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question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 13, 2023 05:02PM
My motorcycle is probably (over)due to have the air filters replaced. I say this based only on mileage (24k miles) and not performance, as it starts and runs just fine. While this particular bike is notorious for needing to use the choke upon nearly every startup, especially when not already warmed up, the only time I've ever needed to use the choke is coming out of winter storage or if it has been sitting more more than a few days. And even then, not always. Otherwise, the bike starts right up and stays running fine.

Back to the air filters. There are two...and unlike with my previous bike, these will be a pita to replace. One is under the gas tank - requiring tank removal, and the other under the seat - requiring seat removal. In both instances there's not a lot of room to work. I've been putting off replacing them because frankly I don't trust myself not to lose a screw or two and scrape a few knuckles in the process.

So I guess my question is, wouldn't a dirty air filter cause issues with starting? Or just running well in general? Gas mileage seems fine, and as I said it starts right up and idles fine. Powerband seems just as it should be.

When I asked this on a motorcycle forum I frequent, one response said My S50 REQUIRED choke to start from cold, every time, and partial choke during a short warm-up. The fact that yours doesn't might mean that the air filters are partially plugged so I recommend getting them changed.

I'm not so much doubting the opinion of a well-seasoned rider, but rather trying to understand the thinking behind the comment. He hasn't yet replied to my follow-up.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: Pat
Date: August 13, 2023 05:26PM
Your air filter would have to severely clogged to act as a choke. If it were that clogged, you would definitely notice it while riding.

The reasoning : less airflow = rich air/fuel mix
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: chopper
Date: August 14, 2023 08:35AM
Make and model?
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 14, 2023 12:31PM
Quote
chopper
Make and model?

2005 Suzuki S50 (formerly known as the VS800).
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: chopper
Date: August 14, 2023 05:32PM
Okay. Carbs.

So your issue is that when the engine is stone cold it requires choke to start and then when partially warm it still requires some choke?

That's pretty normal. If it was not always this way it may suggest that the pilot jets are clogged.

How many miles are on the bike and in what kind of conditions do you ride? Gravel roads? Desert? I doubt that the air filters are THAT dirty but maybe.

Pilot jets: do not go crazy and tear that bike apart or take it to a shop for them to do that.

First make sure you have the freshest gas possible in the bike. Then add some liquid carb cleaner to the gas. Ride it. Put a clean, fresh tank of fuel through the bike. See if it improves. Report back.
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 14, 2023 07:44PM
So your issue is that when the engine is stone cold it requires choke to start and then when partially warm it still requires some choke?

That's pretty normal.


That's what I always thought. And still do. In fact, even when it's partially warm, it really doesn't need the choke. Only if it hasn't been ridden in several days and the temp is in the forties or lower. And then only for maybe 30 seconds or so.

------

First make sure you have the freshest gas possible in the bike. Then add some liquid carb cleaner to the gas. Ride it. Put a clean, fresh tank of fuel through the bike. See if it improves. Report back.

Thanks, chopper. But there's nothing to improve. As I mentioned, the bike starts and runs great. The only reason I'm considering changing filters is based on mileage. The manual says change at 12k and 24k miles, and I've never done them since I bought the bike with <6k miles on it and the previous owner's records don't show them ever being changed.

I just turned 25k miles a couple of weeks ago. I ride solely on paved roads and only in good weather. I hve no intention of (ever) touching the carbs. I haven't even had to adjust idle since the day I rode it home.
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 15, 2023 10:47AM
Mileage recommendations are somewhat arbitrary and vary with the environment.

If you live in a dust bowl, intervals will be more frequent.

Depending on external conditions a filter can load up very slowly and unless the bike's performance is particularly bad, its affect on performance can be subtle and unnoticed.

A visual inspection is really the only way to accurately gauge whether replacement is necessary.

What's your MPG like?

Any change over time?

Take a look at your plugs, does the bike seem to be running rich?

Any change in MPG over time?

This is probably a better indicator of a dirty air filter than milage recommendations.

Are the areas in which you ride noticeably dusty?

Since you've never changed the filter in this bike, you have no benchmark.

Change it, even though it's a pain, and appraise the condition.

How it looks should give you an indication of whether you waited too long or not long enough, and some guidance for the next interval.

Sitting one, three, or four days shouldn't make any difference in the amount of choke needed.

Is it really colder in three or four days of sitting than one or two?

Here in my neck o' the woods that would be unheard of.

My current bike is the only one I've owned with fuel injection, and I'd be loathe to go back to carbs.

I played a lot with the carbs on my Honda 750-4, mainly adjusting the main needless after modifying the pipes, because the top end was very lean.

Oh, and I went to K&N air filters with it and that was part of running lean as well.

After that I stayed/stay away from K&N.

So using choke in the startup drill was a way of life until FI.


Anyway, I'd say bite the bullet and get it done to get an idea where you stand.

Maybe by a 'grab-itz' of some nature, mechanical and magnetic, because yeah, dropping a screw into a crevasse isn't fun.

Don't do this the day before you plan on a ride, in case a loose unit needs to be replaced and the shop is closed.

Also, do you have JIS screwdrivers?

If you already do, great.

None of the screws on box stock Japanese bikes are Phillips though they look identical.

A JIS driver works well on both types, but not the other way around, and a #2, in varying lengths will probably be the most useful.

A Phillips driver can quickly chew up a JIS screw to the point of rendering it useless or worse- stuck.






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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 15, 2023 07:37PM
Just wanted to acknowledge the reply. Internet is down and I am loathe to compose a lengthy reply on a 4 inch screen. More tomorrow (with any luck) .
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Re: question for the forum mechanics (carb/air filter specific)
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 16, 2023 10:18AM
Okay, addressing a few questions below.

Mileage recommendations are somewhat arbitrary and vary with the environment.

If you live in a dust bowl, intervals will be more frequent.


Understood. No dust bowl here. Just typical suburban roads on nice days for the most part.


What's your MPG like?

Any change over time?


Consistently 48-53 mpg, depending on how well I can see the gas filling to the neck of the tank. ;) Only significant differences are when I either underfilled or overfilled.


Take a look at your plugs, does the bike seem to be running rich?

Will be changing them very soon, as I haven't done that yet, either.


Since you've never changed the filter in this bike, you have no benchmark.

Change it, even though it's a pain, and appraise the condition.

How it looks should give you an indication of whether you waited too long or not long enough, and some guidance for the next interval.


Yeah, yeah, bring logic into the discussion. ;)


Maybe by a 'grab-itz' of some nature, mechanical and magnetic, because yeah, dropping a screw into a crevasse isn't fun.

This thing has been in my Wish List for a while. Might be time to move it to the Cart.


Don't do this the day before you plan on a ride, in case a loose unit needs to be replaced and the shop is closed.

Largely the reason I haven't done it yet. I may ask the guy who will do my tires if he wants to do it.


Also, do you have JIS screwdrivers?

If you already do, great.

None of the screws on box stock Japanese bikes are Phillips though they look identical.

A JIS driver works well on both types, but not the other way around, and a #2, in varying lengths will probably be the most useful.

Yep. That was one of my first purchases after I bought my old Honda.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
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