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Old 10-28-2019, 05:54 AM   #1
Truckedup
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Default A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

As in a properly tuned stock Panhead should start in one or two kicks ? I was looking at a Pan bobber for sale...The seller seemed to know how to kick it over,like 10 times on a 60F day to get it started...He said they are all like that........So are they all like that?
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

IMO, a big factor is how long it's been since it was last run. Two days and two months wil yield different results in my garage.

Ten kicks doesn't sound out to lunch to me. Higher than I'd like, but if the compression was good, I imagine that it could be tuned back into shipshape.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

I had a kick Shovel that would start one or two kicks...Sometimes...Otherwise it was an exhausting amount of kicks..A friend has an "original" Pan and it starts on one kick when warm....I can kick start a bike ok, but I'm 72 and 170 pounds so I don't want to be there kicking away for 15 minutes...
Buying an old heap is a gift to myself and I don't want it to be a nightmare...
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

Mine has increased the number of kicks needed. When I got it in '87 1 mostly, now a few more are usual.
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

the amount of kicks is proportional to the amount of people watching - happens to me every time I say my bike starts in one or two kicks
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

3,at the most when cold.when its lukewarm,only god knows

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Old 10-28-2019, 09:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

Quote:
Buying an old heap is a gift to myself and I don't want it to be a nightmare...
You know it's gonna be one because it's an old motorcycle so prepare accordingly and get the kind of nightmare you prefer. Fit an electric start and don't fuck around unless you can guarantee you will never get sciatica, never need hip replacement, never have severe arthritis, never damage a knee, never have lower back problems, etc.

I'm 60, can still kick just fine, and will not build anything more without e-start. I planned for reality and saved my Shovel e-start parts which I reinstalled with All Balls motors but the Shovel design is inherently utter garbage so if one annoys me a late Evo Softail box will replace it and upgrade both trans and starter.

My mentor is 80, has gout so he cannot kick, and is too compulsively cheap/OCD about originality to buy e-start kits despite having plenty of money. His Vincent Rapide, 1969 Trident, 1971 Commando, and 1967 Bonneville are beautifully restored and sit idle and his 1939 Indian Chief sits unfinished. Solving that problem in advance before cognitive decline would have let him ride a few more years.

Tech Cycle make nice stuff and the Denso OSGR Light Duty is easily the best bike starter ever made with parts available world wide at most auto stores. You can run the pushbutton solenoid end cover and omit external control wiring. I have their early FXR starter and will buy their Ironhead kit when I redo that bike.

http://techcycle.com/pan-head-electric-start-kit-2/

http://techcycle.com/wp-content/uplo...structions.pdf

Last edited by farmall; 10-28-2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
the amount of kicks is proportional to the amount of people watching - happens to me every time I say my bike starts in one or two kicks



Yep that's true...my T160 will normally start on the first kick but say that out loud to anyone and it will be two or three.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

Nice looking E start kit...Perhaps I'll just stick with the old Triumphs, no problem kicking them...
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

Build it low compression, will help with the kicking, and allow regular to be used, which if you travel is way less likely to be old and gum up your carb.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

I have a stock 74" panhead.

When I was riding it daily, it was one kick to prime and one to start.

Now, after it sits for a months on end, it takes two or three primes, then two or three to start. The increase in starting kicks is likely due to my forgetting exact steps the bike likes.

This is with a Linkert carb.

To generalize, I think any bike that takes 10 kicks to start has a problem. Best case, it's just not tuned well. Worst case . . . could be anything.

No, they're not "all like that".

It's not just me being obsessive either. The people I know that really wrench and ride would all tell you the same.

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Old 10-29-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

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Originally Posted by joe49 View Post
Build it low compression, will help with the kicking, and allow regular to be used, which if you travel is way less likely to be old and gum up your carb.

I was thinking about lower compression using pistons and or cam timing....It's not like I need every ounce of power for running down the rural back roads...So you might say that easy starting is primarily kick over rpm?
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

You can certainly do low compression and the factory did back in the days of funky fuel. If you tune carefully you can even start them by hand when warm....on a good day. It impresses bystanders.
Quote:
.Perhaps I'll just stick with the old Triumphs, no problem kicking them...
Until there is a problem, so why tolerate a problem for no reason? I'm in Britbike groups too and many beautiful machines get sold because an otherwise healthy owner who had decades to fit an e-start was silly and didn't, then grieves because he's done.

The Harley world isn't nearly as full of purist wackjobs thanks to our more open minded chopper culture!

I had no problem until a chicom kicker ratchet got my knee. I was healthy, (my knee is now all better), and my kickers got Baker gears when I refitted e-starts. I really, really like backup systems and see zero reason not to build a capable bike.

A bobbed Pan has a low center of gravity so will be easy to mount with a bad back. It was designed with low compression. If any kicker bits wear out buy Baker. Their stainless kicker arms are beautiful besides not bending like ChiCom arms do under normal use.

Buy a Pan and enjoy the thing! We can't take them with us but I plan to ride to the grave because that's more fun than dying on the porch.

I'm gonna get one of these for my shop since they are awesome. I ran into an owner at last year's Norton rally who demo'ed his (he knows the maker). Ive seen several of them at Barber Vintage race pits too. If you can't bear to fit an e-start you'll be able to spin the drivetrain for troubleshooting when it does act up and ride your Triumphs longer too. Those Ford style starters are far from stock:

http://www.solodynasystems.biz/solo_..._starter_.html

Last edited by farmall; 10-29-2019 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

I don't have back, knee or hip issues so kicking isn't a big deal if the bike will start on a reasonable amount of kicks..I'm a 6 foot skinny old guy

I would never install an electric starter on a 650-750 Triumph..I like the challange of a one kick start. A properly tuned Triumph is not difficult to kick over...

I suppose I just have a look at what's out there and buy something and just deal with the kick starting..
Thanks for the tips...
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

I'd say it's an issue with the bike.. they're definitely not all like that.

My panhead had a tired top end and even with that it was 1 kick hot or cold... my 47UL is one kick hot or cold.. the secret? making sure they have no intake leaks, valve clearance and the like. All mine have been mag fired, which I've timed myself. I'd say 10 kicks is a problem personally.. with a little knowledge they arent' hard to time properly, link carbs are a little fussy but once you dial them in they run sweet.

To answer your question.. get the bike, give it a refresh and a tune, based on compression tests.. miles on the top end etc and enjoy it. Pans are fucking fine machines, probably the true sweetheart of the big twins!
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:48 AM   #16
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

prime kicks should be limited ...to many will flood , and you will need 3 more kicks to clear [ key off , choke open , full throttle ] . Prime only till you smell gas , then 1 hot kick should do it in a perfect world !
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

I have a '48 panhead with an original Sifton 412 cam, dual points, and the original Linkert carb. It starts first kick anytime(unless I get careless) I've been riding it since 1968 and many years ago I saw guys wearing out the kicker trying to start old Harleys. The main causes of hard starting are : intake manifold leaks, flooding carbs, wrong ignition timing, and wrong carb adjustments. (and fouled plugs from any/all the above)
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

It should start on a few less kicks.
Check your plugs , plug wires and points. Also check out your carb.
Decide on a method of kick starting , than try under different circumstances.
1-Drive awhile , stop, wait 5 minutes than try and start.
2-drive than let set until cool, and try and kick.
3-Let set one week and try and start.
Always use the same method. over time your will figure out what is best.You might have to modify for different circumstances.
I have a Knuck and a Pan with a S & S Super B carb, I do 2 prime kicks with the ign off , and than I turn ign on and kick. Wa-La starts every time.
S & S Super B manual has some good info in it for starting your bike.
Now my Shovelhead is a different animal all together.
What it all amounts too, is you got to know your bike. Over time you will.
Good luck
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:06 AM   #19
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Default Re: A properly tuned stock Panhead.......

if you had to kick the bejeesus to get these machines started they would have never left the showroom. Allow a bit of slack for age and mostly tinkering with parts, ie after market exhausts and carb;s but I would say 5 kicks max is reasonable, at least that's what I aim for. Only true one kick bike I have is WL45 , all stock and low compression.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:08 PM   #20
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As in a properly tuned stock Panhead should start in one or two kicks ? I was looking at a Pan bobber for sale...The seller seemed to know how to kick it over,like 10 times on a 60F day to get it started...He said they are all like that........So are they all like that?
My 65 starts in 1-5 kicks. Depends what I forget - Enrichener, kill switch, fuel.
1 kick when hot. Again depends on how many people are watching!
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