Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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1973 ironhead harleydavidson kick start only , kicking back when starting

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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Hi William, Your timing is to far advanced and or your advance mechanism is worn out. Good luck.

Posted on May 16, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

wd4ity
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SOURCE: 1973 Ironhead. white smoke from

Not uncommon on the Ironhead. As long as it's just a little white smoke for a short while. Probably some oil ran down the valve stem. You can do a compression test or a leakdown test to check the rings.

Good luck
Steve

Posted on Oct 04, 2010

wd4ity
  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: hard starting at times when hot excessive cranking

This happens when the engine trys to fire on the first "upstroke' of the pistons before those big flywheels get to spinning. This is common on stock ignition systems as far as I know. Harley may have changed the systems and I might not know about it but I doubt it. Some aftermarket systems, such as the Crane HI-4 have a spark delay system. The plugs will not fire until the engine has turned over three times. This gets those flywheels spinning and eliminates the start up kick back.

good luck
Steve

Posted on Oct 13, 2010

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1 Answer

Starts 1st kick runs great. dies immediately when key turned to position 2 {lights}


Hi Barry:
There will probably be a dead short in the light circuit. Check all of the junctions.

Mar 29, 2015 | 1973 Yamaha RD 250

1 Answer

1973 ironhead hard to kick over. will not start


Are you getting spark, if not check coil, is your carb ok? Are your circuit breakers in tact?

Aug 22, 2014 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLS 1000

1 Answer

I have a 1973 ironhead sporster it kicks back when kick starting it how can i fix it it allmost braks my leg


You might want to check your advance mechanism, and make sure it is resetting all the way. The springs wear out sometimes. Or the weights no longer want to come back because of corrosion, or oblong holes, or worn pivot pins. Having too much advance will fire the plug before the piston gets close enough to the top, so the flywheel inertia can push it over and the gas can then expand. You also have to really give it a major effort kick to get the flywheel turning fast enough. It is a balance between kick back, and bottoming out and have the start arm start to travel towards the front of the bike. This is called "Sportster Knee". If the Rachet slips and you bottom out, it nearly breaks your knee. I don't know what the Start timing is supposed to be, since they have changed it over the span of years in my manual, and it does not cover your year. I would imagine it would need to be close to, but not past, TDC. maybe a few degrees advanced, say 4 or 5 degrees. The more towards TDC, the easier it will start while kicking. On the other hand, you will be moving the Max Advance as well as you adjust this. you will lose upper end performance if you go too far.

Good Luck!

Turbocouch

Dec 30, 2013 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

I have a 1973 rt 360 it starts fine and then runs wide open


Sounds like a fuel regulation problem. If a carburator is involved check it for the float valve being stuck. If fuel injected, check the pressure regulator. Also check for possible air leaks in tubes leading to the engine...an air leak will cause abrupt revving.

Jan 11, 2013 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

JUST BOUGHT A '73 XLCH THAT SAT FOR 2 YEARS BECAUSE THE OLD MAN THAT OWNED IT COULDN'T KICK START IT ANYMORE. IT STARTS RIGHT UP BY PUSH STARTING IT, BUT KICKING IT IS ANOTHER STORY. IT'S GETTING FIRE...


You probably need to adjust your valves. Ironhead Sportsters are equipped with solid lifters and must be adjusted with zero backlash. If one of the pushrods is adjusted just a bit tight and holds a valve open even slightly, the bike is almost impossible to start with the kickstarter.

To adjust the valves, the bike must be stone cold. Take the spark plugs out, raise the rear wheel of the ground, and put the transmission in fourth gear. Turn the engine over by bumping the rear wheel in the normal direction of rotation. Bring the piston of one of the cylinders up to top dead center on the Compression stroke. Pop the pushrod tube covers and check the pushrods. You should be able to spin both pushrods with your fingers. If not, adjust the pushrod so taht it's tight. Then back it off to where you can just spin it with your fingers. Keep in mind that on a Sportster, it's better to have the pushrods slightly loose than tight. Once you get that cylinder's pushrods adjusted, do the same thing with the other cylinder.

Now, once you get this done, starting your bike is simply a matter of figuring what works with it. I've always said that kickstarting a Harley, especially a Sportster, is a ritual. Some bikes like for you to milk the throttle twice, kick the engine through twice with the choke on and ignition off, then turn on the ignition and kick it. Other bikes seem to want only one milk of the throttle, one kick with the ignition off, and then kick it. Each bike seems to have it's own particular ritual that you must figure out to get reliable starting. I'd try milk the throttle once, put the choke on, kick it through with the ignition off once, then turn the ignition on and kick. If the bike spits back through the carb, you need to start all over again. If you get the engine flooded, hold the throttle wide open and kick until it fires.

One other thing about a Sportster. Did the old man you bought it from have a limp in his right leg? A Sportster is notorious for "slipping through" when you try to start it. The result is that all your weight comes down on your knee without any resistance. The result is your knee tries to bend backwards, the way it wasn't designed to do. This can tear ligaments and cartilage in the knee and it even has it's own name, "Sportster Knee". Be careful.

Ride Safe
Steve

Apr 20, 2011 | Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster...

1 Answer

1973 Ironhead. white smoke from exhaust when started


Not uncommon on the Ironhead. As long as it's just a little white smoke for a short while. Probably some oil ran down the valve stem. You can do a compression test or a leakdown test to check the rings.

Good luck
Steve

Oct 04, 2010 | Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster...

1 Answer

Shes a ***** to start


Assuming the bike runs well and this is just a kicking technique problem.
push the kick starter slowly until you get to the hard spot(TDC), pull the decomp lever, and push the kicker a little to get past top dead centre, then release decomp and give it a decent kick, should never kick back

Apr 14, 2010 | 2003 Husaberg Fe 400 E

1 Answer

77 fxe kicker slams back when started and the clutch is pulled in . replaced thrust bearing and the kicker gear stop was snapped off.. replaced and re assembled per shop manuel..?


all kick starter kicks back when starting just give it a little keck like just push dawn on the kick starter to wear it just turnes over 1once than jump on it than it should fire without kicking back but kick it hard or it will kick back

Dec 05, 2009 | Harley Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide...

1 Answer

Very hard to kick start


i dont know what your timing is relevant to flicking the compression switch and kicking, but get the engine to the compression stroke and then as you go to kick it hard, flick the switch at that moment. timing is everything. i had an old yamaha tt 500 that kicked back so hard my foot slipped off the kick start and kick lever came up and took the skin off my shin.. it took quit a bit of time to get the timing but once i did, it was easy.. hope this helps.

May 19, 2009 | 2005 KTM 640 LC4 SM

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