Honda Shadow 1100 Carburetor Jetting
One of easiest ways to get more power out of a bike is to open up the restrictive stock exhaust and intake. The Honda Shadow 1100 is no exception. In fact Kerkers, a K&N and a jet kit will make this bike much more fun to ride and smooth out the throttle response so much that you'll think it's a new bike.
Jetting the bike isn't hard, but it does take some care. It's possible to try and tune the carbs yourself, however, you will probably save your self a lot of time by just buying a jet kit for it from somebody who has already spent the time and research to get the mods right. You can save a few bucks if you want to try and grow your own jet kit. It all depends on how valuable your time is to you and if you'd rather be riding, or jetting. Depending on the age of your bike, you may want to have an impact screwdriver on hand. The phillips head screws in japanese carbs can be a real pain to coax free if they've been around for a while. Big point.. NO SMOKING DURING THIS JOB!!! Beer may be consumed in place of smoke. Use your own judgment on that. But.. NO SMOKING!!! The seat is the first item that should be removed. It's not hard. There are three bolts that hold the seat in place on this bike, one on the back and two on the sides.
Remove the rear seat bolt.
Remove the two side seat bolts.
Remove the rear tank bolt.
Make sure you turn off the fuel and remove the fuel line.
There is a vent hose on the right rear of the tank will have to come off as well. Sorry, I don't have a pic of it, but you'll notice it when you try and lift the tank off the bike. It will be easier to lift the tank if there isn't much fuel in it... so plan ahead and either drain the fuel out or run it till it's almost empty. Now you will see a mass of wires, hoses, cables and assorted plastic bits where the carbs should be. It's time to start removing stuff.
The mysterious area under the tank.
Left side view of the carbs.. an you see em?
Right side view of the carbs.
Remove the resonating chamber, or is it a crankcase vent chamber?..hmm doesn't matter.
Remove the two hoses from the chamber.
Loosen the intake snorkel clamps.
It's a tight fit. If you follow the end of the screwdriver in, you can see the gold colored clamp.
With the snorkel removed, you can see the tops of the carbs.
Remove the fuel inlet line.
Remove the throttle cable mounting braket, cables and choke valve.
Loosen the carb boot clamps.
Note that there is a choke (enrichening valve) for each carb. You can see them sticking out of the carb with a cable attached. You should now be able to carefully loosen the carbs from the boots and wrangle the unit out of the frame. I was able to remove them from the right side of the frame. Make sure you don't knock anything into the intake boots while removing the carbs. If you do, you'll have to retrieve it, and if it's small enough, it may fall into the cylinder. Now that the carbs are out it's time to install the jet kit. The first thing you should do is dump the fuel out of the float bowls. Hold the carbs over a bucket or something and move the carbs around at all angels.. the fuel will run out. Once that's done you can start by removing the cv cover. Note that it only goes on one way.
Remove the CV cover.
Gently pull the rubber away from the carb and pull the slide out.
Look down in the top of the slide and you will see a keeper that needs to come out in order to remove the needle. Use a screwdriver to turn it counter clockwise and then it should come out.
Remove this piece from the slide.
This is what you should see.
Replace the needle following the instructions provided with the jet kit. Use the clip in the recommended slot and replace the washers in the correct order.
You can see the difference between the needles.
Reinstall the plastic keeper in the slide. Very carefully replace the cv cover. Remember it and the slide only go in one way. Make sure you use the new cv springs included with the kit.
Pay attention to this tab. The slide and cover go on one way only.
Next, remove the screws that hold the float bowl on, unscrew the main jet and replace it with the one from the kit.
Replace the float bowl. The jet kit should come with a drill bit and a sheet metal screw that is used for removing the caps over the idle air mixture screw. After removing the cap, then adjust the air mixture screw to the specs in the kit.
Replace everything you removed in the same order you removed it, and you are done. Now to ride the beast and see the improvements. I'm not really a cruiser enthusiest myself. If it's your thing then that's cool. I dressed up in my full leathers complete with knee sliders and went for a "cruise". The bike had a noticeable amount of extra juice. A hill I had crested before at about 90 was easily crested doing a tad over 100. I'd guess it had about 6 or 7 more horses at it's peak. The biggest thing that was noticed though was how smooth the throttle response was. Before, when you would blip the throttle for a down shift or try and rev match the bike it would hesitate and fumble around. NOw it was smooth as butter. The exhaust note and the K&N actually made the bike more fun to ride. I felt like a rebel terrorizing the town. While I wouldn't trade the Shadow for an RC, I'd consider swapping this bike for a day or so. The mods really did increase the grin factor enough to make it fun for me.