Do my carburetors on my motorcycle need to be cleaned or replaced?

Alan 10/18/2018. 14 answers
Cars & Transportation Motorcycles

I have a brand new bike that's been sitting at my shed for about 6 years. The idle speed seems to be too low because sometimes it stalls when I go on very low speeds. Although it only has 50 miles on it, does the carburetors need to be cleaned or replaced? Or do I simply use the idle speed adjustment?

14 Answers


don r 10/23/2018.

Your bike may not be fully releasing its clutch. Adjust the freeplay. Get some fresh fuel in it and run it for 100 miles. That should clean it out.


Vulcan 10/22/2018.

maybe cleaned 1) put fresh gas in maybe a gas cleaner and let it run for a couple hours to see if it clears up


Fred 10/21/2018.

6 years!

The small parts of the carburetor jets and need to be cleaned of gummed up old gasoline, maybe other parts (needle valve) replaced.

Or as other's suggest running it "till it comes around"? (cost nothing) (hope springs eternal!) My personal experience with hope remains at... 0%!


armouror is My Alias 10/19/2018.

Remove the Float Bowl clean it and check the Needle valve and seat and the Lines from the Tank

Being left for a Long time causes corrosion

I have a 1953 Ariel in storage for the past 30 Years But the Carby was cleaned disassembled and stored

I got the Piston to BDC and Filled up the Plug hole with Oil put back the Plug and slightly compressed the Oil

sprayed all the motorcycle with Non-stick Cooking spray this washes off with hot soap and water

and I have disposed of the Battery because I will only need that for Lights as it is Magneto for spark

the Tank was emptied cleaned and sealed with Tank sealant

I would start with cleaning the carbies Taps and Filters


Anonymous 10/19/2018.

Modern fuel deteriorates and deposits a varnish over the carb(s) and anywhere it has sat for a long time. You won't clean that out without dismantling and a proper clean.

Carbs have different channels for the idle and the main. I would guess (because you have not given any useful detail) that the main is at least partially blocked.


curmudgeon55 10/19/2018.

ACTUAL MOTORCYCLE INFO? Harley? BMW flat twin /near new Honda with fuel injection? Kehein? Mikuni? D'el Orto? Bing? Amal? slide valves with needles may need a shot of cleaner, fixed jets will need reaming and air pressue. SO, WHAT KIND OF CARBS? Make Model, Year of motorcycle . 6 years setting but 50 miles on it? Try a can of Seafoam double dose it- common after winter setting in wisconsin.


Filled With God 10/19/2018.

Possibly so or not


Jeff 10/19/2018.

Fresh fuel, spin it up to 5k between shifts for 20 miles. It'll come around.


Landin 10/19/2018.

Old fuel maybe.


Anonymous 10/19/2018.

Yeah .maybe run a few tanks if fresh fuel first or drew out the pin a bit


Mistress of Morality 10/20/2018.

What sort of bike is it?

Most bikes were fuel injection by 2009. Only the small ones used carbs. Petrol turns to jelly over time so yes, your carburettor jets will need a blow-out.


The Firecracker 10/19/2018.

Yes , after 6 months, even. If you shelve a 'bike for Years; you need to drain bowls/tank, even Suspend tank from ceiling so all crud left goes down into the tapered end, not into fuel valve.

Fill bowls 1/2 way with B & K carb clean , rest with gas. Fresh gas to tank (top tier). Soak 1/2 hour, start. Run until engine warm.

Carbs only need be replaced if the throttle shafts very worn. I have to rebuild mine, as I can't get new ones, and four would cost more than the bike's worth.

EDIT: Sure she isnt a Feulie? If you cant tell or read the air cleaner label any more, get a knowledgeable friend.


Anonymous 10/19/2018.

If you did not drain the tank and the carb. DRAIN them first. Put fresh fuel and try again. Run the bike for an hour at the max allowed speeds and see what happens.


Bill 10/19/2018.

Also, trying to move at idle speed will stall the bike. Add some throttle when you gently let out the clutch.


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