Family Photo

gimmyjimmy /

Finally, here's a pic of my rides,

two 1980 General 5 Stars and a 1964 Harley Panhead Chopper.


Re: Family Photo

gimmyjimmy /

both peds


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gimmyjimmy /

the pan


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Nice group of kids ya got there gimmy

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Crisis--Cincinnati /

Sweet rides Jimmy!

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No moped pictures here. Just the "others".

Anybody who still uses the kickstarter has my respect.

I'm of the opinion that 98% of RUBBIES (Rich Urban Bikers) wouldn't be riding a Harley if it weren't for the starter button.



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gimmyjimmy /


what year is the flathead?, and the shovel?, and what could that partial pic of the blue and white thing be next to the 45?

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gimmyjimmy /

thanks Chris, I've enjoyed all the miles traveled on them.

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gimmyjimmy /


never had to spank em, just kick em. :{)

Re: What they are..


L to R:

A '60 Cushman Road King I no longer have

'41 45 with high compression (6.5 to 1!) aluminum heads.

'74-74. It came without a kickstarter, but when I went to put the kicker kit on it, I found the transmission gear was already in place. The factory must have had second thought about completly eliminating the kicker.


Re: What they are..

gimmyjimmy /

I have a friend that added the kicker to his too, it's good to have both, especially on those cool mornings when an old battery hasn't the juice.

I put a belt drive primary on my panhead with the option of going to an electric start some day, but never bothered, usually starts on 1-2 kicks, and when your kickstarting 1340cc (punched out), the sooner the better. pant,pant,pant.

Re: What they are..

what's the point of having a motorcylce w/o a kickstart? i just can't imagine feeling cool and/or tough on a bike when you just press a button to start. sheesh! it's just part of the biker bravura!

Kickstarters are rare now

As far as street legal bikes miguel... believe it or not... almost NO motorcycles come with kickstarts.

There are probably 200 different street legal motorcycle models sold in the US now... and I bet only 2 or 3 have kickers on them.

I don't like it... I was disapointed when they started eliminating them (in around 1980 ! )

I always liked to kick start them... and liked the fact that you could still start them with a dead battery.

Not any more.

(but... I also bet I could offer you $100 if you could kickstart a couple of my bikes.. and you couldn't do it.. thats one reason they eliminated them.. some bikes are hard to kick start..)

Another of lifes ...'conveniences'.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now


it seems to me that a kick start is a great test of how tuned your bike is. If you kick it 50 times, maybe there's something to look at...

you don't get that with an electric start----

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

Ron Brown /

...and your right knee....

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

ah... but that's what always made bikes so awesome. growing up, i was always so impressed by how my dad and uncles could start up their bikes. it looked so tough. pressing a button just isn't very james dean or marlon brando.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

I said.. HE.. couldn't start it... nor you... nor 19 out of any typical 20 men.

.... I .... can start it... these are a particular type of motorcycles... large bore single cylinder 4 stroke motorcycles.

They can be tuned perfectly... in fact... the better thay are tuned (for more HP)... the harder they are to start.

It takes a fair amount of sheer force... but more importantly... it takes an intimate knowledge of the conditions to be met... and a feel for its 'needs' at that moment.

These motors are at the physical limit of what a man can do to start them himself... everything has to be just right or they won't start.

I am sure that in the old days.. people made money by betting others at the bar to start their bikes... for $$$... the amateurs kicked till they were breathing hard and sweating and cursing... and the owner smiled... and fired it off within 2 or 3 kicks.

People sell them sometimes simply because they can't figure out how.

Also... people used to leave their keys in them... because no stranger to the bike was going to start it and ride it... LOL !!

These type of bikes are from the era when men were men.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

yep, that's what i love about kickstarts. you have to really know your bike.

same w/ a moped (sort of). first-timers can't figure out the timing on the clutch/decompression and pedal like crazy and can't get my bianchi to start. and then i just start her up just so.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now


That's exactly what I would encounter with guys that worked on the 4 cylinder Jap bikes of the 70's and 80's. They would run down the battery and risk burning up the starter instead of figuring out why the damn thing wouldn't start.

My '67 XLCH Sportster with a magneto would start on three kicks max, two usually. If it didn't, you knew to clean the plugs or check the timing. You could kick til you died, or give up riding one.

These devices had a way of filtering out the wimps and the ones who were not serious about their machines. Another added benefit was if you were "impaired", you couldn't start the machine then slam into the next stationary object to become another statistic for the safety Nazis.


Re: Kickstarters are rare now

Okay,Fred.Tell me the secret.Is it like you have to rotate the engine around to the compression stroke on a 4-cycle ? Or is it a progressively forceful push all the way thru to the bottom,like ringing the Strong Man's bell at the county fair.I'm curious.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

All of the above.. and more.

The throttle position and choke have to be set right(for temp)... or some have a "hot start button".

You also have to get your body in the right position and gather your strength.

(depending on how strong/large you are)

If you show a mechanically inclined person how... and they are fit (and a little patient)... they can get it to start fairly well.

And sometimes.. I think your Karma just better be right too.

Questions like.. "How do I start this G* D* X** X******* THING ! "

Is a regular question... the tone of exasperation and desperation is sometimes just hilarious... I can't help laughing.

Here is an old one........

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Re: Kickstarters are rare now

Fred,that is a killer bike! Is that yours?I bet you don't run regular in that thing! I haven't been around a lot of motorcycles,but I've seen `em kickin repeatedly at them.I have ridden a Bridgestone 350 before and it scared me how fast it would go.It had 6 gears I think and fourth gear was out.It wasn't hard to start at all as I remember.Little brother didn't keep it very long.

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No... not mine ... I don't have anything that nice.

I run premium in mine.

These are 4 strokes I'm talking about.

A Bridgestone 350 was a 2 cylinder 2 stroke... real easy to start.

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Oh,okay.NOW I'm getting the idea.Yeah,I'll bet four strokes would kick you back sometimes.Especially with advanced timing and racec cams.One time back in my Concrete Finishing heyday my little brother got this bright idea to up the compression on my 7hp briggs industrial engine.He said:It's simple Don,that cam is holding the intake valve open just a little as a compression release.We'll just grind a little off the valve stem and it will run like a scalded dog.I was a little skeptical as it was MY machine,and I'd take the fall if he was wrong.But I said o.k. Tom,have at it.It is a little underpowered.I don't think we took over a 32nd of an inch off it and put it back together.He started it up and MAN did it crank then! I thought:This is the best thing since sliced bread.Well,a few days later I had to use it on a slab(this is a 48' diameter machine;fairly large by the way).I reached down and gave that thing a big he-man pull.Fred,I believe that thing nearly pulled the leaders,tendons and all right out of my forearm!It popped that starter handle right thru my fingers and the pain was near unbearable.Little brothers will get you every time,and I had 4 of `em!

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That's a 48" machine.I hit the wrong button.If it was 48' it would be a concrete `screeding machine'.WHEW!


gimmyjimmy /

You got that right Fast Fred, I have a "recipe" for starting mine:

full choke (if cold), kick prime one time with key off,

retard distributor,

choke off, key on, wind kicker up to compression,

take a deep breath and kick it HARD! rumbles to life....but if you hesitate on the kick through,

the beast will bite you.

also....alignment of the stars, how you woke up that morning, the direction the bike is facing, clean socks, if your sports team won, payday, if ya got some loving the night before, all factor in to the starting procedure......Karma?

AND..if there is a crowd watching you start it, then it won't start on the first kick.


btw, good looking Beezer pic ya posted.


gimmyjimmy /

not that much "cool"

before 65, all harleys were kick start,

after 65, it was "cool" to have a push button electric start,

there were a few times I wished I had a push was when I stalled out at a busy intersection with my ol' lady on the back, but no one behind me dared blow their horns at me.

but as a safety factor, electric start has some advantages.

Re: Kickstarters are rare now

gimmyjimmy /

>>These devices had a way of filtering out the wimps and the ones who were not serious about their machines.<<

Jim, you should see the R.U.B.s faces when I stand on my kicker. I've had that Pan for and some of the new riders I see with their plastic purchased Road Kings, have no idea what motorcycling is about. They will play with their toys for a year or two and sell em for a swimming pool or something...

and....the newbies are adding to the crash stats quickly.

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