Watching gas pour continuously into my Yamaha motorcycle’s air box was not my idea of a relaxing Sunday ride with my father in-law. But as the gas continued to flow, even with the engine shut off, I knew that I would be spending this day working on my bike rather than enjoying riding it.
I was appreciative of my father in-law who suggested right away that he suspected the trouble lie in the carburetor’s float. As I got out my manual to begin removing the carb, I started to think that my whole day would be spent diagnosing and disassembling only to find out that I would need a brand new carburetor (or worse).
Carefully following the manual’s instructions, the carb came off the bike and was apart quickly, much quicker than I had first anticipated. The longest part of this process was losing a small piece of the throttle cable and spending 15 minutes on all fours looking for it (after which I proceeded to use my beloved magnetic tray).
I was soon looking at the float which we believed to be the source of the problem. A quick examination of the float and needle showed that it had no wear and was not damaged. With the carb apart, I followed the instructions on cleaning it and ensuring the float wasn’t indeed stuck. Once cleaned, I proceeded to put the carburetor back together, hoping that the cleaning had somehow fixed the issue with the gas flowing into the air box.
After getting the carb reassembled, putting it back into place on my bike and reattaching the lines, I was more than ready to test if the problem had been fixed. The first crank proved that it had. Success! My bike started up without issue and no more gas was leaking into the air box. Having only taken a couple of hours to achieve this repair, my father in law and I were able to enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon riding and I had an extra bounce in my step for the rest of the day knowing I had fixed a problem I had originally thought may hamper more than one day of the riding season.