The electric start LC4's need the battery to power up the Kokusan ignition. It only requires a little bit of power, but if the battery is dead flat or disconnected, it won't start from a kick. You can't kick it over fast enough to generate enough stator power to energize it.
The earlier kick only model LC4's had an SEM ignition that didn't need any battery power at all to run.
gaspipe [the original]
Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd...