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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 14th December 2007
iron1000head iron1000head is offline
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Default Kicker Conversion?

I'm new to this forum and also to the world of XL's. I have recently picked up an 85 rigid. which i have taken down to the frame for a winter drinking project. The one thing I would really like to do to this bike is convert it from elec start to a true kicker. and I mean true!!! I want to X the elec. start all together. Have any of ya done this? If so I would sure appreciate some guidance to some of the parts and steps I will need to do. THANKS!
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  #2  
Old 14th December 2007
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ericfreeman ericfreeman is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead XLH Sportster
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It's going to be expensive on your '85 since there is no hole in the case for the kicker shaft to go into the primary. HD stopped putting in the holes in 1980. You'd have to strip things down to see about having the hole drilled and bushed. Pop off the primary cover, remove the clutch assembly and see if there is a boss still in place for the kicker bushing. If so, you could have a machine shop install the bushing. You'd still need the stop pin for the kicker crank gear and the pin on the outside of the case that locates the thrust plate. Could be easier to pick up an earlier motor for your bike if you can find someone to trade with.

V-Twin sells complete kicker kits. I fitted one to my '78 and it works fine, even though it's made in Taiwan! Would love to see one of those little guys try to kick over my motor with 10:1 pistons!

Eric
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  #3  
Old 14th December 2007
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You can't put a kicker on late 84 / 85 Sporty due to the bloody alternator on the back of the clutch, they are fitted with a special trap door, no room there for gears/spring/sleeve/ratchet etc...

Only way is to swap engines, 79 are the last one you can easily fit a kicker on.

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Old 15th December 2007
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OutlawTexan67 OutlawTexan67 is offline
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I will have to disagree my 80' has the hole for the kicker its just plugged with a cap that is held in place with a screw inside the cases.
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  #5  
Old 15th December 2007
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From what I know and that aint much. 1979 was officially the last year for the kicker, although some 1980 cases are 79 left-overs. And that being said the cases can be adapted to kick start. 1981 and up have different changes to the cases and cannot be easily changed to a kick starter.

For whats its worth, I am currently in the progress of rebuilding my 81 and I have a 75% of a 1979 motor on a shelf in my shed for a future project. I bought the 79 cases so that I would have the kick-start option if I wanted it. It makes my knees ache every time I think of building it..
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  #6  
Old 15th December 2007
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yeah a good source that I know said there are 2 different cases in 80' the earlier half of 80 still had the kicker hole.And some other changes were made in the later half of 80 for instance some of the internal oil passages were also changed.
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  #7  
Old 15th December 2007
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i hope no one considers this a "hijack" of this thread, but i've been wanting to ask this and i figure it might help answer iron1000head's original question...

i also want to completely ditch the electric start on my 1970 XLH (with kicker conversion) and all it's components. so... what all can i lose? and can i downgrade the giant car-sized battery??

thanks for any help and feel free to tell me i should start a new thread w/ this.
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Old 15th December 2007
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OutlawTexan67 OutlawTexan67 is offline
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If you want to get rid of the E-start all together then then you can ditch everything starter,solenoid,starter relay and all the components that go with the starting system.
But if I were you and I am pretty sure it can be done.I would keep both and use which ever one you choose at any given time.
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  #9  
Old 15th December 2007
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thanks, Texan. i appreciate your advice about keeping both, but honestly the electric start has never worked anyway, and i'm tired of trying to fix it - that's what gave me the idea to remove it altogether. that, and the kicker is quite reliable - hot or cold. but i'll keep the electric start system until i know i can start it with one or two kicks - nearly every time.
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  #10  
Old 15th December 2007
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ericfreeman ericfreeman is offline
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My '77 XLCH I purchased new when I was just 22 always started right up and never let me down in the two+ years I owned it. Never hurt me either! Well, not much anyway!

Now with my '78 XLH, I've added the kicker and have thought of losing the starter, battery, etc. to drop about 40 lbs of weight. However, at 52 I figure I'll keep the electric and try to lose the 40 lbs myself! Some days it's really nice to just press the button and hear the beast roar to life but it's also good to have the kicker in case it's needed.

Eric
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