By James Parchman
[This Morgan’s Carbtune Pro Mechanical Manometer Review was originally published in the January 2008 issue of Rider magazine]
Modern multicylinder motorcycles typically have several carburetors or are fuel injected via throttle bodies. Carbureted or injected, if your bike has more than one fuel feeder, synchronization is a necessary ingredient in keeping the machine operating at an even purr.
There are a variety of options in synchronizing devices, from homemade to high-tech. We evaluated the Morgan Carbtune Pro. Technically this device is a mechanical manometer; no electrical connections are involved. Originally developed in 1979, the first Carbtune incorporated mercury as the operating medium. This toxic chemical was replaced with stainless steel rods in the Carbtune Pro. Connected to your machine, engine vacuum moves the rods vertically within plastic columns. When your bike’s carbs or throttle bodies are synchronized, the rods rise and fall in unison as the throttle is blipped.
We tested the Carbtune Pro on several carbureted and fuel-injected motorcycles and found it worked flawlessly. The actual sync procedure is something 99 percent of motorcycle owners can easily handle, at least after the first experience. The EPA has made fuel mixtures on modern systems difficult to manually manipulate; most of the screws you see are for removal, synching or idle adjustment. Accessing the vacuum connections on our Suzuki V-Strom required removing bodywork. First synch took an hour, with most of the time for plastic R&R. Leaving vacuum hoses connected (tie-wrap and plug the ends) should reduce the next session to about 15 minutes. Morgan’s website contains links for specific sync procedures for many motorcycles. Note that the ‘Tune Pro won’t work on six-cylinder Honda Gold Wings.
The Carbtune Pro is available in two- and four-column versions. The quad offers the greatest flexibility. Morgan also offers a variety of fuel-system-related tools and accessories via its website and dealer network.
Morgan Carbtune Ltd. is located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but don’t let the distance deter you. We ordered direct from Sean Morgan and received the ‘Tune Pro within a week, at a bargain shipping rate of about $6. The current exchange rate has increased prices of all European products, but considering that the cost of a couple of shop synching sessions pays for this $87-$112 instrument, it seems a worthwhile investment in the quest for mechanical smoothness.
For more information contact Morgan Carbtune Ltd., Unit 33W, Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend Street, Belfast BT13 2ES, United Kingdom; 44 2890 239007; www.carbtune.com