How To Avoid Motorcycle Bogging On Acceleration


Motorcycle bogging is any type of interruption that prevents you from accelerating smoothly. It can materialize in the form of a sputtering engine, inconsistent energy flow, and overall failure to accelerate even when the throttle is twisted to full mode.

There are different ways to avoid motorcycle bogging on acceleration.

  • Proper carburetor maintenance
  • Check for vacuum leaks
  • Improve timing advance

It’s important to keep your motorcycle acceleration smooth and bog-free. The proper maintenance routine can get rid of bogging and keep your motorcycle road trips safe.

Types Of Motorcycle Bogging

Knowing the different types of motorcycle bogs can help you identify the problem faster and therefore, arrive at a solution sooner. There are three main types of bogs.

Lean Bog

The motorcycle expression “running lean” means that the chamber has more air than fuel. A lean bog is what you call when you can’t properly accelerate due to the excessive amount of air. This may be caused by suddenly running out of fuel or opening the air boxes for too long. Driving lean feels like killing the engine for a second.

Rich Bog

This is the opposite of a lean bog in which the amount of fuel is so much greater than the amount of air in the chamber. This type of bogging will make it seem like the throttle response is thicker and slower. This will also feel like the motorcycle gears are set a gear or two gears higher than what’s necessary.

rider standing by motorcycle

Gear Bog

This is similar to the sensation in the rich bog because this type of bog happens when the motorcycle is in a higher gear setting than what is applicable. Your acceleration will feel slow, almost as if you are pulling your motorcycle through thick mud.

Ways To Avoid Bogging

There are a few maintenance routines that you can apply to avoid motorcycle bogging.

Proper Carburetor Maintenance

The carburetor is the most frequent cause of motorcycle bogging. There are two main instances when a faulty carburetor can cause bogging.

  1. Clogged Jet

Jets are the tiny passageways through which fuel flows. This is where the fuel passes through to enter the engine chamber to mix with air. Both are combusted at equal ratios to generate energy for the motorcycle. If the jets are clogged, that means that the ratio will be thrown off so the energy produced will be inconsistent and insufficient.

Regularly check to see if the carburetor jets are clogged as this is the leading cause of bogging. Take a look at both the main jets, pilot jets, and side jets. They may be clogged with debris like ethanol and other clumps in oil.

There is an easy fix for this. Carefully take apart your carburetor to get full access to the jets. This will be tricky to do at first because carburetors have so many fine parts, but this is an essential skill for any motorcycle owner. Remove the float bowl first then remove the jets. Spray some carb cleaner through the jets. To make sure that every milliliter of the cleaner is ejected on the other end, you can spray some compressed air into the tiny tunnels.

  1. Broken Spring In Carburetor

The carburetor spring is a very important part of the carburetor. The springs are located where the throttles come down. The springs are responsible for opening and closing the buttery valve or the throttle valve slide, which aids in acceleration.

engine carburetor motorcycle

A broken spring will be unable to properly open and close the valve, hence affecting the throttle and your overall acceleration. The air can’t properly enter the chamber for fuel combustion. As a consequence, there will be too much fuel in the chamber and make it lose power as you accelerate.

To solve this, remove the airbox and pod filters to access the carburetor. Observe if the butterfly valve reaction is still functional whenever you twist the throttle. If the valve is irresponsive, then it is time to replace the spring with a new one.

Check For Vacuum Leaks

Vacuum leaks can cause an imbalance in the fuel-to-air ratio in the chamber. This can cause too much air to travel through the faulty gaskets and intake boots. The incorrect mixture will prevent the engine from generating enough energy to power the whole motorcycle which then makes your acceleration feel sluggish.

Regularly examine the intake boots and the gaskets for cracks. Check if they feel brittle. Check the air hose clamps to see if there are any leaks. The gaskets are located in the carburetor between the float bowl and the rest of the carb. Gaskets tend to become brittle over time and may need to be replaced.

 Tighten The Throttle Cable

throttle motorcycle

The throttle is connected to a cable called the throttle cable. This connects to the carburetor and controls the opening and closing movements of the butterfly valve. If there’s too much slack in the cable, then it will be unable to precisely control the amount of air that flows into the chamber. This will affect the fuel-to-air mix and will make the motorcycle lose power while accelerating.

This requires a simple solution. Observe the butterfly valve while twisting the throttle. The valve should be fully open when the throttle is fully twisted. If not, the cable might need some adjustments to increase the tension. Tighten the cable nut and adjust accordingly. If this fails to work, then it might be time for an entirely new cable. Some old cables may be overstretched and unable to retain tension.

Improve Timing Advance

This is applicable for motorcycles with fuel injections instead of carburetors. One leading cause of bogging among this type of motorcycle is a delay in firing the spark plug. The motorcycle exhaust may also backfire as a consequence of this delay.

This poor timing is usually due to a faulty electrical system or if you made a mistake operating a mechanical timing system. In this case, you can either repair the electrical system or work on your timing skills to make sure that the spark plugs are fired at the same time you decide to accelerate. Work on correcting the timing advance because incorrect timing habits can cause irreversible damage to the engine.

Charles Mariotti

Charles came to motorcycling in his mid 20’s, getting his first street bike in 1993. When not writing or riding his bike, Charles works as a Heavy Duty Mechanic for a large motorcycle dealership. He is also passionate about photography and owns a Persian cat named Rider.

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