Kickstarter question

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by kellymac530, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    A while back I traded a 1986 R80GS for some labor and a bit of cash. It has sat for quite a few years with a hole in the valve cover and some other minor issues.

    I finally have started tinkering with it and one thing I noticed is that the kick starter seems to feel broken. It does not engage the motor till pretty far down in the stroke and then it does not always retract on its own. It seems to retract sometimes but not always.

    I have NO experience with a sideways kickstart bike. How should it feel?
    If this sounds like a problem, what might that be and how do I check for the problem?

    Thanks folks.
    #1
  2. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    The kickstart on my G/S travels some way before engaging and does not turn the engine over very far before hitting the stop, it will start the bike with some effort but it is a good job it has an electric start as well.
    #2
  3. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    The teeth are prone to breaking off on the quadrant. Sounds like yours if foobar. You can buy a new one from Motobins but you will need to pull the end cover and don't forget to fish the broken teeth out of the bottom of the gearbox.

    When you first stamp down on the kickstart the teeth that break off are the ones that contact the small gear first.

    If you use the kickstart a lot the roll pin eventually crushes and the kickstart lever ends up hitting the airbox. The only thing a kickstart on a airhead proves is that the Germans do have a sense of humour.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

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    Dang, so using the kickstart as a daily driver and getting rid of the electric start is not highly recommended? I hear nothing but bad things about this.
    #4
  5. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    The electric start on the fist Mono g/s machines was an optional extra. They must have had some faith in the kickstart.
    #5
  6. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

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    It's listed as an optional tranny in the fiche. I was thinking of ditching the starter for weight savings. How realistic is this idea?
    #6
  7. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    No, The kickstarter is NOT reliable and when used frequently will eventually die. It's really for emergency use only. Reliability aside, it's not an easy kickstarter to use and would be a pain in the ass if it were your only means of starting the bike.
    #7
  8. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I'm of the opinion that they called it an optional extra so that they could exclude the 10 or 12 lbs of Bosch iron from their advertised dry weight as well as make their base price a bit lower. The idea worked on paper. In the real world though, I seriously doubt that they actually delivered a single bike without the electric starter. The absence of a different wiring harness or handlebar switches for non-electric start bikes in the parts fiche is a bit telling.
    #8
  9. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    Don't forget to include the kickstart ignition module in your costs. You wont be able to start the bike without it.
    #9
  10. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    The 4 speeds weren't too bad. Just have to drill and tap the press fit idler shaft to make sure it stays put. Otherwise, indestructable. I can usually start my R75/5 in a kick or two. But then again, the starter can do it in a crank or two. Simple enough choice.

    On the old airhead, its kinda nice to have, as the charging system is weaker, and the battery is smaller (short wheel base).
    #10
  11. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    The kicker on the G/S or even GS is your 3rd option for starting..electric first..upgrade to a Nipenso (sp) or new model Valero,,,roll down a hill in 3rd gear is second...the very last is the kicker.

    They're a nice conversation piece at the campground or on the road but not as robust as they should be compared to the early days when a kicker was the only option...they cut back on the metal fabrication internals by half after '81 and you can tell.
    #11
  12. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    Right now, I have a /5 4 speed with kickstart mated to an R100S engine with 9.5:1 pistons. I can get it started with the kicker, but wouldn't want to get rid of the starter, that's for sure!
    #12
  13. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    OK, I appreciate the input. I was just worried about it being busted...I do prefer to crank start it over kick start it.
    BTW sorry, it is not an R80GS but rather a G/S...my bad.

    I only have about $1000 in parts and 20 hrs or so in the Jet Ski rebuild that the G/S was given in trade for. I think it was a pretty good trade for me. It has the dual seat and stock small tank as well as the red solo seat with rack and a BIG PD tank with it. Too bad the stock luggage was dried out and cracked, but it is there.

    I think I could get my money back after a clean up, even if I parted it out....ABSOLUTE last resort. I may want to keep it. We will see after riding it. The stock tank and solo seat/rack are brand new and never even used. they were put in a bag up on a shelf and are in perfect shape. Unfortunately the bike sat outside in Az and the dual seat and PD tank are faded and cracked a bit but all easily repairable....very cool stuff though.

    HPN replica is my dream for it, but IDK if I can afford all of that.
    #13
  14. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    Let me know when you run out of patience/money/time and want to let it go to a new loving home for rejuvenation :D:D
    #14
  15. ontic

    ontic

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    Do you mean after '80? or does my '81 G/S have a kicker twice as strong as the '82?:D

    Seriously though, is there enough room in there to potentially beef up the kicker mechanism? I haven't opened one up yet. Has anyone looked into this ieda (or shot it down in flames) yet?
    I'm with you on the 3rd option thing- roll starting leads by a long way IMO. But roll starting is not always an option. I kicked my G/S over once to see if I could, and in the reasonably bad tune that the bike was in I got it started after 10 kicks or so (I'll save the other remaining kicks for actual emergencies). Very hit or miss but I'd love to have it there as a viable 3rd option without worrying about it shitting itself.
    #15