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Old 11-19-2006, 10:44 PM   #46
MotoMind
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Here is my procedure (modified from the OP), which I have gotten down
to a science since I have a bad right knee and popped my back with a
left-legged kick-start (WTF, I know), so I need to go gently, and get
it right within 3-4 tries. Think of it as kick-starting for cripples.
Might save the rest of you some energy too. So here it goes:

0) JETTING JETTING JETTING

a) GET YOUR JETTING RIGHT. A bike with proper fuel/air ratio for the
conditions will start up with even the lightest kick. You should be
using choke in the morning and have no sooting of your fender after
rides. No popping or backfiring. Poor jetting will make kickstarting a
pain.

b) Assess the air/fuel ratio for the conditions. When in doubt, start lean
(no choke) and work up from there. If needed, tune the pilot screw (I kept
a small flathead bit in my tailbag just for this, until I got the proper mix
nailed down). Remember, hot engine & hot air = less dense = richer. Cold
engine & cold air = more dense = leaner.

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) Kick a 1/8 of a turn past TDC. Get the kick-starter so it is at the
beginning of its free travel. Why do I do this? Because my goal is
to impart momentum to the piston so it fires when it comes back up,
not fight resistance at the top of the stroke. More importantly, I
want to be gentle on my knees, so starting at that point puts the hard
work at the bottom of the stroke, when my leg is mostly extended.

7) Disengage the manual decompression lever and release the kick
starter so it tops out,

8) Balance yourself evenly over the kickstart lever; if using right
leg on right starter, put your knee on the seat. Shift your weight and
lower your right leg down, and kicking with the knee. If you have
jetted properly for the conditions, it should not require much effort
at all.

9) Is it started already!?! If not, try 3 more times.

10) If it's not starting, is it sputtering (and dying) at all? If so,
you're close; tweak the fuel/air mixture as conditions suggest. E.g., when
starting cold, set the choke incrementally richer. If it does not fire
at all, start with a leaner mix, or a richer mix, as conditions
suggest. When very hot, some throttle may be needed.

11) If you can't get it in 3-4 tries, decide if you are confident
about the mix. If so, go back to step 1. If not, go to step 0. Be
scientific.

MotoMind screwed with this post 11-19-2006 at 10:52 PM
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:11 AM   #47
meat popsicle OP
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That sounds familiar.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:57 AM   #48
Fantman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMind
If you have checked over all the basic mechanical aspects of the bike(no air leaks, proper valve clearance, etc.), look at the jetting. Easy starting when cold suggests a rich mix. Do you use choke?
I use the choke when cold, not when warm.

kjw
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:09 AM   #49
MotoMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meat popsicle
That sounds familiar.
Hey, I said "modified from OP."

Let's not forget the roll start. Get a roll going in neutral, pull in decomp lever, put in 2nd gear, turn over a few times, then dump the lever and clutch in as soon as it catches. Sometimes when warm I can even clutch RIGHT when dumping the lever, since it's almost firing with the decomp in, and residual clutch drag will help it through its final motion.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:51 AM   #50
meat popsicle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMind
Hey, I said "modified from OP."

Let's not forget the roll start. Get a roll going in neutral, pull in decomp lever, put in 2nd gear, turn over a few times, then dump the lever and clutch in as soon as it catches. Sometimes when warm I can even clutch RIGHT when dumping the lever, since it's almost firing with the decomp in, and residual clutch drag will help it through its final motion.
sorry, I wasn't familiar with that abbreviation.

If I have to do anything more than the standard starting ritual I get curious and look for repairs that maintenance did not fix. Especially on a D/S adventure bike, where I will hopefully be far away from home in the lonely parts of the world which is exactly where I do not want to be trying to remember some "song n' dance" to get the beast started.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:05 AM   #51
Sniper X
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Just leave out the kick thru several times part on any XR600R and the rest is right.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:48 PM   #52
Fantman
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Kick starting a Duke

As I thought about it, I began to realize where part of my problem may lay. The battery is on it's last legs. It won't take much of a charge, and it can't generate the voltage necessary for the electric starter. Since the ignition system isn't a magneto, it stands to reason that I'm getting a weak spark also. I wasn't planning to get a new battery until spring, but methinks I will have to spring for one a bit sooner!

kjw
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:00 AM   #53
Colemanfu
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My starter went on the crapper last spring. I only kick.

For my bike 00KTM LC4e.
*minimal choke when cold
*get the kicker 1/2 way
*Give it hell

Only use the DRL if it won't go 1/2 easy.
Use the left leg when I don't want to get off.
Stand next to in and use the R most all the time.

Getting old - need to fix the starter.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #54
xtphreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantman
I recently bought a '97 Duke. The battery's a bit weak, so I have been kick starting it. It's a one-kick starter when cold, but when warm it can be a bear. I reviewed this thread and tried all recommendations, but nothing made it easier to start when warm. Any suggestions? The bike's only got 6000 miles on it, has a Delsnorto carb and Supertrapp pipe.The bike's been a bit neglected. I've been slowly going through it but haven't got to valves or spark plug yet.

TIA,

kjw
provided everything is right, the one kick cold says probably is, I found on the XT500 if I stalled it hot, to just hold the decomp and kick fast 5-6 times to clear the cylinder/plug, release and repeat the standard ritual NO THROTTLE
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:36 PM   #55
XRNovice
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Kick Startin' the Beast

I have a 86' Honda XR600R.
If it takes a few seconds for the idle to come down to normal, does that
indicate a lean mixture or rich???

Which jet would it be?

With the standard starting method, should she give me an indication of firing, cause she won't even sputter!

I have to hold the decomp in and release at a precise moment while I'm kicking, and she will then fire.

Is this normal?

Should have bought a XL
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Motorcycles owned currently:
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Dream bike:
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:13 PM   #56
southpaw
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silly question...

for a total n00b -

what is the manual decompression lever?

and where is it located?

thanks,
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:58 PM   #57
xtphreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpaw
for a total n00b -

what is the manual decompression lever?

and where is it located?

thanks,
hello total N00b

welcome

fill outcher profile so we know what kinda bike we're talking about

post pics of tits (female ...wife/GF/neighbor)

now go get me a beer and some nachos, stat




some bikes have [gag] automatic compression releases

some don't have 'em a-tall

hence the request to fill outcher profile or at least mention what the fark yer talking about
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Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlen
Adventure is discomfort recounted at leisure. Flash / GSWayne
Chrome don't get ya home. Rob Nye
Stamp Out Hoplophobia in Our lifetimes.
1999 Tiger 885
1995 XT600E
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:27 AM   #58
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtphreak
some bikes have [gag] automatic compression releases
some don't have 'em a-tall
OK, so what's the secret for kicking bikes with an automatic compression release? My wife's KLR250 kicks very easy, but doesn't start worth a damn. I've read how easy it is to start. Her's doesn't seem to be. If I put in a new plug, starts first kick. After that first kick it's a true nightmare to start.

We had it re-jetted for altitude and it runs better but doesn't start any easier. Suggestions?

(And, yes, I accept that a KLR250 is not a "beast".)
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:47 AM   #59
XRNovice
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Cry Kick starting

Can anybody answer my questions on the XR?

I have a 86' Honda XR600R.
If it takes a few seconds for the idle to come down to normal, does that
indicate a lean mixture or rich???

Which jet would it be?

With the standard starting method, should she give me an indication of firing, cause she won't even sputter!

I have to hold the decomp in and release at a precise moment while I'm kicking, and she will then fire.

Is this normal?

Should have bought a XL
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Motorcycles owned currently:
Two 75', 76' Honda CB400F Super Sports, 1984 Honda V30 Interceptor 500, 1986 Modded Honda XR600R, Motorcycles owned past:
1981 CB650C, Two 1982 GL500 Silverwing Interstate's, 1978 Hondamatic Hawk Type II, 1982 KZ550 A3
Dream bike:
1989 Honda Hurricane 600
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:01 PM   #60
jonpcovington
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Northern NV
Oddometer: 994
'67 XLCH Spo\rtster.

I bought a '77 XT500 brand new, and figured I could start ANYTHING after my experiences with my '67 XLCH Sportster. Now THERE was a togh-startin' motorsickle! It had a Fairbanks-Morse magnato, and the spark was weak on start/ So you really had to throw you weight into it, both to spin it hard enough to start, and follow through all the way to the bottom or it would throw you over the bars. But the really bad part was that about every 10 kicks or so, totally at random intervals, the kicker wouldn't engage and it would drop through with no resistance and bend your kicking knee bacward what felt like 6". The knee doesn't like that very much, and you'd spend 5 minutesleaning on a wall, holding your knee and cussing. And the beast wouldn't start at all at less than 40 degrees unless you towed it about 40 mph. Plus your left grip controlled spark retard, just to complicate things more.

So I didn't bother to learn to start my new thumper 'til I trucked it home. 45 minutes later, I finally called the shop I'd bought it from and begged for help. They told me to follow the procedure in the manual, and DON'I give it gas. So I read about the dot and acquainted myself with the compression release, and finally got the hang of it.

Pretty soon, I didn't need the dot anymore , and worked up a procedure pretty much as has been described in this thread.

I've been riding thumpers ever since, and it's gotten to be second nature, I don't even have to think about it. I could start my 50+ hp race motor (SR500 for the bigger valves and electronic ignition, set in a TT500 frame and the suspension off of my Z-1, 38mm carb ported head, 12.5:1 compression ) with my hand on the kicker.

Now I ride a Duke II, and have never had to kick it yet, but I do believe I could figure it out. I also have an NX650 that has no kick start, and an XR400 that is a bitch to start. I recently read somewhere on the web that the XR has a resistor plug cap that can give trouble starting. Apparently, you can reach inside the plug cap with a screwdriver and unscrew the guts, replacing the resistor with a piece of stainless rod and reassemble it. I haven't done this yet, but it certainly sounds plausible. I will probably get to it this weekend.

Oh, by the way, I have found that a hot restart, especially after a fall, is best dealt with by shutting off the gas tap. then hold the throttle wide open, engage the decompression lever, and jick it through about a half-dozen full kicks to clean out the combustion chamber. It will probably go "WHUMP" out the exhaust while you're kicking it through. This is good, it's the excess gas burning in you exhaust. Then revert to "the procedure" and it will start right up. When it starts, don't forget to turn the gas back on.
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