Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: North Vancouver
Year/Make/Model: 2005 Vulcan 800 Classic
Things are not hopeless! Firstly, if there was shmoo in the carb bowl then there is probably some in the tank, petcock and possibly the fuel line. The "proper" thing to do would be clean those three items and put in fresh gas so you know you're not dirtying up your carbs over and over again. If you don't want to clean the tank and petcock yet then my vote is get an in-line fuel filter and put it between the petcock and the carb. Secondly, the actual issue of having a leaking carb, it sound like your float needle is missing the rubber tip! That is the part that seals the supply of gas when the level in the bowl is full, so it would definitely cause a leak if it's not sealing. I would call a local motorcycle shop and ask how much a rebuild kit is. They can usually get aftermarket parts, but they might need to order genuine parts. Other than that, there is always eBay. In regards to the missing screw, mine actually was also missing a screw when I took it apart for my airbox mod. I went to a local fastener supply store and picked up a few stainless allan head screws to replace all 4. Take one out and bring it with you so you get the correct thread pitch and length.
Never argue with a fool: onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.