(Editor's note: posted this in Blood Sweat and Gears, didn't get one bite, only 50 nibbles... is it a lonely place or does everyone already know this stuff?)
I have seen information here and there on kick starting bikes (usually when someone is complaining about having to...
) but never a dedicated thread. That and owner's manuals never seem to cover it well enough.
So I thought I would post this method taught to me by a friend who used to restore Husky's. In his obsessive/compulsive anal-sadistic ways he developed a system for kick starting large thumpers. It works like a charm on my 03 KTM 640 Adventure - easy as pushin' the button.
This was key just this week when turning on the key gave me nada - a sign of my ongoing problem (to be fixed tommorow
). So here it is - what do you think?
And please, answer truthfully. This is for posterity...
Kick starting thumpers
Before anything else: is the bike on and out of gear? Kill switch set to run? Choked if cold? Remember to not touch the throttle!
Good, now stand on the same side as your kick starter, lean the bike towards you slightly, and:
1) Engage manual decompression lever,
2) Kick thru several times with decompression engaged to get a fresh charge in the cylinder,
3) Disengage the manual decompression lever,
4) Lightly push the kick starter down until it engages the compression stroke (won't go down further),
5) Engage the manual decompression lever again,
6) Note: some of this step is KTM LC4 specific so you may need to experiment with other bikes. If you have e-start,
gently push the kick starter down one more inch (stop!
) to get the stroke past TDC reducing the compression for the kick start. If you don't then leave the engine a TDC (no extra inch!)
7) Disengage the manual decompression lever and release the kick starter so it tops out,
8) (Get Ready) Hop up and bring your weight down on the kick starter. Violence is not necessary, just a complete kick thru. If you give it a half-hearted, sissy-la-la, titsie-baby, candy-ass, rooty-poop kick... and don't reach the bottom, that the motor will take offense and try to put your knee thru your nose
. Also, use whatever foot you prefer, and stop asking me to specify... user preference
9) Is it started already!?!
Mine starts very easily this way; even the actual kick was easy! Replaces cursing with a smile. It only took my friend a year of troubleshooting to refine this method...
The fresh charge might be one of the keys, but I think that #6 is the real key; this puts the piston just past TDC so that the piston is past the compression portion of the stroke
. Even a high compression 600+ cc thumper is easy with this method.
PS - the LH kick doesn't bother me a bit.
what all the fuss is about...