actually cleaning the carbs can hurt
there are a lot of threads started by riders here who decided to clean the carbs or put bigger jets in the bike, and had an aweful time of it, sometimes to the point where the bike would not start, would only run on one cylinder, and for some of them it took weeks to figure out what went wrong and get the bike running well again.
I have a reputation here as being Mr SeaFoam, and that is fine with me. If you run a carb cleaner thru the bike anytime its running a bit rough, that is the time to do it, and its normally all you need. As long as the carbs are not full of goop because the bike got left sitting for months or years with E10 gas, the ethanol broke down, and totally plugged some of the jets or fuel passages... as long as the bike run reasonably well then carb cleaner will flow thru the jets and PMscrew and idle passages, and wash them out as it flows thru.
SeaFoam is about $8 for a 16 ounce bottle at Walmart. You put 1 ounce per gallon in the tank with fresh gas, and just ride. To make sure you are getting the main jets flushed, get on the throttle when you have a good chance, taking off from a stop and going up a good hill. The main jets do not flow till the throttle is twisted almost half way, so crank it WFOpen as much as you can, without going nuts or crashing the bike.
If you run thru a treated tank and the bike is not running great that would be unusual. When I got my Royal Star the previous owner was only riding it once a year (to get it inspected). The gas in the tank looked like coffee. I dumped that all out, but it still took 2 tanks of SeaFoamed gas to get the bike running well. With a big engine like the Royal Star 1300 V4, you gotta be on the interstate to twist the throttle WFO and let those 74 horses run in 4th gear, so it took a while, but the bike runs great now.
If you always use a fuel stabilizer when the bike will not be used for more than a month (SeaFoam is good for that too), and you get some carb cleaner in the tank any time the bike feels a bit off, you should never need to take the carbs apart and clean them manually, unless you somehow get a tank of gas that is full of crap.
You dont have to use SeaFoam, there are several good carb cleaner fuel additives and fuel stabilizers. I just happened to use SeaFoam the first time I needed to store the bike over the winter, and it works great for me, so I have no reason to try them all.
Last edited by KCW; 04-13-2019 at 04:53 PM.