How To Clean Carburetor On A Dirt Bike

Guide on how to clean a dirt bike carburetor

Do you know how to clean a carburetor on a dirt bike? Carburetors are special gadgets that keep your dirt bike or ATV running smoothly and efficiently. A dirty carburetor can be a pain in the rear for any dirt bike enthusiast. Sometimes dirt can even cause your carburetor to stop functioning.

Since most parts of the carburetor are delicate, you should be careful when cleaning to avoid causing damage. In most cases, you will need to disassemble the different parts of your dirt bike carburetor. The process should be done carefully.

Although carburetors are a bit complicated, cleaning them shouldn’t be an uphill task for you. You only need to have the right information and tools. In our guide, we have carefully listed the different cleaning steps. With this information, cleaning your dirt bike carburetor will be quite easy.

Why clean a dirt bike carburetor?

Do you really need to clean your dirt bike carburetor? Well, the answer is yes. And there are many reasons why you should do it.

A clean and well-maintained carburetor gives your dirt bike a peak performance. On the opposite, a dirty carburetor makes the bike perform poorly. Dirty carburetors can even halt the engine of your bike. Therefore, you should clean the carburetor of your bike regularly.

The carburetor is more like the heart of your bike.  When the heart has a problem, it can’t perform its functions. This affects the entire body. The carburetor also acts in the same way. When it gets dirty, it fails to function and can also halt the engine. When this happens, you will need to wash it thoroughly.

Gummy fuel inside the carburetor will also cause some problems. That can cause performance issues. It can even affect the performance of the entire engine.

To keep your dirt bike in perfect working condition, you should keep it clean.

Signs that your carburetor needs cleaning:

  • When the engine fails

This is the first indication that your bike carburetor needs cleaning. Most often, engines fail to start when the carburetor is dirty. Dirt prevents proper fuel flow and air combustion. That means the fuel won’t travel to the engine.

  • When the engine is running lean

This is another indication that your bike’s carburetor needs cleaning. When the engine is running lean, that calls for concern. This is mainly caused by an imbalance in the gas and fuel ratio. This will lead to sneezing or popping sound that creates issues with your bike’s performance. The major reason why you get that sound is the fact that there is no sufficient fuel running to the carburetor.

  • When the engine is running rich

When an engine runs rich, it is an indication that there is excess fuel with insufficient air supply. In this case, the engine will produce excessive dark smoke.

  • When the engine is flooded

In some instances, the engine becomes flooded. This is an indication that the carburetor needs cleaning.  It shows that there are deposits in the float bowls and your carburetor needs instant cleaning. The fuel bowl blocks the needle valve thus preventing closure. In the process, there is an overflow on the carburetor. Sometimes the overflow might even result in sparks which is risky for the users. Therefore, it is important to take the situation seriously. When that happens, clean the carburetor and check the float bowls.

Which tools do you need when cleaning a dirt bike carburetor?

When learning how to clean a dirt bike carburetor, you first have to know the tools and items required in the cleaning process. Besides wearing safety glasses and gloves, there are several other items that you need.

  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Several rags
  • The service manual
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Compressed air
  • Medium / low strength thread locker
  • Gloves
  • Small screwdriver
  • Socket wrench

Even with all these tools, the service manual is very important. Carburetors are designed differently for different dirt bikes. That’s why you need to carefully go through the manufacturer manual before undertaking the cleaning process. In this guide, we shall give information that is designed for most standard dirt bikes.

Sometimes getting the compressed air gadget can be hard. If you are in a place where you can’t get compressed air, you can alternatively use pressurized air cans. They are available in most stores.

Although all these tools can be basic, the screwdrivers should be new. This is because of the fact that they will be used to remove brass jets. It’s easy to damage brass jets when using old screwdrivers.

Steps in the cleaning of a carburetor on a dirt bike

There are several steps on how to clean a motorcycle carburetor. We shall give the steps and explain so that you can easily understand and follow through.

 Remove it from the dirt bike

You need to remove the carburetor from the dirt bike. This should be easy if you have the right skills. Most manufacturers use circular clamps to mount the carburetor to the dirt bike. Others use bolts to attach it to the bike.

Whichever the case, you need to be very careful when removing the carburetor. Always turn off the primary fuel supply before attempting to remove the carburetor. You should also drain the float chamber of the bike for safe dissembling.

In some dirt bikes, you will need to also remove the control cable and the slide after removing the carburetor. Therefore, you should check to be sure if this is the case with your dirt bike.

If your dirt bike requires removal of the float chamber, do not worry. Simply turn the carburetor upside down to view the different screws beneath. Some bikes have three screws while others have four screws. You will need to unscrew them to remove the float chamber.

After removing the screws, use a sharp tap with an ergonomic handle to lift the float chamber.

Once you remove the float chamber, you will come across the main float, the primary jet, and the other jets. You will also see the overflow pipe and the pilot jet. Since the floats are delicate, you should remove them first.

Manufacturers use different materials to make the float. Some use brass while others use plastics. However, plastics easily cause leaking. Therefore, inspect the floats to ensure there is no leakage.

Most floats also come with pivots that offer easy opening. You just press and things are okay.  Be careful since the aluminum stand can easily break.

Most dirt bike carburetors also come with two-jet systems. The first one controls the flow of fuel towards the one-third throttle while the other one controls the fuel flow to the other two-thirds.

Since jets are small, they can easily get blocked. That causes insufficient throttle. That’s why you need to also clean the jet frequently. You will also need to remove the air and fuel adjusting screw when cleaning a dirt bike carburetor. The


Cleaning the carburetor:

The actual cleaning of the carburetor is a process. It requires knowledge and skills. Below are the different steps.

  1.  Start with the float bowls

After removing the carburetor, cleaning is the next stage.

First, you should clean the float bowl. Using a rug cleaner, clean the float bowl and inspect the different parts of the carburetor. You should flush all the holes and openings on the carburetor to ensure everything flows perfectly. You should use a carburetor cleaner to avoid mistakes.

It is also advisable that you use your cleaning goggles and gloves in the cleaning process. The goggles protect your eyes while the gloves keep your hands safe. It is important to use these protective materials since the chemicals used in the cleaning process might not be safe for you.

  1. Clean the carb:

Before attempting to clean the carb, you need to remove the different small parts and pieces. This way, you will keep them safe.

The first step involves taking off the float bowls. The steps for removing the float bowls were addressed in the previous sections. You should unscrew the float pins with a needle for safe dissembling.

Next, you can remove the pins. A small screwdriver is enough for this process. If there are other internal items, you should also get them out for easy cleaning. The accelerator pump and the choke assembly are some of the inner items you will need to remove as well.

Depending on the level of staining on the carb, choose the appropriate cleaners. Use an appropriate cleaner with warm water in the cleaning process. You might also want to clean several times if the stains are too much.


  1. Clean the air gun:

After cleaning the float bowls and the carb, you should also check the air gun. It is important that you clean the air gun. Some old gas might still be resting in the carb so you should get it out. Using compressed air, blow the air out of all the air passages. Also, remember to stay safe and use glasses when blowing out their air to avoid accidents.

  1. Reinstall the carburetor

Now that you are done with the cleaning process, it’s time to reinstall the carburetor. Just like the removal process, installing the carburetor requires some skills and steps. You just reverse the dissembling process.

When attaching the float chamber, you should check the float heights to avoid mistakes. It is also important that you check the different screws and bolts so you fit each into its desirable location.

The height of the floats affects the performance of your engine. By bending the metal tangs, you can easily adjust the height of the float bowls. The metal tang applies pressure on the engine.

Bending the metal tang too much will completely cut off the fuel delivery. This will minimize the fuel height and might affect the performance of your dirt bike.

You can also use the manufacturer’s manual to learn how to adjust the height to the right size. Fine-tune the air adjustment screws so that you get the best services. After reinstalling the carburetor, let the engine run for a while to warm up. This allows things to start off in perfect condition. Use quarter turn increments to adjust the screws so that they are perfect. If the engine speeds, you need to adjust some more. If it slows down, then you need to reverse the adjustment.


Now you have all the necessary information on how to clean a carburetor on a dirt bike. Carburetors and their components are sensitive and require care when cleaning. These are special gadgets that mix air and fuel for effective combustion.

Clean carburetors will give you better and efficient performances. In most cases, clean carburetors offer complete combustion for reliable performance. Sometimes gas gets out and dries on the walls of the carburetor. When that happens, you will need to clean the crystals off.

Cleaning carburetors restore their performance. However, you should use the right cleaning products. Cleaner carburetors keep your bike’s engine running smoothly and efficiently. They give the dirt bike power and efficient gas mileage.

Although cleaning a carburetor can be a challenge for some people, our guide has offered all the necessary information you need. It is advisable that you carefully choose carburetor cleaners.

When you take long without using your bike, the fuel may degenerate. Ensure you clean the carburetor often even when you don’t use the bike. You should also replace the fuel while cleaning. That way, the bike retains its original performance.

In short, dirt bike carburetors should be cleaned regularly whether you use the bike or not. That’s the only sure way to keep your bike in perfect shape. It also enhances the performance. Use the information above to get your dirt bike carburetor clean!

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