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explain reeds to me plz

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Im new to 2 strokes and dirt bikes, i'm just wondering about them and what there function is. What are characteristics of reeds that should be replaced..  

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Reeds work as an intake valve on a 2 stroke. When the motor sucks in air/fuel it pulls the reeds open. When the piston returns the air that is pushed out goes through the exhaust pipe, because your reeds stop it from going back into the carb.

 

Reeds that need to be replaced show sings of wear. So either around the edges, could be a cracked reed, sometimes you will see a small gap between the reed and the reed cage. In that case sometimes you can flip the reed over and get some extra live but it needs replacing eventually.

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in my experience a broken reed will lead to almost impossible starting conditions, and extremely poor running. reeds are the one way valve in a 2 stroke that keep the fuel charge from being pushed back out the carb instead of into the cylinder...

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