Gasoline engines are designed to take in exactly the right amount of air so the fuel burns properly, whether the engine is starting from cold or running hot at top speed. Getting the fuel-air mixture just right is the job of a clever mechanical gadget called a carburetor: a tube that allows air and fuel into the engine through valves, mixing them together in different amounts to suit a wide range of different driving conditions.

 

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So how does the carb mix that fuel and air? In simplest terms the air comes through the venturi and mixes with fuel supplied by the carb in a specific ratio. This is called the stoichiometric ratio. That ratio is theoretically 14.7 parts air to one part fuel. In reality, your machine probably runs better at a richer ratio. Some tuners say 13.2, some say 13.7—each motorcycle has its own happy ratio for proper combustion. This mixture is achieved using small orifices or jets to mix the fuel with the air.