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Motorcycle Tech Tips: Get Your Motor Running

by Richard Backus

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Air/Fuel Gauge
Got your carbs figured out yet? Air/fuel monitors help,
but nothing trumps a basic understanding of fuel system principles.

As a general rule, motorcyclists have a higher than average understanding of what makes their machinery tick. For classic bike owners, part of the fun of owning older iron is the opportunity to learn more about their machines and how to keep them running. If you’re trying to sort out carburetion issues, a recent tech tip from the folks at Randakk’s Cycle Shakk will help guide you down the road to success – and get you back on the road.

The tech tip, Lean vs. Rich, is included in Randakk’s growing index of technical articles at the Honda GL-specialist’s website. Randakk’s stock in trade is early model Honda GL1000 through GL1200 Gold Wings, and while most of the tech info is directed at owners of these bikes, company founder and owner Randall Washington has put together an impressive collection of technical trouble-shooting guides to aide owners of just about any older motorcycle, with the possible exception of two-strokes, which can have their own unique issues.

Besides the expected emphasis on tips for GL owners are loads of general entries including the Lean vs. Rich article, which includes an excellent discussion of what it means to have a lean versus rich fuel condition (Randall even works in the word “stoichiometric combustion” to describe ideal combustion!) and why you should care. And he incorporates the discussion with a succinct and wholly understandable list of symptoms to help owners figure out – before they ever turn the first wrench – what condition they’re fighting, lean or rich.

Other tech tip entries include articles on cleaning carbs, gas tanks, tuning, reading spark plugs, testing ignition coils, voltage regulators and how to track down causes of hard starting. The assembled tech tips are a great reference for just about any old bike owner who fancies doing his or her own work, and are highly recommended. Know of more? Let us know, we’d like to assemble a special landing page devoted to resources like Randakk’s Tech Tip Index. – Richard Backus