Carb Upgrade – Rejetting

Posted on June 24, 2013

Finally had time this weekend to re-jet the carburetor on my 2001 Sportster 1200 Custom (XL1200C).  I’m now up to about a Stage .5, since all I’ve done is some minor carb work.  I haven’t replaced the air cleaner with a high-flow unit or replaced the stock pipes yet.  Turns out that I received the wrong intake gaskets, so I wasn’t able to replace them.  I don’t know if I ordered the wrong ones or if they pulled the wrong ones.  It doesn’t really matter at this point, since I was just going to replace them as a precautionary measure.

I love how straightforward and easy the Keihin carb is to work on.  It reminds me of my days as an auto mechanic, back in the 80s; fuel injection was just beginning to take over on new cars and there were still as many carbureted cars coming into the shop as there were FI cars.  I also like only having one carb for multiple cylinders, like a car, so that you don’t have to deal with carb syncing, etc.  On my past import (Japanese) bikes, carb syncing was a pain in the @$$.

Anyway, the Dynajet kit went in with no issues.  I stuck to the 160 main jet, that they recommend for stock setups.  While I was in there, I also replaced the stock .42 pilot jet with a .45.  I don’t know if it’s the dynajet kit or the pilot jet, but seat-of-the-pants testing would indicate a fair improvement in low-end driveability.  Previously, it seemed kind of starved when trying to accelerate.  Now, it just seems to have more “oomph” when I hit the throttle.

Hopefully, soon I’ll be able to spring for a higher flow A/C, and may re-route the crankcase ventilation while I’m at it.  I’m not sure what to do with the exhaust at this point.  I’m a fan of “rumble”, but not “loud and obnoxious”.  We’ll see.

Jeff Eske

“New” Motorcycle!

Posted on June 12, 2013

I got a “new” motorcycle over the weekend.  It’s a used 2001 Harley-Davidson XL1200C Sportster.  I wasn’t really in the market for a motorcycle, but the deal was too good to pass up.  My brother-in-law was interested in selling it, and he gave me a good deal on it.  It’s low miles (10k) and basically stock.

I’ve owned a few motorcycles over the years, but they’ve always been “vintage” japanese machines.  The Sporty is the closest I’ve come to a new bike.  All of the others basically required some resuscitation in order to be ride-able.   I previously owned a 60s Suzuki 250cc two-cycle Scrambler, a ’76 Kawasaki KZ900 (the original superbike!), a 70s Suzuki 750 ( a top-heavy pig), and an ’87 Yamaha Virago 1100.

The Sporty is taking a while to get used to.  Like the Suzuki 750, it seems like it’s slightly top-heavy.  In addition to that, it has a somewhat stretched fork so, when turning, the frontend wants to “fall” in the direction you’re turning.  Basically, when you start to turn, the handlebars really want to turn all the way in that direction.  I rode my other brother-in-law’s Heritage Softtail and, even though it’s a lot heavier bike, it doesn’t feel as top-heavy and the steering feels “lighter”.  These things aren’t deal-breakers, they’re just differences that I’ve noticed between the Sportster and the other bikes that I’ve ridden.

More to come, as it happens.

Jeff Eske

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