How to Clean a Carburetor on a Dirt Bike? – 5 Easy Steps

Written by

James Stevens

Fact-checked by

Robert A. Verdin

how to clean a carburetor on a dirt bike

If you want to have an efficient dirt bike, it should be well-maintained. For instance, to keep your engine working properly and avoid breaking down in the middle of the road, the carburetor on a dirt bike must be cleaned.

By having a clean carburetor, you can avoid expensive carburetor replacement and ensure that your dirt bike will run smoothly. So continue reading below to see the steps on how to clean a carburetor on a dirt bike!

Step-by-Step to Clean a Carburetor on a Dirt Bike

A carburetor is what control the fuel and air going into the engine. Whether you have a 4 stroke dirt bike or 2 stroke, it’s very important to keep your carburetor clean for the optimal performance of your dirt bike.

Step 1: Prepare


To get the job done effectively, here’s what you need to clean your carburetor.

  • Carb cleaner (such as the aerosol solvent)
  • Gloves
  • Cleaning brush
  • Compressed air
  • Screwdriver
  • Brush
  • Goggles

You can clean your carburetor by removing it first from the motorcycle or by cleaning it without taking it off your dirt bike.

The first procedure that we’ll talk about is how to clean a carburetor by removing it from the motorcycle.

Step 2: Removing the carburetor


You need to remove the back plastics on two sides of the bike, the seat, and any cover that’s holding the carb in place from your motorcycle first. Once done, shut off the fuel line, remove it, and drain the gas from the float bowl.

After you have removed the coverings and the gas tank, you can now work on removing the carburetor. Here’s a video guide for better understanding.

Step 3: Disassembling the parts

Clean the exterior of your carburetor first with your cleaner and a brush before you disassemble the parts. Once done, you can now take the parts apart.


  1. Remove the top of the carburetor, then take out the piston and the float bowl at the bottom. If it’s dirty, clean it again with your cleaner and brush.
  2. After, remove the float by taking off the hinge pin. Remove the float needle to check for signs of ring worn—an indication that it needs replacement.
  3. Now, it’s time to remove the main and pilot jet. You need to clean them with your solvent if they’re clogged, followed by compressed air. If they’re still dirty, you can remove the dirt inside using a soft bristle.
  4. Remove other internal parts, if possible such as the mixture screw.

Step 4: Cleaning


Clean your carburetor once all of the internal parts are removed. Thoroughly spray all the holes with your solvent to get rid of dirt and gunk. Then, use the toothbrush to scrub the carb’s interior. Afterward, get your compressed air and spray it through the holes.

Step 5: Reassembling the carburetor


Once everything is already cleaned, it’s now time to reassemble all the parts. Make sure everything is placed properly, and don’t forget to set your mixture screw for the right air/fuel ratio.

You can check this tutorial video on how to easily clean your dirt bike’s carburetor.

How to Clean a Carburetor Without Removing It


As some people are also interested in knowing how to clean a carburetor without removing it from the dirt bike, please see the steps below.

Step 1: Remove the airbox filter

To expose your carburetor, remove the air intake filters first.

Step 2: Take out the floating bowl

To easily clean the carb, drain the floating bowl by undoing the bolt at the bottom of the carb to drain the remaining fuel. Once done, you can now remove it by unscrewing the bolts that hold it in place. To wash a dirt bike’s floating bowl, you’ll just need to spray it with a carb cleaner.

Step 3: Remove the float

You can dismantle the float by removing the pin that holds it in place. Once it’s removed, you can now see through the carburetor’s jets.

To remove the gunk and other dirt in your jets, just spray it with a carb cleaner for several minutes. Then, use pressurized air to blow through the carb’s jets.

Step 4: Clean the carburetor

After dismantling the float, you can now spray your carburetor with your carb cleaner. Leave it to soak for several minutes for better cleaning before you reinstall the parts.

Step 5: Reinstall the parts

Once you’re already able to clean the carburetor well, make sure to reinstall the parts you removed, such as the float. Make sure everything is correctly placed as well.

You may also check this video for more details!

Dirty Carburetor Symptoms


As a non-functioning dirt bike can be due to many things, we have listed the common dirty carburetor symptoms below to help you.

1. Difficulty starting your motorcycle

If your motorcycle won’t start, it may be because no fuel can pass through the jets inside. In this case, your carburetor is most likely dirty.

2. Too much fuel

Having excess fuel due to having more fuel than air can result in black smoke from the exhaust.

3. Running lean

Running lean means that the ratio of your air and fuel is not right, having more air than fuel. The reason is that the jets in your carburetor are clogged, so no fuel can pass through.

4. Acceleration problems

When your dirt bike stops when you’re accelerating, chances are your carburetor is already dirty. This could be due to clogged jets and a broken or misplaced carburetor spring.

Frequently Asked Questions


How many times should you clean the carburetor?

To maintain the health of your motorcycle, it’s recommended to clean your dirt bike carburetor every 12 months. However, it’s advisable to tune or adjust your carburetor every six months to ensure its optimal performance.

How do you keep the carburetor clean?

To avoid having a dirty carburetor often, here are some tips to help you.

  • To avoid damaging your carb and its parts, consider using a solvent that’s not harsh on the materials.
  • Riding often will avoid having the gas from sticking to the carburetor.
  • Aside from using fresh gas, it’s advisable to filter your bike’s gas to filter out dirt and other gunk.

Is it expensive to clean the carburetor?

The cleaning cost of cleaning a carburetor is usually around $50 to $100. However, it really depends on the type of dirt bike you have and how dirty your carburetor is.

There may be additional costs in some instances, such as if the motorcycle carb cleaning service requires you to replace some parts, like the air filter.

Tips when cleaning the carburetor

To help you when cleaning your carburetor, we compiled a few helpful things to keep in mind during the process.

  • As cleaning the carburetor takes time, it’s best to cover your engine to avoid dirt, debris, and other stuff from entering.
  • To avoid mess and keep your skin and eyes safe while cleaning, consider wearing gloves and goggles when cleaning your carburetor.
  • Because you will need to disassemble and reassemble the parts of the carburetor when cleaning it, it’s best to keep track of them when cleaning.

For instance, you should put them in a clean and dry place to ensure they won’t get lost or mixed up with other things.


If you want to maintain your dirt bike’s condition, cleaning the dirt bike carb is a must. You can do it by removing it from your dirt bike or cleaning it without taking it off. Although not all carburetors are the same, the cleaning process is similar: make sure the holes, jets, and passageways are clean of dirt and gunk.

Thus, for your bike’s optimal performance, it’s really important to learn how to clean a carburetor on a dirt bike. I hope this article helps you with how to care for your dirt bike!

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.