Cleaning the carburetor of the motorcycle is essential. Especially if its operation is not smooth or after a certain number of kilometers and at the beginning of the season. The carburetor of the motorcycle is the center around which everything revolves. This is a very sophisticated component made of many parts that have fundamental and different functions. Some of these parts can be adjusted differently to change the water/petrol ratio or to start the engine when cold, or during top speed, minimum speed, etc. Each motorcycle manufacturer installs different types of carburetors on different models.
These carburetors can be very different from each other, even if they work on the same principle. The owner of the motorcycle must carry out routine maintenance and carburetor cleaning. This eliminates issues such as calibration of nozzles and air intakes or incorrect adjustment of minimum, maximum speed, etc. Before proceeding with cleaning your motorcycle carburetor, it is essential to consult your motorcycle’s operating and maintenance manual.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning Cost?
A motorcycle carburetor has four carbs. Depending on the number of carbs that have to be cleaned you will have to pay around $110 per piece or anywhere between $525 and $780 for all four. In case the car mechanic you choose to go to charges by the hour, you should know that this job would take around four hours. It will result in a cost of around $380, with an average price of $95 per hour. In the end, the final cost will depend on the type of motorcycle you own, the amount of work that has to be done, the place where you are living, and the mechanic you choose.
According to some members of the HondaShadow.net forum, the average cost of a motorcycle carburetor cleaning is around $270.
A former shop manager said on a Reddit thread that you should expect to spend anywhere between $550 and $700 for the carburetor cleaning because of the intensive work involved with this job.
In case you don’t want to go to a professional mechanic or shop, you can purchase a carburetor cleaning solution and a carb cleaner kit at a cost of $7 to $60.
Factors that influence the cost
There are some carburetor cleaning solutions that contain high-quality ingredients that prevent the accumulation of grime and deposits. These solutions will not only prevent the accumulation of dirt buildup but will also help with minimizing the engine friction, maintain the optimum efficiency of the engine and prevent the loss of power.
The purpose of the carburetor cleaning solutions is to minimize fuel consumption through the elimination of dirt deposits and to restore efficiency. However, there are some cleaning solutions that may affect the rubber components of the carburetor. Solutions that will reduce this risk have a higher price compared to ordinary cleaning solutions.
The cost of the carburetor cleaning is greatly affected by the type of process used to perform this job. Through the ultrasonic method even the hard-to-reach areas are cleaned, but without damaging the plastic, seals and O-rings. This process is more efficient thanks to the ability of the ultrasonic machines to integrate a heating component. Expect to pay around $55 per carburetor in case you choose the ultrasonic method.
Motorcycle carburetor cleaning details
A specialized machine is going to be used to clean the carburetor. During this process, the carburetor is washed and the residues are removed using non-audible, high-frequency sound waves. These make scrubbing brush movements that will efficiently remove the stale fuel residues, the accumulated dirt, grease, the unleaded petrol deposits, plus other substances. This cleaning procedure also uses detergents and heat in order to clean even the hardest-to-reach areas of the carburetor. Once the cleaning process is finished, the carburetor is left to dry and in some situations, it is coated with some substances to protect it.
You can also clean the carburetor yourself. Depending on the shape of the motorcycle body, it is often necessary to disassemble the protective casings to reach and work properly on the carburetor. Prior to any operation, the motorcycle must be thoroughly washed to prevent mud, sand, and asphalt residues from entering the carburetor and causing serious damage. After washing, the motorcycle should be well dried, then it is recommended to apply a generous coat of cleaning solution to the carburetor to remove the most persistent residue and to facilitate disassembly.
The carburetor is connected to the piston head, the air filter, the intake valve, the control rod, and the fuel supply line in the tank. To clean the carburetor of the motorcycle, first, unscrew the screws (or other systems) that secure the air filter to be removed. These filters (in various shapes and structures) need to be carefully evaluated: some can be washed or cleaned with compressed air, some cannot, and if they are clogged, then they need to be replaced.
The carburetor is equipped with mixing sprayers, adjusting nozzles, and guillotine valves. If you do not have specific skills for this, do not disassemble them and simply clean them with compressed air.
If you have enough experience in cleaning carburetors, you can disassemble it. Clean using the same cleaning solution and run a wire brush through its holes, being careful not to pierce them.
Once the carburetor is perfectly clean, well dried, it must be reassembled, by placing each component in its position.
What are the extra costs?
If the mechanic notices that there are some parts of the motorcycle that need to be repaired or replaced while disassembling it then you should be prepared to pay for it.
There are some mechanics who may want to also change the air filter and swap out the plugs while cleaning the carburetor and this will result in an extra cost.
Important things to consider
There are carburetor cleaning services that offer same-day and next-day services, in general, by sending the clean pieces back to you overnight. These services accept the disassembled carburetor via mail and send it back to you after cleaning. You may be able to save some money if you choose to clean the carburetor this way.
Make sure you verify if the material the carburetor is made of can withstand the cleaning solution as there are some solutions that may be too strong for the components of the carburetor.
There are many types of ultrasonic cleaners, but the most efficient is the one that has a heater embedded.
Symptoms of a clogged carburetor:
- difficult start or no start at all;
- lack of power;
- high fuel consumption;
- the engine is not accelerating properly;
- stops while driving.
These are just some of the problems a motorcycle carburetor may encounter. Most people think that the carburetor has broken down over time, but this is rarely true. In reality, most of the time, the problems that a carburetor has are related to the fact that it is dirty or even worse, clogged.
How can I save money?
Take into consideration cleaning your motorcycle’s carburetor yourself. As you can see this would cost you only around $100 and there are many online tutorials that will help you in performing this job.
Become a member of the American Motorcyclist Association if you aren’t already. As a member, you will be able to get major discounts on motorcycle pieces.