I'll also have to try the rock and roll
My 07 300 is getting to be a temperamental starter when cold, first easy kick when warm. I have not had any trouble with breakage on mine, surprisingly, as I have busted most everything else.
I lean forward and kinda lean on the bars, kicking backwards on mine. I swear the kicker is forward of plumb. So I push it backwards with progressive force, which seems to engage everything nicely, and reduces the force with which you bring your foot down on the peg as you bottom out. The clack of kicker and peg contact has always bothered me, but so it goes.
If she doesn't fire on the first few kicks, I run it through with the throttle open for several kicks, then close and kick. Not sure of the science on this, just habit from many years of starting recalcitrant machines.