Anyone in here have a bike that still has carbs?

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I have a '98 Honda Super Hawk that has carbs, and I've been told to make sure the carbs are dry when in storage, as today's gas with ethanol is supposed to be bad on them. I've always stored my bikes over the winter with Sta-Bil in the fuel systems without problems, but these were all fuel injected bikes. A local mechanic of over 30 years (he claims) told me loves when people leave gas in their bike's carbs because it brings his shop a lot of business rebuilding carbs. How do you store yours?
 
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Any chance that you can get your hands on some non-ethanol gas... and then give it a good treatment of Stabil? Siphon out everything that you can that is in there now, replace it with the treated non-ethanol gas, and then run it for 15 minutes.

That'd be my plan.
 
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I love those old Super Hawks. What color is it? You might have to take your carbs off and have them cleaned. Here is a couple of my neighbors restored bikes in perfect condition. He has over 20 old Honda's and he loves to collect and sell them. He has some smaller ones too. Thats my Honda in the background of the silver and red one. I love talking to the owner he really knows his Honda's.
 

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CCI

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I have a '98 Honda Super Hawk that has carbs, and I've been told to make sure the carbs are dry when in storage, as today's gas with ethanol is supposed to be bad on them. I've always stored my bikes over the winter with Sta-Bil in the fuel systems without problems, but these were all fuel injected bikes. A local mechanic of over 30 years (he claims) told me loves when people leave gas in their bike's carbs because it brings his shop a lot of business rebuilding carbs. How do you store yours?
To some extent, the amount of trouble you might have depends upon the carburetor (they don't all corrode or gum up the same, believe it or not,) the local climate, and the quality of gas. But if you add the recommended amount of Stabil and run the bike on that gas until it's in the carburetor, like fill the tank, add the Stabil, and go for a short ride before you park it, this is going to help.

One of the other things the Stabil will do for you is help keep the fuel petcock and the petcock screen from plugging up. I have seen as much trouble there as in carburetors, especially in vacuum-operated (automatic) fuel valves.

Alternately, there is a lot to be said for draining your float bowl when you park the bike for the winter. Most bikes have a drain screw on the float bowl which makes this easy to do. This has the added benefit of getting rid of any water or dirt which may have accumulated there, which happens a real lot more than most folks realize. When I worked as a mechanic in a Jap shop I fixed a lot of "runs rough" complaints just with that.
 

grampi

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I love those old Super Hawks. What color is it? You might have to take your carbs off and have them cleaned. Here is a couple of my neighbors restored bikes in perfect condition. He has over 20 old Honda's and he loves to collect and sell them. He has some smaller ones too. Thats my Honda in the background of the silver and red one. I love talking to the owner he really knows his Honda's.
I don’t think we’re talking about the same Super Hawk. Here’s mine…

Also, there's no need to remove the carbs for any reason right now as the bike is in perfect running condition...and I'd like to keep it that way...
 

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Gas with ethanol has been available for at least 40 years now. Unsure how "todays" gas is any different than what was available in 1982.
Gas in 82 was non ethanol. Around here E0 was still available in 05-06 may be as late as 08 in NH.

When did E10 gas come out?


E10 was first commercialized following amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 that mandating the sale of low-carbon fuels in areas suffering from unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. Today, E10 is sold throughout the United States.

Ethanol is added to gasoline​


In 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that set minimum requirements for the use of renewable fuels, including ethanol, in motor fuels. In 2007, the RFS targets were set to rise steadily to 36 billion gallons by 2022. In 2020, about 12.7 billion gallons of fuel ethanol were consumed in the United States. In most areas of the country, retail motor gasoline is about 10% ethanol by volume.


Last updated: December 2, 2021
 

grampi

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To some extent, the amount of trouble you might have depends upon the carburetor (they don't all corrode or gum up the same, believe it or not,) the local climate, and the quality of gas. But if you add the recommended amount of Stabil and run the bike on that gas until it's in the carburetor, like fill the tank, add the Stabil, and go for a short ride before you park it, this is going to help.

One of the other things the Stabil will do for you is help keep the fuel petcock and the petcock screen from plugging up. I have seen as much trouble there as in carburetors, especially in vacuum-operated (automatic) fuel valves.

Alternately, there is a lot to be said for draining your float bowl when you park the bike for the winter. Most bikes have a drain screw on the float bowl which makes this easy to do. This has the added benefit of getting rid of any water or dirt which may have accumulated there, which happens a real lot more than most folks realize. When I worked as a mechanic in a Jap shop I fixed a lot of "runs rough" complaints just with that.
The float bowls aren't accessible on this bike. It's a v-twin and the carbs set length wise on the engine, down inside the "V". What I plan on doing is closing the fuel valve, then running the engine to empty the carbs/fuel lines...
 

grampi

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Gas with ethanol has been available for at least 40 years now. Unsure how "todays" gas is any different than what was available in 1982.
I'm not doubting you, however, I don't believe the ethanol content was as high then as it's been over the last 10-15 years...
 
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I have a 1979 CB750 that I rebuilt the carbs on last year. I'm not sure if draining the carbs is a good idea as you will never get all the gas out and keeping fuel in the bowls will stop oxidation. Until about a year ago I used to be able to get ethanol free gas, now I'm thinking about using Trufuel ethonal free gas just to keep the bowls full over winter. Then closing the fuel valve and keeping stabilized gasoline in the tank.

Stabil marine is supposed to be good, I've used it and it works.
I've also heard that sea foam will also work to stabilize gas. Haven't used seafoam for this myself though.
 
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Running it with the fuel off until it dies sounds like a good idea.
You will still have some fuel in the bottom of the bowl, draining them will get more fuel out.

I'm keeping mine full with stabilized fuel and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be okay. If not then I'll pull the carbs in spring and clean them.
 
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I generally don't store the bike overwinter. If there is a dry spell and no salt I will use it every few weeks. In the event that isn't possible I will remove the bowls and empty them into the tank. I do this not just to prevent the fuel going off, but because what's left in the bowls after only a couple of weeks will have lost the most volatile fractions leading to harder starting. On a BMW flat twin with the carbs stuck out in the air draining the bowls takes about 15 secs per side so it's no hardship. If I did store the bike for 3 months or more I would also empty the tank and dry it out. Modern fuel in sealed modern cars fuel tank is one thing but in a vented motorcycle tank, 3 months is as long as it will last.
 
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I'm not doubting you, however, I don't believe the ethanol content was as high then as it's been over the last 10-15 years...

10% has always been the maximum allowed aside from E15 and higher blends. You shouldn't be using E15 or higher blends on a bike. Such blends are specifically posted at the pump as being E15 or higher.
 
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Gas in 82 was non ethanol. Around here E0 was still available in 05-06 may be as late as 08 in NH.

No, it wasn't. When lead was removed from gasoline, other octane enhancers had to be used. The choices were largely MTBE and Ethanol. Ethanol was primarily used in the midwest, until MTBE was banned (more specifically the oil companies would no longer use MTBE due to liability concerns about groundwater contamination) , and that's when ethanol gas became available nationwide.

GM owner's manuals of the era specifically allowed the use of E10 gasoline. (I have a 1984 Cavalier sitting outside and the owner's manual is inside of it..).

For that matter, if I recall correctly, they also allowed the use of METHANOL gasoline "when blended with appropriate co-solvents to prevent corrosion".

And here is a reference:


Today’s ethanol industry began in the 1970s when petroleum-based fuel became expensive and environmental concerns involving leaded gasoline created a need for an octane. Corn became the predominant feedstock for ethanol production because of its abundance and ease of transformation into alcohol. Federal and state subsidies for ethanol helped keep the fuel in production when ethanol prices fell with crude oil and gasoline prices in the early 1980s.

And another reference:
  • In 1979, President Jimmy Carter's administration creates federal incentives for ethanol production. Federal and state subsidies for ethanol amount to about $11 billion between 1979 and 2000, as compared to about $150 billion in tax credits for the oil industry (from 1968–2000), according to the General Accounting Office.[35]
  • By the mid-1980s, over 100 new corn alcohol production plants are built and over a billion US gallons of ethanol for fuel were sold per year. The ethanol program is controversial for several reasons, not the least of which was that the ethanol industry was dominated by one company – Archer Daniels Midland of Peoria, Ill.
  • In 1984, the number of ethanol plants peaked at 163 in the U.S., producing 595 million US gallons (2,250,000 m3) of ethanol that year.

And yet another reference that is very detailed about the history of ethanol gasoline in the USA:


Congress boosted the ethanol market in 1978 by exempting E10 (including the gasoline portion) from the federal excise tax on motor fuels (Energy Tax Act 1978). Twenty-five states followed suit and exempted E10 from all or part of their state gasoline-excise taxes. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had concerns about the higher volatility of gasoline/ethanol blends creating vapor lock in the engine, but in 1979 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that E10 was “substantially similar” to gasoline under the Clean Air Act (CAA) 211(f) fuel authority, thereby legalizing it as a fuel (Federal Register 1979).
 
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We have a lot of Carbs in our fleet and many of them store with no running over the winter months. We have used Sta-bil plus a little ethanol treatment for storage and never had any issues with it..
 
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