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Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 7036
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
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I own a 1985 FXWG kick or electric start 1340cc Harley with

Resolved Question:

I own a 1985 FXWG kick or electric start 1340cc Harley with a Crane Cam Single Fire HI-4 electronic ignition system the only modification on the bike. It starts ok runs good but I can only start it by using the electric starter. I try to kick it and it takes all of my leg to get it to rotate. I pulled the plugs and it kicks like it should - nothing binding- also I have the kick/electric switch in the correct position. Any ideas why it acts like this? Thanks PUFF
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Steve replied 7 years ago.


being hard to kick is an indication you have good compression.

your inability to kick start is common with an electronic ignition. they are more picky than points. try setting the static timing with the timing mark in the left side of the timing hole. this results in about a 4 degree retard and should help.

even with this, though, if you can't get a good stroke on the kicker, you will still have issues. maybe it's your technique?

with the bike on the side stank, hold the bars and place your left knee on the seat.

give the carb a couple of squirts with the throttle and, with the ignition off, stroke the kicker up to the top of it's stroke and, with all your weight, kick it through 1 time.

give then carb another squirt with the throttle, pull the choke on full, turn the ignition on and, with all your weight, kick it through again while holding the throttle wide open.

after the bike starts, release the throttle and adjust the choke to the fast idle position until it warms up, then turn the choke off.

your kickstart is a leftover from Harleys 4-speed tranny's from Shovelhead days. if the battery is too low to use the electric start, you will not be able to kickstart the bike either.

it's cool and.....basically useless.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK Steve as far as my style I've owned bikes from an XLCH to "59" pan - got scars all over my legs Ha! New to this electronic ignition stuff tho. I'll try the 4 deg retard and play with the timing some.Just what are the compression specs for this engine and if I decide to convert to points and cond. what should the timing be set at ?
Expert:  Steve replied 7 years ago.


compression ratio on all EVO's is 8.5:1, stock.

if you decide to convert to points, set them the same way you did on the Ironhead or the Pan and remember, the electronic ignitions use a 3 ohm coil. if you convert to points, as I am sure you are aware, you will need a 5 ohm coil as well as the point conversion.



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