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Do electric start only (no backup kicker) dirt bikes really leave owners stranded?

Do electric start only (no backup kicker) dirt bikes really leave owners stranded?  

493 members have voted

  1. 1. What's been your experience with electric start only dirt bikes (no backup kicker):

    • None of my electric start only dirt bikes have left me stranded because of a starting system issue.
      339
    • None of my riding buddies electric start only dirt bikes have left them stranded because of a starting system issue.
      152
    • My electric start only dirt bikes have left me stranded because of a starting system issue.
      81
    • My buddies electric start only dirt bikes have left them stranded because of a starting system issue.
      72


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3 minutes ago, JMundy said:

I have experience - my wife actually - and a friend has had an issue.  Both electric start only bikes.  In each issue the person wrecked and damaged the start button.  Without a kickstart backup, you are somewhat stranded.  In each case, I was able to teach the person how to strip and contact the wires to get bike to fire.    Now all my button start only bikes have 2 start buttons.  One on handlebars and one tucked in the frame.

 

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2 minutes ago, PhilthyX said:

 

Ive seen that.  Its cool its small, but not 700% more in cost cool vs another basic start button

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I have seen a few in races.  The last one I saw a new honda 450rx, it could not be jumped and had to be towed. 

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I had an e-bike with back up kickstart.  The only time I used the kickstart is if the battery was too weak to crank it over because I let it sit for too long in the garage.  The problem is if the battery gets too weak then it wont start at all.  As long as the bike has a capacitor you should still be able to bump start.

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Never broke a kickstarter in 45+ years.  There was one time I was glad I had an electric start.  Broke a clutch cable in LA traffic in 1978.  E start got me going every stop light. :D

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I had the main ground strap on my 2008 KTM 450 XCRW fail after a crash climbing a nasty hill outside of Vegas. Back up kicker saved the day. The ground strap was under the seat, so it didn't get snagged on anything, it was the flat woven wire and it tire at the connector to the frame. Forgot about this until this topic.

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A mate had a 450SXF with e start only on a trail ride a couple weekends ago. Battery was a bit low and couldn’t start the bike. Bump start attempts were unsuccessful also. Thankfully we had a jumper kit in our truck to start it but that’s too big to take on a ride with you. Ended up starting the ride significantly later than everyone else because we spent so much time trying to get the bike started. And then he had to ride conservatively till the battery charged up otherwise if he stalled it he would’ve been properly stuck. 

Definitely think having a kick start as a backup is a great idea. Although probably less important on race bikes like the 450SXF. Bikes designed for cross country/trail riding should have a backup.

Edited by Archemack
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1 hour ago, motovita said:

 Having multiple starting systems is certainly nice, but how come nobody worried about breaking their kickstarter when it was their only starting method?

I have actually had to worry about that before. Kickstarter on my XR200R fell off and completely vanished on a ride one day. Thankfully could bump start it on a hill and then ride straight back to the car! 

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Had a buddy who’s new battery shorted after a water crossing. Kicker got it going but the bike would run like crap past 1/4 throttle. After this incident I went ahead and bought the kicker kit for my bike and then waterproofed it up. 

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I had a fluke crash on my CRF250R and broke the CDI. Took about a 1/2 hr to get where it happened and luckily I had a tow rope and was with some buddies but it took like almost 3hrs to tow me out otherwise it would have been a shit show having to leave the bike, get a new CDI, get back it to fix in and ride out.

I've also broken the kick starter on my 250R but it was when I was first starting the bike so right by my van.

Ironically I've actually never had any issues with my DRZ (e-start only) crashing etc but maybe that's just luck.

Hence regardless of having e-start or kick only, do your best to be prepared for the worst case IF its going to be a huge issue if the bike dies.

 

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52 minutes ago, JMundy said:

Ive seen that.  Its cool its small, but not 700% more in cost cool vs another basic start button

Ya I won't buy one but carry stuff to fix the magic button or say a kill switch if needed BUT having them setup up so they are protected as much as possible in the first place is IMO key

For example I believe you said there where 2 separate issues and could they have been prevent?

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Once on my 2000 DRZ400E, I changed out my handlebars the day before a ride.  I didn't realize that I had inadvertently broken one of the wires in the clutch switch.  It worked fine when we started out, but as the day went on the starter would only function intermittently getting worse as the day progressed.  I didn't figure out the broken wire until after I got back home.  I didn't get left in the woods, but it was a little hit-n-miss with a few coast starts, pull starts, and push starts.  I bypassed the clutch switch after that, and never had an issue again.  Even after that, I was still too cheap to buy the $150 kick starter kit from Suzuki.

Edited by TJ
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2 hours ago, motovita said:

 Having multiple starting systems is certainly nice, but how come nobody worried about breaking their kickstarter when it was their only starting method?

Obtuse 

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You’re going to anger the TPI haters with this poll, since the answers will be overwhelmingly positive and they can’t speak negatively due to their lack of experience. 

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Yea, my electric start bike would have left me stranded had it not had a kicker. Between two bikes, I would’ve been left stranded 3 times. 
 

once, husky te250. Middle of nowhere, Hit the start button, starter sheared it’s teeth off. Luckily, I had a kicker.

Second time, Ktm 450exc, brittle Austrian wires decided they had enough of being attached to started relay and broke off the connectors holding them on the relay. Didn’t remember, the wire sequence, but maybe get your way out with trial and error and a knife to restrip the wires, good luck trying to hold em all together and start it. Mine has a kicker so wasn’t really gonna spend the time fiddling.

Third time, top of boot caught the toolless air filter cover and popped it off, somehow I didn’t notice and the top of the boot then caught the same starter relay wires and ripped them all off again. Backup kickstart for the win again, wires were to short to do anything with after that.

the starter relay wire incidents may be passable, but honestly, a decent majority of people wouldn’t even know to do that, not all, but a good chunk.

 

Edited by RawbW

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Unless you’re going out alone you can always get a tow from a friend and get it going. If you’re riding in pure bog/ muskeg maybe not but I wouldn’t consider doing that unless I had at least one friend on a quad or two pals on bikes. 

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4 minutes ago, SteveThe Snakes said:

You die hards will move on over time. That kicker your talking about is getting old looking. 😂

image.thumb.png.6cb11952036b974511df2d3f91d5ff29.png

I get what you’re saying, but I mean, what do you gain over not having one? 2lbs over estart only that’s halfway down the chassis? All the people complaining about bike weight are always fat and out of shape anyway. They probably don’t want the kickstart because their fat belly gets in the way of their knee during kicking lol.

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