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Thread: Kick starter

  1. #1
    James.A
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    Kick starter

    As the self-proclaimed King of the Luddites, I am here to tell you that I would never own a bike that doesn't have a kick starter. It was a lovely afternoon here last thursday. Over run with sunshine, temperature at 80 degrees with a slight breeze, damn near perfect weather. I was standing in the parking lot at my place of employment all geared up for my ride home. I engaged the ignition key on my blue, 1973 R75/5 and mashed on the starter button only to be greeted with the sound of silence. Not a click or groan or anything at all. At that moment, the voice in my head said "this is why God invented kick starters". With the key on, I opened the enrichers and stepped thru the kicker a few times until it kicked back at me. Now I'm thinking that I might actually get away with this. I closed the enricher and with the throttle twisted ever so slightly I gave it a good swift kick. Vrroom!, the motor roars to life. A disaster averted by that quaint, primitive device known as a kicker. Fast-forward to the present. In a few moments I am going out to my garage to diagnose the fault. I thought it might be fun to run a contest to see who can correctly guess/diagnose what the problem is. The prize will be unlimited free beer the next time you see me at a rally or camp-out. Here is a hint, the generator light does NOT glow when the key is engaged. Let's have some fun with this and maybe learn something as well.
    Last edited by woodnsteel; 08-09-2008 at 02:01 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    If you want to start your Airhead with the kickstarter, lower the lever to almost horizonal and then give it several kicks in a row to get the motor spinning. One big kick the full travel distance is mostly a waste of time. This especially so on an R80G/S, as you'll be dead before the motor starts using that method.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    Open rotor.

  4. #4
    Registered User 130253's Avatar
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    I'm in Jim's court! Amen on that kick starter. I had a little accident out in the middle of nowhere this week that left the electric start D.O.A. Kicker got me home.
    Mark Evans
    1974 R 75/6
    "Life is a state of mind"

  5. #5
    Aspiring Profligate Jeff488's Avatar
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    Bump start is easier.

    '08 BMW R1200RT
    '08 Suzuki DL650 "Screaming Yellow Zonker"
    Looking for Ed Sanders' Truck Stop.

  6. #6
    Registered User beinin's Avatar
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    First guess is some crud or grunge in the starter button.
    Bill
    a.k.a. "Garths dad"
    "F.O.G. Riders" BMWMOA Club# 777
    06 R1200 GS
    90 K100LT "Mule"
    90 K75 S Garth's "Red Pony"
    72 R75/5

  7. #7
    sumran
    Guest
    If it wasn't you, I might guess a bad bulb. But I expect you would have noticed before the battery went dead. Since you didn't get a click, the battery must have been completely dead; to dead to even pull in the starter relay (assuming they had those on /5's). If the rotor was bad there would not have been any juice to start it with the kicker.

    So I will stick with the burned out gen light bulb.

  8. #8
    James.A
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by widebmw View Post
    Open rotor.
    Correcto-mundo. I knew what the problem was before I went to the garage this morning. However, I wanted to share the knowledge with my friends here. widebmw is the winner, but those of you who know me know that unlimited free beer is a way of life on my planet. I'll see you all further on up the road. Just remember that the magic word is "kick-start". BTW, I used my last good, spare rotor, so I am now on the hunt for a back-up.

  9. #9
    James.A
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sumran View Post
    If it wasn't you, I might guess a bad bulb. But I expect you would have noticed before the battery went dead. Since you didn't get a click, the battery must have been completely dead; to dead to even pull in the starter relay (assuming they had those on /5's). If the rotor was bad there would not have been any juice to start it with the kicker.

    So I will stick with the burned out gen light bulb.
    In fact, the starter relay, which is unique to /5s, will dis-able the electric start if the rotor is open. It is a side effect of the anti-restart function of the relay. It is designed to prevent the operator from engaging the starter if the motor is runnng. Basicly, if the GEN light is not glowing, the electric start will not engage.

  10. #10
    I'm really happy with my oilhead but I envy you guys with kickstarters. I don't understand why the kickstart has become extinct. It's just part of a motorcycle and I feel a bit more alone without one. Even my 230cc dirtbike has no kickstart.
    How will we be starting B&S lawnmowers in the future?

    Mike

  11. #11
    This thread just reaffirms everything I love about airhead BMW's.

    ..and I'm glad I have the kickstarter on both my bikes.


  12. #12
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_marr View Post
    I'm really happy with my oilhead but I envy you guys with kickstarters. I don't understand why the kickstart has become extinct. It's just part of a motorcycle and I feel a bit more alone without one. Even my 230cc dirtbike has no kickstart.
    How will we be starting B&S lawnmowers in the future?

    Mike
    My primary guess is that the 'electric leg' has become so inexpensive to make. My secondary guess is that since engines have trended upward in displacement, they have become much more difficult to kick-start...but that's just a theory, since larger bikes have no kickstarter with which to test this.

    Then of course there os the factor of people getting used to having it.
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad
    http://www.thethingaboutcars.com/

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