How to maintain your motorcycle’s fuel system
Your motorcycle’s fuel system is one of the most important parts of your motorcycle. It’s responsible for delivering fuel from your gas tank to your motorcycle’s engine efficiently in order to ensure optimum engine performance and efficiency. These days, most modern bikes make use of electronic fuel injection. While EFI systems are generally more low maintenance than carbureted systems, they also require periodic maintenance every now and then.
Today, we’re going to discuss how to maintain your motorcycle’s fuel system on both carbureted and electronic fuel injection-equipped motorcycles. Most of these tips can be done from the comfort of your home, or if not, done by a professional mechanic with relative ease, so let’s get started.
Cleaning a carburetor
Cleaning a carburetor is a relatively straightforward procedure. Perhaps the hardest part of cleaning your carb would be accessing your carburetor in the first place. Most basic motorcycles and scooters only require a few bolts in order to access the carb. However, the process can take exponentially longer especially on older multi-cylinder machines which make use of multiple carburetors working in sync.
Assuming you’ve been able to access your carbs, now comes the simple task of cleaning it. All it takes is a soft brush—preferably an old toothbrush, some carb cleaner, and a few minutes worth of elbow grease. Be sure to work that carb cleaner into all the nooks and crannies until your carb is clean and spotless. Once that’s finished, refit your carb, and you should notice a significant improvement in the overall performance of your engine.
Cleaning fuel injectors
Cleaning a fuel injector is a slightly more involved task which would definitely require you to be a lot more savvy when it comes to working on your own bike. It’s difficult enough to work on a motorcycle with a single cylinder, but this difficulty can significantly increase if your motorcycle is a performance-oriented multi cylinder machine. Additionally, accessing your fuel injectors often involves removing your bike’s body work such as the fuel tank, seat, and fairings.
If you’re not up to the task, we highly recommend that you seek the help of a professional mechanic who is well-versed in dealing with fuel-injected motorcycles. However, if you are up to the task, you can purchase dedicated fuel injector cleaning kits which force injector cleaner through the injector thereby getting rid of all the built up dirt and grime which has accumulated over the years.
Prevention is better than cure
As is the case with most things in life, prevention is definitely better than cure. The same thing goes for your motorcycle’s fuel system. Now does it really matter whether your bike is carbureted or fuel injected, there are several steps that we can take in order to ensure that our motorcycle's fuel system remains clean and in good operating condition for an extended period of time.
That being said, a good first step would be to load up good quality fuel. This doesn’t necessarily mean loading up high-octane fuel, but rather gasoline which is optimized to work with your motorcycle. Additionally, being more picky when it comes to your fuel of choice greatly affects the quality of gasoline that you load into your bike. Another good option would be to use fuel additives which you mix into your motorcycle's gasoline to clean the fuel system. There are several brands of these available in the market, each of which has their own specific instructions on how to use them
As mentioned before, your motorcycle's fuel system is a very sophisticated and important part of your bike. It can be all too easy to mess up your bike's fuel system with a half-baked repair. That being said, if you feel like you’re not confident enough to work on your bike's fuel system, simply don’t do it. Instead head over to your nearest professional mechanic and have them do the job instead.