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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?  

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  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.
      341
    • None of my riding buddies electric start only dirt bikes have left them stranded because of a starting system issue.
      153
    • My electric start only dirt bikes have left me stranded because of a starting system issue.
      83
    • My buddies electric start only dirt bikes have left them stranded because of a starting system issue.
      72


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My DRZ has only left me stranded once because of a low battery and no kickstarter. Luckily it was on the farm so I just pushed it back to the house. Another time I had a new battery short out on it's first ride, I noticed the electrical system acting funny and was able to get it home and not stall the bike. The battery on my DRZ has given me quite a bit of problems over the past few years because of the parisitc draw on the battery, and I don't keep a tender on it all year, which I should, and the bike sits a lot, so occasionally when I go to ride it the battery is low. 

More recently my RMX "almost" left me stranded. The stock 4 year old battery is finally starting to show its age, so after stalling the bike a few times in some really tight stuff, the battery was too low to crank the motor over fast enough to light off. I went to kickstart the bike, but my little chicken legs weren't able to turn the big fofiddy over fast enough either to start it lol. So I used the kickstarter and slow e-start simultaneously which started the bike right up.

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Really can't find anyone at this point that thorough maintenance, using an Antigravity battery or jump pack, or bump start couldn't solve.

Do guys see battery maintenance as critical? I'm in our Marine fireboat program as a boat engineer.  Marine batteries are under harsh conditions at all times, and always on a tender when not in use. Batteries are checked weekly.. A well conditioned battery  failure is highly unusual.

I'll  also ask how many of you are buying a high-quality battery? There is a big difference between a cheap battery and one of high-quality..

What will you guys do when there are no bikes coming with a kickstarter and no kickstarter mounting option available? 

Will you forgo riding anything modern and just keep riding old iron? 

 

Edited by firffighter
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17 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Really can't find anyone at this point that thorough maintenance, using an Antigravity battery or jump pack, or bump start couldn't solve.

Do guys see battery maintenance as critical? I'm in our Marine fireboat program as a boat engineer.  Marine batteries are under harsh conditions at all times, and always on a tender when not in use. Batteries are checked weekly.. A well conditioned battery  failure is highly unusual.

Am I add how many of you are buying a high-quality battery? There is a big difference between a cheap battery and one of high-quality..

What will you guys do when there are no bikes coming with a kickstarter and no kickstarter mounting option available? 

Will you forgo riding anything modern and just keep riding old iron? 

 

I’ve started putting mine on a Yuasa tender when not in use and it helps

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On a fuel injection bike, if the battery is totally fubar, if you jump it with one of the little jump packs, I’m assuming you’re off and running because the bikes electric system takes over while running??  I’d hope you don’t have to keep your jump pack on to keep running. 

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Just now, Jack Daniel said:

On a fuel injection bike, if the battery is totally fubar, if you jump it with one of the little jump packs, I’m assuming you’re off and running because the bikes electric system takes over while running??  I’d hope you don’t have to keep your jump pack on to keep running. 

Depends on how fubar the battery is.  If the battery has a broken cell (shorted inside) then once you remove the jump pack it probably isn't going to run.

If you had the battery go dead due to a charging system drain issue (like lights, fan, etc...) and you remedy the root cause, then once you jump it you are back to normal operating conditions.

What we did when the charging system went bad in one of the bikes (bad stator) we just swapped batteries from a good bike to the bad bike.  Could run around a half hour with the fully charged battery until it drained enough that the fuel pump/ignition shuts down.  By then, the good bike has already charged the original battery back up.

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12 minutes ago, eastreich said:

Depends on how fubar the battery is.  If the battery has a broken cell (shorted inside) then once you remove the jump pack it probably isn't going to run.

If you had the battery go dead due to a charging system drain issue (like lights, fan, etc...) and you remedy the root cause, then once you jump it you are back to normal operating conditions.

What we did when the charging system went bad in one of the bikes (bad stator) we just swapped batteries from a good bike to the bad bike.  Could run around a half hour with the fully charged battery until it drained enough that the fuel pump/ignition shuts down.  By then, the good bike has already charged the original battery back up.

Very good to know. What’s your opinion on the best jump pack?  Them anti gravity ones on rmatvmc any good?  What size should a guy have to spin a 450?  

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1 hour ago, firffighter said:

What will you guys do when there are no bikes coming with a kickstarter and no kickstarter mounting option available? 

Will you forgo riding anything modern and just keep riding old iron

Yes. 

But we’ll all be dead from the Coof before that happens, so I’m not worried it. 

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28 minutes ago, Jack Daniel said:

Very good to know. What’s your opinion on the best jump pack?  Them anti gravity ones on rmatvmc any good?  What size should a guy have to spin a 450?  

I've got an AntiGravity re-start battery on my FC, so I don't worry about the jump pack.  My main riding partner has the small AntiGravity one and it works well.

I have a larger one in my truck (can't remember the brand of it) that works well to.

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1 hour ago, firffighter said:

 

Will you forgo riding anything modern and just keep riding old iron

What is wrong with old iron? You have some yourself. I have three bikes with buttons, kickers, and keihin carbs. Works great. Why do I need new iron when the old iron is still very very fun? 

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5 minutes ago, shrubitup said:

What is wrong with old iron? You have some yourself. I have three bikes with buttons, kickers, and keihin carbs. Works great. Why do I need new iron when the old iron is still very very fun? 

I actually didn't say anything about needing a new bike, or anything wrong with them. Love my older bikes. 

But, at some point,  there is going to be a time when the used bikes are all going to be non kickstarter,  FI. That's what I was referring to. 

 

Edited by firffighter
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2 minutes ago, firffighter said:

I actually didn't say anything about needing a new bike, or anything wrong with them. Love my older bikes. 

But, at some point,  there is going to be a time when the used bikes are all going to be non kickstarter,  FI. That's what I was referring to. 

 

They will likely have improved greatly by then. My 9 year old husky te449 had a 250W stator output and the battery never died. It was fuel injected as well. No kicker. Heavier than KTM.

 The issue is the ready to race BS that takes things that should be robust and reliable and completely miniaturizes them and then lightens them to the point of rapid and frequent failure. Hate the bike weight wars. :foul:

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It’s good to see that even Bryan’s threads aren’t immune to degrading off topic and falling into anarchy. 🤣

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12 minutes ago, shrubitup said:

The issue is the ready to race BS that takes things that should be robust and reliable and completely miniaturizes them and then lightens them to the point of rapid and frequent failure. Hate the bike weight wars. :foul:

Just don't find any evidence of  "rapid and frequent failure" with current bikes. 

Are there a handful of people who have experienced problems,  absolutely.  But, rapid and frequent,  sorry,  don't see that as occurring in the dirt bike community.  

 

Edited by firffighter
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You know what's interesting is that KTM's never had issues and still don't with their 4-stroke's electric starters.  They've drastically dropped weight in the past 2 decades and still remain solid.

The exact opposite is true of their 2-strokes.  The initial years , starting in '08 were heavy and unreliable.  As they progressed,  they got lighter with far more reliability and today are as solid as the 4-strokes. 

Weight hasn't affected electric starters adversely at all, in fact, as the bike's have gotten significantly lighter and the electric starters are far more reliable..

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2 hours ago, eastreich said:

Depends on how fubar the battery is.  If the battery has a broken cell (shorted inside) then once you remove the jump pack it probably isn't going to run.

If you had the battery go dead due to a charging system drain issue (like lights, fan, etc...) and you remedy the root cause, then once you jump it you are back to normal operating conditions.

What we did when the charging system went bad in one of the bikes (bad stator) we just swapped batteries from a good bike to the bad bike.  Could run around a half hour with the fully charged battery until it drained enough that the fuel pump/ignition shuts down.  By then, the good bike has already charged the original battery back up.

If the stator can keep up wouldn't the bike still run even without a battery? I know cars can run without a battery in them. I have put a good battery from my truck into the wife's trailblazer started it. Then took the battery out and put it back into my truck and we both drove home. This can cause voltage spikes as the battery is also used to control voltage from the alternator but we made it home just fine.

Also what maintenance can be done to keep brushes in the starter from wearing out? Does KTM still used brushed starters motors or are they brushless now? I would think brushless would be more reliable.

Edited by Zinergy
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Just now, Zinergy said:

If the stator can keep up wouldn't the bike still run even without a battery? I know cars can run without a battery in them. I have put a good battery from my truck into the wife's trailblazer started it. Then took the battery out and put it back into my truck and we both drove home. This can cause voltage spikes as the battery is also used to control voltage from the alternator but we made it home just fine.

Also what maintenance can be done to keep brushes in the starter from wearing out? Does KTM still used brushed starters motors or are they brushless now? I would think brushless would be more reliable.

Depends on how the circuit is arranged.  On KTMs, there is some wiring that only gets power from the battery to hold a few relays open, so if there is zero power at the battery (or it isn't there) then it probably won't run.  I know that if I start my Husky and unhook the battery while it is running it shuts off.  Again, it depends on how the wiring harness is laid out.

Can't keep the brushes from wearing out, but you CAN pull the starter apart and clean the brushes prolonging their life or replace them.  I pulled the starter apart on my 505 just to clean the brushes off and it made a very noticeable difference in how fast the engine would spin over which is pretty important for dead engine starts.

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36 minutes ago, firffighter said:

You know what's interesting is that KTM's never had issues and still don't with their 4-stroke's electric starters. 

never say never. '12 350 XCF had a ton of issues with starter, troubleshooted, replaced items, still no improvement to the iffy starting either from button or kicker.

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How often do riders find themselves in situations where every direction is uphill?  Devil's buttcrack, perhaps. 

Yes a kickstarter is a good backup but bikes can be bump started.  You just have to know what you are doing.

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2 hours ago, shrubitup said:

What is wrong with old iron? You have some yourself. I have three bikes with buttons, kickers, and keihin carbs. Works great. Why do I need new iron when the old iron is still very very fun? 

I just google earthed your island.... im guessing 10 minutes to run the entire coast line.  and i about fell out of my chair when i saw google has a KFC pin along the crest of a deserted ridge...

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2 minutes ago, daled said:

I just google earthed your island.... im guessing 10 minutes to run the entire coast line.  and i about fell out of my chair when i saw google has a KFC pin along the crest of a deserted ridge...

look closely as I sleep atop the KFC sign from time to time

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