Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > BMW Tech

BMW Tech BMW Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to BMW riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Parts & accessories for adventure touring motorcycles including GPS mounts, panniers, luggage, protection, dry bags, camping gear, tools, books & DVDs.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21 Aug 2004
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 2
Airhead Carb-float Help

I recently purchased a very sweet 88 R100GS and it is now seeing more sunlight than my latest and greatest Uberoilhead. However, the previous owner had converted the float system in the carbs to alcohol-proof ? floats. Well every now and again the left carb bowl starts overflowing and spillind out on the street. Removing the bowl, pouring out the excess fuel back into the tank and then replacing the bowl usualy cures the problem... for a while. So what gives? is there an easy fix or should I just replace with stock float system?
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2004
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,555
It's one of several problems -

1. float level wrong - make sure the brass plate is absolutely level when the float needle is just closed.

2. Float needle worn and sticking.

3. Float itself is sticking against the bowl. Early versions of these tended to stick a little. If it is sticking, file a VERY slight bevel along the edge that hits the float bowl to give it a little more clearance.

I had these on my R80G/S for over 120,000km, worked fine all the way.

Float needle is the most common problem, and most people don't replace them often enough. ANY sign of ridge or groove on the red rubber seat is grounds for replacement. You may even need a magnifying glass to see it.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2004
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 2
WOW! That is a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for your prompt response.
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2004
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
With the dual float kit the floats work independently of each other. There is a part that acts as the hinge with a tab that moves the float needle. It is brass I think.
The bottom of the float needle can wear a hole in the tab. It is easy to replace.
Reply With Quote
Old 25 Aug 2004
pif pif is offline
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: May 2004
Location: minneapolis,mn
Posts: 9
I had these when i bought my gs and swichted them back to the stock ones. They are a little bit to tricky to make them working fine. The stock are working just fine to me.
good luck.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Nov 2004
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252
I've had a lot of trouble with sticking floats on my '82 RS, it all started when the inside of the fuel hoses crumbled into tiny little cubes of rubber which prevented the float valve from seating. This happened a few times, I always opened the fuel taps briefly to flush any bits out after first removing the float and allowing the valve to drop out. Eventually it dawned on me that there weren't any more bits of rubber,or, indeed, any other debris getting flushed out (I was catching the flushed fuel in the float bowl and then returning it to the tank after taking out the bits) Well, it cured the problem for a while, so, what the heck, you know how it is...

Anyhow, last month as I was going through the performance for the umpteenth time (and having in the meantime installed new needles) I noticed some rough marks on the hinge pin on which the float pivots, and I remembered that they must have been caused when gripping it with a pair of pliers in the middle and sliding it out of its supports to release the float. As the sticking float was a recurring problem I had been puttng the pin back in a slightly different position with about 2mm of its end protruding to allow be to grip it and extract it with the pair of pliers more easily, with the roughness on the pin in its new position making the float stick. So after putting the pin in the electric drill and lightly holding a small file against it before replacing it it does look as if the problem has been finally resolved. It's been ok for about a month, so perhaps it might be worth you checking your pins for roughness
Good luck
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:47.