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    This procedure really works.  Anyone large or small, novice or experienced can do this, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you follow the instructions they do make a difference. It will take longer to read this than it will to do the procedure, but please read it all.

    1. Make certain that the "kill" switch is in the "on" or "run" position. This switch is located by the throttle, on the right side of the bike. (Sounds dumb, but I have missed this step more than once myself).

    2. Turn the fuel tap to the "on position". Make sure that there is plenty of fuel in the tank. When the arm of the fuel tap is pointing toward the ground it is on. When it is horizontal it is in the "off" position. When the arm points upward it is in the "reserve" position.

    3. If the engine is cold, push down on the gold colored choke lever. It is located on the right side of the bike about where your knee is. On the Lean-Burn engines such as those found in the Electra the choke is a knob that needs to be pulled out.

    4. Engage the compression release. This is the lever on the underside of the left hand handlebar switches (pre-1999 1//2), or just to the right of the left hand handlebar switches.. It is engaged by pushing it forward (pre-1999 1/2) or pulling it toward you (all other models).

    5. With the compression release engaged, kick the bike through 3 times. This "primes" the engine. (Optional, but I think it helps a cold engine)

    6. Turn the ignition switch on by turning the key to the right.

    7. With the switch turned on, choke on, the throttle closed, and the compression release engaged, gently move the kick start lever and note the movement of the ammeter gauge. (*For those of you with Electronic ignition bikes like the Electra see below). It will deflect to the left and then come back to the center. As you slowly turn the engine over, watch for the ammeter to deflect to the left. Now move it a little more until it just comes back to the middle. This middle position means that the piston is poised exactly where it should be for starting.

    8. Now the moment of truth. Release the compression release lever and kick the bike through. When kicking, strength is not the key. A small woman can start the bike with the correct technique. The key is a long kick with good follow through. Kick it until the top of your shoe hits the foot peg. 9 times out of 10,the bike will start in the last 3" of movement.

    9. If the engine is hot from being very recently run, you can omit steps 3, 4, and,5 .

    10. If the bike doesn't start, repeat steps 7 and 8. (If bike is "hot" do not use the choke, if it is just "warm " you may need it) You MUST position the piston properly through the use of the ammeter.(for all non-electronic ignition bikes) A natural inclination (especially if people are watching you) is to start kicking blindly without using steps 7 and 8. This is a route to total frustration and a complete loss of your manhood.( or womanhood ).

    If the bike doesn't start after 3-4 kicks

     
    I use a rule of 4, that is, if it doesn't start after four kicks, (adhering tightly to the steps above) then do something different. If it doesn't start in four kicks, then put the choke in the "off" or up position and try another 4 kicks. If that doesn't work, open the throttle all the way, choke on, and try it. Then if it still doesn't start, try throttle full open, choke off. This usually does it.

    *Note for Electra or owners of bikes with electronic ignitions

    With an electronic ignition the ammeter will not dip as stated above because it has no ignition points to draw current. Instead you want to move the kickstarter so that the bike is at the top of the compression stoke (not the exhaust stroke). With the decompresser open you will hear a rush of air coming from the decompresser as the piston rises on the compression stroke. An alternative method it to leave the decompresser shut and kick the bike until you meet stiff resistance. Then you must open the decompresser for a moment to relieve the pressure before you attempt to kick start the bike.


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    1 Comment
    1. Anonymous Said,

      Thanks a million for these priceless tips. Very helpful.

      Posted on 8:49:00 PM

       

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