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Sea Foam Carburetor & Fuel Injection Cleaner



I'm probably the only person in the world who can't wait for the next oil thread in my motorcycle discussion group.
I love 'em!

Motorcyclists who know better than the manufacturer giving all sorts of advice to newbies on which oil to use. It never ceases to amaze me how much myth, legend and pure B.S. surrounds the whole issue of motorcycle engine oil.

I've run into owners who ride no more than 3,000 miles per year obsessing over ten-buck-per-quart oil bottled by some obscure refinery.

The smart rider knows there's one answer and one answer only to the motorcycle oil question. It's in the owner's manual. Do what they say, change it when they tell you to, and you're golden.

You've probably deduced by now that I am not a big fan of fancy oils, additives and other magic potions. So what am I doing writing an article about Sea Foam?

Well, it's a long story...

We recently acquired a 1998 Triumph Tiger "Steamer" to play with. The bike is in like-new condition, only 1,900 miles away from factory fresh. The paint, seat, accessories and trim look like they did on the day it left Hinckley, as it should be with so few miles on the clock.

But there's a flip side to that 1,900 miles. The bike has basically sat around for seven-odd years with stale gas crusting up the insides. We changed the oil (using the owner's manual recommendations, of course!) and filter, changed the molasses that passed for brake and hydraulic clutch fluid, and replaced the hard-as-rock original Metzeler Tourance tires.

I drained and refilled the fuel tank and threw in a can of dry gas and a bottle of Techron just for luck. The bike started right up, and actually didn't run all that bad, considering. But lots of stumbles, hesitation and general wheeziness indicated a definite carburetion problem.

A peek inside the airbox exposed an air filter that must have played home to a family of mice. Triumph engineering calls for an entire new airbox assembly instead of a simple air filter replacement, so a new $60.00 airbox with filter was installed. The bike ran better but still stumbled and hesitated, most noticeable when first rolling on the throttle or on light acceleration from 3,000 to 4,000 RPM.

I didn't relish the thought of ripping apart the bodywork again for a carburetor cleanout, so I looked up a mechanic who I know and trust to offer him the job. I was surprised when he recommended that we put a can of Sea Foam through it and run it for a hundred miles or so -- I figured he wasn't interested, and that was his way of giving us the brush-off.

I'm not a fan of any of these additives, but I ran the suggestion by a couple of other trusted friends and they sang the praises of the stuff, so I figured I'd give it a try. I had no idea why I'd never heard of it before.

Sea Foam Motor Treatment has been around since 1942, and was originally developed to remove varnish in carburetors in outboard engines. So the product has been around virtually forever, and is now used as a fuel injector cleaner, carburetor cleaner and all-around cleaner for anything touched by gasoline or diesel fuel. It's also claimed to be a fuel stabilizer, an engine top lube, dry gas and de-icer.

The manufacturer claims that it "cures hesitations, pinging and rough idle". It carries a money-back guarantee, so what's to lose?

The instructions are a bit confusing, because there are so many different uses for the stuff, but I went with the high side of the recommendations and poured half of a can (8 oz.) in the Tiger's fuel tank when I filled up with Ultra. It didn't do much at all for the first tank, and I pretty much walked around with the "I told you so" grin for a few days.

I had half of the can left, so I dumped it in at the next fill up. I rode around for about 50 miles and still didn't notice any difference, so I parked the bike for a couple of days in the garage while I worked up the motivation to rip apart the carbs.

I decided to take the bike out one more time to drain the tank before removal and I sort of noticed right away that the bike was running differently. Lo and behold, the stumbling, hesitation and roughness were gone! Just a tiny hesitation when rolling on the throttle, but it's my understanding that "they all do that", at least the '98 Tigers with the Keihin carbs.

I have to say, the stuff worked. I guess it took some time to work its way through the fuel system while purging all the crud and varnish that have been gathering for the last 7 years in the carbs. Probably letting it sit for a couple of days helped also -- I'm guessing that the Sea Foam had a chance to work its way into the varnish.

Now, there's always the "compared to what" question -- that is, maybe I would have gotten the same results if I just ran a couple of tanks of good quality gas through the bike. Maybe, but something tells me the Sea Foam did the trick.

I paid $2.99 for the 16 oz. can in the local auto parts store, but I've since seen it for as much as $5.99. Still cheap when you consider what it would cost to rip out that bank of carbs...
 

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I have heard of similar results, with the effects noticed days/miles later. Personally, I have only used the stuff in my 3vze 94 toyota pickup. I used it by vacuume tubes to the manifold. It smoked like all hell and black shit dripped out of the tail pipe. I didn't notice an improvement in engine performance. Maybe I should have put in in the gas tank.
 

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I use Seafoam in all of my cars, bikes, boat, and a generator.....that stuff works awesome!!!!
 
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