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kickstart question

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by seattle##gs, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. seattle##gs

    seattle##gs

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    My current problem...freshly built 850 motor. Sometimes (often) when I try to kick it through, the kickstart lever won't budge and I bounce off it and the bike usually tips to the right. I usually position the lever at 9:00 or 9:30. It is still hard to kick over any time but this is a dead stop. I am using the MK3 kickstart lever. I am wondering if the problem is overcoming the inertia of the pistons from a dead stop or is there something else going on in the kickstart shaft/1st gear area? I used to have this problem in my BSA and I cured it many years ago by changing the kickstart gears and something else. However, my Nortons have never given this problem. I expect the kicking to get easier after a couple of thousand miles but I think this problem is something else.
     
  2. Dellis

    Dellis VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Take the plugs out and make sure it kicks over freely would be my starting point.

    Dave
     
    998cc, eskasteve and Time Warp like this.
  3. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Sounds normal. :)
     
  4. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Find compression stroke, let the compression leak away by leaning on the Kickstarter until it goes over tdc, only then do you kick.
     
    dynodave likes this.
  5. Onder

    Onder

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    You must have my bike. Last night I was looking at RGM's page where they list the lengths of kick start levers. Their T-160 type is one inch longer than
    all the others. I wish they went for two or more inches to help us light weights get the thing started.
    Agree about passing TDC before going at it.
     
  6. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Try clicking it into gear, roll back against compression, back to neutral and then leap on it.

    Glen
     
  7. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    +1 on getting it just past compression.
     
  8. MikeM

    MikeM

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Mine was really tight with the new rebuild. Its better but still pretty tight. There are times when I kick it and it doesnt kick back but is really tight. Its probably normal.
     
  9. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    how much do you weigh? At 160 it took all that I had athletically to kick over
    my 850. Then I got older and realized I was gonna hurt myself if I continued.
    So....I installed a cNw electric start kit.
    Oh, sweet lord!
     
  10. rweb

    rweb

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    My brother had the same problem on a 72 Triumph Tiger in the early 70's. I can't remember exactly but it was something to do with the kickstart gear, maybe a broken tooth. Oddly at the same time my Norton had the opposite problem. The kickstart paul spring was weak and sometimes wouldn't ingauge fully and the lever would go down with no resistance causing my shin to come to a stop against the foot peg. I remember that.
     
  11. Deckard

    Deckard

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    yeah, you have a good lever with the mk3. the whole technique is to cycle it to just about tdc and just give it a maximum kick. even after winter storage, I still never have to do more than that. As long as the amals are primed with enough fuel in the bowls with the ticklers pushed down you should be good. Sometimes I need to roll the throttle open wide while kicking down to start. ah, 4 stroke motors, they're really a love affair. It's still about foreplay.................
     
  12. seattle##gs

    seattle##gs

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    good ideas. I know how to get past TDC on a big single but this is going to take a special technique. I am 210 so that is why it is strange to bounce off the kickstart lever as though it were a fixed piece...something like trying to kick over the foot peg.
     
  13. baldy

    baldy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Commando is a hard bike to start. Most start with centerstand. Let your weight drop while extending your leg . Technique is important.
     
  14. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Only difference is no decompressor, just adds a wait while you are stood on the kickstart letting the compression leak away so other than that same as a single.
     
  15. Madnorton

    Madnorton VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Does it still lock with the clutch pulled in? quicker than removing the plugs.
     
  16. acadian

    acadian VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Technique I adopted from my triumph where the clutch plates frequently stick together - pull the clutch lever in and try kicking it through to free it (and possibly the plates) loose, finding the comp stroke is easy from there.
     
  17. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    I'm 210lbs and I've had my bike say "NO" occasionally to a kickstart attempt because I balance the bike on the wheels only when I kick it. I use no base gasket, a flame ring head gasket, and have had the head trued more than once. I'm sure my compression is close to 10 to 1 but I've never done the math. My kick over is quite stiff. Sounds normal to me if it's hard to kick over. As Dave said, remove the plugs and see if it rolls over smoothly. If it does, I'd bet your fresh top end is good! (and you're probably getting old... kidding)
     
  18. Dellis

    Dellis VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    I agree with the past compression method but I stand by my initial comment re take the plugs out and just check you don’t have another problem. The reason you should check this is you’ve just rebuilt it so just be sure all is well :)

    Other than that they can be hard for to kick so getting past compression does help no end.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  19. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    What gets me are the guys that are lighter than me (180lb) and can sit on the seat and just push it over without using their weight, just their leg muscles. I have to get up on both pegs and put my whole weight into it to get it through the second compression after the first compression. That's when it starts for me, the second compression. It's always been technique for me. But at 76 this year, I may have to give it up. I've been thinking hard about it with the back acting up.
     
  20. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Yeah. I've also wondered about how folks can just sit on the seat and use their leg
    muscles to kick over a Commando. At 170# I have to jump up in the air and acrobatically
    bring my whole weight down on the starter lever along with muscle/leg extension in
    order to turn the motor over with sufficient velocity to fire the second compression.
    At 72 I have arthritis and simply won't try that any more, knowing I would just cripple
    myself. Thus, I installed the cNw electric start which instantly starts it. If not for that
    I would not be riding it.
     

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