**Always follow the instructions in your repair manual when doing repair or maintenance work on a motorcycle. Manuals can be found at the dealer and online.**
Almost all motorcycle carburetors are slide type carburetors. Slide carburetors can be further broken down to either mechanical or vacuum operated. The vacuum operated carburetors are called CV or constant velocity carburetors. The slides in a mechanical carburetor are operated by the throttle cable and the slides in a CV carburetor are operated by engine vacuum. Both type carburetors are very similar and are cleaned the same way. Although care must be taken with the rubber slide diagram in a CV carburetor.
If you choose to clean a carburetor with carburetor cleaner from a can, or chemical cleaner in a dunk tank or gallon container, you must remove all rubber and plastic pieces on the carburetor, or you risk ruining the parts. A parts diagram for your carburetor will help you identify all the parts that make up the carburetor, so you can remove the plastic and rubber components before exposing the carburetor to chemical cleaner. Another method of cleaning a carburetor that doesn't involve toxic cleaners and is safe to use on all parts of the carburetor is a ultra sonic cleaner. Ultra sonic cleaners are usually marketed as jewelry cleaners, but they also work great for cleaning carburetors.
Carburetors have passage ways in the body of the carburetor. Some passage ways are used as vents and some passages are used for the fuel circuits in the carburetor. A motorcycle carburetor basically has 3 circuits if you exclude the choke, and performance items like accelerator pumps. Every motorcycle carburetor has a idle circuit, intermediate circuit, and a high speed circuit. The idle circuit is responsible for delivering fuel from closed throttle to about 1/4 turn of the throttle. The intermediate circuit function from about 1/4 to 3/4 throttle opening, and the high speed circuit is responsible for delivering fuel from 3/4 to full throttle. The circuits are not limited to operating in this range, but they overlap and this helps the engine to transition from one circuit to another. Identifying these circuits in the carburetor can be helpful in cleaning the carburetor, but it isn't necessary. The main components of the idle circuit is the pilot jet and idle mixture screw. The main parts of the intermediate circuit is the needle jet and jet needle. The main parts of the high speed circuit is the main jet.
After you have all the components in a carburetor disassembled and cleaned, its important to use compressed air to blow out all the passages of the carburetor. I can't stress enough how effective compressed air is in cleaning a carburetor. Sometimes passages in the carburetor don't get clean from whatever cleaning method you use, and compressed air can be used to blow out the obstruction. However, be careful not to blow out parts that should be in the carburetor. A parts diagram will help to avoid this problem.
After all parts of the carburetor are cleaned and all passage ways and jets in the carburetor blown with compressed air, the carburetor can be reassembled and adjusted if necessary.
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