Lectron 38HV Carburetor Review


Words & Photos by Rob “The Rake” Dunnet

With most racers riding fuel injected four strokes and the rise of KTM and Husqvarna’s TPI bikes on the enduro scene, there isn’t much reason to be dealing with jets and needles anymore. Despite the advances in technology, there are still a lot of riders who are fans of carburetors, riders who don’t mind adjusting needles, jets and mixing fuel. But like me, there are a lot of riders who are tired of dealing with jets and needles.

I spent most of the spring and summer changing out needles and jets trying to get my 2013 KTM 300 XCW to run right. I was constantly taking the carb off my bike, cleaning it and making small adjustments. I was fed up with it and decided that it was time to try a carburetor that self-adjusts. After researching the two most common smart carb brands, I decided to order myself a Lectron 38HV.

Would a new carb solve my issues? Let’s find out.

Lectron 38HV Carburetor Review

The Lectron 38HV uses an adjustable metering rod instead of needles and jets. The carb has a tapered bore that squeezes the air as it enters the carburetor and creates fuel lift behind the flat metering rod. The Lectron is easy to adjust and claims to improve performance and fuel economy, all while making power delivery smoother.

The Lectron comes with a throttle cable as the stock throttle cable doesn’t work with the Lectron carburetor. Installation of both the carburetor and the throttle cable was relatively simple. The Lectron carb is a bit longer front to back than the stock carburetor that came with my bike. This extra length caused some fitment problems with my air box and air box cover. As a temporary solution I pulled everything back into place with zip ties. I rode the bike like this for a couple of months before searching the internet for a more permanent solution.

After searching a couple of KTM forums I found the solution is to cut the air boot back to the second flange. It took an hour or so to trim my air boot and reinstall everything. I was a little bit worried about the air boot to carburetor connection and I have been paying close attention to it. It doesn’t seem to be causing a problem but I may end up ordering another air boot and making a different shaped cut to it so there is more material at the bottom of the air boot where it connects to the carburetor. The cut solved the air box and air box cover problem and everything snaps into place like it did with the stock carb.

Lectron 38HV Carburetor Review

As I said before, I spent months with my KTM 300 not riding the way that I wanted it to. The throttle response was weak, and the bike bogged down when I pulled hard on the throttle. The bike would go from running rich to running lean with the smallest of changes. During this time, I rode from Squamish British Columbia to the high deserts of Bend, Oregon in a huge variety of temperatures. No matter what I did the bike was a disappointment. I wanted to be scared of it, but with the carb performing the way it was there wasn’t enough power to scare a kitten.

I instantly noticed a huge change on my KTM 300. The Lectron 38HV made throttle response crisp, and the bike pulled hard in ever gear. The first ride with the Lectron was a new experience for me and this bike. It was easy to get the front tire up over obstacles and there was more than enough low-end grunt to pull me up the steepest of hills. What was most surprising to me was the speed that came when holding the bike wide open in sixth.

Lectron 38HV Carburetor Review

Since installing the Lectron 38HV carburetor I have ridden at a number of different elevations and in a number of different temperatures. The carburetor adjusts well to the changes and when it doesn’t, adjusting the metering rod is a lot simpler than changing jets and needles. Simply turn the metering rod in or out depending on whether the bike is running rich or lean. And because my bike is running better, I have noticed that I am also burning less fuel on my rides.

My only real complaint about the Lectron is the choke position. It is on the opposite side of the stock choke, meaning that it is behind the kick starter and the pipe. It is not a major problem but after riding four strokes for years I am always worried about reaching my fingers around the pipe. The heat on the two-stroke pipe isn’t like that of a four stroke but I am always a bit worried when pushing the choke back in.

The Wolf’s Last Word

There were many steps and days taken before resorting to the Lectron 38HV carburetor. My KTM 300 ran lean, didn’t have the power or throttle response and regularly required tinkering as I traveled to higher and lower elevations. When changing needles and jets didn’t solve the problem, I rebuilt my carburetor. Soon it seemed that I had my carburetor off after ever ride. I was spending more time messing around with my carb and less time riding. I got fed up with my bike underperforming and I rode less than I ever have before. No matter how much research I did on carb issues and jetting it was always a guessing game to me. The Lectron 38HV has taken the guessing away and my bike is running better than ever. The power delivery is predictable and consistent. I am riding more and enjoying the time I am riding a lot more.

The Lectron 38HV carburetor isn’t for everyone, just like two strokes aren’t for everyone. I see a lot of benefits to riding two strokes and until I can afford to buy a TPI-equipped bike, the Lectron will be staying on my bike as long as I own it.

Price: $475
Website: Lectronfuelsystems.com

We Dig

Self Adjusting
No Jets
No Needles
Easy Adjustments

We Don’t

It’s Expensive
Choke Position


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