Daytona Bike Week 2010. Let’s Kick Start.

daytonabikeweekkickstartingUnder the correct assumption that more of you would own, ride and maintain an old or antique motorcycle if you knew how to kick start it, the (Antique Motorcycle Club of America), for the second year in a row, will host an Antique Bike Show on Wednesday of Bike Week (March 3 this year) at the Limpnickie Lot. Rally goers (men, women, teens) will not only have the opportunity to admire some old machinery but will also be offered the opportunity to learn how to kick start a 1946 Harley Knucklehead and a 1945 Indian Chief.

Matt Olsen and Rocky Halter will be on hand to guide visitors through the process of setting throttle, spark advance and choke controls before kicking the V-twin engines to life.

“It seems like whenever I’m out for a ride on an old bike and have to stop for gas, a crowd of curious onlookers gathers to watch me start the thing,” says Halter. What better way to teach people about old bikes than to let them try one out for themselves!. The AMCA Bike Show and the Kick-start Demo will run from 1 to 5 p.m. March 3 at the Limpnickie Lot in the Stone Edge Skate Park, 1848 S. Ridgewood Ave. in South Daytona. In addition, on Friday, March 5, there will be a Cycle Source Ride-in Bike Show with AMCA sponsoring the antique class and handing out the best Antique Chopper, Bobber, Survivor and Restored bikes. .

9 Responses to “Daytona Bike Week 2010. Let’s Kick Start.”

  1. 1 Dec 11th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    For those not able to attend, [the factory never told riders how to start a ’36-64 OHV. The rider handbook suggestion “to kick-vigorously on the starter artm” was written by an office clerk, not a rider. Hang-man drops (starter clutch disengagements) and kick-backs NEVER happen with early OHV, as long as the rider sits astride the m/c.
    It’s looks as though this rider is correctly being instructed to:

    CCW turning and lifting the (left) tank shut off rod, (with the ignition switch OFF), Retard the (left-handlebar) spark control so the timer spark-post is now positioned mid-way; then fully or two-click down the (left side) choke lever. Sitting astride the m/c (left foot always on the ground) [stock short stroke Knuckle & Pan only folks], she’ll push the kick-arm through (once) to fuel-prime the cylinders, and then pull the choke lever up to full open.

    Next, finding the compression stroke way down at 7 o’clock (8 o’clock is much more kick-resistant) Keep pushing through the motor slowly until the arm has a soild compression feel at 7.
    With her foot on the kick-arm (at 7 an don’t move your foot!) she’ll reach over and turn the dash switch ON. Then (without moving her foot) and positioning her weight (still astride) over the kick arm, and “push” the kick-arm completely through and keeping the kick-arm all the way down until the motor either starts or misfires. (Letting up on the kick-arm before the motor stops turning will lift the arm against your foot).
    If the OHV motor misfires…..Don’t turn the key OFF! Don’t move from your dominate position over the m/c, just keep pushing the motor through with 7 o’clock “push throughs” (your not *kicking” anything actually). The OHV motor may kick-back but will NEVER hurt you, I promise.
    It makes you look “in charge of the big machine” to casually push the motor through while your conversing with someone whose standing nearby. You don’t have to look at the motor, or look down with your head bowed, or pop beads of sweat.
    When the motor starts, the fact that you used the heavy flywheels and timer to your benefit makes you look in control. The 3- 7/16 bore and 3-31/32 stroke was H-D’s secret engineered gift.
    Watch old newsreels of mounted 1936-1964 Hwy. Patrol. Those guys started their machines from the seat. They didn’t jump up and down on the kick-arm.

    [*Note: Hanging off the right-side of the m/c and “kick” starting is only necessary for the long-stroke Shovel and early long-stroke singles. You can get hurt kick-starting s Sportster or Shovel (starter-clutch disengagement mid-stroke, a 6-month ouch!) That is a different H-D® than a knuck or pan.]

  2. 2 Dec 11th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    After the motor starts turn the left grip fully CW, which pulls the timer post to full advance.
    Letting motor “lope” with the timer mid- way might sound good, (another “I’m in control of the Big Twin’s idle” …thing), but it’s hard on the main bearings.
    Don’t retard the timer with the motor idling, (except for brief impressive demonstrations of the motor’s animal-ness). And a real crowd-pleaser that is.

  3. 3 nicker Dec 11th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    “… Keep pushing through the motor slowly until the arm has a soild compression feel at 7…”

    And, a properly tuned scooter will some times start as your “pushing it through.”

    But a poorly set up scooter will bring ya close to a heart attack, challenge your vocabulary and generally embarras the hell out of ya……. 🙂


  4. 4 Dec 11th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    “But a poorly set up scooter will bring ya close to a heart attack, challenge your vocabulary and generally embarass the hell out of ya…….”
    That will never happen with a 74 cu. in. Knuck or Pan.

    “Hopped-up motors” yes…many problems with the Knuckle & Pan “performance mods” 🙂 . You can lump them in with ALL the bad Harley stories you can gather. The only thing that sucks about the early OHV motors are the hard-to-adjust hydraulic lifters. Go with all USA steel solid lifters and solid push rods, and adjust them every 3,000 miles with your oil change. Most never need adjusting, sometimes the rear intake pushrod will get a tiny-bit tight, every 5,000 or more miles. It’s easy to re-adjust. You KNOW you’re in control of your own motor.
    If your knuckle or pan doesn’t start on the first or second kick, go read a manual. Something needs attention.
    Make no mistake, the early OHV is a completely different class of motorcycle.
    IMO, I wouldn’t own one without have a Bestway® in ground hydraulic lift. No way.

    The books tell you exactly how to time the early OHV motors with a tail light bulb. They’re the hand-crank model-T of motorcycles that won’t ever break your leg. 🙂

  5. 5 Dec 12th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    No wonder I ride classic Indians. 3rd kick from cold or leaving it in the garage for 6 months and she starts. Life is good,”don’t hide em, ride em”. Certain classic bikes are fun and are a great investment as one can ride the wheels off them and still get more money than they paid for it.

  6. 6 Roadside Marty Dec 12th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    This was a HUGE success in March and I’m sure it will be even more of a crowd pleaser this year! Congrats to Matt and Rocky as well as all of the other AMCA members that came by as well..see ya in March! Roadside (an undercover AMCA member)

  7. 7 nicker Dec 13th, 2009 at 1:22 am


    When your far form home the book doesn’t help ya a lick.
    So giving up after three kicks isn’t an option, unless your going for a trailer.

    Kicks are like potato chips, you can never stop at just One.
    You always thing the next one will be your last and so, ya just keep kicking.

    Hell, i’ve kicked so long, the motor must-a lit-off on friction-heat build-up alone…….. 🙂

    Sure, ya open up the book when ya get home and swear it’ll never happen again…… but it does.

    Because life isn’t perfect.
    (and if it was, it wouldn’t be very interesting)


  8. 8 Dec 13th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    “Because life isn’t perfect.
    (and if it was, it wouldn’t be very interesting)”
    Actually some things in life are perfect. The 1958 OHV motor was perfect.
    OHV life got more complicated after 1959.

    The real part of Harley-Davidson® mechanical evolution can be seen in exacting well documented history (thanks to Bruce Palmer). Every 3-5 years between 1936 and 1958 the factory made improvements. They never took steps backward during the evolution of the OHV motor.
    ’36-53 OHV used the same crankcase roller bearings, shims and spacers on each side of the flywheel assemblies. After 1941 and the release of the 74″ motor, the engineers were making spot-yearly internal changes to support the power of the Big Twin motor. 1954, ’55, ’56 and ’58 brought stronger shafts with wider bearing surfaces.
    It’s all in the books.

    If you find yourself away from home and an ancient (chromed) Taiwan coil goes out on you, yeah, you need to have a trailer at home to go pick up your stalled “bus”.

    But if the motor starts missing and loses power, you can adjust the (sorta closed) single-points with a 0.020″ business card to get you home. (Actual points gap for 1936-1960 is 0.022″). And that’s the only kind of roadside repair you’ll ever make on a Knuckle or Pan.
    They are fun motorcycles to ride and maintain, (as are the Indians we’re sure).

    Highly reliable, my OHV is ridden only when I drive far enough to heat the 1 gallon of oil up to temp.

    CAUTION: As an antique bike owner, you need to be alert of enthusiast walking into the path of incoming vehicles at gas stations. We’ve seen baby boomers go goo-goo….gah, gah…while walking into danger, towards your machine with their arms outstretched with glazed-over eyes of nostalgia – unaware of their surroundings. Just focused on your shiny relic.

  9. 9 randy Dec 15th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Try starting a honda CR-500 trail bike. Trail bikes still have kickstarts. Not quite a lost art yet but some new trail bikes have electric start now.

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