Kawasaki Carburetor Problems and Triumph Valve Adjustment

Motorcycle maintenance, repair and performance tips


| January/February 2011



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 your subject.

Q: I love your magazine, but one thing it needs is a question and answer section. Most of the new bikes do nothing for me, but I subscribe to one of the new magazines mostly for the service section. A question and answer section in a magazine gives people a place to find out fixes to problems and a feeling of camaraderie with other enthusiasts. It would be a great addition to your mag. — D. Seymour/via e-mail

A:You’re not alone in your wish for a question and answer section in the magazine; it’s a column readers have been asking for more and more lately. As luck would have it, we’ve found just the guy to help you sort out your classic conundrums. Meet Keith Fellenstein, a longtime classic bike enthusiast and the proprietor of Geezer’s Garage, a classic bike repair shop Keith runs out of his Kansas home.

We’ve been wanting to put this column together for some time, but were waiting for the right guy to come along. We think Keith, with his years of experience wrenching everything from aged Aermacchis to jaded Jawas and nasty Nortons, is just that guy. Keith’s not a factory-trained tech. Like many of us, he’s worked his way to a place of knowledge the old-fashioned way; by getting his hands dirty and figuring it out. At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for experience, and Keith has it by the bucket load.

Rough running KZ750

Q: Last summer, my 1982 Kawasaki KZ750H with 15,500 miles on it started running a little rough. One morning, I went to the garage and found gas on the floor around my bike. The vacuum operated fuel shutoff had failed. I purchased a repair kit for the shutoff, changed the oil and filter (due to gas filling the crankcase), removed the carbs to replace the needles and seat, replaced the spark plugs, and ran a compression test, with all cylinders showing 125psi. Up until this, the engine had run fine. After replacing these parts the engine would run well under acceleration, but cruising it would miss and feel like it was just going to die.

I removed the carbs way too many times, making sure all the passages were clean and all the adjustments were right. I can now rebuild one of these carbs in my sleep! Nothing seemed to help, so I went to the electrics. I checked the timing and the timing advance unit — it was rusted and would not advance, so I repaired it. I then substituted known good coils from a friend’s bike, with no change. I then synchronized the carbs, and after attempting this several times I noticed no change.





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