Yep I've had to use it in the past. I had a battery fail completely when I stopped for a break while I was out riding. The kick starter saved me in that situation. I put the kick starter in it at the same time I did the 351 big bore and when the bike is warmed up it usually starts with one kick. If the bike is cold I haven't gotten it down to getting it to start all the time with the kicker. The 351 is definitely harder to kick over compared to my 94 klr250.