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Thread: Roller Starters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    152

    Default Roller Starters

    Has anyone here use a roller starter, such as the one sold by DocZ to start a hand shift/foot clutch bike?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Has anyone here use a roller starter, such as the one sold by DocZ to start a hand shift/foot clutch bike?
    Got a link to DocZ, Swall?

    Most are inconvenient if you kill it at a stoplight.

    ....Cotten
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    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Has anyone here use a roller starter, such as the one sold by DocZ to start a hand shift/foot clutch bike?
    Coincidentally, I just loaded the weak battery for mine in the car and am about to drive out to get a replacement. Although I'm using it to start a Gold Star I just finished refurbishing, I also used it on my tank-shift 1928 Ariel. I realize you asked about use with a foot clutch but I think I understand the issue you're worried about. Based on my fairly good understanding of my DocZ, and my possibly-incorrect understanding of your issue, I would balance the bike with the same foot I use to operate the switch (which is what I do with hand-shift bikes), put it in gear and spin up the rear wheel with the clutch disengaged (and while holding the front brake), and engage the clutch with my other foot. When (if) it started I'd disengage the clutch.

    Off to the store for a new battery...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    462

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    Being a flat track guy who rides a Bultaco Astro 360 I have experienced a 'hard to start' bike many more times than I care to think about. So I decided to do something about that. This roller starter is built to start your motorcycle and save your leg. I build these by hand and my machine tools are manual, not CNC. I make these units two at a time, and following completion I will offer them for sale.
    Some details about the starter: Made using 6061 1/4 inch aluminum plate. The rollers I make by hand using DOM structural tubing with 1/4 wall. The starter motor is direct drive to the front roller and a chain drives the rear roller. The starter motor fits a certain brand of tractor and is a high torque starter.

    The unit is powered by a 12V automotive battery (NOT INCLUDED) and comes with battery cables, ready to hook up to your battery and run. Includes a foot switch to activate the starter. I also furnish an aluminum ramp to allow you to roll the rear wheel onto the roller unit. All of the material, hardware and plate is brand new material, as is the starter motor. Each unit comes as shown in the picture and shipping is AT YOUR EXPENSE. I ship UPS.
    Weight of the unit with ramp is....... 47 lbs. Unit footprint size is... 22.5 in. Wide x 18.5 in. Long x 8.5 in. High

    Build time for a single unit runs about one week and I will try to keep 2 in stock at all times. I have designed these units so they can be completely disassembled using 2 box wrenches and 2 Allen wrenches. I feel you will find the workmanship quite good on each unit. I currently have the first two units built and I am waiting for the battery cables to arrive so I can install them and box up to ship. You will not be disappointed if you decide to buy one of these units from me. They work well.
    Cost is $799 per unit and you pay for shipping.

    If you would like additional information and more pictures and video of the unit in action just email me at wb_perry@yahoo.com Blake Perry Houston, Texas 77025

    14-11-01-Starter.jpg >>>Blake Perry Unit. Ad lifted from VFT. 'Vintage Flat Track' Products Page.

    17-03-09-DoczSoloStarter.jpg >>>VFT AD. 'Vintage Flat Track' Products Page.

    Product Information, Sales and Support
    Contact
    Art “DocZ” Zimmerman
    www.doczintl.biz

    *M.A.D.*
    Last edited by JoJo357; 03-17-2019 at 03:34 AM.

  5. #5

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    I haven't seen a set of rollers since my Bonneville days, those are very nice builds too. Ours were a little less involved and quite a bit bigger but the same end result was gleaned! Again very nice products.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    I can understand one at the track, Folks!

    But if a street machine is difficult to start, something's wrong.

    ....Cotten
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    Last edited by T. Cotten; 03-20-2019 at 10:41 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    But if a street machine is difficult to start, something's wrong.
    You might change your opinion after kick starting a 500 cc single with 10:1 piston a few times.

    Even if a bike has perfect jetting, and the fuel was drained before being put away, they don't always easily start after a few months. In addition, if you forget to have the magneto and choke levers in the right positions it can take a few extra kicks before realizing the problem. Assuming you don't have the ignition fully advanced and the backfire painfully alerts your leg to the problem on the first kick.

    Presently I'm working to jet a 36 mm Amal Concentric on just such a 'Competition Model' Gold Star. The NOS carburetor I'm using I started life configured for a big two-stroke so it had a different needle, jet holder, jets, and spray tube. So, while nothing was wrong with the carburetor itself, nothing was right. DocZ rollers are a godsend at times like these.

    I got my rollers ~4 years ago as a result of bumping into an acquaintance at an annual motorcycle show. His leg was in a walking cast and when I asked him what happened he told me he was kick starting a bike and his leg snapped. Although his diabetes contributed to that, personally I'd like to ride motorcycles as long as possible and rollers minimize the assault on my aging knee and hip so I consider them an important element in achieving that goal. Yes, of course, they don't help when I'm away from home. But parking on hills helps where that's possible, and every kick I don't have to make is one more kick I will be able to when there isn't a choice.

  8. #8
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    Sorry BoschZEV!

    I was looking at it from this side of the Atlantic;
    British bikes were never my problem.

    Always ride in a circle, and never shut her off?

    ...Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    Always ride in a circle, and never shut her off?
    Your suggestion reminded me of something so, at the risk of going off topic...

    Several years ago I rode a Ducati to a city ~500 miles away to give a talk. The Ducati's ignition switch has three positions: 'on' and 'off', but just a tiny bit further the position is 'parking light that drains the battery overnight'. The next morning it was dead, but it's nearly impossible to get to the battery for a jump start. When I took a taxi from my hotel to the institution for my talk we passed a house on the property with a BSA 441 parked in front. That told me the person in the house had plenty of tools. Anyway, I got my host to track him down and the next morning they met me at the hotel and with very long forceps was able to reach the '+' terminal and we got the bike started. I then rode the bike for maybe 10 miles (in a circle) to charge the battery but by then the fuel was low so I couldn't go any further. I pulled into a station and sat with the engine running for 30 sec. pondering my fate. The ignition key is needed to open the tank so there was no possibility to leave the engine running. But, if the battery wasn't sufficiently charged I wouldn't be able to start it because it has fuel injection, not a carburetor, so push-starting wasn't an option. Luckily, it started.

    As a result of that experience I added a short length of cable to the battery that can be reached with jumper cables should I ever leave the parking light on again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    I thought it was a track reference, BoschZEV...

    Trying to charge a dead battery with a generator can be tragic. (Sportster Disease).

    ....Cotten
    PS: My desktop's battery is dead, and if I shut it off, it boots up to the year 4198.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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