Journey to the center of Mikuni’s BST38SS carbs

Journey to the center of Mikuni’s BST38SS carbs.

When I was studying my new 38mm slingshot carbs my eyes fell on the small rubber hose which runs along the outside of the carbs from the float chamber to somewhere above the intake. I disconnected the hose and started tracing the circuit inside the carb.I did this by reconnecting the hose to one of the fittings and bowing into it. So by hearing where the air escapes you know the routing of the circuit.bst38ss-1

The top fitting connects to the uppermost hole in the bellmouth, but when I blew into the fitting of the float chamber I seemed to have hit a dead end because there wasn’t any air escaping. I noticed a small plug which looked like a jet inside the float chamber. I removed it and now I could blow trough it. First I thought the jet had been clogged but after closer inspection it really was a plug instead of a jet. So there was a hole in the bellmouth that connected to the float chamber, but the hole was plugged. I had some sleepless nights trying to figure out what the function of this would be.bst38ss-2

Then I decided to do some investigation on the web. I didn’t expect to find much info on Mikuni carbs on the web, but suddenly I found this article deeply hidden inside Factory Pro’s website…


Power Jet Circuit, GSXR750, as installed on air cooled gsxr750 w/ 38mm Mikuni carbs, 90-92

Power jet carbs – Mikuni’s great addition to a carb used in a high rpm application.

The power jet adjusts high rpm mixture, in the gsxr750 – from 10 to redline, in 1/3rd the step of a main jet change. Changing a main jet, in the 38mm carb, as installed on the gsxr750, adds or subtracts up to 2% CO per main jet change – when the CO% needs to be adjusted in in .2%-.4% for best power attainment.
Changing the power jet allowed much finer increments of change and, just as critically, happened to change the fuel delivery curve to what was optimum for the gsxr750 – something that would have required main air jet changes and other modifications to attain, but would still leave the main jet fuel delivery steps too coarse.
Strange. This Powerjet circuit works wonderfully when tuned on the stock airboxed gsxr750 (and it’s pretty straightforward to tune on our EC997 Low Inertia Eddy Current dynamometers unlike simple inertia dynos.

The method of operation is as follows.
At full throttle, as the rpm increases, at exactly 10k, there is enough of a pressure differential between the float bowl and the airbox interior to draw fuel up the black hose on the LH side of the carb and exiting through the hole at the top of the bellmouth of the carb.
The fuel is metered by a jet that is located in the bottom of the float bowl. The jets are sized in increments of 2.5 or .025mm. Usual size for a gsxr750 with a stock airbox and air filter might be between #58 to #67.5.
The power jet circuit, when properly tuned, adds the equivalent of 2-3- main jet sizes “on top” of the main jet, so, if you were not using the power jet circuit, i.e. had a “0” or blanked jet installed with a #125 main jet, you would use a #117.5 with a #62.5 power jet installed.

Since this particular circuit works on the pressure difference between the float bowl and the airbox interior, it is absolutely affected by any change in the pressure differential. If the air filter is changed to less restrictive unit or the airbox inlet is modified, creating less restriction – the power jet area (size) should have to be increased above the usual size, though, a BMC or K&N, as installed for stock replacement, may only require 1-2 sizes increase in the power jet (in addition to +2-+3 on the main jet circuit).

If the airbox is removed, there is no longer a sufficient pressure differential to pull the fuel up the ~2.5″ vertical rise from the float bowl to the outlet in the bellmouth and the circuit is no longer effective.

Why is the Powerjet circuit difficult to tune on a simple inertia dyno and easy on our EC997 Low Inertia dynamometer? According to the former owner of Dynojet, the powerjet circuit simply doesn’t work because there is a lag in fuel delivery at 9.5k rpm – creating a flat spot there. It turns out that the reason that he saw that is that the dynojet dyno has insufficient load to simulate the Real World Loading ™ that is present on the bike in 4th and higher gears on the road or track. There is a slight delay in the onset of Powerjet fuel delivery, but it’s only vaguely present in second gear in the real world, and not present in higher gears due to the slower acceleration rate that occurs when you are actually riding. If you were racing, as Yoshimura USA and other non sponsored, large US Suzuki sponsored teams (we lent them carbs for the Finals) verified, the kit outperformed anything dynojet had to offer.

How to tune:
1. Install the main jet that produces the best power at full throttle / 8k-9k.
2. Install the powerjet set that produces the best power at full throttle / 10k to redline.
3. Raise or lower fuel level to get best power at full throttle / 3k.
4. Recheck main jet and needle height if you needed to lower the fuel appreciably.
5. Adjust fuel screws for best idle.
Note – this is the “short” tuning list!

Benefits:
The size of the main jet DOES affect the low and midrange. Excess leanness isn’t usually the problem on these carbs. Using a #117.5 vs. a #122.5 main jet (PJ equipped vs. using a #0 PJ ) leans and crispens the lowend and midrange for better off idle and corner exit performance.

There other applications on other motorcycles that use circuits that are called “power jet” circuits that work on different principles – some are electronically controlled and work in the midrange like RGV250, the RS250 for upper topend, where they activate and deactivate through different ranges and still others work for different reasons and by different principles.
“Power Jet” is a catchy sounding name and it gets used every few years or so…

Why did Suzuki specify that US and UK models, for example would have a blank or “0” jet installed, disabling the circuit and other countries, like Canada, got the activated power jet circuit (though with pretty odd settings)?
Emissions? I don’t think so. With the basic fuel level and needle settings virtually the same on both applications, using the larger main jet, as required with the circuit blanked, would only increase hydrocarbon emissions under measured conditions.

At any rate, the circuit works extremely well in dealing with the coarse main jet metering steps of the older style gsxr750 carbs – 1st through 5th place at the 1990 WERA Grand National Finals used our Factory Pro #CRB-S06-1.0 Carb Recalibration Kit. Pervasive kit use followed for the next couple of years -until 1992, the last year of the power jet.


 

Says it al really, but what I can’t figure out is why mine have size 0 jets fitted as my carbs came from the UK and so should have a functional circuit according to the article.
But anyway, as I am using separate K&N’s the powerjet circuit won’t be able to function properly so I removed the tubes and plugged the outlets inside the bellmouths.
This way you won’t have to disconnect the tube every time you want to change the main jets which can save you a lot of dyno time and therefore money. Now you only have two screws for the top cap and two for the float chamber which makes them very service friendly.

Thanks to Factory Pro for restoring my good night sleep!

Now that we are talking carburation technology I would like to point out two other things that are important.

When I remove the airbox and fitted separate K&N’s there were a few hose fittings that I didn’t know what to do with.bst38ss-4 In the middle of the bank of carbs there’s a 14mm big hole which acts as a breather for the float chambers. You need to connect a hose to this which is about 30 centimeters long to

A.) prevent dirt from entering the float chambers, maybe you’d even fit a small filter to the other and of the hose. A good and cheap trick is to nick some of your girlfriend’s nylons, put a piece of it at the end of the hose and keep it in place with a tie-rap.
B.) create a kind of buffer for the air pressure below the diaphragms. This is very important for the same reason you need to add tubes to the fittings of the float chamber breathers.

You need to connect a tube about 20 centimeters long to the fittings bst38ss-3of the float chamber breathers which are located between carbs 1&2 and 3&4. If you don’t do that the air pressure inside the float chambers will become very perceptive to pressure changes outside the carb like when you get some sudden sidewind or pass a big lorry.
I didn’t believe this at first until a dyno operator did a run before- and after fitting the hoses. The hoses made the powercurve much smoother and therefore made it easier to choose the right jetting.

Marc Salvisberg from Factory Pro Tuning says;

In the US, with a stock airbox, we didn’t have ANY problems with crosswinds, even 40-50mph gusting crosswinds at full lean at 100mph boogie. Actually, there is one problem – getting broadsided with a 50mph gust WILL push you off the track! Willow Springs in southern California. I thing that the biggest problem was the carb tuning as rides with our carburetion setups could: run with or without float bowl tubes, tuck their knee in of out, draft to the inside or outside of another rider while in a strong crosswind! It’s been a few years, but I definitely do remember the lack of problems with crosswinds. Urban myths started by someone in the States! Do the hoses affect the carburetion? Perhaps, to a very small effect. Less than running the bike again and increasing the crankcase temp 10F!

The only thing I can say is that we did a run with- and without the tubes installed and the effect was very clearly visible on the dyno graph. So when you fit separate K&N filters be sure to fit those hoses for the horses!

Thanks to Sandro Serafini, creator of Evo2 for the delicious carbs.

Making your GSX frame stiffer

Making your GSX frame stiffer
Written by Mr.7/11, inspired on earlier work done by Tony Foale, Arnout and Tinus.

It may be well known to anybody that creating a stiff frame has to do with connecting the headstock to the swingarm pivot as direct as possible, which is what modern “Deltabox” frame designs do. So the best possible solution is to weld f*cking huge bars from the headstock directly to the swingarm pivots. There is just one problem with that… there’s a huge mother of an air-cooled engine in between that hasn’t followed any diet …ever.

frameremovals

To keep the weight down we remove some before adding any.

And besides she’s so beautifully shaped that we wouldn’t want anything hiding those luscious curves from full view now would we? So we’ll have to resort to beefing up the frame we have as well as possible so the front wheel will keep in line with the rear during heavy braking/acceleration as well as big bumps in the road.

The GSX frame is of the “cradle” type which means the main frame tubes are routed above and below the engine. We haven’t got many options for reinforcing the lower cradle as there are exhaust pipes, oil cooler lines and the oil sump between them and we don’t want to create problems while performing regular maintenance.
So we leave it alone with it’s primary task to keep the engine in place concentrate on the part of the frame that runs above the engine.

Take a look at the picture below.
The weak point of the frame is the green section between the headstock (yellow) and the swingarm pivot area (blue). If you look at early GSX-R frame designs you see that on race bikes they have allways tried to beef up that area with additional plates. There’s also a rumour this is what Yoshimura used to do with their GSX superbikes.  Suzuki have allready paid lots of attention into making the headstock as stiff as possible so the effect of additional bracing here will be minimal. If you intend too keep the standard airbox and the battery in it’s original place then options for bracing around the swingarm pivot will be minimal too. So if you would like ot improve the stiffness of your old dinosaur I’d make modification C. first, and consider dumping the airbox in favor of separate K&N filters to be able to add D. and E. When you’re at it you might as well go along and add braces A. and B. but I don’t consider them to be essential.

Be warned that reinforcement C. can hit the inside of the tank if you make it too big and will also make it hard to find enough space for the air filters! You should make all reinforcements from cardboard first anyway to check that they don’t interfere with anything.

framemods

A. these tubes support the headstock against torsional movement. The plates B. support the frame tubes to prevent them from bending due to the load created by tubes A.

The cross-bars D. stiffen the area above the swingarm pivots. The tube connecting both sided is placed at the same height as the engine mounts to keep the engine in place under acceleration. If we replace the cross-bars with a pyramid D1. we add even more stiffness to that area and prevent the swingarm pivots from moving back and forth in addition to up and down. It may look a bit awkward and I question if it adds anything as you must not underestimate the strength and function of the rear subframe.
This might be why Yoshimura adds gussets to the subframe on the Katana 1135R, but they have also changed position of the shock mounts considerably. They probably did this because they use a very short swingarm to decrease the wheelbase and so improve steering into corners and if they kept the original mounting point the shock would be too upright making them too hard.

framebraceexample

Examples of frame braces on the Yoshimura Katana 1135R

The connecting rectangular tubes E. help to distribute loads from the swingarm pivots to the rear of the frame, as well as providing a mounting point for the rear brake amongst other things.

F. There’s very little room to triangulate the space in front of the cylinders because of the exhaust pipes but it is possible. You may need to dent the tubes a little to make them clear the exhaust pipes but this is better than making the V smaller. Tightening the two center exhaust clamps will prove difficult too.

Gussets © Tony Foale

Gussets © Tony Foale

Now that the headstock and swingarm pivot areas are beefed up the connecting tubes are supported by plates C.

You should also consider making B. and C. box sections, so placing a plate on both sides of the tube with a strip in between to close the box. Or use rectangular box-sextion like I did (60×20)

Tubes only need to be around 16mm in diameter with a 1mm wall thickness. Box sections need to have 1mm wall thickness and single gussets 3mm.

Below are images of a braced GSX1100S Katana frame.
The bracing is designed by Mr.7/11and welded by Postma Motoren from Haarlem (NL)

Usually I don't get horny from stiff objects but this is a completely different matter...

Usually I don’t get horny from stiff objects but this is a completely different matter…

You can allmost feel the flow of the forces trough the frame tubes

You can allmost feel the flow of the forces trough the frame tubes

The big cross means "no airboxes allowed" and will probably be painted red

The big cross means “no airboxes allowed” and will probably be painted red

The use of rectangular beams in the subframe means it's easier to bolt stuff onto it like electronics, brake pumps, nitrous solenoids etc.

The use of rectangular beams in the subframe means it’s easier to bolt stuff onto it like electronics, brake pumps, nitrous solenoids etc.

GSX-R engine mounts for GSX frames

Below are drawings of engine mounts to fit an early air-cooled GSX (round frame tubes) or EFE (square frame tubes) with a GSX-R engine. Both place the engine in the middle which is aesthetically best but may cause some problems with the exhaust headers interfering with the frame downtubes, which can be solved by using spacers or modifying the headers if necessary.
Engine mountsEnginemounts1 for a GSX1100 frame to take a GSX-R engine.
By “jonboy”

 

 

 

A Katana with the above engine mounts installed…

katanagsxr3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engine mounts for a GSX1100EFE (GS1150) to take a GSX-R engine.
By “GJG”

Below are drawings from the engine mounts, as I used them a few years back. I built at least two EFE’s using these plates. They mount the engine pretty straightforward, like in the Katana I send you pics from a few months back. I also included the cutting contours in .dxf format, that could straight be fed into a laser.

Parts description:
PL-105 and 106: Take front rubber engine mount, and lower below crank. Need shims or bushes to compensate for offset.

PL-107 and 108: These should be welded in with the engine or cases in place, mounted with the previous mentioned plates. PL-108 is a bit long, and could do with a brace, taking sideward loads to the cross tube from the shock. The stock plate should be removed. The lower cross tube in the frame will need some cleaning up and removing of the stock lower rear plates, before taking PL-107.

PL-110 and 111: These make the removable, welded upper rear engine mount taking loads to the stock bolt holes/bushings welded into the side of the frame.

GSX1100 Laser drawings