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How To Rebuild A Motorcycle Carburetor

Mikuni Carburetor ManualOn the surface, rebuilding a carburetor sounds like intense work better suited to a professional than an amateur rider. Those motorcyclists who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty can find success working directly with carburetors, however. If you think the carburetor on your bike requires some kind of care, it may be necessary to remove the device, take it apart for cleaning and rebuild it - a task anyone can do if they plan correctly.

Before you find yourself up to your elbows in the inner workings of a motorcycle, read up on how to build a carburetor and what is needed to finish the project.

Why Check The Carburetor

Motorcycle CarburetorThe carburetor is essential to the smooth functioning of an engine. Its basic purpose is to add air to gasoline, which then transforms the fuel into a mist that can be used as energy in the motor. This process is straightforward but can come to a halt should anything other than the right fuel enter the carburetor. That makes regular maintenance a must, as a clogged carburetor won't perform at all.

Checking a carburetor involves more than just making sure no foreign objects have made their way into the device. Cleaning each and every corner of the carburetor to prevent the buildup of dust or debris should be standard practice for any motorcycle owner, especially if you count older models among your collection. Any machine that has been sitting for extended periods of time could have excess buildup in the carburetor, and a thorough cleaning may significantly improve performance.

What You'll Need

Motion Pro Carburetor ToolsBefore you start dismantling and cleaning the carburetor, you should make sure you have all of the material you need to complete the job. The most basic things you should have on hand include a rebuilding kit, wrench set, screwdriver, carburetor cleaner, water and towels. Safety equipment, such as goggles and protective gloves, are also a must. Some motorcyclists also like to have a small air compressor hose that can remove dust without damaging the carburetor.

Not only do you need specific tools, but you also should reserve the right amount of space to finish the work. A large worktable in a properly ventilated room is ideal, and, if possible, try to find a place where you can leave windows or doors to the outside open. Certain carburetor fumes can be harmful, and avoiding damage from these gases is essential.

Prep Your Bike And Remove The Carburetor

Moose Racing Offroad Carburetor Rebuild KitA carburetor rebuild kit will have thorough instructions specific for your model bike. Read the complete directions to ensure you know what the task entails and you have all of the right tools before beginning.

The first thing you have to do is start the motorcycle and let the engine run to drain it of any fuel left in the motor. Twist the throttle until you hear the engine sputter and stall - that's when you can start dismantling the bike. Remove the gas tank, seat and any side covers to reach the carburetor. To then remove the carburetor, loosen the rubber boots, unhook it from the airbox and pull it from the bike. Be sure to detach all cables and wires once it's been taken out.

Clean The Carburetor And Rebuild

Carburetor CleanersNow that the carburetor is separated from the motorcycle, it's time to take it apart to properly clean all individual pieces. Consider taking pictures or notes of how the carburetor is put together to make it easier to reassemble later on.

Start by removing the float bowl, and then move to the bowl drain screw and washer. From there you can check the brass jets within the carburetor and the pilot jet, which often requires the most care. Some of these pieces may be layered in gunk - if that's the case, consider soaking them in carburetor cleaner to get all of the buildup off. The final piece to remove is the throttle, and you should thoroughly check it for tears or nicks - even minor ones - that could hinder performance.

Aftermarket Carburetor AccessoriesOnce everything has been cleaned, it's time to put it all back together. The rebuild kit will have replacement screws and jets that can be substituted in during this step. You can also purchase upgrades for your carburetor, such as high performance jets, fuel mixture screws, magnetic plugs, and power kits. These aftermarket improvements can easily be added to your carburetor at this stage.

When the carburetor is complete, simply reattach it to the bike and replace all of the motorcycle's inner workings. If done correctly, your bike should then be running as good as new.