I can start all my various singles from an astride position, excepting my 16H. I find it difficult to get a decent swing at it when it's not on the rear stand. The motor isn't tight and I have no problem with my M21 or any other of my singles [though I don't own a Velo] so are they ergonomically awkward?
It supposedly has a rebuilt mag on it. Only that and the front tyre and spark plug appear to have been changed since it was demobbed. Still got the Firestone rear.
Before getting costly and complicated by doing something to the magneto: I find a couple of things help easy starting:
1) Put couple of finger tips over the air intake for couple of swings to make sure it is choked enough to breath some fuel right inside
2) Don't retard too far. Take care (obviously) but when it is running have a look at how far you can retard it without it dying. If it does kick back, it should't be as savage as (say) an Inter (one of which broke my friend's Achilees tendon). Mine won't run fully retarded so it certainly won't start that way.
But as I'm sure you know - they are all a bit different. What is the timing set to?
Hadn't started it for weeks . Went through the drill yesterday, started first kick, just can't get a decent swing at it off the stand
Jez, I have this problem too. I can start it astride but not consistently and in fact can also do it by hand if it's warm. I don't think that it's anything to do with how the bike is set up but the rider's body proportions may play a part.
The problem seems to be that the saddle is fairly well forward in relation to the kickstart position and quite wide at the back. As my leg pushes down, the rear edge of the saddle pushes the thigh outwards and seems to remove all of the 'snap' from the push downwards.
I have fairly damaged knees and I think that there is some sort of psychological 'brake' as soon as the knee joint starts to be pushed out of line sideways.
I don't know what to suggest though apart from practice.
Thanks Rik I didn't think it was me. I had an AJS 18 as sole transport for ten years then a SP400 twinshock for another seven. An ex SAS physio [ I live near their base] thought I'd had polio as my right calf was a lot bigger than my left, still was last time I looked.
I'm used to starting an 850 Commando off the stand with a pillion on the back (they soon learn to fold the footrest up !)It's not a matter of a lack of confidence, strength or balance but the 16H is awkward. A twin does of course fire twice as often but it seems to me that it is the need to sharply accelerate the flywheels which is difficult on the 16H.
If the oil has drained into the sump, it will be next to impossible due to the drag.
I can start it sumped but it no longer does that if I run it on 50 grade. Some of the old books say 60 for summer....