I’m reminiscing here about kickstarters.  I’m not sure why I use the word “reminisce” since I haven’t had an electric start bike since I was 19 and rode a Yamah 650. The Yamaha was relieved of duty by a guy in a truck who saw fit to pop it out from under me and total it, which provided the insurance money required to score a running 73 Sportster.  The Sporty was a beaut, with black paint, a custom seat, kickstart only, and reverse foot controls, which were stock for that bike.  I had the Sporster about six months before I traded it for a basket shovelhead, the bike I’ve had ever since.

Except it’s no longer a basket case.

When looking to get the shovel running, I was always thinking, at age 20, “what’s the least amount of money I can spend?  What can I leave off?”  If there’d be a possibility of a Flintstones starter option, I’d have gone for it, because I wanted neither the electronic hassle nor the expense of an electric starter.  I wound up looking into changing the bike to a kicker–or rather, building it as one, since I had no starter parts in any of the crates of stuff that I got with the engine, frame, and other assorted hardware.

Turns out it was pretty easy.  I got some scrap aluminum and made  a cover for the starter hole on the inner primary.  The kicker kit itself was around $100 at the time (late 1980’s).  Putting it together was a piece of cake.  The only thing I found really lacking was the pedal itself because the rubber cover kept sliding off.