Simple stupid question

Just bought a 99 wr400 and was wondering why the thing is trying to break my leg off every so often. Seems like every couple of times I hop on and give it a couple kicks at least on one of those kicks it will kick me back and damn near break my foot. I pretty much have the whole starting routine down and can get it started within 5 or 6 kicks but the damn thing has me freaked out as to when it's gonna jump back and bust my foot up. Is it just me or is there an issue somewhere? Do I just have to live with getting my leg nearly broken off from time to time?

No, you shouldn't have to live with that.

Check your timing, valves and jetting. Get all that stuff taken care of and correct and this should be a two kick bike with little or no fear of kickback.


I believe your year motor has no auto-decompression built in, but can be upgraded to have it, using the next years' exhaust cam.

Are you doing the secret handshake? Slowly kick over til it nears tdc, pull compression release and slowly pass through tdc, release compression release lever, allow kickstarter to return to top and KICK. Repeat until running...or buy a hot cam with the auto decompress, install and kick at will

I have the whole secret ninja kicking pattern down but every now and then it kicks back and bites me. It seems to run good and has plenty of power. I definitely plan on the auto decomp exhaust cam upgrade in the near future. Damn bike has me half afraid to kick it hard. That kick back aint no joke.

My 426 did that occasionally too. Sadly I think it's just a flaw in the early thumpers. Im usually wrong though

I quit being wrong and bought a Suzuki though

If it kicks back, that is normal.

You have to pull you leg up as fast as you kick it down to prevent feeling the force.

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