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Old 07-11-2012, 04:27 PM
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kick starter

my '80 special has no kick starter. can one be installed? the right side engine case has the hole with the factory plug in it...
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:31 PM
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You can install one but some of the parts may be missing inside the cover do a search on kick start levers there has been a few threads about them. People have asked simmilar questions before.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:16 PM
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Some of the early '80's only are missing s a couple parts under the clutch cover. And then the rest of the '80's and '81's are missing parts that you would need to split the cases in order to install. Pics from under the clutch cover would help us tell you what you have.

Also the cover where the kick start comes out is not very strong so some believe that it cannot withstand daily kick starts, it is only meant for emergency use.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:55 AM
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kick starter

my intention would be for emergency starting only.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:28 AM
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Bump starting the bike in 2nd gear for emergency starting also works, JAT
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:36 AM
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i'm sure you're right, but this thing weighs 500+ pounds and i wouldn't want to push it. well, maybe down a steep hill. i'd rather kick it than push it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:00 AM
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The key is to be on the bike and get someone else to push it

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Old 07-12-2012, 10:53 AM
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How hard is it to kick start a 4 cylinder?
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650mark View Post
my '80 special has no kick starter. can one be installed? the right side engine case has the hole with the factory plug in it...
Hi Mark,
yeah, you'd think they'd have taken the writing off when they left all those parts out so as not to raise false hopes, eh?
Seriously though, if the battery is low there won't be enough volts to run the ignition anyway.
In marginal cases when the volts are still there but the cranking amps ain't enough to work the starter the bike will still push start.
It's easy enough to push start my rig, given a slight downgrade, because the sidecar stops it falling over but solo? A good downgrade or two sturdy pushers are your best options.
As to ease of kicking a '79 or earlier, you are only kicking one cylinder over compression so as the pistons are smaller than on an XS650 it should be easier, right?
PS, post a bike photo?
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tat2demon View Post
How hard is it to kick start a 4 cylinder?
What do you weigh? In my younger, lighter days when my '78 was still fairly new, I was all I could do to kick it. But if you weigh in the neighborhood of 200 lbs, it shouldn't be too bad. You'll have to stand on the lever...
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:07 PM
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I moved away from THAT neighborhood a long time ago!

I should be able to start one easy.

John
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2012, 12:26 PM
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kick starter

fred, i'll post some pics as soon as i learn how to do it. i'm not much of a computer guy.. i've tried taping pictures to the screen of my monitor but for some reason nobody else can see 'em. go figure. as for my size-to-kickstart ratio i'm 5'6" and i weigh 160 (very fit and rock hard) pounds. the bike i just sold was a museum quality 1979 SR500 and one of the reasons i sold it was the lack of an electric starter and my 63 year old knees. so i think if i could start that thing every time('cause i had to) then i could kick start the xs1100 occasionally('cause it's cool). but, perhaps you're right fred. maybe i'll just talk 2 of my regular riding buddies into following me around all the time just in case i ever need a push start. if i promise to buy them adult beverages it shouldn't be a problem! we'll see.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy steve View Post
What do you weigh? In my younger, lighter days when my '78 was still fairly new, I was all I could do to kick it. But if you weigh in the neighborhood of 200 lbs, it shouldn't be too bad. You'll have to stand on the lever...
LOL 330. By that theory I should just have to look at it sternly for it to turn over.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredintoon View Post
Hi Mark,
Seriously though, if the battery is low there won't be enough volts to run the ignition anyway.
Not if you're kickstarting the bike Fred. A low charged/drained battery will still put out 12V if its in good condition, it may not have enough to spin the starter very well and be robbed of voltage when the starter button is pressed, but leave the starter button alone and use the kickstart and the battery will have more than enough volts to run the ignition.

I have a permanent folding kickstart on one of my XS11's and run a small 12V battery that is sometimes not good at electric starting the bike, it always fires right up easily on the kickstart.

Normally I keep my bikes in a garage in my house, its always warm in there so the bikes start up easily, if I go on a camping trip on the bike its reluctant the next morning after a night out freezing. ( I really must pick better weather to go on camping trips )





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Old 07-12-2012, 02:56 PM
BigRed BigRed is offline
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I recently installed a kick starter in my '80 special. If your bike is like mine and missing both kickstart shafts, it's a big job. You need to remove the clutch cover, clutch, shifter cover, oil pan, and move the countershaft a bit. If you're already taking out the countershaft to fix some gears (like I was) then you're already doing 95% of that work.

I don't really have much practice kickstarting bikes, but I wouldn't say it's easy. I'm 33 and 240lb. It's not too difficult if it's on the centerstand, but if I'm trying to balance the 650lb bike and jump on the kicker wile keeping the heel of my boot from scuffing my "new" 4-1 exhaust, I feel like a spaz. I like having it for emergency use though... like if my starter clutch lets go.

Edit: I forgot for a second that my motor is from an XJ! Long day at work, I guess. Anyways, if you are ever popping off the clutch cover, take a peek to see if the internal shaft is already in there. If it is, it's really simple to install the outer shaft that the kicker splines on to.
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Last edited by BigRed; 07-12-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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