How To Clean A Motorcycle Carburetor


Are you looking for information on how to clean a motorcycle carburetor? Do you need hands-on tips to help you get rid of all the gross gunk from your bike's carburetor? Willing to spend some time getting dirty until you get it right? Then this is the right guide for you.

Learning how to clean a motorcycle carburetor will go a long way in dealing with all the potential problems that your bike might have. Since you certainly don't want to spend a wad of cash on getting a professional to do it, the best way would be to get into the process yourself.


One of the reasons why you need to clean your carburetor regularly revolves around the fact that only by doing so will you be able to ensure that your engine and other internal components in your bike are always in top shape. This is a part of the regular maintenance tasks every motorcyclist should teach themselves how to do.


What You Will Need


Before you learn how to clean a motorcycle carburetor, you first need to collect some tools and supplies. These include:

  • Carb cleaner
  • Choke cleaner
  • Cleaner for the Carburetor and all related parts
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Gasket set
  • Carb rebuild kit
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wire brush
  • Wrenches or socket set
  • Tape

Step By Step Instructions

Use the steps below while learning how to clean a motorcycle carburetor and you'll get it right each time you try:

1. Draining


Before you start cleaning your bike's carburetor, you first need to drain out all the gas that is still lodged inside. Use an oil catch pan so that the waste oil does not spill on your floor/working area before discarding it.

Once you are sure that you've drained everything, check the user's manual that came with your motorcycle to understand the best way to chuck your carburetor. Remember, motorcycle carburetors are made of aluminum, meaning that they will easily dent and scratch unless you are careful.

While removing the carburetor, ensure that you've disconnected all the wires – remembering where each of them goes inside the carburetor so that you can easily plug them back.

If possible, use tape to mark all parts with the corresponding tape on the different wires. Although this might look like a novice move, it will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

2. Air Filter

As you continue learning how to clean a motorcycle carburetor, the next step would be to check the air filter. After you've shut the fuel supply and disconnected the wires, chuck the air filter. You can find it inside or behind the air box. Since air filters and held down by a wing nut, yours should come out quickly enough.

Use the filter cleaner (or compressed air) to clean the filter – taking great care to ensure that the outer element is as clean as possible. Then, remove all excess grease, dirt, or sand before cleaning the seal areas.

3. Hoses And Linkage


Take a couple of pictures of every hose and linkage before removing them. By so doing, you will have an easier time reconnecting them back after you've cleaned your bike's carburetor.

Use the screwdrivers or a pair of pliers to remove the springs and associated parts. Of course, you should be careful here to ensure that you don't bend or break anything.

4. Float Bowl

remove the float bowl

Next up, remove your float bowl and clean it. While learning how to clean a motorcycle carburetor, this might be one of the harder tasks you'll need to handle. However, you can easily do it if you are careful enough.

Start by setting the carburetor and place a clean towel or rug on the work area. Then, use your screwdriver to chuck the float bowl. In case it is stuck, tap it gently until it loosens up and drops into the towel/dry rag.

After the float bowl comes off, use a rag and carb cleaner to clean the bowl. Then, chuck the bowl drain to see how much cleaning the rest of your bike's carburetor needs.

5. Separating The Carburetor

To separate the motorbike carburetor from your engine, you should remove all the nuts and bolts joining them. Then, shift it back and forth until it breaks loose before pulling it right off the studs. As with the other parts, take note of the orientation and locations of all gaskets.

So that debris and dirt don't get into the carburetor, you should plug all large openings with paper towels or rags.

6. Cleaning The Carburetor

Cleaning The Carburetor

As you will learn from any tutorial on how to clean a motorcycle carburetor, compressed air works best for cleaning these parts of your engine. Remember, the outside of your bike's carburetor contains the largest volume of sand and dirt crusted on its surface.

To clean it off, blow as much as you can. Of course, you should be careful so that the dirt doesn't stream into the openings. After you are done, check the carb to see if any of the parts have corroded or are damaged. If there are any, replace them. Similarly, check to see if there are any excessive buildups.

Once you are done, scrub off any gunk lodged in the tight spaces on and in your carburetor. Then, spray some carb cleaner, wipe down, and dry everything. If gasoline has pooled in any of the areas, take great care so that you don't catch on or start a fire.

You should also check the float valve, seat, and float, as well as the throttle slide, jet holder, air screws, and pilot jet. Use your compressed air to push out any build up that is lodged in the tubes and holes. If some of it refuses to budge, get a toothpick and use it to push everything out.

Similarly, in case any of the carburetor pieces have accumulated excessive buildup, soak them in your carb cleaner for a couple of minutes. Then, wipe everything off after the gunk loosens up before replacing the pieces.

7. Float Cover

Use a small glass container as the catchment for any gas that might still be left in the float. Then, chuck the bolt from the bottom of your carburetor and pull the float cover straight down.

As you do this, maintain caution. You certainly don't want to spill the gas that could be in the float.

8. Drying And Reassembly

Drying And Reassembly

At this point, you should have learned how to clean a motorcycle carburetor like a pro. Your parts should also be as clean as possible. The next thing you should do is dry everything off and reassemble them in their correct positions.


Although there are many EFI options today, carburetors are still the standard on most bikes. The greatest thing about this particular bike part is that it is easy to clean, troubleshoot, and repair when and as the need arises. This is why learning how to clean a motorcycle carburetor shouldn't be a head-scratching type of problem.

Over and above everything else, cleaning your bike's carburetor is quite simple. Although you might be tempted to take it to a professional, this is one of those projects that you can do in the comfort of your own home. As long as you have the right knowledge, tools, and supplies – as well as this guide – the project should take you no more than a couple of hours.

I hope you enjoyed this article, please leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Share it with your fellow biker friends if you think it’s helpful.

    Peter Hanson

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of riding a motorcycle. The freedom on the ride is the greatest thing I have ever had in my life. As they said, I'd rather be a biker for a minute than a spectator for a lifetime. If you are also a biker, then we are friends. Let's talk about our motorcycles and rides.

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