Carburetor Care and Maintenance for your Dirt Bike

Four-stroke and two-stroke carburetors are very similar in that they both require general maintenance on occasion. If the bike sits for a while, gas will evaporate and leave a dry, powdery or sticky buildup in the carburetor. The residue may plug all the jets, but almost certainly it will block the pilot jet. Ideally, you should drain the float bowl after riding and store your bike with its fuel petcock turned off. If you fail to take those steps, it’s important to disassemble the carburetor if your motorcycle hasn’t been ridden in a while. Some of today’s fuels can go bad in just a month.

On four-strokes you also have to take apart and lube the hot-start cable just as you do with all your other cables. When you wash your bike, water runs down the cable, gets into the hot-start mechanism and causes corrosion in the carburetor. If the hot-start mechanism corrodes badly, it could demand a new carburetor body.

Check your float level based on what the owner’s manual says. The floats can come out of adjustment over time and with extreme use. The carburetor is the heart of your bike, and it should be serviced and cleaned on a regular basis.

*Β Use a Phillps screwdriver with a good tip that fits the carburetor float bowl screws well.

*Β Clean inside the float bowl, then disassemble and clean the accelerator pump on the bowl’s bottom.

*Β You adjust the float level by bending the small tang that depresses the float needle valve.

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