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TI_Tuesday
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cold or hot start troubles? did it just start giving you problems, did you change something recently? dont tell me you washed it?!! :D

outside of that, the usual...ignition off, a few prime kicks, a couple squirts of fuel, ignition on...and kick!

it seems like every bike has a different starting routine...it just may take some time and patients to find yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it's new, I have got it busted off 4 times now but what a bitch.
tom said:
cold or hot start troubles? did it just start giving you problems, did you change something recently? dont tell me you washed it?!! :D

outside of that, the usual...ignition off, a few prime kicks, a couple squirts of fuel, ignition on...and kick!

it seems like every bike has a different starting routine...it just may take some time and patients to find yours.
 

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My usual cold start routine with my shovel: choke on, 2 pumps of gas holding the throttle open on the second pump, 2 slow kicks with the ignition off, ignition on and kick it good. With my bike at least, if it doesn't start by the second kick, it's not going to and I have to switch to my magic button for back up(electric starter). I'm only about 135 LBS, so I sometimes can't kick it hard enough to start. Kicking is more fun though, and it's good excercise:)
 

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It sounds like you don't have the ignition timing retarded enough. On my 56 Pan/shovel, having the timing off by just a little makes it miserable to live with. I'm fairly stock and run a Bendix carb. The cold routine is - Gas on, key off, throttle closed, full choke, three kicks, push the choke in just a little, three more kicks, leave the throttle alone, retard the distributor, key on, and it usually starts in one to three kicks. Choke 3/4 off, distributor advanced, let it warm up for a little bit, choke all the way off. Good to go.. Points @ .022 plugs @ .028..
 

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PONY said:
The cold routine is - Gas on, key off, throttle closed, full choke, three kicks, push the choke in just a little, three more kicks, leave the throttle alone, retard the distributor, key on, and it usually starts in one to three kicks. Choke 3/4 off, distributor advanced, let it warm up for a little bit, choke all the way off. Good to go..
How long did you try to find THIS routine...?
 

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The choke settings and timing are fairly common for old kick start harleys. How many kicks at each setting are trial and error. Some bikes like a lot more gas than others. Once you get the ignition timming and plugs correct. The routine usually takes a week of daily riding to figure out. When hot you should be able to turn the gas on, retard the dist, don't touch the gas and have it fire in one kick. But BEER messes the whole routine up!!
 

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On a cold engine, first you gotta prime the engine. Depends on what carb you have. It's pretty obvious that if you have a Linkert, S&S L or B, or an other carb without an acc. pump that it's not gonna do any good to twist the throttle to prime the engine. On these, I usually close the choke, or open the enrichment valve, and kick it thru a few times with the throttle completely closed. Then bring the engine up against compression with the key off. Retard the distributor, turn on the ignition, barely crack the throttle (most of the time, but you gotta figure out what your engine likes here) and kick it like you hate it. If it doesn't start, bring it up on compression again (you might turn the switch off until you figure out if the engine is gonna spit back when your doing this) and kick it again. If the engine ever spits or coughs go to step one and start over. On an engine with a acc pump on the carb, just give the throttle a couple of twists on the first step and then kick it thru a couple of times to prime it. If the engine doesn't start after a couple of tries you might have it flooded. You need to open the throttle all the way and try again.
On a warm engine, you should be able to retard the distributor, hit the switch and kick it thru with the throttle closed.
Like most everyone has said, every engine is a little different and it just takes time to find just the right combo. If it doesn't start, try something different.
Couple of things to remember, always bring the engine up on compression before you kick it and DON'T lock you knee when you kick it thru. If the starter rachet slips or the engine kicks back, it causes great pain to the leg and sometimes to the pocketbook.
Just my .02 (looks more like ,04) worth,
Larry T

Just thought of one other thing, think positive. If you don't think it's gonna start, then it's not gonna. Karma and all that stuff. (G)
 

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Atomic Custom
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Every bike will act differently and require a different sequence to start. This is for a cold motor with S&S E carb and magneto ignition.. (thats how I run everything I build). My experience is with 74 up to 103" big twins, as well as 45" Flatties.

On Shovels (and STD Panheads) I have found the start routine to be the same:
1) Ignition off, enrichener up (S&S E carb), two twists of the throttle, two kicks to prime.
2) Ignition on, enrichener just barely open. Kick like you mean it..

For real Panheads:
1) Ignition on, enrichener up (S&S E), two twists of the throttle, kick like you mean it.

For Flatheads:
1) Just kick it, it wont bite!
 

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TI_Tuesday
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Tim, another thing that may help while you are trying to find your routine...dont try to kick it from the top, a couple small cranks to build compression, then take the kicker arm just past 9:00 and kick through holding it to the floor until the motor stops turning or she starts. this may help avoid some of the kickbacks.
 

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Atomic Custom
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rockymtnpits said:
Every bike will act differently and require a different sequence to start. This is for a cold motor with S&S E carb and magneto ignition.. (thats how I run everything I build). My experience is with 74 up to 103" big twins, as well as 45" Flatties.

On Shovels (and STD Panheads) I have found the start routine to be the same:
1) Ignition off, enrichener up (S&S E carb), two twists of the throttle, two kicks to prime.
2) Ignition on, enrichener just barely open. Kick like you mean it..

For real Panheads:
1) Ignition on, enrichener up (S&S E), two twists of the throttle, kick like you mean it.

For Flatheads:
1) Just kick it, it wont bite!
PS.. If your carb and timing arent setup correctly, no method in the world will make it start.
 

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Tiny Member
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rockymtnpits said:
PS.. If your carb and timing arent setup correctly, no method in the world will make it start.
This was/is the case w/ my Pan. Don't be afraid to seek out an old timer...preferably someone who works solely on old bikes for a living. If you aren't getting it w/ the normal routine, something is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have an hsr 42mm, with an SS adapter it's a pretty neat set up. I made a hold bracket of the top manifold bolt. Yes who ever mentioned the 9oclock kick position your right. Today I pulled the engine back out the rear head had a head gasket leak. The rear head can't be pulled in this frame. The frame is short, I have about .015 between the rocker box cover ant the back bone. tim
 

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on my pan with s.t.d. heads and an S.U. carb with mallory ignition i give the tickler about 12 pushes then kick it 3 times with ignition off and then usually starts first kick with key on.Sometimes i have to clear it out with 3 kicks with key off then try again.
 

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leadsled said:
You guys got any hot tips for kick start bikes. Plugs, carbs, gaps, etc...
tim
Funny story. When I went to look at my 45 before buying it, I asked the guy to crank it up. He opened up the fuel & then started pumping it like an early VL or something with a pump primer. Then he put the choke full on, turned on the ignition, & proceeded to kick until fuel was running out of the carb. After a good 5-7 minutes of kicking, it sputtered into life.

I managed to knock a couple hundred bucks off the price because he couldn't start it worth a shit & I mentioned all the trouble it must have with fuel/ignition.

Loaded it up in my truck, when I got it home I did my standard "unknown Harley kickstart routine" & it fired immediately.

  • Choke full on
  • Ignition off
  • 2 slow priming kicks
  • Choke on half
  • Ignition on
  • Crack throttle
  • Kick it hard!
They usually fire in 1st or 2nd kick if everything is reasonably close. If that works cold, my hot start is:

  • Ignition on
  • Crack throttle
  • Kick it hard!
Warm start is somewhat variable. If it doesn't fire after 10 kicks, something's wrong and/or you've probably flooded it. Go inside & have another beer, then try.

Having said all of that, I had a '69 XLCH that was an absolute bitch to kick start & the upper shock mount was about where the back of your knee is on full extension.:eek: It was easier to push start if you had a friend to help...warm start was almost not an option.
 
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