Final Adjustments Make a Difference and an Unexpected Stop

I’ve been extremely busy over the past couple weeks and even though I have had the chance to work on other peoples bikes and have other people work on my bike I hadn’t really gotten a chance to work on my own. After putting the aftermarket exhaust back on my bike I had noticed that I was having great performance gains over all but still was getting a bit of a shuttering feeling at initial acceleration and sometimes popping on deceleration. I knew it had to be something to do with the carburetion but I just hadn’t had time to do much other than a quick tweak here and there to the needle position in the carburetor which had helped a little but had not completely solved the problem. There are many different ways to adjust or tune your carburetor without taking it apart: Adjusting the idle, and the low speed air fuel mixture.

The easiest of these 2 adjustments to make is the adjustment to the idle speed. When your engine is warm you should be idling at 1500-2000 RPM. The idle adjustment screw is found at the top of your carburetor around the area that has the throttle cable attached. It is a spring loaded screw and turning it in and out will cause the idle speed to go up and down.

The low speed air fuel mixture screw is usually located on the opposite side of the carburetor than the throttle cable and it should be a small flat head brass screw and adjusts the ratio of air and fuel that is brought into the engine at low speeds. Sometimes on factory carburetors this screw can either be covered or nonexistent which is the way mine was when I first purchased my carburetor. Some people have drilled out those covers and found screws underneath and other have found nothing so I recommend just purchasing a new carburetor so you know what you are dealing with from the beginning. To adjust this you will also want to be working on a warm engine in order to adjust it correctly. To adjust this I start with half turns of the screw which I start in a clock wise motion. Wait a second or so and see if there is a change in the RPM, it if goes down turn the screw back again and see if it goes up, if it goes up turn it again and repeat. The goal is to get the idle to idle at the highest possible RPM, once that is achieved the highest RPM make sure adjust your idle speed to the correct speed if needed.

After making these 2 adjustments it made my engine run much smoother than it was before. There are a few other adjustments that can be made to a carburetor but I will try and cover those another time. The one thing that has amazed me about these little engines is how easy they are to work on and adjust. If you are riding and you do notice something wrong don’t be afraid to get in there and your hands dirty.

So this morning was the first time I had a chance to go for a good long ride since I had adjusted my carburetor so I was taking extra care to listen for changes or problems on my way to work this morning. Also since I was having problems with the lower speed I wasn’t really testing speed but more of the start and listening for signs of the engine running rich or lean. So I pull onto one of the roads that has quite a bit of a down grade and notice that there is a police officer behind me so now I’m listening and watching my speed since going downhill is one of the only times that I do have to watch my speed especially when the speed limit is 35. So I’m watching my speed closely and knew I hadn’t been speeding before since I had just pulled from a 45 mph road and before that I was at home. So I’m creeping up the hill but maintaining my speed so I’m happy with that. I get to the top of the hill and boom the police officers lights turn on, and I pull over. They then turn their siren on for a blip and tell me to pull into the business lot… I comply. My mind is racing and I have no idea why I was pulled over. The police officer pulls in behind me and she gets out of the cruiser and asks for my license so I hand it to her and ask what I had done wrong. She answers “Well I ran your plates and your license came back suspended.” This freaks me out… WHY WOULD MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED!!!!!!!!!! She takes my license and heads back to the cruiser and is at the computer for what seems like forever. Meanwhile my brain is spinning with ideas of her coming back and putting me in cuffs and hauling me to jail or about a billion other worst case scenarios. She finally comes back and says that it must have been a glitch because my license checks out and I’m perfectly legal. What a relief. On the bright side the entire way to work Pepe’s little engine purred like a well fed kitten.

Well that was my adventure for the start of my Monday. Be safe out there friends.

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