Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: I inherited a 1988 BMW R100RT. The bike has been sitting for 15 years. I rebuilt the carburetors, and it now starts and runs, but even once the engine is warm it shuts down when you turn off the choke and won’t restart without it. Where do I go from here? — Aurelio Orlandini/via email
A: Oddly enough, I just had this exact same problem presented to me at my shop on another BMW. The gas tank was rusty and flakes were finding their way into the idle jets about as fast as I could clean them. Inline fuel filters stopped the clogging. I’d pull the idle jets again and make sure they are open. I use a single wire from a discarded throttle cable (small enough to pass through without damaging the jet) stuck in the plastic straw from a carb cleaner aerosol to make sure the jets are open.