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Why does my Suzuki DR run lean?

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How to make your Suzuki DR run better in 3 easy steps

Suzuki DR CarbI have owned a Suzuki DR for over 20 years, starting with a 1992 DR 250. The only problem I ever had was hard starting and poor idling. They are famous for lean running. We can blame the EPA for strict emission requirements but that won’t solve the problem. After suffering for several years, I decided to do something about it. The simple solution turned out to be to raise the needle to lower the float. Here is how you get a new bike in 3 steps.

1. The first thing you need to do is disconnect all of the plumbing from the carburetor. Be careful with the fuel line. Be sure to have something to catch the gas as you remove the fuel line. Before you loosen the bolt that holds the throttle cable, count the number of threads you can see on the bolt. Write it down and when you put the cable back on it will be much easier to get it adjusted properly. I always set time aside to do the entire job in one sitting. I find it easier to remember where everything goes if I can reverse the process within an hour.


2. There are several ways to get at the carb once you have disconnected everything. I have tried them all. If the only thing you want to do is take the top off, you do not need to remove the carb from the bike. Simply loosen the screws on both clamps and spin the top of the carb towards you. Take the 2 screws out of the top and remove the top along with the spring. You can then slide the needle out. Simply place a washer on the needle and slide the needle back into the carb. You have just raised the needle which allows more fuel to flow at idle and low speeds. Your bike will start easier and stall less often. Put the spring and top back on. Spin the carb back in place.

3. Once the carb is back in place, tighten the clamp screws. Now reattach all of the plumbing. The whole process should take less than an hour. Even I can remember how something goes back together if I took it apart an hour ago.

Now start your Suzuki DR and see how much of a difference this simple fix makes.  I have experimented with more than one washer and have found that it will run too rich if you raise the needle by more than the thickness of one washer.  Let me know how this works for your bike.

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