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Old 05-18-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
mdvs17 OP
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Running RICH or LEAN how do I tell.

83 r100
After running into leaky foot syndrome and replacing the floats and needles ( Ill rebuild next month) Im wondering about how I can tell (symptoms) of running rich or lean.
What should I be looking for?
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
CoyoteCowboy
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Fouled plugs, sooty exhaust, if it smells rich then it probably is rich. As far as lean goes, higher than normal operating temps, plugs look like they're burnt to a crisp. For figuring out which way to go on the top end, I get in high gear, pin it and when it starts to lay down pull the choke out slightly and see if it recovers. If it does, you're lean and if it worsens, they you're rich. Not the most accurate method, but usually points you in the right direction.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #3
Uncle Ernie
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I just look at the plugs- both of them.
Black is rich. What I call black flocking is worse. Wet or oily means there's no spark.
Toasty light brownish ~ tan is good.
REAL LIGHT or even white is too lean.

http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/tech_su...qs/faqread.asp

More than you want to know?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiMM2S0aADM
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
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My plugs run almost white and my bike isn't too lean. With race gas, they run just about pure white as does my pistons and exhaust. Reading plugs has SO many variables.

Probably the best way is to find out is to hire a dyno run. Too rich has such a wide spectrum of robbing quite a few hp and still running quite well. Too lean has almost no such range. It's there but it is comparatively very small.

Double check your float adjustment. It is very easy to do. Run your jet needle at the recommended notch. Run the recommended needle jet or two numbers bigger. Set your idle mixture screws were they idle fastest and then maybe back them out about a quarter turn. You won't be too rich. Main jet? Take it to a dyno. If its a late model with 135's in it, it's already close to perfect.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:57 AM   #5
Uncle Ernie
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C'mon- how many people use racing gas on a day-to-day basis?
How many people even have access to it?
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for the NGK link, Uncle Ernie... good one!


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Old 05-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
marksbonneville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvs17 View Post
83 r100
After running into leaky foot syndrome and replacing the floats and needles ( Ill rebuild next month) Im wondering about how I can tell (symptoms) of running rich or lean.
What should I be looking for?
I check my plugs after riding around low speed/rpm and then again at higher speeds/rpm. I'll find a nice quiet road and shut her down while at the higher rpm, let it cool and check the plugs. and adjust/rejet accordingly.

Race gas....I was surprised to see how easy it is to find and how many places carry it and how many people use it, me I deliberately look for vehicles that are OK with el cheepo fuel.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
Boxer Metal
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If you are trying to check the plugs at normally running RPM. Ride the bike on an open road for a few miles above 4k RPM and pull the cltch lever in and hit the kill switch. Pull off of the road(turn off the ignation switch) and pull your plugs. The should be tan. If they are dark or sooted then adjust and replace as needed.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ernie View Post
C'mon- how many people use racing gas on a day-to-day basis?
How many people even have access to it?
I hardly ever do except when I am jetting. But still, my plugs burn almost white with pump gas. My pistons burn a medium tan on pump gas and my exhaust burn a dark tan on pump gas. I am just trying to say that most people that jet by their plugs are running way too rich. So many people think their plugs are reading too lean when they are reading rich. If your bike is to lean, it will be surging, pinging, or missing. Probably in that order but necessarily.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:45 AM   #10
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marksbonneville View Post
I check my plugs after riding around low speed/rpm and then again at higher speeds/rpm. I'll find a nice quiet road and shut her down while at the higher rpm, let it cool and check the plugs. and adjust/rejet accordingly.

Race gas....I was surprised to see how easy it is to find and how many places carry it and how many people use it, me I deliberately look for vehicles that are OK with el cheepo fuel.
I got to admit that sometimes I put just a dab in, It's like putting a little vanilla behind your ears. Sweet!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:29 PM   #11
marksbonneville
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Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I got to admit that sometimes I put just a dab in, It's like putting a little vanilla behind your ears. Sweet!
I haven't tried the vanilla behind the ears what will it get me, a smoother running bike, young girls, free beer, or just a nice smelling helmet? I guess I can't lose as I'm currently missing all these things anyhow.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #12
Sabre170
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Let's say I'm trying to dial in a lean or rich bike.

Do I need to swap out with clean plugs before every test?

In other words, say I'm running rich, and my plugs are definatley all black. Not wet, just black. Will the plugs "clean" themselves if they all of the sudden find themselves in an engine that is no longer running rich (I.e. They will no longer be black, but rather toasty brown)? Or will I end up going through quite a few sets of plugs as I dial in my bike?
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:22 PM   #13
16VGTIDave
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Modern, extended reach plugs should clean themselves once they get to operating temperature. That may require a run at highway speeds for 10 or 15 minutes. Running modern fuel with all the additives will help clean the plugs, more so if running fuel with ethanol, as it likely has absorbed some moisture and will "steam clean" the plugs.

The biggest trick is to get the engine to full operating temperature. On an air cooled engine this can take longer than one thinks. Liquid cooled is usually quicker to warm up.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
My plugs run almost white and my bike isn't too lean. With race gas, they run just about pure white as does my pistons and exhaust. Reading plugs has SO many variables.

.
Plug reading for mixture is a guesstimate...Modern fuels makes it more difficult. Full throttle can be done a dyno but part throttle needs to be done by road testing..
My race bike plugs are pure dull white after repeated full throttle 35 second runs...
This plug was just removed from my regular rider vintage Triumph ....What do you see?

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Old 05-09-2015, 10:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Uncle Ernie View Post
C'mon- how many people use racing gas on a day-to-day basis?
How many people even have access to it?
I buy VP leaded 110 octane race gas 5 miles from my home. Many speed shops and car tuning shops carry it. It's available on line and can be shipped to your house. Same story for Sunoco and othe other brands. It ain't cheap ,about 12 bucks a gallon...
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