Kickstart a Cow?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Stagehand, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    anybody ever put a kickstarter on an R100GS?

    I know how silly it sounds at first. If you've ever been were I ended up, you'd want one, too. [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    I posted this same question a year or two ago on the GSlist and Boxerworks and was strongly advised against it. Apparently it is VERY hard to kick these things over successfully. I turned around and invested the bucks in an Omega alternator upgrade to reduce the chance I'll get caught without enough juice to crank the bike, which has other nice side benefits like heat and more light... for my riding it seemed like a more practical option. YMMV...
    #2
  3. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    Not the same bike, but I've got a kick start on my R90/6... Only really useful when the bike is warmed up.. Cold, and I can almost stand on the lever without it moving..
    #3
  4. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    As someone who spent years kickstarting an R75/5, and a decade pushing the button on an R100GS (with mixed results until sorting and using a charger on those weeks when I only commuted a few miles and didn't take a good long Sunday ride), I have to agree with the posts above.

    If you are set on spending money, upgrade the charging system.

    Otherwise, make sure your ignition (good wires from Motorrad Elektrik, good coils) and carbs are in good nick (overhaul, replacing the needles and needle jets every 30k miles), and slap it on the charger every week if you're at home.

    I never had a problem starting when out on the road. And don't lug that thing; keep it above 3500. Of course, it's more fun to keep it above 5000. :wink: Boxers like to rev.
    #4
  5. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    It's like tits on a bull, useless. It will just give you a false sense of security and then you're f'ed.
    #5
  6. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    Thanks, guys. Just trying to increase my chances of getting out of the woods on wheels.
    I'll probably do the Omega thing.
    #6
  7. AnnieGS

    AnnieGS Namasté, bitches!

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    Bump starting is easy enough, I'd think.
    #7
  8. Ray of Sunshine

    Ray of Sunshine Meat Donut 2 Some

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    BWWWWWWAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!
    It all depends on how strong your battery was before you killed it. A kickstarter won't give you any joy when the electrics are shot. However, you can get a great deal of exercise from the facing the bike kicking.
    When I inquired about adding a kickstarter to my R75/6, for contingencies such as you described I was quickly disuaded. It seems that the kickstarter is an emergency item, but unfortunately the sprags are fragile and liable to break. If this happens, you've got two real problems.
    A screwed electric system and a tango uniform transmission.
    As other scribes have mentioned, your best bet overall is an electrical upgrade. Also, go with an Oddessey (sp) battery. I don't know why but they are better thanthe old lead acid batterys.
    ed
    #8
  9. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    Why is it so difficult to put a kick starter on a BMW opposed twin? I had a kickstarter on my KZ1000 and it was always an effortless kickstart provided the ambient temperature was 50 or warmer. Kicking it over only got difficult near freezing.

    Is the larger/fewer pistons the problem, or is it just a poorly designed kickstarter?
    #9
  10. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    I know from a 75/6 I have that it is a very short throw on the kicker, making it difficult to overcome compression. Really does help to have the engine warm. And aren't these twins relatively long strokes? I'm just guessing about that, but it seems like a lot of parts to start turning in a very short space. I dont know how fragile any of the parts are, but i know I have to kick the crap out of it to get a good throw.
    I was thinking a kick on the R100 would be good for when I had been driving a good while through the woods, and found myself at the bottom of a hole with no way to push out, with my battery too pooped to push the starter. I can assure you the engine would be warm, by then. either i carry a spare battery, fully charged. Or swap the battery with a buddies bike (done this) to get to where I can pop start it. Or carry Jumper cables. What else gets an engine turning? a hand crank? HAHAHa.... hey.. wait just a second...[​IMG]
    Plus-- the /6 engines didnt come from BMW with a kickstart after 1974, at least the five speed gearboxes didnt. The fourspeeds did, however.
    #10
  11. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    Both. Multis are mucho easier to get turning, My old CB 750, I could start it with my hand on the kicker if it was warm. The main thing is that the BMW, with its' crank axis running forward and back, rather than crossways, the kicker pivots 90 degrees to a "normal" kick starter, to avoid a right angle gear drive just for the starter. Consequently you have to stand off to the side and try not to drop the bike as you kick it over.
    #11
  12. Chief

    Chief Adventurer

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    Had a euro spec R100GSPD with 40mm and a kickstart. If you can keep your bike in tune and start it with a short bump on the starter you can get it going with a kickstart lever as well. Might call it a step start though as there is nothing all that robust about any of the gear. If however you are in a hole as you say and have pooped out the electric starter trying to get the bike going the kickstart won't be helping you there. Get to know your bike and how to start it in all conditions and you won't have much for starting problems.
    #12
  13. bigrichard

    bigrichard Long timer

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    Yeah, I put a kickstarter on my R100GS

    Getting a cold engine going with the kickstarter is an art but I've seen it done
    Guy said the secret is step on it rather than kick it
    Nice and easy
    YMMV

    I mostly used it to make life easier on the electrical system
    Kicking it thru a couple times before hitting the button
    Made me feel better
    And I think the bike was happier having a kickstarter :smoke
    #13
  14. bigrichard

    bigrichard Long timer

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    It's not difficult to put a kickstarter on an airhead
    Tranny is set up for it even if the bike wasn't equipped with one
    The difficulty people are talking about is in using it


    Yes, compressing 500ccs is roughly twice as much work as compressing 250
    #14
  15. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    if you get stuck with low juice, pull the fuses to your light circuits before trying to start the bike. If you haven't got the option of shutting off your lights add a cut out switch. Less load on your week battery gives you a better chance of starting. being able to run for a bit without lights will give you a chance to charge up a low battery even at low rpms. I do this with my Tiger, specially when it is cold out. I realize the Germans do some crazy things with thier wiring schemes, so you may not have these options...
    #15
  16. GusRider

    GusRider Been here awhile

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    :nod

    Yep- another option is to look for the male/female connector that a lot of bikes have in between the headlight and wiring harness, and just unplug that. The taillight will still draw a little current, but its usually a little more accessible than the fuse box.
    #16