While some motorcycles have moved on to electronic fuel injection systems, many continue to use the humble carburetor to monitor and manage fuel/air mixture in their motorcycle.
It is a critical component that needs careful attention and more time focused on its cleaning and maintenance to keep it and the motorcycle running well.
This article explains “Most common Suzuki motorcycle carburetor problems”…
How Does The Carburetor Work?
A motorcycle carburetor operates on the Venturi Effect, which says that when air is passed through a compact space like a tube, airspeed increases while air pressure decreases.
Air flows through the carburetor, which manages the flow and the resulting fuel intake which is drawn into the air by the decreasing pressure.
The fuel and air mixture then goes to the engine to provide a throttle for the motorcycle.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Suzuki Failing Carburetor?
If your Suzuki carburetor is failing, then there are a number of key symptoms for which you can look out.
The first symptom is difficulty starting your Suzuki, especially from a cold start after a period of inactivity. If like many riders don’t necessarily ride your Suzuki motorcycle every day, then there is an increased chance of a carburetor issue.
Difficulty in starting the Suzuki means that the carburetor is struggling to get the right air/fuel mixture balance as needed.
The need for balance is very finely tuned during a cold start.
The second symptom is a sudden reduction in the engine’s performance.
This is obviously a very noticeable thing when you’re riding the bike, even from the start.
You’ll feel that the acceleration on your normally very keen Suzuki bike has been diminished and that it’s not attaining the horsepower or rpm levels that you’re used to.
On the opposite side of reduction in engine performance is the issue of high idling. This is another classic symptom of a failing carburetor on a Suzuki bike.
When you’re idling, does the engine still sound like it’s running at a high speed?
This is high idling.
The danger of high idling is that it will wear out the engine faster and cause you to consume fuel faster too.
Ultimately, it also leads to the carburetor and engine running too rich on-air/fuel mixture, which can result in black smoke billowing out of the back of your bike.
That never looks good.
Are Suzuki Carburetors More Prone To Fail Than Other Motorcycles?
Among the most popular motorcycle brands like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, KTM, Harley-Davidson, and others, Suzuki is actually a very strong performer.
The failure rate for Suzuki components, including the carburetor, is only 12 percent, which places it just a single percentage point behind the industry leader, Yamaha.
In other words, if you were to pluck a random sample of 100 Suzuki motorcycles from around the world and inquire into which owners were having problems, only 11 of them would mention an issue.
Among that 11 percent, an even smaller percentage specifically has an issue with the carburetor.
This means that Suzuki carburetors are in fact less prone to fail than most other motorcycle brands.
How Long Should A Suzuki Carburetor Last?
A carburetor is not a wearing part like the brake pads, switches, kickstand, and other parts of the motorcycle.
While it does contain a number of small components that can suffer wear and tear, these are easily and cheaply replaced, allowing the carburetor to go on and on.
In theory, given the inherent quality of Suzuki carburetors anyway, there’s no reason at all that your Suzuki carburetor shouldn’t last you the entire lifetime of your motorcycle.
Suzuki motorcycles, second only to Yamaha in overall reliability, are inherently reliable bikes with lifespans across their range of 80,000 miles to 150,000 miles.
The key is to always give proper bike care and maintenance.
The Suzuki carburetor in particular, as is true on just about every motorcycle brand, is sensitive to a lack of cleaning and proper maintenance.
It’s very important therefore that owners know how to clean and maintain their Suzuki carburetor and identify any particular issues.
When properly cleaned and maintained, there’s no reason at all that a Suzuki carburetor won’t last for the entire lifespan of whatever Suzuki motorcycle you have purchased.
What Suzuki Models Are Likely To Have Carburetor Problems?
Two models within the Suzuki brand are known to suffer from carburetor issues more than others.
These are the Suzuki Bandit and the Suzuki Vinson.
The Suzuki Bandit’s most common carburetor issue seems to be high idling. Some owners have even been so frustrated as to discover that a thorough cleaning job didn’t make any noticeable difference on the Bandit’s performance.
At worst, the bike can sound so loud like it’s running at full throttle when the throttle, in reality, is only engaged at 25 percent.
This presents a serious issue, especially when you’re riding the bike in a residential or another built-up area.
It seems that the problem lies in the carburetor idle circuit.
The holes in the idle circuit on the Suzuki Bandit are notoriously small, and even the most apparently thorough cleaning job might not get them unclogged.
When they are clogged, they will continue to cause the high-idling problem.
The Suzuki Vinson ATV has been known to have some issues with spitting, sputtering and backfiring.
Once again, thorough cleaning and maintenance can appear on the surface to make little difference to this problem.
Cleaning and proper maintenance are important, but there are other components on a Suzuki carburetor that need your attention, namely the idle air screw.
Sputtering is typically a symptom of a lean air/fuel mixture.
Resetting the idle air screw to the proper and original manufacturer-recommended setting can ensure proper airflow.
If you’re unsure about the location of the idle air screw, then it’s best to consult a mechanic or at least seek some additional information first.
What Are The Possible Causes Of A Suzuki Failing Carburetor?
Besides the idle air circuit holes in the Bandit and the idle air screw in the Vinson, there are some other things that can cause carburetor problems in the Suzuki.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Leaks in hoses
- Leaky gaskets and seals
- Dirty carburetor
- Blocked main jet
If you have leaks in your hoses, gaskets, or seals anywhere within the system, it will cause an automatic diminishing in performance of the carburetor and thus the Suzuki bike or ATV.
These are examples of smaller parts within the larger whole that are subject to natural wear and tear over time, but fortunately can easily be replaced, restoring the carburetor to functionality.
They don’t impact the more fundamental working of the carburetor in the long term.
The other chief culprit is that the carburetor has not been cleaned properly.
There’s a reason that the first response many have to carburetor problems is cleaning it, which is that it almost always helps.
What Are The Possible Solutions Of A Suzuki Failing Carburetor?
The first solution that is always worth exploring to virtually any carburetor problem on the Suzuki is to remove it and perform a full and thorough cleaning using compressed air, WD40, and a cleaning kit.
Replacing hoses, gaskets, and seals is another solution for the times when more serious wear and tear has taken hold.
These parts are inexpensive even professional repair work on them won’t break the bank.
If the main jet in your carburetor you find is getting regularly blocked up or you’re experiencing rough idling or continuous idling problems, switching out the main jet can be a good solution to some problems, but it won’t solve everything.
Finally, repositioning the idle air screw can go a long way on a Suzuki to fix any problems that are present.
Can A Suzuki Motorcycle Run With A Failing Carburetor?
Technically a Suzuki can run with a failing carburetor, but the main question would be for how long could it run?
The carburetor is an essential component and if it fails absolutely, then your bike will stop working.
If you have a struggling carburetor that is on a path to failure, then you can probably still ride, but the only destination should be a bike repair shop or your home where you can carry out repairs and maintenance.
You should be aware that a failing carburetor will greatly reduce performance, acceleration, and speed, which in itself could create issues with safety on the road.
The solution, therefore, is not to spend any protracted period of time on the road with a failing Suzuki carburetor.
Does Cleaning The Suzuki Carburetor Prevent Failing?
Cleaning the Suzuki carburetor will certainly go a long way to helping prevent future failure.
Regular cleaning of the unit gives you a chance to inspect high-wear components like seals, gaskets, and other parts.
Timely cleaning will also keep the shafts clear of buildup, which optimizes airflow and that is the key to a smooth-running carburetor.
Giving your carburetor a proper clean is not the be-all and end-all, of course, but it is the best preventative measure to extend the lifespan of a carburetor and by extension your Suzuki motorcycle.
Can I Clean It Myself?
Yes, you can clean it yourself. The easiest way is to remove it from the bike, disassemble the main parts and then clean them individually.
Can I Use WD40 To Clean It?
Yes, WD40 is safe to use on your motorcycle carburetor. In fact, the precision hose that WD40 gives you is ideal for getting into the tight corners and other spaces.
Can I Clean It Without Removing It?
Yes, it is possible to remove the carburetor without cleaning it.
It is harder, of course, because removing it allows you to use a well-lit and spacious work area.
Some conditions do make removal difficult, however, as can a lack of knowledge.
If you feel uncertain about removing it, then you shouldn’t.
Instead, try to get the bike into a well-lit space and position it so that the carburetor is easily accessible.
It can be tricky work, but the effect can be just as good.
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