Dear friends, I am writing this from a rather isolated spot in Western Africa which I'm realizing is not the place to teach myself the intricacies of carburetor work. Or is it... I arrived here from the US this past summer with a crated and lovely specimen of a 1993 DR650. I ride it in the bush until I have an issue, wait some weeks for small parts, fix it and get back to riding. It's great. I sold my fuel injected BMW before moving here in favor of something simpler. No regrets. And no need for hand warmers. So here's my issue. I've never worked on a carburetor. I knew it would catch me at some point in my life. The bike came with a box of parts which includes a few jets and the original needle for the Mikuni BST-40. I figured great - the original owner might have done some upgrades. So I tore it down to do a cleaning and to make sure that it's in tip-top running shape. I should mention that the air box of the bike has been modified (as most have) and there's an aftermarket exhaust. The surprise came when I took the carb apart and found that the aftermarket notched and tapered needle is shorter than stock. Significantly shorter. 56mm vs. 63mm. There is no way - even at the leanest notch - that it reaches the jet. The stock needle does. And its diameter virtually fills the tube that leads to the jet. The aftermarket needle does not. Now I don't know a whole lot about these things and I've been trying to find an answer to this... along with learning everything I can about how to clean and adjust it. But shouldn't that needle seat when the throttle is at 0? Have I been running some hack tuning job thinking that it's just an eccentric older bike? Or is there some logic to having that fuel circuit slightly open at rest... I really do apologize if this a silly question. The bike runs fairly well but it's finicky. And with the heat here, I'd like to be as well-tuned as I can be. I'm a little out of my depth and far from anyone who can help in person. So any advice is greatly appreciated. I am able to order up a jetting kit and wait a month for it so if I should stick the stock needle back in for the time being and make the proper adjustments, I certainly have the time and understanding to do so. Thanks for reading.