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Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:
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Posted 12/13/2017 10:42 AM (#95906)
Subject: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:


Posts: 59
Location: CT
This question has to do with a single cylinder, four-stroke engine, with a kickstart and electronic start option set up.........

I have an idea....... I thought it might be beneficial for the motor, at cold start up, if I were able to use the kickstarting lever, to take the engine through its cycle, without actually attempting to start it, (bringing the piston back up to the top) and then using the electric start to start the motor.

I would not be attempting to start the motor, purely by the kick starter in this example. In effect I would be priming it, for the electric start.

I recognize that it’s not necessary to do this, but I was thinking it might be more beneficial to get things flowing, before I attempted to start it electrically; especially in a coldstart scenario.

So here’s my question: how many gentle pushes of the kick starter are required so that I leave the piston at TDC, so that when I hit the electrical starter, the piston is up near the spark?

Is it even necessary to bring it back to TDC, or could I simply give it a couple of gentle kicks, with no regard to where it is in the cycle?

Considering this is a single cylinder four stroke engine, I would presume that it would require four strokes of the kick starter, to complete a full cycle, but I’m not sure.

As I am gently kicking the kickstart, I can feel the difference stages that it wants to go through on the way down through the movement, but I am not sure where I am in the cycle when I’m kicking it.

I have watched, on YouTube, videos of how a single cylinder four stroke engine is laid out and functions, but I’m having a hard time translating that to what I feel when I gently kick down the kick starter.

Rather than going off on a tangent about how this “isn’t necessary,” or “the EFI system is sufficient” and all of that.......if you could just address the technical aspects, that would be great; thanks! I realize of course, that I’m asking a motor question in a forum that primarily deals with sidecars, but some of us have motorcycles that have side cars that are driven by motorcycles with single cylinder four stroke motors, so I thought it relevant.

Edited by soupy1957 12/13/2017 10:46 AM
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Posted 12/13/2017 1:56 PM (#95907 - in reply to #95906)
Subject: Re: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 314
Location: Savannah Ga
I think to best answer your question you need to consider what you would actually be doing for the engine by kicking it over
just kicking it you really will only move the crank through the oil and circulate a little oil around the gears as well, this is never a bad thing so a plus there
I can't see you pushing enough oil pressure to get oil into the cylinder for the piston so no benefit there really.
as to whether it matters where your at as to TDC it really doesn't matter in this situation as the motor is going to turn over and open and close valves and fire as it's timed to do no matter how it's being turned
IE kick or elec. starter. 2 kicks will complete the engine rotation to do what your thinking
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Posted 12/13/2017 2:42 PM (#95908 - in reply to #95906)
Subject: Re: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:


Posts: 59
Location: CT
Thanks for the input. The whole effort was just to avoid any issues with extremely cold temperatures and doing any damage to the motor by starting it in those conditions. The Royal Enfield has a reputation for being a bike that can be started in a variety of conditions, and I’m going to depend on that!

Edited by soupy1957 12/14/2017 5:28 PM
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Posted 12/24/2017 11:49 PM (#95977 - in reply to #95906)
Subject: RE: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:


Posts: 248
Location: Richton, MS
I have kick started my Enfield G5 with sidecar a few time just to convince myself I could. It is a little awkward with the car mounted but doable. Battery voltage is critical no matter how you do it. Had problems with stock battery and oversized battery mounted in the car. Now have a lithium cell and have no problems yet. Of course it doesn't get that cold here in south MS.

Mike in MS
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Posted 1/8/2018 1:29 PM (#96063 - in reply to #95906)
Subject: Re: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:


Posts: 89
I saw many times "locals" starting their Enfield by just kicking the engine slowly, looking at the Amp meter (current to the coil??) and just pushing a little bit more on the kick.... and "voila" the bike starts everytime.. all of this being done with flip-flop if not barefoot. So I guess doing the same with ES should be doable! (tried this many times with my 500XT... it had no Amp meter and no battery...OK when cold, a pain then warm!!).

Edited by prmurat1 1/8/2018 1:31 PM
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Posted 1/8/2018 2:24 PM (#96064 - in reply to #95906)
Subject: Re: Single-Cylinder Four Stroke Question:


Posts: 1619
Fyi, Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Safety ( ) now has two sidecar equipped Enfields in their training fleet as we delivered two with Sputnik sidecars on Friday.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
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