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So today, while were waiting for my damn brake parts to arrive back from the galvanization plant we are going to answer whet are the benefits, advantages and drawbacks and we are going to answer whether a bike carb conversion is right for you. And we are going to do it with a self-assessment quiz that you can all take together with me.
But before we do the quiz let’s get something out of the day. Let’s just very quickly talk bike carbs vs car carbs such as twin Weber or Solex carburetors. There are of course many different types of car carburetors, but in general, modern motorcycle carburetors such as my cbr600 f4 carburetors are a lot cheaper to purchase, simpler to tune as they have less jets and less adjustments, they also generally cope better with height difference and cold starts, have better mpg and are cheaper and easier to service as they have less parts and components.
Question 1: Is the car you want to bike carb convert your daily driver?
If it is, doing a bike carb conversion is most likely going to end up costing you too much money in the long run. Modern bike carbs might be capable of decent mpg, but it will never be as good as computer controlled fuel injection. Mr. Venturi may have a cool surname but his effect is no match for fancy pants computer circuitry.
Question 2: Is your fuel injection system functioning without faults or any issues?
This was a really big factor for me. Yes my car came with fuel injection from the factory, but it’s a 30 year old system that I could NEVER get to run right. My stupid flap style air flow meter was often acting up and my cold start system never ran right and was unfixable. Also because my car is 30 years old and went through several previous owners, some which were cheap and kind of stupid, I had the wrong kind of distributor and the wrong throttle body for my intake manifold and a bunch of other parts takes from different 4ages that I could not get to work properly. I troubleshot the engine a million times and read the factory service manual hundreds of times and asked dozens of questions of forums…but I always had some sort of issue. The performance was weird, the idle erratic, there was always a vacuum leak or two. And this is the problem with fuel injection……when it goes wrong…it could be a lot of things. Is your throttle position sensor good? Or maybe it’s the air flow meter? Or maybe it’s the temperature sensor? Or maybe it’s the EGR? Or maybe it’s the injectors? Or maybe it’s the idle air control valve? Or maybe the ECU is losing it? And then you got to test all of them because they all have similar symptoms and then you got to take apart half of your engine bay and then you replace a sensor and it’s still the same.
Question 3: Are you all about horsepower gains and dyno charts?
If you are then the charms of carburation will be wasted on you. Bike carbs noticeably change the character of an engine…but it’s unlikely that they will add any horsepower to a modern multi point injection system. They might like 5 or 10 horsepower to a 30 year old multi point fuel injection system, but you will not gain any power if you do a bike carb conversion on something built in 2007 or so. They WILL add power to engines that had single point injection or engines that used some lame old fashioned carbs.
Question 4: Do you like eargasms and responsive engines?
Carburetors sound better than fuel injection. You can object but I won’t listen. Yes itbs come close but it’s still not quite the same. Maybe it’s the imperfect combustion of carbs maybe it’s something else, but if you ask me they are marvelous little throaty baritones that can sing the sweetest songs of internal combustion.
Question 5: Do you like fiddling with things, want to develop a 6th sense, hate laptops and enjoy time travel?
Carbs are friends of gearheads. They require almost zero special tools to be maintained and tuned. They speak to the visceral side of the gearhead and will help you develop a sort of a sixth sense that will tell you when carbs are running right and when they are not. When you tune them right you will simply be able to tell and it will be a true joy. If you can relate to this experience and want it for yourself carbs can take you on an amazing journey that will put you into the shoes of laptop free generations of hotrodders and racers of old that had more fun with a screwdriver than you can imagine.
Check out the video for the answer sheet and add up to see how many points you scored and whether you should do a bike carb conversion?
Clocl stock footage credit:
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