What Causes Engine Bogging?

When a motorcycle, ATV or side-by-side engine is bogging, what could be the cause? The air-fuel ratio is where you want to look, specifically the carburetor. 

Partzilla's resident powersports pro John Talley goes live on our YouTube channel every Friday at 3pm Eastern, and in this session, John was asked what could cause an engine to bog. Here’s what John had to say about engine bogging as it relates to the carburetor.  

Engine bogging causes carburetor

Engine Bogging Causes

What causes engine bogging? I’ve cleaned the carb a few times now. It idles fine but then bogs down when you snap the throttle. 

John Talley: Well, it’s a double-edged sword. It could either be a lean bog or a rich bog. At any rate, the air-fuel ratio it’s looking for is not being met, either because you don’t have enough air or you don’t have enough fuel. So, if you’re telling me you’ve gone through and rebuilt or cleaned the carburetor, chances are you didn’t make any other adjustments and you put your air/fuel screw out the correct number of turns that you counted in, then it’s probably, more than likely, you’ve partially bent the tab on the float bowl and that would mean it’s not getting enough fuel. So that would be the first place I would look. It depends on which make and model you’re dealing with, because you didn’t tell me … You want to see if your float level comes up to where the base of the carburetor bowl meets the base of the carburetor itself. So that’s typically where you want the level to be. But once again, it’s either not enough air or not enough fuel. That’s what causes bogging, the short answer. Which one? Well, you’re going to have to do some digging to figure it out.  

PJ1 carb and choke cleaner spray

Buy powersports vehicle carb components

Watch the video below for tips on whether to clean, rebuild or replace a carburetor.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.



Why Partzilla?

Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the powersports industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies