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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So on my recent road trip I came home with two bikes...a 2016 V Strom that I bought from Porky, and a 2003 XL650 that I bought from my cousin. My cousin warned me that I need to run the XL once a week or the carb will get gummed up. I didn't heed his advice, went to ride it 2 weeks later and it won't start. Fudge.

Today I picked up a project bike. It's a 1982 Honda CX500. It ran when parked 2 years ago. It's complete and actually in decent condition, just needs to be cleaned up a bit and made to run again. The seller said he tried cranking it over but the battery is dead. I got it for next to nothing ($250) so I bought it as is.

Looks like I need to learn how to clean carbs, which is actually quite exciting. Any advice/links/tutorials that will be helpful? I'm all ears.
 

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Well, you didn't take your cousin's advice. :devil: :devil: :devil: The only suggestion I can give you right off the bat is this, once you get these TWO projects running, keep them fueled with fuel stabilizer since you won't be riding them daily or maybe not even weekly. It's cheaper and less frustrating than cleaning the carbs again and again. Today's fuel just plain sucks when it comes to 'shelf-life'.
 

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It's been quite a while since I cleaned a carb, but my experiences doing the job led me to the knowledge of how to do it quickly, easily and perfectly every time -- I carry 'em to a guy 20 miles away who knows what he's doing, and will do it for a reasonable price!

I have also become a SeaFoam adherent. The stuff really works both for fuel stabilization and keeping carbs and injector systems clean.
 

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Steve----repeat STEVE, the Bike I sold you will never get plugged carb's:smile_big::smile_big::smile_big:

GOD bless fuel injection, where even contaminated fuel is FORCED through every orifice at extremely high pressure:grin:

On the XL650, pour half a can of Chevron Techron, my favorite elixir, into the gas tank and let it sit there a day or so and the start the bike, even if it means removing the rubber carb to air cleaner boot, squirt 'carb cleaner' sparingly into the abyss and then hit the starter button until it starts. Repeat if it starts to die again. If you can get it to run, usually at a high idle speed, take off for a ride, forcing 'RPM's on the engine and ride the snot out of it and normally within maybe 50 miles or so the bike will run like new:smile_big: I have done this for years when required and it works!

The single carb on the Honda is easy to overhaul once removed from the intake manifold. YouTube will probably have many films of the complete procedure.

Take care my Friend!

Sam:nerd:
 

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So on my recent road trip I came home with two bikes...a 2016 V Strom that I bought from Porky, and a 2003 XL650 that I bought from my cousin. My cousin warned me that I need to run the XL once a week or the carb will get gummed up. I didn't heed his advice, went to ride it 2 weeks later and it won't start. Fudge.

Today I picked up a project bike. It's a 1982 Honda CX500. It ran when parked 2 years ago. It's complete and actually in decent condition, just needs to be cleaned up a bit and made to run again. The seller said he tried cranking it over but the battery is dead. I got it for next to nothing ($250) so I bought it as is.

Looks like I need to learn how to clean carbs, which is actually quite exciting. Any advice/links/tutorials that will be helpful? I'm all ears.

First thing is go to NAPA or other auto parts store and buy a gallon of carb cleaner. Not the gumout spray stuff but actual carb cleaner which include a hanging basket. Disassemble the carbs and soak them in the cleaner for about an hour. This stuff will make all the parts shine just like new. Do not place gaskets or O rings in the solvent only metal parts. Once done blow it out with air then reassemble. if the carbs drip once back together (very common) just unplug the fuel line and give it a shot of air to blow the needles clean and that normally does the trick and also make a mess.
I have restored quite a few of these 82 cb750 and XJ bikes and this is the only way to get it right. You will need to also sync the carbs and should invest in a good set of gauges to do this , not carb sticks as they are not accurate. Just go on eBay and search "carb sync gauges" $51 and they work great.

Here is a good way to keep them running fine - buy a small alligator vise grip like this -


Now when you park the bike just clamp off the rubber fuel line and run the bike until it kills. The problem with these old bike is the fuel valve usually leaks just a bit so gas keeps dripping into the carbs and evaporates leaving behind varnish and sludge. This will prevent that and no fuel additives will be needed. You can leave it parked for months if the do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input guys.

A friend suggested that the plug on the XL might be fouled, so I replaced it. It fired up after turning over a few times. I let it idle for a few minutes, then rode it for a few minutes, and shut it off and tried to start it again. No dice. Any thoughts?
 

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For long term storage - leave just enough gas in the tank to get the bike running then start it and begin dumping 2 cycle oil in the tank until it won't run anymore. drain the carbs and remove as much from the tank as you can. leave the tank cap off and just lay a rag over the opening so what remains can vent out and so the temp in the tank matches the exterior. This works well if you are going to store for years at a time as no additives will work for more than a few months.
 

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I'll second using the gallon of carb cleaner dip. (As long as the carbs are already off the bike). I used Berryman's, and carbs cleaned up real nice. And as TriPlay said: no rubber allowed in the cleaner. That might mean removing some of the jets and then the o rings which may be stuck inside where the jet screwed into the carb
 

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Long term storage

For long term storage - leave just enough gas in the tank to get the bike running then start it and begin dumping 2 cycle oil in the tank until it won't run anymore. drain the carbs and remove as much from the tank as you can. leave the tank cap off and just lay a rag over the opening so what remains can vent out and so the temp in the tank matches the exterior. This works well if you are going to store for years at a time as no additives will work for more than a few months.
Very interesting! This is the first time I've heard of this technique, and it sounds very good. 2 cycle oil to coat everything in the intake circuit, and an open gas cap to prevent condensation in the tank, is that the idea?

How would I modify this method for my modern bike with fuel injection? It's a real PITA to drain the tank and I'm not supposed to run the tank with less than 0.7 liters in it, for fear of overheating the fuel pump.

What do I do with the gas/oil mix I drain out of the tank? Put it into my work vehicle? My old Econoline swallowed up a lot of my car buddies' "old gas" tank drainout swill over the years, and never complained much.
 
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