Kickstart Tips and Tricks


First, keep it tuned up!

These are just my ideas...everyone has their own.

These starting tips have worked for me and I've been kickin' my Pan for 25 years!

Every bike has it's own combination of "how much to choke" or "how many twists of the throttle" it takes to start easily. You need to know your bike.

You need to develop two routines - one for when your bike is cold and one for when your bike is hot.

For a cold bike... normally you will have better luck if you kick it through a few times with the ignition off and the choke or enrichener on and depending on your bike and carb maybe a few twists of the throttle. This gets good mixture in the cylinder and "primes" it so the first time you kick it with the ignition on the bike will pop-off and start.

If it coughs and spits smoke out of the carb, don't just keep kickin' it with the ignition on until you feel like you could puke your guts out. Turn the ignition key off and kick it through a couple of times to clear out the cylinder and get a fresh "charge" of fuel-air mixture into the engine. Every time the ignition fires with a half-assed mixture all you get is more smoke and kicking.

For a hot bike...if it has been recently shut off (and tuned properly), just turn the ignition on and kick. Any amount of gas/choke/enrichener will depend on how long the bike has been sitting.

Setting base timing is critical to enjoying a bike that starts easily without at lot if kicking. Normally, base timing is set at TDC (Top Dead Center) or "0". If you're experiencing inconsistent kick-starting results, especially when warm - the base timing may need to be advanced 1 or 2 degrees. 

Another important consideration is the carburetor jetting and air/fuel mixture. Black, sooty spark plugs that don't transfer spark efficiently can be the result of the air/fuel mixture being too rich or the jetting being too large. 

If you are unsure about these settings, it might be best to take the bike to a good mechanic who knows how to set the bike up.

Each bike (like each biker) is a little different. It takes time to get to know each bike. The exact procedure that will work for your bike will take time...trial and error. Be patient and your bike will become a part of you!