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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 27th January 2008
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Kettelhead Kettelhead is offline
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Default 74 Kicker arm problem

The kicker arm on my bike broke tonight when I was kicking it over. I was wondering if anyone has ever used a kicker arm for a stroker and if it worked out? I only weigh about 160lbs and I could use the extra leverage the longer kicker arm would give me.
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  #2  
Old 27th January 2008
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Lightbulb

Thinking about what you said it occured to me that using a longer kicker arm would be a bad thing for three reasons .......
1 you said you broke a standard kicker arm a stroker arm would place more torque on the joint making it break faster or in a different location
2 the kicker support / drive sproket cover on sporties is already prone to breaking adding more leverage will most certainly cause problems
3 by adding more leverage you also make the range of travel longer and increase the chances of the engine firing before completing the kick stroke possibly increasing the chances of the dreaded kickback

I would try to find a high quality standard lenth aftermarket kicker arm rather than substituting a longer arm. I hear it is hard to find these tho
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Old 27th January 2008
BuckIRyder BuckIRyder is offline
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I weigh about the same and I've used the standard kicker arm for 30 years. Thought about an extended stroker kicker arm (mainly to make things easier) but never felt strongly enough to get one. I suggest a good OEM replacment if you can get one. Carmine is right, the cover is the weak link, so I'd stick to a standard length. Are you kicking a stroker or high compression? Do you use the "left knee on the seat" technique?
This has worked much better for me than straddling the bike.
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Old 27th January 2008
CrazyHorse CrazyHorse is offline
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckIRyder View Post
.................................................. ........... Do you use the "left knee on the seat" technique?
This has worked much better for me than straddling the bike.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............
Ya know.........I never did get that one. If I tried that I would likely fall over along with the bike.

Ya watch old bike movies and such and you always see them straddle the scooter..........and these are old flatties, knucks, pans and stuff! WAY HARDER TO KICK than a little old Sporty is.
I never saw this knee on the seat stuff myself until the 90's.........looks more for show than for good purpose to me.

Maybe it's being 200+ lbs and 6'3" that causes me to not have any troubles straddling ANY BIKE and kicking it????

But..........each to their own I guess. I reckon getting it started in the most comfortable way for yourself is what matters in the end.
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Old 27th January 2008
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Originally Posted by CrazyHorse View Post
Ya watch old bike movies and such and you always see them straddle the scooter..........and these are old flatties, knucks, pans and stuff! WAY HARDER TO KICK than a little old Sporty is.
A lot of the older bikes had pretty low compression so were easier to kick over. My '78 with 10:1's requires a good strong kick to get her moving.

I always kick from a standing position on the right side of the bike. Left hand on the sissy bar, right hand on the handlebars, right leg on the kicker. Gives a good followthru on the kick and prevents any thigh-to-shock absorber contact. Learned this on my old '77 back in the day when I developed a big bruise on my thigh from kicking while straddling. May not look 'as cool' as kicking while straddling but definitely easier on the leg. Plus, it avoids kickback on a straightened leg and the resultant knee damage. Just my .02c worth.

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  #6  
Old 27th January 2008
CrazyHorse CrazyHorse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericfreeman View Post
A lot of the older bikes had pretty low compression so were easier to kick over. My '78 with 10:1's requires a good strong kick to get her moving.

I always kick from a standing position on the right side of the bike. Left hand on the sissy bar, right hand on the handlebars, right leg on the kicker. Gives a good followthru on the kick and prevents any thigh-to-shock absorber contact. Learned this on my old '77 back in the day when I developed a big bruise on my thigh from kicking while straddling. May not look 'as cool' as kicking while straddling but definitely easier on the leg. Plus, it avoids kickback on a straightened leg and the resultant knee damage. Just my .02c worth.

Eric
Like I said..........to each their own...........BUT-------->

I never bruised my leg on a shock..........ever!...........never been hurt by a kickback cause I do it right (knock on wood)..........been riding "street bikes" for going on 40 years ( 1st bike was a 63 Bonneville) and until this newest 1975 Sporty........I never owned an electric start bike not counting the few jap bikes I have had to compliment my current collection of chopper Triumphs & Sportsters at the time.

I do not straddle a bike to look cool.........I do it cause that is the way I was taught and all I saw until not long ago from everyone.Actually I could give a flying leap how I look starting a bike or what any bystander watching thinks......

lastly----------> I reckon you ain't never kicked a pan over huh? Or a Flathead 80????

Believe me..........they had lots of high compression souped up scoots in the oldie days........

And A Sporty IS easy compared to a panhead to kick over.

Also......."OLD" no auto advance...magnito bikes are the ones you have to watch for and then only if you do not do it right..........the others are no worry unless you do stupid shit kicking them like not FOLLOWING ALL THE WAY THROUGH on the kick.

Now I just had to clear that one up........

Anyway..........no need to explain or defend how you choose to fire up yer scooter...........whatever makes you happy is what's important to you.

My point was/is........I couldn't side kick one without falling over the bike or tipping the bike over ( I think as I never tried it)........and it does look like this side kicking shit is way more work and motion than it's worth. I always thought "SOME" did this because they were making more out of kicking a bike than was needed and trying to look cool.....

But again.........I'm a big guy........so maybe that makes the "right way" to start a bike easy for me????????

As stated before.......I'm still hoping Carmine will do an electric start instruction vid as I'm getting tired of having this stubbed thumb!!!!!


( I'm just here to learn and be an occasional annoying old fart while the ground is frozen--->-----> PEACE BABY)
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  #7  
Old 27th January 2008
CrazyHorse CrazyHorse is offline
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Talking NOW ERIC..........I'm yanking yer chain...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericfreeman View Post
.................................................. ....... Left hand on the sissy bar, .................................................. ............
Eric
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........wonder why they call it that???

Now.........another good point is why I never use these contraptions...........TOO HARD TO LET GO OF THAT SCOOT........nothing like having a piece of steel hang your ass and drag you along with that bike.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT..............

Plus...........girlies hug up against ya harder if there ain't no back rest.

All good reasons to lose that "sissy bar".

But I guess they are good to steady yourself when you "have to" side kick yer bike.
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Old 27th January 2008
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Kettelhead Kettelhead is offline
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Looks like I will stick with the stock length arm then. I have always been able to start it that way before just thought I could cheat a little bit. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 28th January 2008
Bill Jones Bill Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettelhead View Post
Looks like I will stick with the stock length arm then. I have always been able to start it that way before just thought I could cheat a little bit. Thanks for the advice.

I have a stroker arm on my stroker. It is still had to start.
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  #10  
Old 31st January 2008
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Default You gotta be joking

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyHorse View Post
And A Sporty IS easy compared to a panhead to kick over.
Besides being lower compression, the kicker on a Pan doesn't slip and the seat's not in the way. I always thought they were easy compared to my Sporty. Hell, you used to see cops kick 'em sitting down.

Can't say I ever kicked a Knuck or Flatty, but since the compression is way lower (I think it's 5:1 on the Flathead!) I don't see how it could be harder than a Sporty. Hell the Knuck's even the same size as a Sporty (61 ci), only with lower compression (7:1 if I remember right).

Glad the straddle kick technique is working for you, though. I guess I'm lucky I learned from other bikers instead of TV. Being an old fart pays off once in a while. At least my knee still works.
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