kickstarter problems... modifications?
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Lurker
VBB 150
Joined: 26 Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Sydney
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:37 pm quote
super newbie question here...!

i'm really struggling to kickstart my vespa (1969 VBB). i'm very small and light, but even if i give it EVERYTHING i've got, i struggle to get the engine to start. the only times i've been able to do it consistently were when the engine was already warm (from someone else helping me kickstart it).

i can't really change my stature, and watching youtube clips haven't made a difference. so i'm wondering if it would be possible to modify the kickstart, mechanically somehow, to make it easier?

currently a very sad owner and vespa might be a silly question but really out of ideas here...
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6637
Location: seattle/athens
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:03 pm quote
the lever
I've seen shorter ones & longer ones on various models, can you take a pic & measure the length of yours to verify yours? The longer levers are easier to kick over and came on 180 & 200cc motors.

You probably have this one: http://www.scootermercato.com/Scooter-Parts/Kickstart-Levers/174310

but would benefit from this one: http://www.scootermercato.com/Scooter-Parts/Kickstart-Levers/174308
Quote:
Long curved-style Kickstart lever for vintage Vespa. Stock on Rally, GS, and SS. Recommended for performance modified 125 and 150 60s and 70s vintage Vespa.
Hooked
Vespa PX 125 Settantesimo
Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 432
Location: Norf Wheezy
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:17 am quote
robot
Did you see this video {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2d6SY9JNzU}

You are using the choke when the bike is cold right?
Hooked
68sprint,65super,64Allstate
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 200
Location: Central california
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:38 am quote
Kick start issues
You came to the right place. Voodoo is correct in saying the length of your kickstarter. The longer the Kickstarter the easier it is to start. It’s all about the “leverage.” Do exactly what voodoo said....if that did not help you could lengthen a kick starter. That would take some doing but it could be done. If interested in trying to lengthen the kickstarter pm me. Scott
Member
Molested & Abused 2003 Stella 2T
Joined: 12 Sep 2015
Posts: 40
Location: Madtown
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:53 am quote
What do you mean you can't get it to start? If you are able to spin the engine, then it is not the kickstart that is the problem, it is fuel-air mix or a lack of spark. I think that even a 90-pound weakling could just stand on the lever and get the engine to turn over. You don't need a gorilla jumping on it. It should turn the bike over with a deliberate push down.

I think you should clarify whether you mean that you aren't strong enough to push the lever down and force the engine through a compression stroke, or whether you are doing so but the fuel-air mix isn't catching spark. Two very separate problems.
Ossessionato
1979 P200e
Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Posts: 2230
Location: West of Boston
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:28 am quote
One thing to consider is your kick start style....

If you're decently tall (not me!) you can kick start the scoot while astride. I can't do this, except for the case where I stall an already warmed up scoot at an intersection.

Usually I have the scoot on the center stand, and I stand to the right (duh, that's where the starter is!), and kick it over with my right foot, facing towards the scoot with my right hand on the throttle. Others use their left foot... all depends on what you're comfortable with.
Lurker
VBB 150
Joined: 26 Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Sydney
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:28 am quote
thanks everyone for your help, really appreciate it!!

@johnymoore yes, using the choke and seen that clip!

@Larrytsg same! i'm too small to kick it while seated, so do it on the right side with my right foot. i saw a clip of a guy kickstarting facing the back of the vespa... haven't tried it yet but looked counterintuitive.

very STOKED i did manage to start the engine today. it was a pretty hot day here in australia (89F), assuming that helped a little...? so @yackee catches spark but i think it's just me not being strong enough or having the right technique :T

so will take @V oodoo's suggestion and try swapping out with a longer lever (i def have the shorter one, photo attached). thanks so much for that!!! i'm assuming it's not too tricky to do?

IMG_5884.JPG

Hooked
1978 MotoVespa 160GT, 2009 LML Star 150 2T (Stella), 1961 Lambretta S2, 1962 Lambretta S3, 1964 Lambretta J100
Joined: 02 May 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Belgium
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:58 am quote
Someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in soon I'm sure, but from the look of that lever, you have a much later P-range engine fitted into your VBB frame.

If that's the case, you'll need to use a different lever to those linked to earlier by Voodoo. This one would look much better, but whether it'll make any difference to the "leverage", I don't know:
https://www.sip-scootershop.com/en/products/kickstart+lever+vbb+style+_75122000
Hooked
68sprint,65super,64Allstate
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 200
Location: Central california
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:05 am quote
modifications
The kick lever on my p200e is 12 inches. Don't kick start sitting on your scooter. stand off to the side with it on the stand. My daughter whom weighs 105 pounds can kick start all my scooters. it is the way you are trying to do it. scott
Member
1972 Vespa GTR
Joined: 05 Nov 2018
Posts: 28
Location: Halifax, England
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:02 am quote
Your scoot should start with very little effort. Mine after all my tinkering starts with what I would call a gentle push down with my right foot facing away from the handlebars. If it isn't starting as it should I would suggest looking at fuel/air mixture, spark plug type and gap, possible timing, fuel mixture (too much 2 stroke oil) the condenser might be degrading.
Member
1964 V9A1T
Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Tucson Az
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:57 am quote
history or background on the scooter?
are those 10" wheels and a different engine?
Molto Verboso
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1132

Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:37 pm quote
Depending up how desperate (or rich) the OP is, swapping in electric start Stella or PX cases is possible.
Member
Molested & Abused 2003 Stella 2T
Joined: 12 Sep 2015
Posts: 40
Location: Madtown
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:01 pm quote
It is not necessarily easy to kick-start while sitting on the scooter or even standing astride it. It takes practice, and even after some years of doing it occasionally at a stop light etc after a stall I still often manage to whack my ankle, kick it too weakly to start, and so on. Sometimes, when I know that I am having some jetting/fuel/fouling issues and that it will take several kicks to get it going, I will just roll the scoot over to the curb and put it on the center stand and kick it properly (standing on the side of the scooter, holding the handle bar with one hand, and kicking it with my right foot).

I mention all of this because if your idea of how to properly kick-start a cold scooter is while sitting on it -- I'm not sure that's how many people do it. Your leg isn't going to be in a good position for a good, accurate, strong kick. For a cold scooter (and even one that's warm) it is often much easier to just put it on the center stand and kick it from off the scooter.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6500
Location: Victoria, Australia
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:54 pm quote
The OP has already mentioned that the are NOT sitting on it when trying to kick it over.

One thing that I found makes a world of difference was the Kytronic. Dbp823, it's an ignition module that creates variable timing from a static electronic setup. Can't be fitted to a points ignition.
The spark is advanced further than factory for the lower rev range, dropping back as you rev higher. As I said it does make them much easier to start.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6637
Location: seattle/athens
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:05 pm quote
Get a P200 kickstart lever first thing, it's enough longer than yours to make a difference.

kick.jpg
P200 lever on top
older lever similar length as yours on the bottom

Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6500
Location: Victoria, Australia
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:47 pm quote
V oodoo wrote:
Get a P200 kickstart lever first thing, it's enough longer than yours to make a difference.
They already have that style of kickstart. When swapping to a P kickstart on an early motor it ends up in a funny position. I can't recall where exactly it ends up but it's not right! Otherwise you wouldn't need a conversion type kickstart when putting a P motor in an earlier body (and trying to make it look right).
However OP may have a P motor so all this is moot...
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6637
Location: seattle/athens
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:17 pm quote
Quote:
They already have that style of kickstart.
Yep, didn't know it had a P motor until the pic was posted, but that lever is only 25 cm to the center of the pad, likely a P150 motor. I didn't know the 150's had shorter levers until I compared measurements. The pic I posted is from a P200 and is 28 cm, so swapping to that would be the first thing to do. If it's got a P or LML motor, maybe it has a kit as well as higher compression as mentioned in the SIP ad for the curved version.

So maybe not moot and certainly the easiest thing to try. dbp823, it's easy to do - you need to undo & completely remove that bolt clamping the lever on and you'll likely need to remove the fan cover to get the bolt all the way out. Tighten the nut up well when you put the new lever on or it will have chewed up splines and a short life.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6500
Location: Victoria, Australia
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:33 am quote
Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying when comparing the two. I didn't know about the different length P kickstarts... good to know.
Addicted
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 883
Location: UK (South East)
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:46 am quote
I also didn't think that the regular PX150 lever was shorter than PX200, but I did once buy a P150S lever which was quite a bit shorter. It looked great, but boy was it difficult to kick a BGM177 motor!
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 3695
Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:25 pm quote
Pics please
Do you have some OVERALL pics of the scoot (Bodge?) also some showing the ENGINE, this info may be helpful with diagnosing what you are working with
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