I started messing with carburetors on my first car, some weird Stromberg things, which made me appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the Holley double-pumper on my next car, which led me to an appreciation of all the geniuses behind nearly all the stuff we use every day. I know enough about how carburetors work now to make my R1 run okay, and to appreciate how much better it runs when an expert tunes them. I’m eternally grateful carburetors are obsolete on my transportation appliances.
But now that the electronic age is here to stay, I love the interplay of all the brass jets and needles and springs (especially when somebody else is doing the playing), but mostly because I know more about how carburetors work than my kid – who knows more about practically everything else. My 2000 R1, last year before EFI, has taken on a slight steam-age museum quality. Someday they’ll have to drag me out of the care facility to blow out the pilot jets and get it to start.