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Thread: Harley Hummer 165 Ignition

  1. #1

    Default Harley Hummer 165 Ignition

    Recently picked up a late 50's original 165 Hummer with battery ignition. I seem to have everything to make it run, but it only fires for a few seconds and quits. With a brand new Autolite plug I have good consistent spark when I take the plug out and watch it as I turn the motor over. Gas is mixed correctly with oil since it is a two stroke. Spark plug is wet when I pull it out. Currently giving the battery a charge as it showed only 4.6 that low enough that it will not fire and stay running? I'm not real good with electrical so that's always my hang up. Any thoughts or suggestions on what to try?

    Previous owner said it ran but needed a new petcock. Have one ordered, but it seems that the one on it just leaks when shut off, otherwise it appears to flow through the petcock sufficiently for no more gas than the single cylinder should require. Thanks guys!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico


    The ignition definitely needs more voltage to function. The 165 is a true battery and coil ignition (it isn't a "Hummer"). The Hummer is a magneto ignition and totally different in how it operates. You need consistently 6+ volts to fire, so if you do not have there is an issue. Your generator (165s have generators) should put out about 6.8-7.2 volts when running. Make sure the battery holds a good charge and check the total output at RPM with the lights on. Make sure your condenser is good as well as the coil. Lots of info on the Harley Hummer Club website too! Be aware that the "Hummer" name is used generically (like Kleenex) but that specifications are very different between true Hummers and 165s.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #3


    Robbie, thanks for your help. My dad had a skat with magneto ignition which would be a lot easier, but its been fun learning about the generalized "hummer" term used for so many different "affordable" models back then. I will put a fully charged battery in it and give a shot, and also check my gen output as you said. Hopefully I'll report back with a narrowed down problem or a running bike! Thanks again.


  4. #4


    So finally got a chance to put a fully charged battery in the hummer, reading 6.9 volts. Had a strong head light, checked spark at points and at plug again and everything was consistent and "hot". Bike will not start...tried kicking it and pushing it both. Pull the plug and its soaking wet...why won't she fire? I know my carb is good, float is good and is not stuck. Could it be something more serious like the crankcase seals being a 2-stroke? I'm puzzled. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

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