e-start a must?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by mpatch, May 21, 2013.

  1. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

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    I say yes. Seen many of fool wear themselves out kick starting (or trying to) bikes in tough single track.
    #1
  2. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    I've seen more fools suffer the 'click click click' of a dead battery.

    but I must ask, is there a reason you felt like you had to make your opinion on the matter public?
    #2
  3. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

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    Looking at a bike without it and cannot decide if I should just holdout and save up for one that has both kick and e start
    #3
  4. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    Gees, I wonder what we all did in the 70's and 80's with heavier bikes and no e-start?
    #4
  5. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    Once you have e-start, it kind of spoils you.

    My coworker invited me out to a vintage dirt bike ride - I spent a lot of time trying to kick that thing over. Of course every time he did it, it looked so easy...but I never really got the hang of it.

    There were also plenty of guys that couldn't kick start their bikes, and they had to either push/tow start - not much of an improvement over dead battery.
    #5
  6. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    Ever kick a stalled bike in baby heads, wedged between boulders, up hill on tight single, off camber .... you want the push button. Watched a buddy dump a kick only Yammi 426 hundreds of times in really shitty spots in Moab after a stall.

    Of course the best of both worlds is kick and magic button like my 2002 KTM 520.
    #6
  7. Our man in Bangkok

    Our man in Bangkok mud plugger

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    Electric start is not a necessity... but it is very nice. Especially after a flame out, balanced on top of a rock and with no feet to spare (it does happen).
    However, It should be backed up with a kick starter.
    KTM enduro bikes give you both.. KTM MX bikes generally give you the choice of one. There are other brands... but the message is the same.
    E-start. Super nice, but not essential. If you have one... have kick also.

    Yes, there was life before e-start, but there was also a time when you crank started cars.... All you e-start haters, did you crank your car this morning?
    Didn't think so :)
    #7
  8. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    After several years of not owning a kick starter bike I found a clean xr400 on craigslist and ask myself the same question. I'd say it depends on how and where your going to use the bike.

    If money is no object then certainly get a new bike with both but I find the xr4 and the recently purchased 650r to be very easy to start and very rarely require a second kick.

    I use them for multiday trips but not as local commuters so when I get one out I'm going riding and have the right boots etc. which helps.

    For reference purposes I'm 57 and I almost didn't buy the bike solely because it didn't have the button I had used for so many years, I'm really glad I didn't let it stop me.
    #8
  9. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I just bought my first kickstart-only bike a few months ago, a KLR250. When I first bought it, it would take a couple dozen kicks to get started. After cleaning the carbs, replacing and adjusting the carb jets, replacing a few parts, and adjusting the valves, it starts cold after three or four kicks, sometimes fewer, and once warmed up, it'll start on the first kick, once in awhile the second. For me, I'm fine with that. Sure, pushing a button is nice, but giving a few kicks isn't a big deal to me. That being said, there have been a few times where I stalled it on a hill and simply didn't have the footing to kickstart it... In those few cases, having the button would be very nice.

    In the end, I'm happy with the kickstart and would buy another kickstart-only bike in the future. However, if given a choice between kick and electric start, I'd pick the button.
    #9
  10. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    Having both is best.:deal While witnessing a buddy on a BMW G450X demo bike stall in a holler between two hills, it quickly dawned on us how important it is to have a kickstarter, since the BMW had only the button.:huh This was a newish bike with what should have been a newish battery, but it would not crank the hot motor. Luckily he got it restarted after a cooling off period, but that incident took that bike off our lists.
    #10
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    This +1000.

    I can understand the real pros who already take their sidestand off and run carbon bodywork being worried about the weight penalty of both. For 99% of riders in the real world, having both makes sense, unless it's something so big you won't be kicking it over (in which case, just give it a very reliable starter motor!)
    #11
  12. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    I agree, both is best.

    But, in my mid-60s, with knees that are joined with cat-gut and good intentions, I ain't gonna kick much, nor often.

    The kicker is optional for me, electic foot is mandatory.
    #12
  13. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    My Honda XR is usually easy to kick start. :evil Having electric start is nice but not necessary. If I was interested in a bike without electric start, I’d go for it.
    #13
  14. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Elec leg isn't mandatory just a personal preference luxury. Don't know about kicking a stalled dirt bike while balancing on top of a rock...I don't play there. Most bikes I've owned since the 60's were kick only or lately kick and elec. The key to owning a kick bike is keeping the motor in good condition and "always" in tune.
    At my age I like elec start but not mandatory for my uses. On a side note: don't think if you kill the battery that you can still kick start it. Unless you're running a magneto ignition you still need somewhat of a battery charge to provide spark to get her lit. But if you are running a magneto...an excellent state of tune is absolutely critical. Get lax on maint, best to carry good walking shoes.
    If you're normally fit and healthy an elec starter is a very nice luxury but not mandatory. Maintenance on either system IS mandatory.
    #14
  15. SidewinderX

    SidewinderX Hey, watch this!

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    Been taking them off my 2 strokes and selling them for yrs now.



    For a hard to start 4 stroke. Yes need one
    #15
  16. pne

    pne Long timer

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    depends on the bike, on my wr250r I never missed the kick starter. The stock battery had enough juice to start it dozens of times in the single track while running the headlight.

    On my ktm 2 stroke, I pulled the battery out and use the kicker only. Reason is it was designed as a fancy light weight race bike, so the starter makes the worst kind of noises every time I used it, didn't matter how I shimmed the gears or lubed them, grease, oil, etc.
    #16
  17. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

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    I have a XT550 that is kick start only. It starts pretty easy and hasn't caused me any problems, but I still miss that little button.
    #17
  18. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    I will say with the big 4 strokes and super tall seat heights today, e-start is something you won't want to be without unless you're 6'6" or taller and can get good leverage on the kicker. And even then, on the carbed bikes, you can wear yourself out kicking them if they're flooded.

    E Start for me everytime.
    #18
  19. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    I had a AJS 500 single,with high compression piston.
    It would turn you into a puddle of sweat,in the winter.
    When it wasn't trying to launch you!
    E start evermore. :)
    #19
  20. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    No magic button= must have well tuned bike.I have a xr650r that I put an aftermarket camshaft in .This removed the auto compression release.I make bets that people cant start it and win every time.It usually starts 3rd kick cold and 1st kick hot.This does not bother me.The ignition system is wired independently from the rest of the bike and doesnt use 12v.I like it that way.Bike I would replace it with would be a husky 630-6 speeds and e button.
    #20