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#709356 - 09/23/17 1:00 am Kickstarting for dummies.  
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Alexp Online content
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With me being the dummy. I've got a 70 BSA B25. 10:1 compression ratio. My friend can kick it over. I can't. Open the fuel. Tickle the AMAL carb. Kick down softly once to get the compression up. A little throttle, and kick through. I can't bloody do it. So what's the secret!? Would love to know!!


Alex

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#709367 - 09/23/17 2:26 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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htown Online content
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Magnolia, TX
Has it got a center stand? Put the bike on the centerstand, stand along the right side and kick with your right foot holding on to the throttle with your right hand. It's hard on the centerstand to do it this way but a few times won't hurt. You should get the feel and your confidence up that way. Truth be told, I've always kick started my bikes on the centerstand for cold start and in 15 years and a bunch of bikes haven't damaged anything yet. Only once had to replace worn pivot bolts on my Bonneville, about a 15 minute job.


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
2-1974 Norton Commandos
2004 XL 1200R Sportster

Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
#709369 - 09/23/17 2:40 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Lannis Online content
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Central Virginia
I've never started a Brit single that didn't have a compression release lever. Does a 1970 unit single have one (or supposed to have one?)

Even on my 4.9:1 compression M21, I can't kick it over compression without the compression release.....

Lannis


America's great! Only place in the world where the poor and oppressed check on their Food Stamp balance with an $800 smartphone ... !
#709376 - 09/23/17 3:38 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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bromley uk
Its really simple,you will kick yourself !, I have 2 singles, a race tuned 250 Ducati that has a 10 to one piston with a left side kickstart, the stand would collapse if used for starting and if you try to bump start you can lock the wheel up.and skid to a stop, even downhill in second. I also have a 5oo cc Rudge Ulster which is a replica of a world beating race bike,this one will kick you back so hard injury is almost certain ,IF you get it wrong. So I do REALLY know your problem. I am 72 years old and 12 stone and I usually get them to fire up with one or 2 kicks. You will learn what settings work for your bike. It will take time,they are all different. Bring the piston up to compression, ease it slowly just past compression ,and only just. Kick it over like you mean it, and follow through.If it does not start the bike is not tuned right or you have not yet found the right settings.It may take some time to get it all together . Do you live near a hospital and have good insurance??, only joking !!. sort of.

Last edited by norton bob; 09/23/17 3:48 am.
#709390 - 09/23/17 8:13 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Guys thank you so much! I felt so alone! (Haha).

H town- it doesn't have a centre stand unfortunately. I may install one just so I can kick the bugger over.

Lannis- no compression release. It's just a lot of grunt!!

Norton Bob- if you can kick a Rudge race replica over in a couple kicks, your obviously a trained professional!

And yes I live near a hospital!!


I think a big part of this, is that the bike hasn't started since the last time my friend kicked it over which was last October. I haven't changed anything so it should theoretically still kick. I've been kicking like a mule for the past week or two, and the damn thing won't go. I'm going to go to the workshop manual, and throw a feeler gauge on the points to make sure that's set up properly. I've got spark at the sparking plug so that's fine. Plug is wet as well. Maybe it's a carb issue? I've been reading so much on here I tend to want to dive into some sort of beginner project, and the carb may be a good place to start. That or timing!! Regardless, ANY help would be super appreciated!


Alex

#709404 - 09/23/17 11:19 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Before trying to kick with no comp release,fuel on, tickle, engage 2nd gear, pull back to compression, select neutral, switch on ignition, kick. This puts the piston/ cycle where it would be if you eased it over with the comp release.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#709414 - 09/23/17 1:05 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: gavin eisler]  
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Gavin thanks!!! Will give this a shot today!!

Alex

#709425 - 09/23/17 3:08 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Andy Higham Online content
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Kick starting a bike on the centre stand is a sure fire way of damaging the stand


1955 BSA B31 400cc "Stargazer"
1962 Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
1962/67 Greeves 350cc
1967 Greeves 360cc Challenger
1984 Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc grasstrack
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
#709446 - 09/23/17 5:59 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Irish Swede Online content
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Andy, that depends on the bike, depends on the stand.

Alexp, are you certain the B25 has a 10:1 compression piston in it?
That seems awfully HIGH for a BSA 250, unless it was re-built for racing.

If that was the case, then it would have been PUSH-STARTED, not kick-started.

#709450 - 09/23/17 6:21 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Irish Swede- that's how it came from the factory. It even states in the owners handbook. I scanned it but have 0 clue how to upload pictures! It's a monster!

Alex

#709457 - 09/23/17 7:19 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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A 250 with 10:1 should be a doddle to start


1955 BSA B31 400cc "Stargazer"
1962 Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
1962/67 Greeves 350cc
1967 Greeves 360cc Challenger
1984 Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc grasstrack
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
#709460 - 09/23/17 7:52 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: norton bob]  
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Magnetoman Online content
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Originally Posted by Andy Higham
A 250 with 10:1 should be a doddle to start
My C15S has a 10:1 piston but, when it still had it, the major function of its compression release was to keep the Al head from rusting by coating it with a constant supply of fresh oil. I don't bother easing the C15S past TDC; I just kick the engine over wherever the piston happens to be and it spins through TDC and starts. If I tried this on a 500cc single, and even if it didn't backfire, compression would bring the the crank to an abrupt halt at TDC.

Still, since Alexp is having trouble with the starting routine of his bike it will be a little easier if he goes through the proper routine of easing it past TDC before giving it a fast kick. Some people have a problem kicking fast and these people will find it more difficult to start a bike even if the follow the correct proceedure.

Originally Posted by norton bob
ease it slowly just past compression ,and only just.
A brief comment on this advice, which is excellent for BSAs. However, the starting mechanism of my friend's Matchless G80CS is geared lower and the BSA procedure doesn't work very well at all. The secret for the Matchless is to ease it past TDC, and then continue pushing the lever another ~90-deg. When returned to the top the kickstarter will have enough travel to spin it through TDC with sufficient speed to start. If this isn't done, compression slows the piston down at the same time the lever has run out of travel.

#709462 - 09/23/17 8:22 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Thank you Magnetoman! I appreciate your advice having spent a large portion of last week reading your spitfire scrambler thread. I will definitely go through the motions on this bike! I am wondering if I need to do a carb check, or time it. Regardless, I will definitely be posting more as I need help!

Alex

#709481 - 09/24/17 12:39 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Alexp

Many years ago when I was riding my 37 Ulster, I sometimes would let one of the club guys take it for a spin. One day, a chap who roadraced a G45 asked for a spin and just couldn't start it. The secret was as above and with the spark retarded and almost NO THROTTLE. I had no trouble starting it without a centre stand and weighed 120 lbs at 5' 11" so it is all in the bike being in good nick and technique. The look on his face was priceless. Not letting the general population know how you do it with such a weakling body was also a good anti theft device.......At the time, I was doing long distance running so at least my legs were in tune....Every bike is different.

Cheers, Wilf

Last edited by Wilfred; 09/24/17 5:39 am.

"It's about the ride..."
#709548 - 09/24/17 7:05 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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argyll. scotland, uk
"I think a big part of this, is that the bike hasn't started since the last time my friend kicked it over which was last October. "

If my BSA is left for this length of time my recommission program goes like this.

put the battery on charge for 24 hours.

While its charging, dump all the old fuel into a can for the lawnmower, drain float bowl into an aerosol can cap and look at what residue has collected, usually some rust flakes and a glob of water. now I dump all the fuel at the end of the season, but in the past i wasnt so wised up.
With a felt tip pen, make a dot on the carb body beside the pilot air screw slot, so you can reset it to where it was , then screw in to see how many turns it takes to close, usually somewhere between one to on and a half. make a note of this .
now for the most important bit.
Remove the pilot air screw completely, check the state of the O ring and replace if in any doubt of condition,
, get a # 78 drill ,mount by gluing and nipping in a vice in the plastic nozzle extender from an aerosol WD 40 type,

Get a small flash light , put on yer specs and peer into the pilot air screw passage, dead centre is the pilot metering jet , its 0.016" diameter, being the smallest jet in the carb its the first to block if any debris or fuel varnish is in the carb system, and it will be after sitting for months if any fuel at all was left in there. Spin the tiny drill in the jet by rubbing the plastic end between thumb and finger, super easy to do, thats it.
reset pilot air screw,

There are two other tiny jet holes in the pilot system that are also prone to blocking, to get to them remove the air filter if fitted, and hold the throttle wide open, look at the floor of the carb , specifically fore and aft of where the manifold side of the throttle slide locates when closed. These can be poked with a guitar string 0.016" that has a 90 degree bend a half inch from the end. You can check these are clear by squirting WD or carb cleaner in the pilot air screw hole or /as well as the the pilot air passage at the lower carb mouth, look in the carb mouth with the throttle open and spray in, two tiny stream should be clearly visible .
if any part of the pilot system is blocked the bike will be very hard/ impossible to start.

fill with fresh fuel and freshly charged battery. Bike should now start and run correctly. theres no point in fretting about starting technique if the bike has sat for this long, I do this as an annual routine .

buy a half dozen of these drills , they are tiny and easily lost, my mounted drill lives in a small plastic case tucked under the battery strap so its always handy.

Some words of caution, always smoke when working with petrol, its keeps you sharp.
Seriously, avoid carb cleaner sprays, some of the varnish remover sprays are very aggressive and if the pilot screw and throttle stop screw o rings come into contact with them they will be rendered FUBAR.. if you must use it make sure the screws are removed and stored well away. Carb cleaner sprays alone will not effectively clear a blocked pilot jet, the drill is essential.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 09/24/17 8:20 pm.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#709551 - 09/24/17 7:35 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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bodine031 Online content
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What Gavin said, plus are you clearing/unsticking the clutch pack? before kicking

#709610 - 09/25/17 1:48 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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edunham Offline
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Ewing. NJ
While a 250 with 10-1 compression ought to be a doddle to start, my '71 Triumph 250 was harder to start than any other bike I have (except the B50 that came later). Turned out there was a tiny shaving of brass partially blocking one of the cross drilled holes in the needle jet. Meanwhile, it tore the meniscus in my good knee. The '71 does not have a compression release, but with 2 bad knees, I start it as if it did (ease past compression, etc.). Now it is a 1 or 2 kick starter from cold. If you want to try my procedure, it is as follows- 1) Standing next to the bike on the right hand side with the bike on the stand, pull in the clutch lever and kick until the clutch is free. 2) Now open the petcock and tickle the carb until fuel spurts out. 3) Turn on the ignition and the choke (if you have one). 4) Push down on the kick starter until you feel compression, and then push a little bit more. 5) Let the kick starter swing back up. 6) Tell yourself "This is going to work!" 7) Now the important bit- BELIEVE THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE!! 8) With the throttle off, give it a long swinging confident kick. 9) It should start firing and you may need to give it a little throttle after it starts. Some folks do part 4) a couple of times to get fuel into the cylinder.
If it doesn't start with this procedure, something is wrong. By the way, I have been starting bikes on the stand for 47 years and haven't had one break or bend yet and I weigh close to 300 lbs. I suspect that is because I am not on the bike when I start it. I stand off to the side and I don't jump up in the air, I just push with my right leg!

Ed From NJ

#709611 - 09/25/17 2:01 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Canada
Thank you everyone for the responses! Once I'm home from work, it may be high time to get out to the garage, start Gavin's inspection, (charge the battery) and Edunhams start procedure and see if she goes! In the mean time I will check the carb and see if there's any debris blocking the jet!


Thanks again everyone!!

Alex

#709686 - 09/26/17 1:59 am Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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BritinTexas Online content
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Alex, I've recently acquired a 70 B25. I've probably started it only 5 or 6 times so far but I've done pretty much what the others have already said:

Free the clutch
Turn on the fuel tap.
Tickle the carb until the fuel flows out.
Ease the kick start over compression
Turn on the ignition.
Cross my fingers and kick hard.

I do all this with the bike on the stand.(I know you said you don't have one). This way I can avoid the oil tank filler cap digging into my thigh which caused a lot of bad words to be said on my first few attempts.

If it hasn't started for me, I've blamed the electrical system, recharged the battery and had another go. I don't understand the electrical side of bikes so I have no idea if it actually makes a difference but it does to me!

Terry

#709723 - 09/26/17 2:31 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Hey Terry!!

Yeah that bloody oil filler cap will be the death of me!!! The guy who had the bike before me required the bike and made a complete dogs breakfast of it. After a thorough look yesterday, I've decided it needs to be rewired. however we did have it going last year. I think I'm just going to put my head down, rewire it over the winter, and in the meantime put a voltmeter all over the current wiring to make sure everything is doing what it should!! I want this thing started this fall!!! Congrats on your purchase!!! They're lovely bikes!!


Alex

Last edited by Alexp; 09/26/17 5:29 pm. Reason: Omitted some details!
#709745 - 09/26/17 5:38 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Ps I wanted to ask a very newb question based on Gavin's very detailed (and very much appreciated) procedure Do I drain the float bowl by simply tickling the carb? Or what's involved with that?


Alex

#709752 - 09/26/17 6:22 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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gavin eisler Online content
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argyll. scotland, uk
Most Concentric carbs have a float bowl drain screw, about 3/4" across on the bottom of the bowl, some early ones dont and can only be drained by removing the float bowl itself . The early drain screws are a straight knurled rim plastic job, usually pretty chewed up from pliers . vice grips, ets, other metal types appeared later and are commonly retrofitted .

The drain screw is a good barometer of carb condition, it acts as a sediment and water trap and helps keep the nonsense away from the jets by providing a low point for rust and water to settle in. Where i live its wet, the drain screw makes dewatering the carb easy.
Carb refresh kits are available with new O rings,float needles, gaskets , filters etc, keep one on the shelf.
Amals homepage, http://amalcarb.co.uk/mk-i-Concentric-series/900-series.html

Last edited by gavin eisler; 09/26/17 6:30 pm.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#709755 - 09/26/17 6:45 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Don't forget to turn off the petrol tap first!

#709770 - 09/26/17 8:27 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: AngloBike]  
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Nickjaxe Offline
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I never feel confident kick stating unless I have strong boots on.


Recently bought my 1st ever motorcycle...a humble 1969 BSA Bantam B175...I am enjoying using my Bantam so much...does all I need.
My car that I use daily is an old series Landrover that I bought new 40 years ago and has just become tax free.
#709778 - 09/26/17 8:44 pm Re: Kickstarting for dummies. [Re: Alexp]  
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Andy Higham Online content
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Bolton Lancs UK


1955 BSA B31 400cc "Stargazer"
1962 Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
1962/67 Greeves 350cc
1967 Greeves 360cc Challenger
1984 Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc grasstrack
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
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