bike roller starter systems

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

bike roller starter systems

Postby mikie3117 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:37 am

Hello to all. Has anyone out there built a reliable bike roller starter system. There are two systems out there with great race track references, but they are @$1,000 each. I am weeks away from getting a new right knee and kicking the bikes I love so much has become a painful endeavor. Some questions:
1 starter motor or two?
belt or chain drive?
type of rollers?
12 or 24 volts?
I spent some time with my Mcmaster-Carr catalog and I may not be able to built a safe/reliable unit for less than $1000 anyway. :D

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby 1up3down » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:58 am

Mike, why not just convert your bike to electric start, like the Mark3s?

I think a couple of outfits sell the conversion kits, expensive yes, but ya gotta protect that new knee!

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby john robert bould » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:07 am

1 up 3 down is right, its OK starting the bike at home..but unless the wife followers you around with the starter in a van...need i say more :?:

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby DogT » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:19 am

I'd be sore tempted to figure out how to use the left leg. I bet it could be done with some practice. I've often thought about it, but my knees are still good. Get a good EI and 20W50 oil and I bet you could do it. Actually the left leg would be less prone to bruising because you're farther away from the bike.

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby grandpaul » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:18 pm

Doc Z are probably the best, but also among the priciest.

You could carry them on the bike, but it would take a mighty effort!

Anyway, for a stationary starting point, they are the best thing you can have. Tim Taylor agrees, two motors are better than one (more power)-

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby mikie3117 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:26 pm

I spoke with Doc Z and his system seems the best. I am waiting to hear from the Alton company in France about the e-start option. Anyone got a nice MK3 to trade for a really nice Fastback?
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby Diablouph » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:41 pm

A lot of us are looking for information on the Alton. Please keep us posted on what you find out including price and availablilty.

You might also want to start teaching your wife how to kick (no, the bike).
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby hobot » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:58 pm

I've seen Cdp's started on center stand using L leg. I've started a Combat with scattered R knee only attached by tape, by sitting on backward and hopping up on L leg enough to come down with L leg but not something I'd want to do unless desperate away from home.
Peel's compression releases might allow hand starts some day but not yet implemented to test.
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby boz » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:38 pm

40 years ago I had my right knee dislocated playing soccer in hight school. Had to have surgery to rebuild the knee. Ever since then I can only get one or two kicks in before the knee gives out. Ever since I have stared all my bikes with my left leg. Put the bike on the center stand , stand on the right side of the bike, ignition, choke, tickle kick with your left leg. It has worked for me for years.

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby pommie john » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:45 pm

There a guy in Aus who makes a set that use an angle grinder as the drive unit. He doesn't even have to gear it down.
If you're going to just use it in the garage, you could think about a 240v system like that.
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby Holmeslice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:03 pm

I know quite a bit about roller starters, but before we go there, if you're looking for a very well put together electric start system for NON electric start Commandos, you should look at Old Britts' system. I put it on a customer's special I built, and it was absolutely perfect. I don't know why their system is not more widely known, as it fits right in and works a charm.

But - barring that, you could buy a Doc Z setup, a Lowry system that fits under the wheel of a car to propel the bike, or perhaps one of the Foxley starter systems from Europe (big bucks there, and requires 2 people to start the bike).
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby Anglophile » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:41 pm

1up3down wrote:Mike, why not just convert your bike to electric start, like the Mark3s?

I think a couple of outfits sell the conversion kits, expensive yes, but ya gotta protect that new knee!


I agree. For $2k why not spring for a starter that you can use anywhere :

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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby Diablouph » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:51 pm

I know quite a bit about roller starters, but before we go there, if you're looking for a very well put together electric start system for NON electric start Commandos, you should look at Old Britts' system. I put it on a customer's special I built, and it was absolutely perfect. I don't know why their system is not more widely known, as it fits right in and works a charm.


Old Britts seems a little complicated, and is 3k plus. The Alton I believe is around 2k and a simpler design. That said, I would like to see more reports on both systems before I plunk down my dough.
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby montelatici » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:08 pm

If the bike starts easily once warmed up the Doc Z will be fine to get that first start of the day, but they certainly are not portable. I have the single motor set up I use with two stroke race bikes and it is pretty heavy just to move around in my trailer. You will need the dual motor system as shown in the photo, even heavier. By the way, those are Ford starter motors.
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Re: bike roller starter systems

Postby montelatici » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:08 pm

If the bike starts easily once warmed up the Doc Z will be fine to get that first start of the day, but they certainly are not portable. I have the single motor set up I use with two stroke race bikes and it is pretty heavy just to move around in my trailer. You will need the dual motor system as shown in the photo, even heavier. By the way, those are Ford starter motors.
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