How to Start a Classic Harley Or Vintage Indian Motorcycle


Thanks to modern technology like Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), pointless ignition and 12-volt electronics strong enough to operate an electric starter, many of today’s motorcycle riders have never had to master the art of the motorcycle kickstart. I will show you, step-by-step, the process of prepping and kickstarting a classic Harley or vintage Indian motorcycle to life.

Step One: Check to make sure the ignition is turned off for now.

Step Two: Make sure there is enough gas in the gas tanks (sounds simple, but this one step might save you a lot of frustration) and open the fuel petcocks to allow the gas to run from the tanks to the carburetor.

Step Three: If the engine is cold, close the choke down all the way (if not sure which is close – remove the air cleaner and look). If the engine in hot, leave the choke fully open.

Step Four: Retard the ignition fully (if your motorcycle has manual advance/retard ignition option built into the handlebars) and open the throttle fully. Retarding the ignition makes it easier to kick the engine over, and the fully open throttle allows a proper primer of fuel to the engine.

Step Five: With the motorcycle balanced safely on a side or rear stand, kick the kickstarter over 2 or 3 times to prime the engine with gas through the carburetor and into the cylinder heads.

Step Six: Open the choke on your carburetor half way to allow a leaner mixture of gas and air into the cylinder heads.

Step Seven: Close throttle to no more than a quarter turn open.

Step Eight: Move the ignition advance/retard to roughly the middle (if you have a manual advance/retard system).

Step Nine: Turn on the ignition and give the kick starter a solid and complete kick through. Ideally the engine will fire and come to life.

Step Ten: If the engine does catch and run, advance the ignition fully and allow the bike to idle for a half minute to warm up, then ease off the choke and go for a ride. If the engine does not catch and run, try kicking it one or two more times. If that does not work repeat the entire process.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

The Brushless DC Motor And Its Use In Electric Automobiles

Automotive Technology at WST is a difficult program and is nationally licensed and accredited by NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation). The free piston hydraulic engine of NOAX sort could be combined with Artemis motors for even higher efficiencies. TSTC offers hands-on, state-of-the-artwork training with programs certified by the National […]

You May Like

Subscribe US Now