No starter just KICK!!!

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by purplehazeultra, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. purplehazeultra

    purplehazeultra Active Member

    Thought of this other night thought I would share. When I was around 18 my brother had a 69 Harley (kick start only sporty). I had a Yamaha 650 sorry back then no cash for a Harley. Well I was around 125lbs and had a hard time starting this bike(only tried once or twice). One day my brother jumps on my bike and said lets go. Well I said start this hog for me he blurts out NO if you want to ride a Harley learn how to start one. So tried about three time or so and the last time I didn't follow through and bike kicked back and off I went. There I lay on the ground holding me knee with tears in my eyes:bigsmiley15::bigsmiley15: with my brother taking of on my bike:lolrolling:lolrolling. Ever since that day I have the fear of a kick start Harley. Anyone else out there have the same fear??
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Although i have never had a kick start Harley i have had a few kick start only bikes there is a technique to kick starting a large engined bike
    But keeping the the points gap and ignition timing spot on helps a lot as the points cam follower will wear down fairly quickly and this will in effect retard the ignition timing and make the bike harder to start
    weekly check of the points gap and a thin smear of grease on the points cam would give longer life to the points and keep starting down to 1 or 2 kicks once you get to know your bike and it's starting needs

  3. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Those old HD's truly loved to kick back & I'm one to say...don't miss it one bit. Not the same deal, but got tired kicking my son's Honda XR100 started a few years back & had flashbacks to days when electric start was a luxury on m/c. Still shutter when I see an old cruiser w/kick (ouch).
  4. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I was recently at a dive with a bunch of bikers and we were getting ready to leave and there was a poor soul in the parking lot kick starting a bike and it turned into entertainment for everybody around. A crowd gathered and there were bets being placed on the number of kicks it would take etc. It was hard to watch. I dont remember what the number of kicks it took but it was well past twenty!

    I had a neighbor once with a Servi-car HD. I dont remember the what motor it had in it but it was his wife's ride. She was 100lbs. soaking wet and she could never start that thing when it was cold. I had to start it for her a lot. It had what I believe was the timing adjustment on the handlebar so it wouldn't buck you off when you kicked it!

  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Sportster kickers have the evil kick start reputation because the engagement cogs are very thin and slip. My current shovel is kick only. Often it starts on the 1st kick (prime kick doesn't count). If it doesn't fire on the 3rd kick, I have to clear it out and start the procedure over. If that don't work, I'll ride it "later".

    It's a fact that the stubbornness of a Harley to kick start is directly proportional to the number of onlookers. Hot chicks count double. :bigsmiley24:
  6. Ultra Classic

    Ultra Classic Member

    My neighbor across the street from me has a kick start on his harley as well as an electric start. When i asked him if he tried starting it with the kick start he replied by saying," I'm to afraid to!"
  7. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

    Back in 1973 me and a buddy both bought Sportster's. He opted for the kick start model, said he wanted to be a "purist" as I recall, and I paid $100.00 more and went with the electric model. Glad I did because I can't tell you how many times I'd be waiting for him to get his bike started after our rounds of bar hopping. Then to add insult ti injury, he would show me the big bruises on his leg the next day at work! Ouch!
  8. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    I don't know why but I've always wanted an old kick start Harley. I'm too young (28) to remember the kick start days. Maybe they were a pain at times but if you ask me that's what Harley is all about. Part of the beauty in a motorcycle is in it's simplicity. The less features you have on it the better.
    One of these days I would love to get my hands on an old shovel head or pan head.
  9. gator508

    gator508 Well-Known Member

    No fear, but a related story. My 74 Yamaha 360 was kick and sometimes didn't like being kicked, but would usually start on #1 or 2.
    Fast forward 30+ years, I went looking for my first Harley. An 05 sportster, used, at a car dealer. wanted to take it out for test ride, I asked the saleman, were is the kick start, he chuckled, and replied, "it's been awhile since you've ridden."
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Never been afraid of them, Back in the day I built a 96 inch sidewinder stroker shovel for a friend, He said I would never kick it to life, HA HA, one prime kick and it started on the second kick always, and I weigh in at 145:s I see Baker has kibkers for late models HMMMMM, always a good thing when the battery is a bit low