Question about 1980 Suzuki Gs 550 L

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Pilot jet plugged on 1980 gs550

The bike idles rough and has trouble taking off but once you are moving it goes like a champ. seams to be the number two cylinder when i remove the plug wire and it running it dose nothing but if im doing 55 60 you can feel the change. was told it was the pilot jet. I know nothing about carbs so can anyone describe how to fix this prob or have another suggestion.


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There are two jets on the carb, a pilot jet and a main jet, if you can remove the bottom of the carb, be careful as there will be fuel in it ( turn off fuel tap first) then get a small flat head stubby driver ( or an ordinary one if the carb has been removed with a small flat head)
In the middle of the carb will be two ports which contain two screws( should be brass) idle jet and main jet. Undo and take these out one by one, dont get them mixed up. check them against a light source to see if they are blocked. If they are get an air line and a pair of pliers and hold the jet and blow the jet holeyou might be able to do it with your breath or use a valve of a tyre for some umph! then just do the reverse procedure.( dont forget to turn your tap on again) hope this helps

Posted on Aug 01, 2009

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78 Suzuki gs550 loses power/speed @4k rpm and lacks overall acceleration. I have a manual can't afford service but am kinda handy. Please help

Hi, David before you can tune your carbs you should make sure that your performance issues are not electrical ie. faulty charging system, battery condition, and connections etc. If your fuel system (gas tank, filters, fuel valve and carburetor) is contaminated with ethanol sludge, varnish, rust, dirt, water etc. or your bike has been sitting for months or years without running these components must be "PROPERLY" cleaned and reassembled "CORRECTLY" before any adjustments can be made. Tuning your carburetor is fairly simple once you understand the basic principals. You engine is a simple airbox sucking air in and blowing it out, it is finely tuned at the factory for maximum performance once you upset that delicate balance by changing air filters, camshafts or exhaust systems your performance may go down the and the engine may run poorly, you need to compensate the air-fuel mixture in the carburetors in order for the engine to run smoothly and at peak performance. If you are running multi carburetors you need to sync them first and make sure your air cleaner element is clean and dry for paper elements or lightly oiled for foam and meshed elements and properly installed. Here is how and where you compensate trouble: "TIP" if your engine "BOGS" your not getting enough fuel.
1. Closed to 1/8 throttle is managed by the air screw and pilot/slow jet.
2. 1/8 to 1/4 throttle is managed by the air-screw, pilot/slow jet, and throttle slide.
3. 1/4 to 1/2 throttle is managed by the throttle slide and jet needle.
4. 1/2 to 3/4 throttle is managed by the jet needle, needle jet, main jet, and air jet.
5. 3/4 to wide open throttle is managed by the main jet and air jet.
6. Wide open throttle is managed by the main jet.
If you are running lean, spark plug electrode color is white, engine runs hot and feels like it is starving for fuel you need to go up on the jet size or move the c-clip down one notch. If you are running rich, spark plug color is black or dark gray, engine runs cool, and bogs down when accelerating you need to go down on jet size or move the c-clip up one notch. When your carburetor is properly tuned for maximum performance your spark plug electrode will be a light tan color like coffee with cream. If you prefer fuel economy over performance you can go down on main jet sizes until a satisfactory level of lower performance is acceptable versus MPH, your spark plug color will be whiter and your engine will run warmer. These tuning adjustments will only make improvements if your intake and exhaust system have no air leaks or sealing issues and the entire electrical system is in proper working order and you have no mechanical issues. For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the websites below. Good luck and have nice a day.
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Aug 04, 2016 | Suzuki Motorcycles

1 Answer

My 1980 GS550 Suzuki idles to high, about 3 to 5000 rpms. how do i adjust the idle.

adjust off the cable so its slack ! then between the carbs there should be the idle adjuster screw and back it off till rpm is about 700 ! rev engine and see if it returns ok ! ? if not then remove carbs and free off the butterflys etc etc !

Apr 19, 2014 | 1980 Suzuki Gs 550 L

1 Answer

My 2008 ttr 230 has been started in months. i purchsed a new battery and it still would not start.

The battery is only the beginning. The carbs are most likely gummed up. The idle jets are plugged, and the old gasoline in there wouldn't help. Your idle jet, (pilot jet, whichever name you prefer) is plugged up in your carburetors. If the bike was stored improperly, or old/dirty gas was in the tank, these jets get plugged up pretty easily. The idle jet is where your bike pulls gas while it has a closed throttle position. Its the smallest jet in the carbs and makes it hell to start a bike when they are plugged up. Good thing for you, is that you only have one carb, and it is very easy to take out and clean. The jets are under the BOTTOM cover of the carbs. You will see the main jet is on a Taller part of the carb and the idle jet is next to that. Here is a picture to help you, It isn't the exact carb, I borrowed this pic from another website. Number 1 is the pilot jet, 2 is the main jet and 3 is where the fuel comes into the carb. This is your float valve. This has to be clear of stuff too or it won't shut off properly and you will leak gas from the carbs. So get yourself a can of carb cleaner and start spraying!


Nov 17, 2010 | 2002 Yamaha TT-R 225

1 Answer

I cant get my bike to idle...when i throttle it backfires.

Pilot jet is plugged. You will have to remove it and clean it. You should be able to loosen carb and roll it far enough to remove the float bowl. Pilot jet will be the long jet next to the main. Once cleaned you shouldn't have to readjust settings.

Oct 31, 2010 | 2005 Yamaha WR 450 F

1 Answer

1985 yamaha maxim 700, Runs good through first half of throttle but when you try to get past that it just boggs down. Carbs have been cleaned. Spark plugs are jet black after a quick ride? Any help is...

Hello, from your description, it sounds like some of the jets of your carburetors are in the wrong places. Your bike has four carburetors, and each one of them has a main fuel jet and an idle fuel jet inside the bowl. The main jet goes in the very middle of the bowl and is the one that screws into the needle jet. This main jet has a relatively large hole through the middle. The pilot jet goes off to the side of, and screws right into the metal of the carburetor body. This jet has a very small hole through the middle -- so small that it may be hard to see through it.

These two jets look similar at a glance, and they have identical threads which makes it easy to get them in the wrong place. You mention that your carburetors have been cleaned, so there is a good chance that whoever cleaned them accidentally switched these jets in some or all of your carburetors.

If these jets are switched you will notice the following symptoms:
  1. Your bike will start very easily with little or no choke even when it has not been run for a while.
  2. Your spark plug electrodes will be very dark black after even a little running.
  3. It will feel like you have little power from the middle of the throttle all the way to wide open throttle (WOT).
  4. If you run like this for a while you will start to get backfiring, and the bike will start to run on three and then two cylinders, and perhaps eventually not at all.
But don't worry, fixing this problem is easy. It will be especially easy if you are the one who switched the jets in the first place. You just have to take your carburetor rack off of the bike, and remove the four bowls from the bottom. Look at the main and pilot jets in each of the four carburetors. The main jet should have a biiger hole and will have a tiny stamped number that should be around 120 or 130 on the top. The idle jet should have a small hole and a tiny stamped number around 15 or 20 in the top. Be sure that the jets are in the right places, and put your carburetors back together. It is also a good idea to get new spark plugs after you correct the problems, or thoroughly clean your old ones as carbon buildup on the spark plugs may cause a weak spark.

In the attached picture the main jet is toward the bottom, and the idle jet is on the top.

Good Luck,

Aug 27, 2010 | 1985 Yamaha XJ 700 X Maxim

2 Answers

Honda Valkyrie Interstate 1999: 25000 miles Cobra 6x6 exhaust: Bike runs rough when idling, missfires & looses power after extended idling (in slow traffic). It's ok on open road. Carbs were cleaned...

I just went through this over the last 2 months with my 97' Standard. I tore down the carbs, cleaned, replaced all O-rings, Vac tubes and rejetted with new Factory Pro jets. Did not solve the problem. I finally determined it was the gas. I must have gotten a bad tank of the stuff. As soon as I swithed over to a name brand, Cheveron, Texaco, Exxon, etc. the problem was solved. Give that a shot before you start tearing things apart like I did.

Aug 28, 2009 | 2000 Honda Valkyrie Interstate

2 Answers

1980 Suzuki GS550 with problems

First thing I would do is change the battery and spark plugs. start there.

May 24, 2009 | 1980 Suzuki Gs 550 L

1 Answer

Carbs cleaned but bike will not idle properly

The pilot jet controls the idle. Check your service manual for the jet location. Chances are the jet is plugged up by varnish. Count the number of turns as you turn the adjuster screw INWARD until it LIGHTLY seats. Now remove the adjuster screw. Clean the jet and then put the adjuster screw in and LIGHTLY seat it. Turn the adjuster out the same number of turns as originally counted. Don't seat the screw too tight because you can screw up the jet if you do. Remove the actual jet only if you must.

Please rate this answer. Thanks Shawn! Good descriptions :)

May 02, 2009 | 2001 Honda VT 600 C Shadow

1 Answer

The bike was missing on one cylender when iderling i cheked lead and plug then took carb off and overhalled new parts then it was missing on the other side then i did the the other carb and still missing...

Sounds like the pilot jet is still blocked or the float height is wrong. Try blowing through the pilot holes with a compressed air line (fuel drained of course). If this does not work, check float height is within acceptable level (need manual for levels).

Mar 16, 2009 | 1980 BMW R 45

1 Answer

Hard starting when cold, runs rough at idle and any steady speed.

Your carburetors need to be cleaned. The pilot jets are at least partially plugged.

If you are comfortable doing this yourself, you need to remove the seats, fuel tank, and air induction system before you will be able to get the carbs out. Be carefull when removing the fuel tank, there is a wire harness that will need to be un plugged from it to remove it. The wire harness plug runs under the plastic tray under the seat. There are 3 plastic rivits that will need to be removed to get to the plug. The carbs come out as a pair, and can be tough to get back in the boots.

You need to remove the float bowls, remove the jets, and blow carb cleaner and compressed air through them all. The pilot jets are most likely the only culprit, but you might as well clean everything if your going to all the trouble. You should also blow carb cleaner and compressed air through all of the other passages while your at it. Make sure that you can see through the jets and there is no debris left in them. Make sure to clean the floats, needle valves, and float bowls as well.

Then re-assemble

This happens when the bike sits for long periods. The fuel we get now days has a very short shelf life before it goes bad. Fuel oxydizes over time, and it happens even faster in a small amount that is vented which is exactly as it is when its in the carburetors of a motorcycle. When fuel oxydizes and evaporates, it leaves a gummy mess behind. The pilot jets are the smallest passages that sit in the fuel, so they naturally plug first.

You can prevent this by keeping fuel stabilizer in your fuel when ever the bike will be sitting for long periods of time. Myself personally, when I store one for the winter, I like to leave the carbs empty.

Nov 26, 2008 | 2006 Yamaha V Star 1100 Silverado

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