Strong fuel smell
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rohnsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    1993 TW200 in Meridian, Idaho
    A local station sells non-ethanol fuel and I figured it would be better for the TW. I'm just into my third tankful now. It seems the bike runs a bit more strongly, but that could be my imagination.

    But... the bike has developed a strong fuel smell (particularly noticeable in the closed garage). Looking closely, the bottom of the carb seemes slightly wet at times with fuel.

    Did the switch in fuel cause an issue? If so, what might it be and how do I fix it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member niqhowie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    New Mexico
    thats the base gasket between the carb and the intake manifold. replacing it will be essential, since your bike will start running too lean if its getting too much air and not enough fuel. thus, causing the bike to run hotter than it should. ill try to find a schematic for carb removal. it should be a simple fix it could be from the top of the carb as well and is just dripping down and hitting the hot engine block while its warming up inside? i noticed the change in performance on my bike w/non ethanol gas. more so in my old 68 chevelle! haha it does make a difference with carbureted engines.
    "Peace be the journey"

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    -2012 tw200

  3. #3
    Senior Member jbfla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    FL. GA, NC
    Don't think it's the new fuel.

    Use a dry paper towel to feel around the carb area to locate the leak.

    May be a leaky bowl gasket?

    2018 Triumph Street Twin..............2016 CB500F
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  5. #4
    Senior Member mhomadness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Boonville, No.-Calif.
    Possibly a leaking bowl gasket, but you have more to investigate here.

    First, remove your air filter, and check to see if it is damp with fuel. Is there fuel present in the air filter box? And on the bottom of the air filter housing, there should be a small hose that has been crimped off at the end, and held to the air filter box with a clamp. This is a catch hose for liquid that accumulates in the air filter box. Remove it, & see if there is fuel present. If the catch hose is missing, wipe the end of the nipple that it would attach to with your finger or a rag, & see if you can smell fuel. If any of these simple test reveal fuel present, you most likely have a bad float needle, which is allowing the carb to over-fill & drain back towards the intake.

    I've heard tell that alcohol can cause issues with rubber carb parts, I believe most of this has been worked out with the re-formulation of rubber & plastic components used for carbs, and I have seen some issues with fuel and 2-cycle string trimmer carb components in the past. If your bike has a few years on it, it may be well advised to have a look in your carb, & go through & replace all the gaskets, o-rings, float needle, diaphragm(s), etc. and clean out your fuel tank too. Also check the elbow / boot that connects the carb to the engine, if you're going through your carb, you should go ahead and replace that & it's O-ring too. (imho).

    Aged rubber & plastic carb / fuel / intake parts can cause far more frustration than the $$ it takes to just go ahead and replace them.

    Please remember that the views expressed by MHOM are not necessarily those of this forum, or it's more experienced and knowledgeable members. My advise is solely based on speculation, and in no way reflects the condition or care of another's motorcycle. m.

  6. #5
    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Lower Rio Grande, New Mexico
    You probably need to rebuild the float valve and especially replace the little O ring on the needle valve so involved. If the float does not shut off the flow of gas, the bowl overflows and you get the gas marks on your carb and smell it. Do you religiously turn off the petcock? If you do its a tiny bit of gas that might leak when your engine is not running, but a dangerous amount if parked with petcock on and float valve faulty. I have a water heater (gas ) in my garage so I'm somewhat cautious about gas drip/seeps/and vapors from the MCs. Its not the new gas, but be glad you discovered you have a problem no matter what caused you to perceive it. Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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    Central New Mexico

  7. #6
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Frosty Hollow
    You don't have a problem until you have drops of fuel pool up on the garage floor, or your leg gets a little extra warm while riding down the street! Just kidding!

    You should probably heed the advice others mention above. . . I guess!

    Remember, no smoking until the problem gets rectified!
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  8. #7
    Senior Member Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I had a similar problem. I had not run the TW for around a month and when I started it, the gas started running out the overflow tube. I shut it off and did a very technical repair- I tapped the float bowl....good to go. The carb really needs a goin' through but I've been real short of time. OM
    "It's more fun going fast on a slow bike than going slow on a fast bike" UK

    1994 TW200, 2009 F800GS loaded,

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