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Thread: Chief electric starter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    163

    Default Chief electric starter

    Anyone else thinking of an electric starter on your chief, or have you all ready installed one? I have a 47, At my age of 77 I find it a little hard to give it a good kick through, and holding the bike up right at the same time. Kiwi sells a starter, it's a little pricy, but if it lets me be able to ride my chief a few more years it may be worth it. Your thoughts. Stan

  2. #2

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    Whatever keeps you riding I say. I'm just a kid of 64 but know electric start is in my future, just glad to have the option. I've already envisioned how nice the chainguard kicker slot will look filled in, think faux kicker is wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    482

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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    Anyone else thinking of an electric starter on your chief, or have you all ready installed one? I have a 47, At my age of 77 I find it a little hard to give it a good kick through, and holding the bike up right at the same time. Kiwi sells a starter, it's a little pricy, but if it lets me be able to ride my chief a few more years it may be worth it. Your thoughts. Stan
    I changed the flimsy 47 sidestand to the later front motor mount stand and kick while standing on the side.I can get my full body weight over the kicker using either leg.This method is way easier than straddling and actually puts less strain on the kickstand.
    May buy you a couple of years.
    Congrats on still riding a chief at 77.
    Tom

  4. #4

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    I'm a bit younger but wouldn't mind an electric starter. I just wish they weren't so expensive for this bike. I don't really want to spend almost $3k to add one. Are there any other alternatives?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    ugh, such a morbid topic, yet very much part of reality, certainly not an event to be denied and but to be reckoned with. as morbid as it sounds, there is not a day i don't think of my own mortality. while i no longer have a Chief, i am grateful every time i bring my '67 Royal Enfield Interceptor upright from its side stand and am rewarded most often by freestanding first kick starts. i can't imagine letting go as long as i am gifted with the ability and good health to start my Interceptor. Stan, we only live once and i say if you can afford an electric start for your Chief, do it before you can no longer make the move to push a button. We can't take anything with us, not even our last breath, so enjoy what gives us joy as long as one can.
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 10-01-2019 at 08:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    S.E.N.Y. State American side of Hudson River
    Posts
    484

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    Two of my friends have a button start on their Chiefs. I sure get envious when they press that little button and ride off into the sun with no sweat on their brow.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  7. #7

    Default Chief electric start

    I installed a kiwi electric start on my 1940 chief ,the bike started good when cold ,but if you rode it for 20 miles then stopped for gas it was a bear to start sometime taking 10 or 15 kicks.i would not ride the bike often because of this or I would leave it running when I got gas it stopped being fun. I bought the electric start as a Christmas present to my self and now ride the chief 3 or 4 times a week it was worth the investment to be able to use the bike again

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,308

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    Quote Originally Posted by jn1972 View Post
    I installed a kiwi electric start on my 1940 chief ,the bike started good when cold ,but if you rode it for 20 miles then stopped for gas it was a bear to start sometime taking 10 or 15 kicks.i would not ride the bike often because of this or I would leave it running when I got gas it stopped being fun. I bought the electric start as a Christmas present to my self and now ride the chief 3 or 4 times a week it was worth the investment to be able to use the bike again
    Wow jn1972!

    It cured your vacuum leak.

    ...Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-04-2019 at 05:43 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default

    Without mentioning her name I know a woman in her 80's who kickstarts her Chief. Two modifications allow this. Two starter cranks cut and made into one that is a inch longer. Two head gaskets per cylinder to lower compression. Invisible fix to allow easy starting.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Oak View, CA.
    Posts
    54

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    Following along like Chris suggests... Starklite offers a longer kicker arm, designed for an 80 incher, but works really well with a standard or Bonneville Chief. about $150 or more. Also, I would rather use a real fat copper head gasket, I think Greer has them, .060 thick (?) rather than two gaskets...
    I have two kick starters I would consider selling. One from Tom Fusco in Florida. No kick arm, comes with a big battery box, and instructions. The other one is from Christian, RIP, in Germany. It has a kicker arm, no battery box. No instructions ( Iwill include a copy of Fusco instructions for addition help, but its slightly different) $500 ea, plus shipping. They are heavy. Shipping cost would be around $50+ PM me for phone and further details. will not ship overseas. C2K

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