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However, tell you what I didn't do before and that's stick the q-tip in the drill. Along with switching out a known good needle (from non-leaking carb 2) with the needle from carb 1 (which was leaking), I re-polished the seat (thanks a lot for the tip) and then tried hooking up a gas supply to the carb rack with them on the bench. Big fail - I guess the carbs need draw from the engine pistons to create gas draw through them, so all I achieved was a minor Exxon Valdez reenactment on my workbench. Installed them back in the bike but minus the airbox (just for ease of installation) and fired the bike up to see what gives.I don't know what the specs are for this bike but usually the float level is lightly lower than the top of the bowl. also you can polish the needle seat by putting a cue tip in a drill with some polish. seems to help when using old float needles
Well, it ran but like utter shit, only to be expected I guess without the airbox. However once I finally got the bike firing on all four it definitely looked like the leak from carb 1 had stopped and - with what I thought may have been a dodgy needle now in carb 2, no leak from carb 2 either. All this was done at 8.30pm last night with thoroughly irritated neighbours so had to abort before confirming the test. I'll reinstall the airbox and properly install the carbs again and see what happens.