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Running Rich

Old 06-24-2010, 06:17 PM
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Running Rich

Exactly what impact does running slightly rich do performance wise? I was told that my hawk is running rich as there is slight carbon in the exhaust.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:34 PM
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Carbon at the exhaust tips is normal on all cars, trucks and motorcycles. The only way to tell if you are running rich would be to do a dyno run. Do you have aftermarket exhaust and/or air filter?

Bottom line is: If you have good strong acceleration from 3000 - 3500 rpm up with no flat spots, your plugs are not carbon fouling and you don't smell hydrocarbons in your exhaust, your carbs are probably pretty close to where they should be. There are tons of threads on carb jetting, needle shims, etc.

"Slightly rich" will not adversely affect performance.

Oops, I missed your list of mods...Jardines.

Last edited by VTRsurfer; 06-24-2010 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for the reply, I did do a search but, although it did skirt the issue, there was really nothing that addressed my problem specifically.

To answer your question, I think I do but I have nothing to compare it to. The only other bike I've owned was an 86 Interceptor 500 which is not even in the same class. When I basically lay down on the tank and go what I consider to be hard on the throttle, I can feel the front wheel start to raise....then I let it off. Sorry but I don't know what the RPM was as I was too busy looking where I was going.

The one time I stayed upright and hit it off the light, the front end came up 2-3 feet off the line.

Here is the background......

I wanted to do a 520 conversion to get some more "perceived" holly crap hold on power. I went to my local shop but the guy there told me that I would be far better off just putting gas money into it and ride it like it is. He then stuck his finger in the exhaust and said that I was running rich and should consider a jet kit instead.

Last edited by Grizz; 06-24-2010 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:22 PM
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I'd take his first piece of advice and just put gas in it and ride it, but maybe go just a little easier on the throttle. As for his second piece of advice, I'd find a different shop to work on my bike.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:40 PM
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if you want more "punch" do what alot of guys have done which is to put a larger sprocket in the back along with a smaller front sprocket. 15/43 for example. You won't loose any top speed and you gain a harder hit in the low gears.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by VTRsurfer View Post
I'd take his first piece of advice and just put gas in it and ride it, but maybe go just a little easier on the throttle.
Don't get me wrong, I don't usually ride WOT off the line like an asshat. I've only done this two or three times as of late to test what kind of power I currently have as per others troubleshooting instructions.

Last night I went on a, at times, fairly spirited ride for about 70miles and used about ĺ of a tank of gas. I was told that, at times, a small whiff of black smoke came from one or both pipes during mid to hard acceleration while already at speed. Basically, riding at 40kph then maintaining ĺ throttle until reaching approx. 80kph.

Obviously, from what Iíve read here, this is an indication that I am running a little rich and need either a carb sync and/or a jet kit as Iím not sure when it was last done and I am not sure if new jets were installed after the Jardines were added.

My main question is what issues or damage can occur to the bike by having it running rich?
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
Don't get me wrong, I don't usually ride WOT off the line like an asshat. I've only done this two or three times as of late to test what kind of power I currently have as per others troubleshooting instructions.

Last night I went on a, at times, fairly spirited ride for about 70miles and used about ĺ of a tank of gas. I was told that, at times, a small whiff of black smoke came from one or both pipes during mid to hard acceleration while already at speed. Basically, riding at 40kph then maintaining ĺ throttle until reaching approx. 80kph.

Obviously, from what Iíve read here, this is an indication that I am running a little rich and need either a carb sync and/or a jet kit as Iím not sure when it was last done and I am not sure if new jets were installed after the Jardines were added.

My main question is what issues or damage can occur to the bike by having it running rich?
A carb sync isn't going to do anything about a rich setup... It's still a good idea for other reasons though...

As for possible damages... Well, with your rather marginally rich setup (if that is what it is), the only possible damage is to you wallet, but since gas is cheaper over there than here, I don't see that becoming a big problem anytime soon...

Have you noticed if it's using any oil? A puff like that could also be worn rings... Note, don't go all panicky now... With it running like it does at the very worst it's something you should start checking next time it's due for a big service...

On the whole, I think you are making a hen out of a feather... Put gas in it and ride...
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
A carb sync isn't going to do anything about a rich setup... It's still a good idea for other reasons though...

As for possible damages... Well, with your rather marginally rich setup (if that is what it is), the only possible damage is to you wallet, but since gas is cheaper over there than here, I don't see that becoming a big problem anytime soon...

Have you noticed if it's using any oil? A puff like that could also be worn rings... Note, don't go all panicky now... With it running like it does at the very worst it's something you should start checking next time it's due for a big service...

On the whole, I think you are making a hen out of a feather... Put gas in it and ride...
No it doesn't seem to be using any oil. By that I mean, I don't see the levels dropping between changes.

I'm not really "concerned" about this issue so much as if it can be fixed fairly easily, improve the overall performance and save some gas money...why not. Provided it will not cause any long term damage, it's all good.
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