When you think of motorcycles, one of the first brands that come to mind is Harley Davidson and for good reason – Harleys are some of the best bikes on the market. They’re American as apple pie, comfortable to ride, and sound incredible.
For the performance-oriented riders, the most popular choice is the 1200 Sportster. This bike is built for speed, and it definitely has the power to back it up.
But what if you want to squeeze even more power out of your 1200 Sportster? If that’s the case, you need a new carburetor!
Here are the three best carburetors for 1200 Sportster right now.
The 3 Best Carbs for 1200 Sportster
|1. Mikuni TM42-6||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. JIK HSR42 42mm Carb||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Autoparts CV40||Check Price On Amazon|
1. Mikuni TM42-6 – Best Performance
Mikuni carburetors are some of the best on the market. They’re known for their precise Japanese engineering, high performance, and sound – they can definitely make your 1200 Sportster even faster. If you’re looking to upgrade your bike, a Mikuni carburetor is definitely the way to go!
Luckily, the TM42-6 fits perfectly into the stock intake manifold – it’s a match made in heaven. With that said, you will need an adapter (HS42/001 – costs ~20 bucks) to fit the EOM Sportster air filter, but that is a small price for a Mikuni carb on your 1200 Sportster.
Now, let’s get to the business. The TM42-6 flows 213 CFM – that’s 17 CFM more than the TM40-6, which is also a great carb for power.
Mikuni claims that the TM42-6 gives a 25% power improvement over stock CV carbs, and it certainly feels like it. The 1200 Sportster definitely feels more alive and zippy with this carb installed and it starts much better while cold. We definitely noticed a significantly better throttle response.
If your 1200 Sportster has better cams, polished ports, etc., then you will be blown away by the difference that the TM42-6 makes. This carb flows much more than the stock CV carb and it certainly feels like it.
To that end, if you’re looking for the most power and reliability then the Mikuni TM42-6 is the obvious choice. I mean, come on – it’s a Mikuni for God’s sake.
2. JIK HSR42 42mm Carb – Best Value
But what if you’re short on cash, yet still want to have the Mikuni TM42-6 on your 1200 Sportster? In that case, JIK HSR42 might be the answer for you.
The JIK HSR42 is a Chinese copy of the TM42-6, and it’s surprisingly well done. The build quality is surprisingly good and it comes with everything you need to install it.
The JIK HSR42 flows 206 CFM – that’s just 7 CFM less than the Mikuni TM42-6. In other words, it’s basically the same carburetor. The performance is also very similar – we didn’t really notice any difference between the two.
The JIK HSR42 is also considerably cheaper than the Mikuni TM42-6, so if you’re on a budget it’s definitely worth considering.
3. Autoparts CV40 Replacement Carb – Best Replacement
We’ve covered the best performance carbs for the 1200 Sportster, and now it’s time for the best replacement for the OEM CV40.
The Autoparts CV40 carb is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a replacement that’s just as good as the OEM carb, but without spending a fortune.
The Autoparts CV40 flows 190 CFM – that’s 5 CFM more than the stock CV carb, and it’s also jetted properly from the factory. It comes with everything you need to install it, and it’s a direct replacement for the OEM CV40.
Obviously, it’s also made in China, but it’s inexpensive and gets the job done. If your stock CV40 was bad and not running properly, then you will most definitely be pleasantly surprised once you start your 1200 Sportster for the first time after replacing it with the Autoparts CV40 copy.
With that said, if your stock CV40 was still good, then don’t expect any noticeable changes in power or throttle response – it’s just an inexpensive replacement for the original carb.
Things to Look for When Buying the Best Carb for 1200 Sportster
Now that you have seen the three best carburetors for the Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster, it’s time to talk about what to look for when shopping for one.
The first thing you need to decide is what kind of performance you’re looking for. If you just want a replacement for the OEM CV40 that’s just as good, then the Autoparts CV40, or any similar Chinese copy is a great choice.
If you’re looking for more power and better throttle response, then either the Mikuni TM42-6 or JIK HSR42 will do the trick. Just remember that both of those carbs are considerably more expensive than the Autoparts CV40.
A more expensive and well-made carburetor will be more or less tuned and ready to be installed in your motorcycle without the need for any adjustments.
However, if you’re on a budget, then you might want to consider a less expensive option that will require some tuning.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to tune a carburetor, and there are plenty of resources available online to help you. Just remember that it’s important to get the mixture right – too rich and you’ll foul your plugs, too lean and you’ll damage your engine.
It’s also important to make sure that the carb you’re buying will fit your motorcycle. The best way to do this is to check the compatibility list on the manufacturer’s website, or simply measure the carb’s intake diameter to make sure it’s the same size as the one on your motorcycle.
The build quality is also important, especially if you’re looking at the Mikuni TM42-6 or JIK HSR42. Both of those carbs are similarly performance-oriented, but the original Mikuni TM42-6 is made with more precise tolerances and from better materials, therefore the Japanese-made Mikuni TM42-6 is obviously superior to its Chinese counterpart, but that doesn’t mean that the JIK HSR42 is a bad carb.
In fact, we were quite surprised by how well made it was, considering its low price. Just remember that if you’re looking for the best quality, then the Mikuni TM42-6 is the obvious choice.
Another important thing to look for is the warranty. If you’re looking at the Mikuni TM42-6, then you’re obviously covered by Mikuni’s excellent warranty.
However, if you’re looking at the JIK HSR42 or Autoparts CV40, then you’re not going to get the same kind of coverage. That’s not to say that those carbs are bad – they’re actually quite good – but just keep in mind that you’re not going to get the same kind of coverage if something goes wrong.
Finally, you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on a carburetor. If you’re on a tight budget, then you might want to look for a Chinese copy of a known carburetor, like the JIK HSR42.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, then you should definitely go with the more popular and reputable manufacturer, like Mikuni or S&S.
Benefits of Having the Best Carburetor for HD Sportster 1200
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a carburetor, it’s time to talk about the benefits of having the best carburetor for your 1200 Sportster.
Better Cold Starts
If you live in a place where it gets chilly, then you know how frustrating it is to try to start your motorcycle when the temperature is cold.
A good carburetor will make it much easier to start your motorcycle in cold weather, and you won’t have to worry about flooding the engine or discharging your battery with the starter.
A good carburetor will also improve the performance of your motorcycle, and you’ll notice a difference in the way it rides. You’ll have better throttle response and more torque, and your motorcycle will feel more responsive overall.
Better Fuel Economy
Finally, a good carburetor will also improve your fuel economy & emissions. You’ll be helping not only your wallet but the environment as well. What’s not to love?
There you have it – everything you need to know about the best carburetors for Harley Davidson Sportster 1200. We hope you found this article helpful, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thanks for reading!
Jake is the site’s primary contributor.
Motorcycles and automotive repair have been a big part of his family for generations, therefore it’s only natural that he decided to become a heavy-duty diesel tech.
Outside of work, you’ll find Jake restoring and riding rare street bikes and ATVs.