KickMagic Pneumatic-Assist Starter Installation

We’ll walk you through the installation of the air-powered kickstart assist developed by The Classic Bike Experience on a 1968 Triumph Bonneville.

Reader Contribution by The Motorcycle Classics Staff
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by Motorcycle Classics Staff

As we get older, it’s a fact that our desire to ride our classic bikes can be in conflict with our ability to kickstart them. For some of our classic bikes, there are aftermarket electric start options. Some of the very last Triumphs, twins and triples, had electric starters. Until now though, there’s never been an aftermarket kit to retrofit earlier Triumph twins with an assisted kickstart. Those of us with artificial joints (hips, knees, etc.) who still want to ride but don’t want to risk physical injury due to kickbacks can finally find some relief. The Classic Bike Experience in Essex, Vermont, American importers of the Alton starter for Norton motorcycles, have developed an air-powered kickstart assist. Once installed, you will still be using the kickstarter, but the effort will be greatly reduced. We’ll show you how to install it on a 1968 Triumph Bonneville.

The installation of the electronic controls is fairly easy. Slightly more time consuming is the careful placing of the actuator itself. Keep in mind that though these machines left the factory fairly standard, years of modifications and restorations may have changed them. Be prepared to do some fitting. The instructions supplied with the kit are detailed and well illustrated.

It’s also helpful to have a compressed air supply available for testing this system during assembly. If you have a shop compressor, or even a small pancake compressor, that will do. Plan on a full day’s work, and as always, the relevant shop manual and parts diagrams are very helpful for parts identification and proper torque specs. The air bottle can be filled at your local scuba shop with high-pressure air. We had our bottle filled to 4,500psi before starting the installation.

For more information on the inspiration, design and prototyping of the KickMagic system, read an online exclusive story.

Watch this short video to see how easy our Bonneville started after installation.

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