Carburetor cleaning is easier with (some of) the right tools

You will find cleaning a motorcycle's carbs a lot easier if you have brushes and wires that'll fit through the jets. This set works for me!

My motorcycle famously has a finicky pair of Dell'orto pumper carbs. They make the bike go really, really fast… when they work right. Today's formulations of California gas really seem to gum things up if left to sit and sit it did. I was barely able to run my bike from November til yesterday.

My bike was doing something really obvious, after starting the left side float would stick in the up position and gasoline would start to pour out the overflow hole. Most BMW's have Bing carburetors which respond very well to a light tap on the side to free the float. The Dell's do not give a shit. I shut off the fuel and removed the bowl only to find the float stuck. I could pull it down but clearly, the plastic float was binding on its 'knurled' pivot pin.

Those 'knurled' float pins have been my bane. In my set of carbs they just don't want to come out for me. If I take the carb off the bike I can get them out and replace the floats, but if I want to keep them on the bike, it is a real thing.

I decided to try blasting the area out with carb cleaner and offering a prayer to whichever Greek God managed fuel systems delivery in their pantheon. The float now swings free.

I am frequently pleased with the results of a can-do attitude and a lot of aerosol solvent.

Then I realized there was a good glob of nasty jelly-looking gas residue caked into the nuts that hold my float bowls on to the carbs. This is the very lowest point in the carb where fuel will sit, and is kinda the right place to find 'gunk.' There was a lot of gunk and the main jet picks up RIGHT THERE. I figured this was bad and tried to get my head under the bike/carb to see. Yup. I needed brushes.

After clearing the jet and 'deciding' that the rest of the carb was likely A-OK, I put everything back where it goes, but not before realizing the paper gasket associated with that float bowl nut, and the rubber float bowl gaskets look like hell. I have spare gaskets but they were inside the house and hell, I'll deal with that later.

The bike then started on the first try, gas did not pour all over my boots and I was quickly off the choke and warming the bike up. 50 or so miles later, all was well.

Some day I want an ultra sonic cleaner that'll fit the carbs. Anyone got a recommendation that is not $1000?

Set of 4 Carburetor Carbon Dirt Jet Remove Cleaner 26 Cleaning Wires Set + 20 Cleaning Needles + 10 Nylon Brushes via Amazon

Gumout 800002230 Carb and Choke Cleaner, 16 oz. via Amazon