Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The XS400 RatRacer (part 3) - kickstarter removal

With the kickstart gear not working anyway, I decided to do something, which is quite unusual on a racebike: Get rid of the kickstart assembly, yet retain the electric leg.

Now there's a bit of cleverness behind this madness: Firstly the XS400 is relatively heavy for its class anyway, so shaving off a few kilos might help, but it's never gonna be totally competitive and secondly, in case you drop it or stall it, a quick push of the button gets you going again. Probably saving you more time in such an event than the odd shaved off kilogramm might have won you. Thirdly the kickstarter fouled my rearsets. And lastly with the flatslides I kind of expected to do a lot of rejetting and an electric starter really helps with starting the  until you have them dialed in properly.

So here goes: All the stock internal kickstart parts were removed and two bungs were turned up on the lathe, tapped and secured with a central bolt so they'd go nowhere.

Now with the kickstarter removed a quick test of the electric starter revealed... well nothing much. It got warm spun a few times and that was pretty much it. Overhauling electric starters is pretty simple unless someone has used it until the wiring gives in. Usually it means taking it apart, cleaning out all the old carbon buildup and greasing up the shaft's bearing.

Starter taken apart
As you can see the starter looked pretty much as expected: Pretty grotty, full of old carbon dust and the carbon brushes have left their mark on the collector.

After a quick brush up with some emery, ready to be turned smooth again
After turning the starter motor's collector smooth again, a small 6Ah battery was sufficient to start the bike.

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