Photo by Caleb Russell on Unsplash