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Norton 74 kickstart not engaging

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by phliper, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. phliper


    Aug 19, 2011
    Hey guys

    Just started my 74 850 roadster today. Starts after 3 kicks, I was happy! Stopped the bike, then tried to start it again after an hour.

    Kicked her 3 or 4 times, she kicked back, hunted my knee of course... haha

    Then tried to kick her back and the kickstart did not engage. The spring works, i can push the lever down with my feet or hand, I can hear small clicks when I push the lever down. But it doesn’t engage.

    Do you think it’s my kickstart pawl?

  2. blaisestation


    Apr 10, 2008
    Sounds like it.
  3. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Dec 5, 2017
    Most likely the pawl, though mine used to slip occasionally every day or so....seems to make a difference if I've correctly push the lever to the top of compression stroke before giving her the beans....easier on the leg and the pawl. I've now done a full gearbox rebuild and replaced the pawl/springs with fresh.
    Only other thing to confirm...do the splines on the arm slip on the kicker spindle? This is a common issue and there are several solutions. One is to grind down a few teeth (two) nearest the slot for the clamping bolt...to allow the slot for be clamped closer together. Another fix is to replace the clamp bolt with a through bolt, high strength, and a nut. I chose a third option...using some JB weld on the splines to give it a bit more grip. Easy enough to heat with propane and soften the epoxy when time comes to remove it.

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