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Yes, I must admit that it more and more sounds like a carburettor problem. I came to think about when I helped a friend to start his newly renovated BSA. With a newly overhauled AMAL carb it took rivers of sweat to get it started, and it wouldn’t pick up revs. In desperation the old tatty Gurtner (german AMAL copy) that was fitted when he bought the bike was refitted. And to our great surprise the BSA was running sweet as a nut!
You’re probably on the right track with trying to borrow a carb that’s tested and OK.
As one man told me: as long there is spark and petrol any old engine should start. And I myself could add: petrol in somewhat near right quantities!
I have never tried a Binks carb, so I can not give any advice about that subject.
Good luck with the experiments!