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Author Topic: New Owner needs help!  (Read 3643 times)

tmccarthy41

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New Owner needs help!
« on: March 15, 2008, 11:47:27 PM »
So I took delivery today on my new (to me) 2000 bullet 500. The bike had been stored indoors for I would imagine about 4-5 months. When I first went to look at it the fellas at the shop, (technician & crew) fired it up, and it idled fine. Today I tried to kick it over, (turned on gas, and opened choke), & after about 10 kicks (my first time ever doing this, EVER) it started. My limited knowledge told me to then close the choke, after it had started, and just to rev the engine. Well obviously, it stalled. I then tried to kick it over again, and it became MUCH harder and it never kicked over...

first off, can one of you please tell me what the proper way to do this is, (from start to finish)...

secondly, are there any electric start kits out there, that aren't terribly expensive?

any help would be SO appreciated

Thanks!
-Tim
Pittsburgh, PA

Thumper

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 11:53:49 PM »

Peter

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2008, 12:03:24 AM »
You are lucky having a KS only.
Trust me.

There is a drill to follow kicking the Bullet, or any big single for that matter.
And every one is a little different (throttle cracked open, choke etc).
You can injure yourself quite seriously if you don't follow proper procedure.
Safe kicking is the same for all.
Kick with the ball of your foot slightly behind the lever, that way the starter pedal can slip forward out from under your foot when it kicks back. Check that you are standing so that the kicker cannot hit your shinbone when it slips out because of kickback. Kick with determination.  If you kick like this, you can handle the most vicious machines with impunity. Do not ever do the lazy pedal in front of the heel thing.
If you follow the procedure in the link above, the Bullet actually cannot kick back, it can still backfire but without kickback. But better safe than sorry.
Trust me once more on this.

It is virtually impossible to break an ankle when proper procedure is followed.
No need to be scared.
Trust me for the third time.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 12:17:40 AM by Peter »

tmccarthy41

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2008, 12:09:04 AM »
Now you have me a trifle nervous, Peter. Can I really break my ankle trying to kick start this thing?

In reading the instructions for kick starting in the link (thank you) I am confused at to the "compression release" & "ammeter & piston position", I do not know what this means.

thanks for the continued help my friends
-Tim
Pittsburgh, PA

Peter

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008, 12:16:10 AM »
Yes you can break your ankle.
But you won't hurt yourself when you understand the technique and why it is done a certain way.
Never let your guard down (just like when riding the machine), especially after this 28th kick when nothing is happening anyways - that's when it's going to get you.

Peter

geoffbaker

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2008, 12:20:04 AM »
Tim

I've had mine for about a month and most of the time it was in the shop, so I'm new to this too.

Don't worry about your ankle... just follow the startup procedure exactly. You get kickback mostly if you try to kickstart it following any other procedure... if you kick when its at tdc, you won't have a problem.

But read the instructions till they make sense, then follow them.

Peter

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 12:30:47 AM »
Now you have me a trifle nervous, Peter. Can I really break my ankle trying to kick start this thing?

In reading the instructions for kick starting in the link (thank you) I am confused at to the "compression release" & "ammeter & piston position", I do not know what this means.

thanks for the continued help my friends

I don't look at the ammeter. I ease the kicker until I feel the resistance of the compression stroke. Then I open the decompressor valve and listen to the whistling while slowly easing the kicker farther telling me that the charge is leaving into the exhaust. Whistling stops - piston is at TDC compression stroke. Then I turn on the ignition and kick.
Ignition needs to be off when looking for beginning of the compression stroke. Kickbacks can happen at that time  because the decompressor needs to be closed in order to find the beginning of the compression stroke and there may be a partial ignitable charge in the chamber. That's also the reason why you need to make sure that the ignition is off when turning an engine over during repairs or else.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 12:33:59 AM by Peter »

Vince

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 01:19:57 AM »
     You are all scaring the heck out of me.
1-Position the pedal in the middle of your foot. That ball of foot position will simply get you wacked in the shin.
2-Key on . Push the pedal until you come to compression. You will feel the resistance.
3- Use decompression lever. Hold lever while you move kick start pedal 1/4 of its movement. If you watch the ammeter the needle will return to the center.
4-Let go of the decompression lever.
5-Bring the pedal back to the start of its stroke.
6- Position your foot on the pedal.
7-GENTLY move the pedal down until you feel it engage. DO NOT release pressure. You must keep the mechanism engaged or it will slip.
8- Firmly and quickly push the pedal through the rest of its stroke all the way to the bottom
     If it does not start- repeat. You don't need great strength or power or a body like Hulk Hogan. You just need technique. You are welcome to call me toll free at 1-866-VINCEMC. I'm here Tues-Sat 10-6 PST. I will be happy to talk you through it.
      Do not jump high and give it all you've got. You will hurt your self and the bike.
     As for other starting issues: at this point change the plug. Make sure there is gas and it is turned on. When it does start gently rev as you turn off the choke. If it is idling on choke and you turn off the choke it will die before you can rev it.
     If it does not start in 3 or 4r kicks, take the choke off, hold the compression release on, turn the throttle wide open, and kick it through several times. This will clear out the build up of unburned gas. Now try starting again from # 1 with no choke.
     I usually prefer to have the bike on the center stand and kick from beside it. But if it is more comfortable you can straddle the bike. 
Good luck!

Foggy_Auggie

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2008, 02:00:49 AM »
     You are all scaring the heck out of me.
     I usually prefer to have the bike on the center stand and kick from beside it.  
Good luck!

Roger that.  Left foot procedure.
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Fortiter Et Fideliter

cyrusb

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2008, 01:46:54 PM »
Left foot is good, but can be a little awkward in traffic,especially with a passenger.It doesn't happen often ,but when it does I flick the sidestand down and kick it right there in the lane.  Takes only seconds and this is with  "She who must be obeyed" still on board.

Leonard

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2008, 02:12:34 PM »
secondly, are there any electric start kits out there, that aren't terribly expensive?
Thanks!

No on the electric start kit.  Just follow the advice already given and you should be fine.  Where are you located?  You never know someone might be close enough to pop by and give you a hand.
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bobbytthemudman

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2008, 02:39:07 PM »
Sounds like you did fine the first time, after all it started. leave the choke on a little longer this time, No throtle if it will idol with out it. If it won't, then just enough throotle to keep it running. steady, not reving it. You may have fouled the plug already. If you have a spare you may want to change it. If it is idoling strong with the choke on, thats good, give it a chance to warm up a little then gradualy start to realease the choke. It should start to idol down a little. If your in a hurry you can even ride it with the choke partly on for a mile or two till she warms up.

Byway

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2008, 04:20:48 PM »
Hey, Everyone..

Here's my two cents:

When I first took delivery of my '01 Bullet a few months ago, I had forgotten what I read about the piston position and ammeter position (and didn't have my manual or internet) where I was taking delivery at.  It was chilly outside, unbeknownst to me the starter pawl had a bit of wear (and thus reduced the kickstarter's range of motion) and I knew that the the bike was jetted lean (even leaner than stock).  I kicked the kick-starter (it's a kick-start only bike) with the piston positioned before TDC so many times before I finally got the bike started that I was limping for two days afterward with a sore right leg!   :P 

Since then I've re-jetted the carb,  tweaked the timing and repaired the chipped started pawl and refreshed my memory about the proper starting sequence. 

Many Bullets do have different personalities! 
Mine requires a little throttle to start regardless of whether I have a #25, #27.5 or #30 pilot jet installled.
If your timing, jetting, etc. are correct you shouldn't have to live in fear of starting your Bullet but you should always be prepared and respect it's capabilities!

Al
2001 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic;  1988 Yamaha Virago 535;  1999 Suzuki Katana 600; 2001 Honda CN250 Helix;  1972 Honda CB350SS.

tmccarthy41

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2008, 08:15:17 PM »
First off, Thanks everyone very much for all your help, I can tell this forum will be a great resource in my ownership of the awesome bike that is, Royal Enfield.

I live in Pittsburgh, PA so if anyone is around this area, please let me know I'd love to pick your brain about maintenance  & such.

Quick question about the "decompression lever"- were is it on a 2000 Bullet 500? And, is this something that you do before kicking over?

Thanks again for your continued support!

Tim
-Tim
Pittsburgh, PA

birdmove

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2008, 08:35:17 PM »
  On my 2007 its on the left side hanlebar/control cluster.Its a plastic lever that you kind of pull back on.This basically opens a hole in the cylinder head so you can ease the piston over using the kick starter easily.If your not using the compression release you are making this way harder to do, because when your doing it that way, you are fighting against the mighty 6.5 to one compression of the Bullet (most motorcycle engines are running much higher compression-this is supposed to be funny). And when you go to kick start the bike, you need to have the piston just barely past top dead center on the compression stroke. If you are trying to kick start it by approaching TDC on comp stroke, you are losing most of your momentom trying to overcome that compression, and good luck getting it to start.
    Its way harder to explain than to do.Any Bullet owner can show you easily how to do this.  Where do you live? Maybe theres a Bullet-head in your area? The Japanese single cylinder motorcycles usually use an automatic compression release-but they still use one.

    jon in Puyallup, Wa. USA
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

Thumper

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2008, 09:23:02 PM »
First off, Thanks everyone very much for all your help, I can tell this forum will be a great resource in my ownership of the awesome bike that is, Royal Enfield.

I live in Pittsburgh, PA so if anyone is around this area, please let me know I'd love to pick your brain about maintenance  & such.

Quick question about the "decompression lever"- were is it on a 2000 Bullet 500? And, is this something that you do before kicking over?

Thanks again for your continued support!

Tim

Tim,

To simplify the thought process - in case you hadn't picked it up from the detailed procedures is this:

The main theme here is to just get through the compression prior to kicking it.

This is where the decomp lever comes in. It releases the compression so that your leg muscle doesn't have to push through it.

*HOWEVER* even without the decomp lever it is really not difficult to do. It's all technique:

Centerstand.
Slowly kick through until you hit compression.
Release the lever and let it come back up fully.
Now stand on it and use your weight and a little muscle to slowly *push* through compression.
As soon as it has eased through, release the lever and let it come back up fully.

Now it is set to kickstart. Lever is fully up and it is just through compression.
This is the point you give it a mighty kick.

I've used this technique with many thumpers.

A couple of tips to help it light up on that one kick:

It's worth it to kick through with ignition off 3, 4 or a half dozen times.
If you've located the decomp lever, use it engaged to kick through.

It takes experience to know the correct choke (or lack thereof) to use.

Some ignitions get a fatter spark if you have your headlights off. Not sure if that's the case with the Classics, but I always have my lights off when kickstarting.

Make certain your spark plug is good. When in doubt, don't mess around, just replace it.

Matt

Peter

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2008, 09:35:53 PM »
First off, Thanks everyone very much for all your help, I can tell this forum will be a great resource in my ownership of the awesome bike that is, Royal Enfield.

I live in Pittsburgh, PA so if anyone is around this area, please let me know I'd love to pick your brain about maintenance  & such.

Quick question about the "decompression lever"- were is it on a 2000 Bullet 500? And, is this something that you do before kicking over?

Thanks again for your continued support!

Tim

Reading your post, I am getting the impression that you don't have the operators manual or any manual whatsoever.
If that's the case, get Pete Snidal's manual. Our host sells it.
If you only buy one manual, that's the one to get. I prefer the hardcopy.
It'll answer pretty much all the questions regarding the standard Bullet and will keep you riding it and not scratching your head.

Peter

Leonard

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2008, 09:58:37 PM »
  I got a feeling Peter is missing the cable on the compression release.  Here is where it is located.  Sorry about the poor photo but best I had.  If your's is indeed missing the cable and lever on the handlebar not to worry, just press in on the top and work it that way.  Might want to wear gloves after it gets hot.

[old attachment deleted by admin]
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
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tmccarthy41

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2008, 01:23:56 AM »
great, I found the compression lever, and now have a basic understanding of how it works. tried to turn it over earlier tonight, and got nothing... granted it was about 35 degrees out when trying to do this (maybe that had something to do with it).

I would have the ability to do one good kick, then the next would be a very hard kick, (decompression?)

anyway, does anyone know a website or have a link that sells an electric start kit for the bullet 500? I just want to see one, and price them (I'm very frustrated with the kick start right now!)

-Tim
Pittsburgh, PA

Vince

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 02:04:37 PM »
     There is no kit. The retrofit would involve a new engine case among other things. The cost would be prohibitive. If this is really an issue it would be cheaper to trade in on a new bike. But that is really not necessary. Once you master the technique you can start it with your hand. Even if you don't find an Enfield buddy near by, I'm sure some one around Pittsburgh services English bikes. Go see that store and I know you will get some help.

jest2dogs

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2008, 07:23:14 AM »
Tim in Pittsburgh,

If you aren't getting "anything", perhaps you have inadvertently tripped the kill switch on the right side control. This is not something new.  Many of us have spent sweaty, swearing minutes kicking our brains out while the kill switch negated our efforts.

Just something to check...

-Jesse, been there, done that
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cyrusb

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2008, 12:04:40 PM »
There should never be a time when you have to kick your brains out. If your mill don't fire in a couple of kicks there something wrong. No gas, valves out, closed points, dead plug,no volts, something. This should not stymie you, its lawnmower technology and the fault can be determined in a few minutes. Believe me, you will look a hell of a lot smarter spending a few minutes trouble shooting at the curb than kicking yourself into a heart attack.

jdrouin

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2008, 01:51:16 PM »
There's a series of like half a dozen videos on YouTube titled "The Art of Starting a Royal Enfield." This one shows how to use the decompressor, but it might be worth your while to watch the others.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=P2-Lla-_zJw

Unfortunately, the camera work is really bad. Maybe for a task like this, where it helps to see someone else do it, one of our members could post a better video. Or maybe our hosts could create a series of tutorial videos on various tasks. Just a thought.

I'll be happy to make some once I have my Bullet this Summer.

Jeff

HRAB

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2008, 05:59:29 PM »
The advise about each bike having it's own personality is right on. Ours starts on the 1st or 2nd kick if you turn the idle speed knob up about a turn. Leave it there until the bike warms up, then turn it down for the nice "Thump".

remember the old saying: " if it isn't working the way your doing it, Repeating it will yeild the same result" (paraphrased)

If it is flooding, turn off the choke and hold the throttle open for a kick or two, then close it and try another kick (chock off) before using the choke again.

Vince is right, don't let them scare you. It isn't like kicking over a 1200cc HD or old big bore Brit Twin.

Just in case there is a mechanical reason for the failure to start, check the battery charge, check the connector on the little wire from the pionts to the coil for connection, check the spark plug for fouling.

Also check the things we all have done: the kill switch was already mentioned, The bike is in neutral, and the fuel petcock is turned on. If it is low, and in the ON position  the pick up is above the fuel level in the tank. Switch it to RES (reserve) or fill the tank.
Trust me, we have all done it.

jim
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dogbone

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2008, 07:05:47 PM »
 :o  WOW all of these descriptions on starting procederes, The easy way is to live on a loooooong steeeep hill. 
99 Enfield Bullet 535
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c1skout

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2008, 01:12:23 AM »
Tim, I live in the Johnstown area and would be happy to let you pick my brain. My bike is a 2000 model also. PM or e-mail me any specific questions and I'll try to help.

tmccarthy41

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2008, 08:54:11 PM »
Great guys, thanks for all the help

& thanks again Mike for talking me through it
-Tim
Pittsburgh, PA

cowboysculptor

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Re: New Owner needs help!
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2008, 07:07:36 AM »
Hey Tim, haven't heard from you in a while. How's your bike working out? If it still won't start, you might check a few basic things. Do you know how to make sure the spark plug is getting spark? And that fuel is getting to the carb? I had a Yamaha xs500 that wouldn't start for anything, and it turned out the little filters in the petcocks were so full of crap, no fuel was passing through at all.

Just curious.
2007 Royal Enfield Bullet Deluxe
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