Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Proper Kickstart Technique R75/5 1971

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Los Angeles, CA

    Proper Kickstart Technique R75/5 1971

    Hi all,

    So I'm fairly new to airheads/etc. I have an R75/5 and was curious what the proper method for kick starting was.

    I tried once but apparently was not putting enough force behind it I think? Im not an overly large guy. Tall skinny fellow so I wanted to check and see what the proper method people used to kickstart their /5s.

    With the bike on the centerstand do you kick start it from standing on the side of the kick starter or do you do it while standing on the bike? How do you get the proper leverage on the kick starter lever?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    p.s. I almost always use electric start but my battery is having a hard time keeping a charge. Want to know how to properly do this in the off chance the battery is dead on me next time I go to start her.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    First, you really need to fix the battery/charging situation. I suspect you already know that. The easiest fix would be to get a battery tender and keep it topped up in between starts.

    Second, the kickstart internal mechanism isn't what it used to be with the pre '70 bikes which had no electric start. It's not uncommon for the mechanism to fail, maybe drop pieces inside the tranny and/or lock it up. Using the kick starter should be for emergencies only...I don't think you're in that situation yet. It might even be better to bump start the bike than to use the kicker.

    As for using a kickstart, I only have experience with my two pre '70 bikes. I stand to the left, facing the bike. I use my right foot on the lever. First I tickle or prime the carbs...if you have the CV carbs on your bike, then this is not a step for you. Then, with the throttle closed and ignition off, I kick the bike over 4-6 times. Since tickling basically floods the carb, the kicking serves to pull gas fumes into the combustion chamber. Finally, I turn the ignition on, hold about 1/4 throttle with my left hand, find the top of the compression stroke, and give it a good kick. It's not necessary to have the lever all the way to the top and "drop the hammer" on it...that's abusive. You need to find the spot where you're just beginning to push against the compression...often times the lever is maybe 1/2 down. That's where you kick from.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    B.P., MN
    The only thing I use the kickstart for on '74 900 is to cycle the flywheel through when indexing TDC.

  4. #4
    I've never had much success using the kick-start on my 1972 R75/5. It seems to be difficult to get enough muscle into it to turn the engine over fast enough to catch. I agree with the other guys - use the electric start. Besides - you'll probably have noticed the end of the kick-starter mashes the rubber on your left foot peg!

  5. #5
    BMW Motorcycle Owners rdalland's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    of America
    I've kick started my '71 R75/5 (owned since 1981) hundreds of times with no issues, sometimes because the battery is low, sometimes just because I can.

    Here's a video of an R60/5 being kick started. This gentleman is using the proper technique.

    It's as easy as that!
    ride what you've got; enjoy the ride!

    Reid - Stone Ridge, NY - BMWMOA #69187 - Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - IBA #50182

  6. #6
    Monza Blue 1974 R90/6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I would agree with rdalland. I've also kick started my '74 hundreds of times.

    I think two things are really important. First, proper tune so that the bike starts easy (whether kick or electric). Second, if your bike is a daily rider. Once it has been sitting for a week or two without being started, and especially if the temp is below 50 degrees, the electric start is your friend.

    Also, as described above, there is a bit of a sweet spot, you can feel it getting to the compression stage and that's where you hop on.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that kick start be used all the time. But, I think there are some situations where it makes sense, for example in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course where you are on and off the bike on the range all day and the bike stays warm. Good place to kick to start and save the battery for the ride home. Also, like changing a tire with the tools you have on the bike, kick starting seems like a good skill to practice enough that you can use it if needed (for all you lucky folks with kick starters).



  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Wisconsin and Florida
    First - I agree you should determine why the charging system or battery is failing you

    Second - Once and for all lets put this kickstart vulnerability in its proper place
    /6 five speed trans are junk in the kickstart feature - use sparingly
    /5 four speed which this post is about is very robust much like the /2 and will take
    continuous use for many years (my /2 conversions with small bat for example)

    Suggest cold start:
    1) Ign off - fuel on - throttle off - choke lever down - two firm but not violent strokes to bring each
    cyl through a compression cycle to charge the cylinders with fresh fuel/air
    2) Ign on - throttle closed or very slight open - one firm and deliberate stroke for effect should
    start it - if not stroke no more than two more times
    If no start - ign off - fuel off - throttle full - two strokes to clear cylinders
    then goto 1) and repeat

    The idea is not to pump the pedal quickly and repeatedly and carelessly which will damage
    the bike and maybe your body but to patiently make sure the cylinders are charged with a
    fresh correct mixture of fuel air before turning ignition on and stroking for effect

    Once started for the day within 4 hours or so just do 2) and it should start

    A properly tuned /5 will start easily and reliably usually on one or two strokes (unless you
    have an audience)

    Most folks like to kick the BMW with the right foot standing beside the bike and facing the bike and reaching across to hold the throttle

    You can teach yourself to kick the BMW with your heal while astride but takes some practice
    to avoid raking your leg with an unintended pedal return - and this does not work well with
    boots with heals but works well with boots with wedge type soles

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts