I've worked on a lot of V4 Hondas and if the bike is in as rough a shape as it looks, your chances of getting the carbs to work acceptably without removing them is essentially zero. They're difficult to remove and more difficult to put back on but you probably need to bite the bullet and do the deed.
The keys to getting them back on without too much cussing:
+ get the rubber boots as pliable as you possibly can by soaking in very hot water and/or use new ones
+ leave the hose clamps off all-together if you have to - even loosened, then can add stiffness to the boots that make it more difficult to seat the carbs; its tough to fish them in after the carbs are seated, but it can be done
+ don't be afraid to use considerable force
As I recall, it works best to first seat the front boots, then the back.
This is a very cool bike, but make an overall assessment of what is likely to need replacement to make it acceptable to you before you sink too much money into it. If too far gone, it is uneconomical to bring a bike like this back and it is better to punt and disassemble/sell for parts. This one looks like it would be totally uneconomical to bring back to stock but it could possibly be made into a decent runner. Early Honda V4 parts are quite valuable.
markjenn screwed with this post 10-19-2012 at 02:01 PM