This Forum is now CLOSED use the link to get more details viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13924#p102587
The best technique to kick-start a Bullet 500 without electric start.

I have a 1988 customised Bullet 500 that is kick-start only. I wondered if someone could describe the best way of kick-starting the bike as this is something I continue to struggle with a bit.

If it is difficult to start and it appears that my technique is that suggested, is there something I need to check, to make sure it is technically sound?

Or are there certain changes / upgrades I can make to get the bike a bit easier to start such as a change in carb?

Customised how? What carb do you have fitted?

So my standard starting drill for a pre-unit bullet, assuming it has the standard mikcarb is ignition on, fuel on, choke on, push in decompressor and slowly turn over engine until the ammeter dips down, ease over a tiny little more until the ammeter needle kicks back up again. Release the decompressor, allow the kickstart to return to the top and swing it over with one long kick. Should start. You wouldn't normally need to touch the throttle while starting or if you do, literally no more than taking the slack out of the cable.

One thing that can cause difficulty starting is if the ignition timing is too far advanced. There's a balance to be found between advanced enough for optimum wide open throttle running and retarded enough to start easily.
I made this short video a few years back in response to several videos that were circulating of people starting their bullets involving repeated massive leaps in the air before acrobatically crashing down on the kickstart.

That's a 350 bullet but starting the 500 is no different (stroke is identical and you're already over compression when you kick it), requires no more force and is no more difficult.

As Daiwiskers correctly points out, if you leave your foot on the kickstart at the bottom of the stroke for a few seconds until it's either started or not, if it kicks-back, you won't hurt yourself.

Shop for accessories at Hitchcocks Motorcycles