Properly kick starting CRF 100

I've never been able to adequately feel when I've gotten the kick start lever to the proper point in compression for smooth starting.

I slowly push down until the kicker has resistance then let the lever reset and kick through. Sometime it hits a gosh awful resistance (compression I guess) through which I can't kick through or it kicks back violently (compression I guess again). Maybe I'm going too far into the resistance or not far enough???? I might even be doing it completely bass ackwards.

I was worried about breaking something. Seeing that 1 quart of oil laying under the bike or stripping off kick start gears had me paranoid so I search here and around the web for a proper method. What I've been doing for over a year is rolling the bike backwards in first until it stops and then kicking. It works okay much of the time but on icy roads or slippery trails or hills not so much.

AFAIK, the valves are adjusted properly but it's conceivable they aren't. After learning to properly feel where I need to start kicking; if it still gives me problems then I'll try adjusting them or have a local shop do it (~$40).

The occasional pain of the bike kicking back without warning has also kept me from experimenting too much more on my own as of late. :blah:

So, anyone willing to lead me through proper kick starting? Surely, I'm missing something fundamental from all of the descriptions read and videos watched this past year.

I really want to learn the right way to do this.

(BTW: I kick start my son's '70s 250cc Kawasaki 2 stroke just fine... it has almost no compression left! :thumbsup: )

um ill give you a tip. pull the thing out and kick it. :thumbsup:

really not a wrong or a right way on a 100 normally i just hop on my xr120 and kick once and done but ya proper way is to turn the engine over until feel the compression this is TDC and then reset and kick or turn over tell feel compression and push lightly until the resistance subsides so your are just past TDC reset and kick.

Is your 100 hard to start or hard to kick?, how much do you weigh?, make sure you kick the full stroke of the kicker arm, and lastly make sure your kicker is on right! fully reset the part that folds out for your foot should be perfectly horizontal

@LittleSeanX: lol :thumbsup:

but ya proper way is to turn the engine over until feel the compression this is TDC and then reset and kick or turn over tell feel compression and push lightly until the resistance subsides so your are just past TDC reset and kick.

THAT's the part I keep messing up. If I push a little too hard, it kicks back as it pushes over that point. Anymore I'm so gun shy after some painful results.

However, I never can remember if I am to stop at the resistance. No wonder lately it has been kicking back. I was trying most of the time at TDC.

The TDC reseting is where my problem is. I'll focus that some more.

Thank you for clarifying that. It probably will solve the issue.

Is your 100 hard to start or hard to kick?, how much do you weigh?, make sure you kick the full stroke of the kicker arm, and lastly make sure your kicker is on right! fully reset the part that folds out for your foot should be perfectly horizontal

In warm weather or once the bike is warm, it'll start usually on first kick if I roll it back in first. *If* I get to the proper point in compression via kick lever, it starts just as easy. Cold starting is tough due to smaller than ideal pilot size but isn't part of the consideration as I'm basing everything off of warm engine, warm building, or warm weather.

My weight depends on time of year and how my health is at the time (chronic illnesses - disabled). From 125ish# (rare, but sometimes lower) to 167# with highest weight in the winter, IIRC. I'm past middle aged and not in the best of health so the kick back sometimes is far more painful than would have been less than 10 years ago... hence my flinching at it.

I reset the kicker all the way up each time as you describe.

Is there a tendency to crack cases if one kicks at the wrong point in compression? When I was reading 'how to's and discussions on it last year, I got kinda freaked out by stories of cracked cases. They wrote about cracking the case due kicking from an improper point, not noticing the oil puddle underneath, and then the bike fired up with disastrous results... it was unsettling.

wait so what happened you kick started it and it shot oil out?

kinda sounds like your timing is too advanced and is firing before tdc or some how you are giving it gas or is has too much gas in the cylinder is firing and that will make any bike kick back the bigger the badder especially a 600cc thumper

No, oil didn't shoot out. :thumbsup: I had been reading last year about proper kick starting for small bikes, including the CRF 100 & XR 100. I read a few horror stories about cracking cases when kick starting from the wrong point and was asking if it happens frequently, if at all.

I don't think it is timing. It's kicked like that from the dealer in 2008. It has CDI. It doesn't ever kick back like that when I roll the bike backwards in gear to find the right spot before kicking.

The reason kick back is such a problem for me is that, due to my poor health, each injury takes so long to heal. It takes an unusual amount of time to heal if I hurt my lower extremities (from the knees down). Each bump can take up to a few months to heal and there can be residual pain flares for years to come. I still have a few problems from the past year of kicking back.

I can always roll the bike back before kicking but am not ready to give up so easily on learning to properly kick the 100 over. My son's 250 is a breeze. He calls me over to start it when he can't.

On the 100 I think it really comes down to me not having trained myself to feel the slight let off of compression after TDC. Normally, I'm on the bike everyday but right now health has kept me off of it for a couple of days. I'll try it here soon as I'm eager to figure it out.

Its probably kicking back at you because your giving it throttle as your kicking... dont do that just kick... no gas... choke if it wont start and no choke if its warm, but NO GAS. Thats why shes kicking ya I bet, as far as kicking that bike dont sweat it just put your foot on the kicker, get it into a position where your leg is comfortable and not cramped or the bikes about to fall over and kick hard! I have never worried about compression stroke etc etc, if you miss the compression stroke on the first kick theres always number two! if your racing and you NEED to start on kick #1 then find compression yada yada... if not just Kick that bike like you OWN IT!! cause you do...lol

One thing that might help is check and see if the kick starter is about 1/8" in or so away from the clutch thing on the clutch cover. If not, move it 1 more notch toward it. That will give you a bit more throw and make finding TDC a bit easier. You really can't hurt a stock motor by kicking it unless your some 250lb guy slamming it. You might want to check the valves and adjust the fuel mixture screw so it will start easier.

I guess the cup of tea i have is that mine starts the first kick every time.

oh btw I'm 15 and dont work out and am barely ever active so yeah, strength is not an issue, lol

@LittleSeanX: I'm far weaker in the legs than at 15 years old or probably even 10 years old. I managed to walk finally without a cane 100% a few years ago. I don't want to screw up my legs and have to walk with that darned cane ever again! Your post is helpful as it gives me a gauge for strength needed; thanks.

Thanks guys for all of the suggestions and clearing up the bit about cracking the case by kick starting. It's all very helpful. I'm itching to fire up heat in one of the barns and give it a go this A.M.

I'm not used to being off a bike this long anymore... I'm getting freakin' squirrelly and a few people are starting to ask about my health 'cause I've not visited on the "red bike" in the past weeks. :thumbsup::ride: I like a little rural back road riding visiting friends when snow is falling and they know that. :blah:

Earlier this morning I tried it and kicking worked great! :thumbsup::blah:

It was no more than 10 degrees F outside; I put the choke on full, kept my right hand nowhere near the throttle, kicked it maybe five times or less, and it started. The engine ran for less than a minute and naturally died since it was so cold. I kicked it once or twice and it started right up again. There wasn't even time for that barn's heater to make a degree difference. I was in and done in a few minutes.

It appears that I've been accidentally turning the throttle ever so slightly when kicking. In the future, I'll try to keep my hand on the other side of the mirror to prevent that.

I still can't seem to find just past TDC but since I don't race it won't be an issue. In the summer, playing around, perhaps I'll develop the talent.

The kick lever could stand to go up one groove to give more throw. The pilot will have to be increased a size/an adjustment handle for mixture added this year to trim warm up time some. The valve adjustment and timing chain adjustment should be looked at probably too.

So... I was flinching at the thought of breaking something on the bike by kicking incorrectly. And since it doesn't appear to kick back if I keep my paws off the throttle, everything should be good to go.

It was a stupid question but I really couldn't figure it out anymore on my own. At least it's here in thread for the next n00b to find. :bonk:

Thanks again guys! :ride:

if not just Kick that bike like you OWN IT!! cause you do...lol

Actually, it's part of an estate of sorts. It's here for my use (along with other bikes/vehicles/equipment) but I'd feel bad about breaking it like that if it would've been likely. But I got what you meant. :blah:

I kicked it like I owned it and all was well.

If LittleSeanX would've posted "pull the thing out and kick it. BUT don't even touch the throttle!" then he'd had the #1 answer. :thumbsup:

glad it worked out for you buddy... lots of guys lean on that throttle when they kick... common mistake, all it does is get you kicked back...lol. In fact my buddy actually had his tendons torn in his heel because he made that mistake on a 490. oops... I think hes still in a cast after 2 surgeries... good thing you were doing it to a smaller bike... best of luck to you...

heh, sorry i really didn't analyze all the posts =p i figured you were some kids dad around 35 or so. maybe you are? who knows. :thumbsup:

No need to be sorry LittleSeanX. I took it as funny when you posted and ironic when you had most of the answer to begin with.

I'm not really ancient, just in chronic poor health. You're 15 and enjoying life... all is as it should be! :thumbsup:

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