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  • BST33 Slide Guide Wear Indicators

    BST36 slide guide, new, depressions without wear

    Note: BST36 slide guides are pictured, but the concepts and specifications are the same.

    New. Notice the 0.010" deep depressions in the bottom corners concentric to the bore (circled in green), as well as the four circular depressions.

    Contrast this with the following two pictures of worn guides. The first wear example shows a guide at 8,300 miles (13,358 km). Wear has exceeded the depth of the depressions at the lower end of the slide excursion/concentric to the bore (normally found in the areas circled in red). Note the plastic dust in the circular depressions. Maximum measured wear is ~0.020" (0.51 mm). Emulsion tube wear ensues rapidly when the slide guide has worn beyond ~0.010" (0.25 mm). That is, once the depressions within the areas circumscribed by the colored circles have worn away.

    The third photo shows a guide at 36,000 miles (57,936 km). The depressions at the lower end of the slide excursion/concentric to the bore (once again normally found in the areas circled in red) as well as the four circular depressions are worn completely away.

  • BST36 Slide Guide Wear Indicators

    BST36 slide guide, new, depressions without wear

    Mikuni BST36 slide guides

    New. Notice the 0.010" deep depressions in the bottom corners concentric to the bore (circled in green), as well as the four circular depressions.

    Contrast this with the following two pictures of worn guides. The first wear example shows a guide at 8,300 miles (13,358 km). Wear has exceeded the depth of the depressions at the lower end of the slide excursion/concentric to the bore (normally found in the areas circled in red). Note the plastic dust in the circular depressions. Maximum measured wear is ~0.020" (0.51 mm). Emulsion tube wear ensues rapidly when the slide guide has worn beyond ~0.010" (0.25 mm). That is, once the depressions within the areas circumscribed by the colored circles have worn away. If these depressions have not been worn away their remaining depth can be measured with the tail of a caliper. Wear per 1,000 miles (1,609 km) for this example at is 0.0024" (0.06 mm), indicating that the guides should be replaced approximately every 4,170 miles (6,711 km). The third photo shows a guide at 36,000 miles (57,936 km). The depressions at the lower end of the slide excursion/concentric to the bore (once again normally found in the areas circled in red) as well as the four circular depressions are worn completely away. Maximum wear measures 0.075" (1.90 mm). Wear per 1,000 miles (1,609 km) for this slide guide is 0.0021" (0.05 mm), indicating that the guides should be replaced approximately every 4,750 miles (7,644 km). Averaging between this example and the 8,300 mile (13,358 km) example yields 4,460 miles (7,178 km). Therefore we recommend a BST36 slide guide inspection at approximately 4,000 miles. Qualifier: slide lift hole area affects slide guide wear. The greater the lift hole area, the faster the wear. Lift hole area varies for BST36 slides depending upon make, model and year. These measurements are based on an example with the BST36 slide with the greatest lift hole area.

  • BST40 Slide Guide Wear Indicators

    new BST40 slide guide, end view

    Mikuni BST40 slide guide.

    Notice the ~0.020" (0.51 mm) deep depressions in the bottom corners/concentric to the bore (circled in green), as well as the four circular ~0.023" (.58 mm) depressions.

    Contrast this with the same areas of a slide guide from a KTM 640LC4 with under 20K miles (32,187 km) (claimed)(note: wear was accelerated by slide lift hole drilling). The depressions in the bottom corners/concentric to the bore (normally found in the area bounded by the red circles) as well as the four circular depressions are worn completely away. The plastic is worn completely through adjacent to the bore at 10 and 2 o'clock (when viewed in the installed position). Maximum wear measures 0.085" (2.16 mm), which works out to .0042"/1K miles (.07mm/1K km) (!).

    Emulsion tube wear sets in when the circled depressions are somewhere around .010" (.25 mm) or less deep, and causes overly rich mixtures in the lower portion of the rpm range. Measure with the tail of a caliper. Zero as shown, then find and measure the lowest spot in the immediate surrounding area. Repeat for the other side.

  • Emulsion Tube Inspection Guidelines

    KTM 640 LC4 Mikuni BST40 emulsion tubes

    Left is new. Right is worn with under 20K miles (32,187 km) (claimed). The green circles represent the boundary of the standard bore diameter. On the worn example, the black area outside the boundary of the circle shows the amount of wear, which measures ~0.0045" (0.11mm) and is due to slide guide and slide wear causing the slide to be constrained by the needle in the emulsion tube. This results in an excessively rich mixture, affecting predominantly low rpm operation. To put this into perspective, a jet needle base diameter change of ~.0005" (0.01mm)(with a constant height of taper origination) results in a clear change in CO during dyno testing.

  • Float height setting instructions for FZ600 & YX600 BS30 Carburetors

    Preset the tang on the float setting tool to the desired height (the standard setting is 20mm to the raised rim adjacent to the gasket surface). Set the tool's width just wider than the width of the floats. Orient the carburetor so that the float tang just touches the needle's spring-loaded plunger, but does not depress it. Hold the float height tool onto the carb body, making sure it is square to the gasket surface front to back (side to side is taken care of since the tool straddles the floats) and so the tang lines up with the point on the float that is farthest away from the body. The tool's tang should just touch the float but not depress it. Flip the tool 180 degrees to check the other side of the float. If the other side is different, correct the twist by bending until they are the same. Set the height by bending the float tang with a small screwdriver.

  • Float height setting tool instructions for BST40 single carburetors

    Preset the tang on the float setting tool to the desired height (the standard setting is 14.7mm). Set the tool's inside width just wider than the width of the floats. With the carburetor in your hand with the upstream side facing your palm and your index and middle fingers holding the base of the cage tightly against the body, rotate the carburetor so that the float tang just touches the needle's spring-loaded plunger, but does not depress it. With your other hand, hold the float height tool onto the carburetor body, making sure it is square to the gasket surface front to back (side to side is taken care of since the tool straddles the floats) and so the tang lines up with the point on the float that is farthest away from the body. The tool's tang should just touch the float but not depress it. Flip the tool 180 degrees to check the other side of the float. If the other side is different, set to the higher side of the float. Set by bending the float tang with a small screwdriver.

    In this example, note the gap between the tool's tang and the high spot on the float, which indicates that the float height is insufficient.

  • General CV Carburetor Tuning Correspondences

    Low rpm all throttle positions, usually affecting larger openings more than smaller: Jet needle tip diameter, float height, jet needle base diameter, jet needle jet outlet size

    WOT operation overall: main jet

    WOT operation between horsepower peak and red line: main air corrector

    WOT operation below red line: jet needle shape

    1/4 throttle opening: jet needle clip position

    1/8 throttle opening: pilot jet size

    1/16 throttle opening: pilot jet size

    Slope of small throttle opening fuel curve: pilot air bleed jet

    Idle: fuel screw adjustment

    There are exceptions to the above. For example, on a '96 and up DR650SE, float height does affect low rpm WOT operation, but more strongly affects all of the idle to 1/4 opening range.

    All circuits overlap to one degree or another. For example, one main jet size is usually equivalent to a quarter of a pilot jet size between idle and 1/8 opening, while one pilot jet size might be worth a quarter of a main jet size during WOT operation.

  • Idle Mixture and Speed Setting for CV Carburetors

    For multiple carburetor engines:

    Start the engine, let it warm up and ride the bike around until the engine is at its operating temperature. Synchronize the carburetors and, using the idle speed screw, adjust the idle speed to the factory recommended rpm. Use a digital tachometer to improve accuracy or if the motorcycle didn't originally come with a tachometer. Adjust the fuel screws so the CO is ~3-3.5%. If gas analysis is not available, coming from the lean side, adjust the fuel screws so that the strongest idle is achieved. You will notice there is a threshold where the mixture becomes rich enough (enough turns out) to run strongest, but beyond which no change is noticed. Adjust the idle mixture screws ~1/8-1/4 turn out from this threshold. Leave the mixture to the leaner side of these settings if the bike will be seeing altitudes much higher than the one it was set at. Set to the richer side if you would like the engine to idle well earlier during warm up. Re-synchronize the carburetors and adjust the idle speed back to the target rpm (as they are likely to have changed). On a twin-carburetor single cylinder engine, the fuel screws should always be set equally. In other multi-carburetor applications you have a choice of setting them individually or equally. An argument for individual cylinder adjustment is that each cylinder may have slightly different requirements. On the other hand, the effect of a mixture change on one cylinder is more difficult to accurately detect the more cylinders there are. Using individual-cylinder CO readings solves the problem. Extended fuel screws simplify adjustment and permit trimming on the fly at extremes in altitude.

    For single carburetor engines:

    The procedure is the same except that the synchronizing steps fall away.

    Note: Portions of the above procedures may only be legal for closed course use. You are responsible to check and comply with your local laws.

    Idle mixture adjustment-based diagnostics:

    Service manuals often contain a factory recommended number of turns from lightly seated. These settings are usually provided with emissions in mind, and are therefore leaner than ideal for best idle. In general, settings best for idle end up being somewhere in the vicinity of 1/2 to 1-1/4 turns further open than the factory recommendation (which end of this spectrum it falls on depends on the zone the motorcycle was intended for). If, when set by the procedures outlined above, a fuel screw ends up outside the factory setting plus 1/2 to 1-1/4 turns range (for example, if the manual said one turn, 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 turns), this points to the carburetor (or engine) having other issues. A fuel screw needing to be opened further points to a clogged pilot jet, a missing or larger than stock pilot air bleed jet, possibly too much float height, low compression, and/or incorrect cam timing. A fuel screw needing to be closed further points to too large of a pilot jet (larger than stock, or enlarged from something having been poked through it), a clogged or smaller than stock pilot air bleed jet, hanging cold start enrichment slide (i.e. not closing all the way when the circuit is turned off), and/or fuel level too high (from incorrect float height adjustment or faulty float system).

    Off idle symptoms improving from a setting that is further open than resultant from the procedures outlined in the top paragraph points to an incorrect jet needle clip position and/or possibly too much float height. Off idle symptoms improving from a setting that is further closed than resultant from the procedures outlined in the top paragraph points to a worn out needle jet, incorrect/modified jet needle, drilled slide, cut slide spring, increased slide spring preload from jet needle shimming (in the case of many but not all Mikuni CV carburetors) and/or fuel level too high (from incorrect float height adjustment or faulty float system).

    Note: CV carburetors with air screws rather than fuel screws do exist, but they are relatively rare.

  • Idle Mixture Screw Types

    Example of a fuel screw and an air screw

    The two possible types of idle mixture (aka pilot) screw are fuel screws and air screws. If the screw is downstream of a passage that is fed only air, then it is an air screw. If the screw is downstream of a passage that has fuel connected to it (via the pilot jet), then it is a fuel screw. Fuel screws are usually located downstream of the slide, while air screws are usually located upstream of the slide. A fuel screw always has a washer and an o-ring under the spring. An air screw sometimes has a washer and an o-ring under the spring, sometimes has an o-ring groove in the screw, sometimes has no o-ring at all, and in the latter two cases doesn't use a washer. A fuel screw has a small tip with a step below, whereas an air screw has a blunter tip without a step. An air screw sometimes has an axial hole drilled through, whereas a fuel screw never has an axial hole. A fuel screw is oriented vertically or horizontally, whereas an air screw will be oriented horizontally or at an angle. If the carburetor is a CV type, the idle mixture screw is usually a fuel screw. The mixture is richened when a fuel screw is opened (turned counterclockwise), and leaned when it is closed (turned clockwise), whereas the mixture is richened when an air screw is closed (turned clockwise), and leaned when it is opened (turned counterclockwise).

  • Jet Needle Wear Example

    worn 6G5 & new 1155H66W8TI.jpg

    KTM 640 LC4 Mikuni BST40 jet needle

    Left is stock needle with under 20K miles (32,187 km) (claimed) and worn by 0.0385" (0.98mm) adjacent to the slide, which works out to 0.0019"/1K miles (0.03mm/1K km) (probably not a 100% linear relationship). The wear is due to slide guide and slide wear causing the slide to be constrained by the needle in the emulsion tube. In addition, this needle was allowed to spin (as evident by the uniform wear all the way around, rather than just on one side), likely due to the white plastic spacer not fitting tightly.

  • NBR vs. FKM O-rings

    NBR vs. FKM

    NBR (aka Nitrile/Buna/Buna-N) is the most common carburetor o-ring material. It is fairly good for use with pure gasoline, but not so good when any amount of ethanol is present. It most commonly has a working temperature range of -31 to +230° F. It is what is supplied by OEMs and what is found in the vast majority of aftermarket carburetor rebuild kits.

    FKM (aka Fluorocarbon/Viton) is by comparison a relatively rare carburetor o-ring material. It is excellent for use with pure gasoline, ethanol blends, and pure ethanol. It most commonly has a working temperature range of -4 to +410° F. It has a much greater life span than the above, is therefore what we supply in our kits, and is what 99% of the o-rings we sell separately are made of (if they are not, they will not be described as FKM in the listing). As an example, we rebuilt a rack of BS30 carburetors with FKM o-rings. When they were taken apart again to clear clogs after having been exposed to 10% ethanol fuel for 7 years, we found all o-rings to be in reusable condition.

  • Overflowing Problem Symptoms, Consequences and Causes for BST33, BST36, BST38 & BST40 Carburetors

    Possible symptoms, roughly in ascending order of severity:

    Starting easily from cold without enrichment, poor running at idle and/or small throttle openings, needing to close the fuel screw beyond a "normal" setting in order to achieve the correct idle mixture, ability to close the fuel screw completely and not stall the engine, closing the fuel screw all the way helping but still not providing a proper idle, needing to turn in the idle speed screw in order to keep the engine running, the engine then alternating between a hanging idle and stalling, all of the aforementioned becoming worse as the engine warms, spark plug(s) black, (note: some of the previous symptoms may also be attributable to other causes or combinations of causes), spark plugs fuel fouling/wet with fuel, fuel found exiting the overflow (if the carburetor has one), fuel found exiting the airbox, air cleaner, or main air bleed jet, fuel level higher than 1.5 mm when the float height is set to 14.6 mm for BST33 and 14.7 mm for BST36, BST38 & BST40 carburetors.

    Consequences, roughly in ascending order of severity:

    Rich mixture, with the associated poor fuel mileage and carbon buildup, washing the oil off of the cylinder wall, filling the crankcase with fuel, and/or hydraulic locking the engine. Running the engine with gasoline thinned oil destroys engine internals, as can hydraulic locking. There is also the risk of explosion or fire from ignition of leaked fuel.

    Causes, in descending order of prevalence:

    Damaged float seat o-ring (look for a loose fit in the bore, hardening, deformation, shrinkage, tearing, cracking or other damage), debris stuck between needle & seat, bad float needle (look for a witness line where it has been contacting the seat (use a bright light and magnification), sacked out plunger spring, and/or stuck plunger), bad float seat (pits in the seating area so tiny that they are hard to make out even under magnification can be enough to cause a leak - applies to brass seats, but not plastic), fuel logged float (make sure it weighs 6.1 g or fewer separated from the cage), worn float pivots (look for ovaled bores, lozenge shaped pins, and/or general looseness), wrong parts (incorrect float needle or seat), damaged body (check for corrosion in the bore the float seat pushes into).

    Possible misattributions of cause:

    Incorrect float height cannot alone cause an overflowing problem. On a carburetor with a float system that is otherwise in proper functioning order, the float height can be decreased as far the design will mechanically allow (to ~13.3 mm), and the fuel level will not as a result be high enough to overflow. A faulty vacuum operated petcock or a petcock that is left on cannot alone cause an overflowing problem (if it could, then the carburetor would overflow any time the fuel were turned on). The source of the fuel exiting an overflow can have its source in a cracked or pin-holed standpipe.

    Fuel that gathers at/drips off of the bottom of the carburetor or end of the drain/overflow may not have its source in an overflowing problem. It could have its source in a bad float bowl gasket and/or fuel feed pipe/tee seal (if applicable) instead.

    The overflow (if present) uses the same outlet as the drain, so sometimes people attribute fuel exiting here to a loose drain screw. It is therefore not uncommon to find drain screws that have been significantly over-tightened, resulting in stripped screwdriver slots and sometimes even a cracked float bowl. Mikuni specifies a tightening torque of 2.0 Nm (17.7 in-lbs), and under normal circumstances nothing is to be gained by tightening beyond this.

  • Slide Wear Indications

    KTM 640 LC4 slides, bottom

    KTM 640LC4 Mikuni BST40 slide

    Left is new. Right is worn with under 20K miles (32,187 km) (claimed). The worn example has the slide lift holes drilled from 2.5 mm (0.0984")(4.91 mm²/0.0076 in² per hole) to 3.18 mm (0.125")(7.92 mm²/0.0123 in² per hole), increasing the slide lift area by ~61%, which dramatically decreases slide damping, thereby increasing flutter and as a result slide, slide guide, emulsion tube, and jet needle wear. The jet needle hole is worn by 0.16 mm (0.0065") from 3.37 mm (0.1325") to 3.53 mm (0.1390"), which is due to slide guide and slide wear causing the slide to be constrained by the needle in the emulsion tube. Notice severe grooving to the same worn slide in the engine side view below (contrasted with the subsequent image of a new one.)

  • Types of Motorcycle Carburetor Cold Start Devices

    A choke is closed when an engine is cold and opened when it is warm, whereas an enrichment circuit is opened when the engine is cold and closed when it is warm. A choke works by restricting the air flow and lowering the pressure inside the venturi, which causes the existing jets to meter more fuel, whereas an enrichment circuit adds extra fuel without restricting the air flow. A choke requires a fast idle cam or something akin to it (or you have to hold the throttle open manually), whereas an enrichment circuit adds a little extra air simultaneously with the extra fuel, so the fast idle is already built in.

    Motorcycle carburetors have generally come with cold start enrichment circuits rather than chokes since some time in the '80s (the last carburetor with chokes that comes to mind is the Keihin VB56A found on the '83 Honda CB1100F).

  • Valve Cover Gasket YAM0103010103 Installation

    It is necessary to glue the gasket to the valve cover, otherwise it will fall off when you turn it right side up to install it. Wait for the glue to set, otherwise the gasket will still fall off. You can use Three Bond 1184 or grey silicone.

    Clean the glue remnants out of the groove in the valve cover before gluing the new gasket in. Rather than trying to put glue in the groove, it is cleaner to put a bead on the gasket. The way to do this is to install the gasket in the cover without the glue and lift it out in sections to glue it and drop it back in place as you go. Apply the glue only to the end of the vertical bar of the T-shape of the gasket's cross section. Also put a little dab in each of the two corners of the two half moons of the gasket after the glue has dried right before you turn the cover over to install it.

    Downward force on the valve cover plays a role in whether or not the gasket seals. How much downward force is exerted on the valve cover by the valve cover bolts is controlled by the condition of the valve cover bolt grommets. The valve cover bolts have stops built into them, so tightening beyond the OEM specification of 7.2 ft.-lbs. will not contribute to better sealing, but brings with it the risk of breaking the bolt, stripping the hole, and/or breaking a cam cap (these have never been sold separately from a complete cylinder head, complicating repair). We therefore recommend replacing the valve cover bolt grommets any time the valve cover gasket is replaced.

  • YPK-30CF Clutch Kit Installation Instructions

    Soak the friction plates in oil prior to installation.

    Clean the gasket surfaces. Use a razor blade on end (at 90° to the surface) to scrape the gasket material off the case side. Follow by wiping with lacquer thinner. Removing the clutch basket for access is helpful. If the basket is removed, use a new hub-nut locking washer and torque the nut to 50 ft/lbs. Hold on to the hub with a clutch hub holding tool, either specific or universal. Under no circumstances try to prevent the hub from turning by jamming something between the spring bolt bosses, as you will break one or more of them off. The cover’s gasket surface can be cleaned by lapping on a known flat surface with 180-400 grit sandpaper wetted with penetrating oil. Make sure all residue of oil is removed before installation. If you do not have a known flat surface, follow the same procedure as for the case side.