The ol’ ATC Gets a New Carburetor

Projects, Up North

Our ancient Honda ATC 90 3-wheeler has needed some help for a while.  It hasn’t been run in a few years, mainly due to carburetor issues.  The 36 year old carburetor suffered from a sunken float, flooding the poor machine and dripping gasoline on anybody that attempted to ride it.  My motorbike projects from the past few years took priority, so the poor little ATC sat, neglected – until now.

I ordered a new aftermarket carburetor last week – only $49.  It’s slightly different from the original, and has a slightly larger capacity, but my research suggested that it’s the recommended replacement for the ATC 90.  With the body shell and fuel tank removed, I took the opportunity to clean the machine and replace the air filter.  I also lubricated the chain – something that probably hasn’t ever been done.

This ATC always seemed to lean to one side.  I had always attributed that to the mismatched rear tires, but even after I put new tires on it 4 years ago, it still seemed to lean a bit.  I studied the tires and wheels and it finally hit me – the front wheel is different than the two rear hubs, and they’re in the wrong positions.  The front rim was mounted at the rear right side.  Once I moved the wheels to the correct positions, the ATC sat level for the first time that I could recall.  That should help it steer straight, and it looks much better.

After the fuel tank was cleaned and refilled with fresh gasoline, I connected the fuel lines to the carburetor and switched it on.  I set the choke, pulled the starter rope, and after two tugs, it started.  I adjusted the idle setting, and the bike settled into a nice, relaxed rumble.

I had to re-learn the shift pattern of this machine – neutral is all the way up, and the 4 forward gears are all down from there.  I rode the ATC to the beach for a test drive, and it worked perfectly.  The engine has plenty of power, so the new carburetor did the trick.  Perhaps next on the list is a new aftermarket generic headlight to replace the damaged original.  This loyal little machine deserves it.