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Easier starting Commando #315380
05/26/10 8:57 pm
05/26/10 8:57 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline OP
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Bob G  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
I just got a 73 750 running for a friend after it had been sitting for over 10 years.
I can start it on the first or second kick. However my friend only weighs 160 pounds and is just about impossible to him to start.

What can i do to make it an easier starting bike? It has a 34 vm Mikuni Conversion and analog Boyer. He is only going to be using it for short hops around town, no freeways.
My first thoughts are to fudge the tuning specs a bit. Plug gap, timing, valve adj. What direction would I need to go on those?
My second thought is to lower compression. What is the best way to go about that? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.


Bob Gregor
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Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Bob G] #315397
05/26/10 10:54 pm
05/26/10 10:54 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 211
California U.S.
Hortons Norton Offline
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Hortons Norton  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 211
California U.S.
I would look into the longer kick start arms that are now on the market, Should give him more leverage. If the bike is tuned right I would not think you would want to mess with that.

Last edited by Hortons Norton; 05/26/10 10:55 pm.
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Hortons Norton] #315401
05/26/10 11:00 pm
05/26/10 11:00 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline OP
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Bob G  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Thanks, I was not aware of the longer starter arms. That would probably do the trick. He can almost start it now.


Bob Gregor
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Bob G] #315408
05/26/10 11:30 pm
05/26/10 11:30 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline OP
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Bob G  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Would you by any chance know who is selling them? I did a quick search on google and eBay and couldn't locate any


Bob Gregor
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Bob G] #315424
05/27/10 1:16 am
05/27/10 1:16 am
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 714
Orlando fla/ shady valley Tn
B
bill50cal Offline
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bill50cal  Offline
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B
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 714
Orlando fla/ shady valley Tn
Originally Posted By: Bob G
I just got a 73 750 running for a friend after it had been sitting for over 10 years.
I can start it on the first or second kick. However my friend only weighs 160 pounds and is just about impossible to him to start.



I remember back when I bought a high compression 72 combat and at that time I was only about 135# and it was my daily transportation so I very quickly learned how to kick start it . the starting thing is ALL ABOUT TECHNIQUE now that I have bulked up in my old age and tip in at 200# I can start mine off the stands and with great ease.


windy
72 combat
switchbackcreek.com
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: bill50cal] #315440
05/27/10 3:22 am
05/27/10 3:22 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,839
British Columbia
hh Offline
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hh  Offline
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Posts: 1,839
British Columbia
Unless it's zero degrees, it's full of 60W and it's got 11:1 compression pistons, a stock 750 should be easy to start for someone weighing 160 lbs. Tell him to engage the kicker pawl and then throw his weight down on it.


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Bob G] #315441
05/27/10 3:25 am
05/27/10 3:25 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 103
Mercer Island, WA / Austin, TX
Rick in Seattle Offline
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Rick in Seattle  Offline
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Posts: 103
Mercer Island, WA / Austin, TX
The analogue Boyer provides too much advance at start-up, 11 degrees or so. It is prone to kick-back. Replace it with either a Pazon SureFire (0 degrees at start-up)or, at more expense, a TriSpark or Boyer MD (5 degrees). The Pazon is available at $120 or so directly from Pazon. My Mikuni-fitted, Pazon-fitted Mk3 starts with a soft push-through on first kick, when I'm not inclined to push the starter button.


Rick in Seattle
1970 BSA 441 Victor Special
1972 Norton Commando 750 Combat
1975 Norton 850 Commando Mk3
1960 Triumph TR3A
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Rick in Seattle] #315446
05/27/10 6:29 am
05/27/10 6:29 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,237
Scotland
kommando Online content
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kommando  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,237
Scotland
Rick in Seattle +1 , RGM in UK do the longer kickstarts. Both combined will get him sorted. He can also help himself by treating it as asingle cylinder bike, move the kickstarter slowly to find TDC then ease it just over TDC, he can then position the starter lever to how he likes before the big kick. As the bike is just after TDC it gives least resistance and gives him time to get the crank upto speed before the next TDC, the flywheel at speed will take it over the next TDC easily.

Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: kommando] #315476
05/27/10 12:51 pm
05/27/10 12:51 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,565
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Offline
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L.A.B.  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,565
Norfolk, UK
The Alton electric starter conversion kit for pre-MkIII Commandos should be on the market soon.


http://www.alton-france.com/en/index.php

(photo originally posted on the accessnorton [Norton Commando] forum by "doug")

Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: L.A.B.] #315479
05/27/10 12:57 pm
05/27/10 12:57 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,877
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I weigh about 140 and there isn't a Commando I've come across that I was unable to start after tuning it properly (by the book). I like Sparx, but want a box full of Tri-Sparks.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: GrandPaul] #315621
05/28/10 3:25 am
05/28/10 3:25 am
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Bob G  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Thanks, lots of great ideas. The bike in my opionion is a normal starting Commando. My buddy is a little on the feeble side and is having a hard time grasping the technique of kickstarting.
I think I will start off with an ignition change.


Bob Gregor
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Bob G] #315668
05/28/10 12:45 pm
05/28/10 12:45 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,877
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Posts: 6,877
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Bob G
I think I will start off with an ignition change.


Good idea, ONE THING AT A TIME.

If you do multiple changes and then the bike doesn't run right, you may be working one problem against another.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: GrandPaul] #315936
05/29/10 9:04 pm
05/29/10 9:04 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,716
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content

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HawaiianTiger  Online Content

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Posts: 5,716
Maui Hawaii
Having lived with my Commando for 27 years I've got the secret to starting it quite pat. First, the previous poster was correct, the Commando is harder to start with the old fashioned now old school Boyer. I never liked the single Mikuni on my bike either and as soon as I was able I went back to properly refurbished Amals (AMR)
1. Turn on gas.
2. Tickle carbs just until the gas shows
3. Ignition off, give one kick.
4. Ignition on and ease the engine to the top of the compression stroke and kick

Sometimes my bike starts when I am easing the piston to TDC.
If it doesn't start after a couple of kicks, you've likely flooded the engine. Kick through a few times with throttle WFO and repeat steps 2-4.
I understand about the "feeble" quality of some owners. Perhaps they would be better off with a bike that doesn't even come with an optional kick starter.
Its an owner/bike mis-match.
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 05/29/10 9:06 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: HawaiianTiger] #315961
05/29/10 11:05 pm
05/29/10 11:05 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 467
just a guy from Jersey [Hopewe...
N
nert Offline
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nert  Offline
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N
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 467
just a guy from Jersey [Hopewe...
I do as Hawaiian Tiger. My 73' starts, first ignition-on kick, at least down to 30 degrees trmperature. I haven't tried it colder than that. Its all stock, I did replace a worn AAU unit. Carbs, jetting, points, and timing is to the book. It starts and runs without fail. I have a more difficult time to RE-start HOT. Ambient 90 degrees and above.. Running, shut down, heat soak for 20-30 mimutes and then start. Prone to stall under those conditions and does not idle properly until run and air cooled down the road. I think too, owner/bike mis-match. Unless he is willing to love and learn. And as Bill50Cal says, ALL ABOUT TECHNIQUE. You really don't "kick" the bike to start it. ???


keep your "oddies" lubricated, and carry a dime
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: nert] #316154
05/31/10 1:40 am
05/31/10 1:40 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,563
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
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Richrd  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,563
Springfield Nebraska
Bill50 doesn't weigh 200 even in soaking wet leathers and socks!!!

U


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: Richrd] #316161
05/31/10 2:28 am
05/31/10 2:28 am
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,397
New Zealand
J
johnm Offline
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johnm  Offline
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J
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,397
New Zealand
Yes.

ALL ABOUT TECHNIQUE. You really don't "kick" the bike to start it.

If you don't put in the time to learn how to start it - then you really shouldn't really be riding it.

A good Commando will just about start if you look at it sideways !!! . You can put it on its stand. Stand off to the side, hands in pockets, push the kick start down with your toes and it will start.

The analogue Boyer do provide too much advance at start-up. They are prone to kick-back.

Follow what Hawaiian tiger says.

John

Re: Easier starting Commando [Re: johnm] #316292
05/31/10 11:22 pm
05/31/10 11:22 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,563
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
BritBike Forum member
Richrd  Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,563
Springfield Nebraska
I agree with everything but..........
I weigh 120 after a big meal with leathers, and have boyers on both Nortons.

They NEVER kick back unless the voltage is low. and that's only
if I let them sit too long in the garage.


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?

Moderated by  Dave Comeau 


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