How to Unclog a Carburetor Jet

A common problem that plagues carburetted motorcycles is the tendency to develop a clog during extended periods of inactivity. Clogs are caused by the slow degradation of fuel, which turns into a greenish sludge that clogs the carburettor's fuel jets and passageways. This effectively strangles the carburettor and prevents the motorcycle from being fuelled properly. Cleaning a clogged carburettor can be a tedious job, especially when it comes to clearing the tiny jets. Fortunately, the job can be made easier with the right tools.

Pour an equal amount of water and cleaning solvent into a metal pot or container. Place the container over a hotplate or similar heat source and bring the solution almost to a boil.

Disassemble the carburettor and carefully remove the clogged jet from the carburettor.

Remove any rubber O-rings that may be attached to the jet and submerge the jet into the warmed carburettor cleaning solution. Allow the jet to soak for 10 minutes.

Remove the jet from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Allow the jet to dry naturally.

Check that the jet has been cleared by blasting compressed air through the jet. If the jet is still clogged, pass a small, stiff wire through the jet and soak the jet for another 10 minutes.

Reinstall the jet into the carburettor and repeat as necessary.


Carburettor cleaning solutions can damage rubber components. Be sure that any O-rings, seals, or bushings are removed before placing the carburettor and jets into the cleaning solution. Jets can be damaged very easily, so take your time when removing the jets from the carburettor.

Things You'll Need

  • Carburettor cleaning solvent
  • Metal pot or container
  • Hotplate or other heat source
  • Air compressor
  • Wire
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.